Check Patchwork Pattern


Checkerboard Pattern

The information below is from The Dictionary of Needlework: An Encyclopedia of Artistic, Plain and Fancy Needlework. 1887, by S.F.A. Caulfeild and Blanche C. Saward 1887. It has been edited for use on this site.

The Check Patchwork Pattern is a great pattern for both the novice or experienced quilter or embroiderer. It is worked to imitate a chess or draught board, and is one of the easiest patterns, being formed of squares sewn together. The size is determined by the number of squared you wish to use. The finished quilt could be finished by using a coordinating border, if desired.

To work Check Patchwork Pattern: Cut out a number of 2-inch squares in pale yellow, and a number of the same size in brown. Sew the brown square to the yellow square, and underneath and above the yellow square sew a brown one. Continue to join the pieces together in this manner, so that no squares of the same hue are next to each other. Any two colors can be used, or varieties of two colors, but it is advisable not to employ more.

This is also a great pattern to use to make wall hangings when you don’t want a full size quilt or cover or for young girls to make covers for their doll’s bed. Because of its ease, you will find it invaluable when you need a quick (and easy) patchwork piece for any reason.

A more current way of making this check patchwork pattern is to work in strips instead of 2" blocks. You will need strips of your selected two contrasting colors  (a light and a dark) to be at least 36" long and cut 2" wide.

Sew a dark and a light strip together using a 1/4 seam allowance. Press the seam being sure to press the light toward the dark.

Cut this sewed strip into 3 12" sections. (You may want to cut it a bit larger to give yourself a little "wiggle" room to make adjustments if if isn't perfectly square.

Sew the three 2-color strips together making sure that the same color is at the top ... either the the light is at the top of all three pieces or the dark is at the top of all three pieces. Press again toward the dark fabric. You now have 1 piece with 6 strips to it (3 light and 3 dark).

Cut this into 2" pieces. Now take every other strip and flip it around to make a checkerboard pattern. Sew together and press.

Your finished block will measure 9 1/2". When sewn to other blocks using a 1/4" seam allowance, the finished block will measure 9".

Sewing the blocks this way saves an enormous amount of time piece and matchng seams.

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