Love the cascading pattern of a tumbling blocks quilt? We do, too! The artfully arranged light and dark diamonds appear to be cubes stacked in vivid three-dimensional lines. Piecing tumbling blocks quilts remains among quilters’ favorite challenges, arranging the colors to form the illusive blocks and sewing the sharp-toothed diamonds together.
All of our homemade quilts are put together as they have been for decades past–through individual quilters’ patient arrangement and careful stitching. We bring you heirloom pieces, each handmade by seamstresses and quilters in our Amish and Mennonite communities. Your homemade tumbling blocks quilt is a piece like no other–it has been crafted uniquely, not mass-produced.
The optical illusion of the tumbling blocks pattern has been used as far back as ancient Greece and Renaissance Europe in tiling floors or weaving fabric. Quilters at least as far back as the 19th century picked up the template and learned how to incorporate it into lovely bedspreads. It has been popular in America since the 1850s.
Oral history about the tumbling blocks quilts suggest the pattern may have been used on the Underground Railroad, Jacqueline Tobin and Raymond Dobard found. They write that this pattern, also known as the tumbling boxes pattern, may have signaled to slaves when it was time to pack up their boxes and move on. While historians debate the claim, it’s intriguing to think this homespun art may have been part of bringing freedom.
We also know that at least two American presidents, Calvin Coolidge and Dwight Eisenhower, sewed tumbling blocks quilts when they were young boys. While they may not have counted these among their finest deeds, the discipline they developed in stitching this demanding pattern no doubt served them well later!
We’d love to help you choose one of these heirlooms for you or those you love. Browse these on our website through the links below, or visit our store. If you’re still not sure, or have more questions, call us during business hours at (717) 354-1772. We are always available through this form on our website, or by email at email@example.com.