Antique Hour Glass Blocks

Antique Hour Glass Blocks

Hour Glass blocks have been around for centuries.  They are certainly not new.  I think they are one of my favorite blocks and feature frequently in antique quilts, especially the Dutch quilts.  These were quilts and blocks which were all stitched by hand as they were made well before the advent of the domestic sewing machine.

They have often been used as a border pattern or in multitudes around a feature block in medallion quilts.

image

The diagonal lines create movement and interest.

The Hour Glass blocks are wonderful on their own but can also form the basis of other blocks like Broken Dishes, Ohio Star Blocks and depending on how the colours are placed can also become a delicious Lozenge shape.

image

Ohio Star Blocks and Tutorial

The Hour Glass Block is so adaptable to both antique and modern designs depending on the choice of fabric and block placement.  Hour Glass blocks are also a brilliant way to give the appearance of diagonal or on point blocks when they are placed alternately among other different blocks of the same size.

image

They also look just as lovely in washed solids, or in bright and multicoloured and patterned fabrics like those of Kaffe Fasset.

In many of the antique quilts the Hour Glass Blocks are very small.   The balance of light and dark keep the eyes moving across the quilt.

They make a great border design too like I have used in this Road to Tennessee Quilt.

image

Road to Tennessee Quilt and Pattern

The blocks can be just as wonderful made in a larger sizes, especially if you need a fast quilt or an easy baby quilt, just choose the fabrics which are right for the recipient.

They are also a great way to use up left over triangles from other projects to add interest, whether that be borders, cornerstones or blocks.

I’m thinking while I’m writing this that they would also look fabulous with Japanese fabrics.  This would be a lovely block to showcase their beauty!

For me at the moment, I love the look of the antique Hour Glass Blocks.  In order to achieve this look choose from a palette of pinks and blues with creams, tans, navy and red.  Small prints with reproduction style fabrics work especially well.

image

If you would like to make some of these blocks, go to the tutorial.

Antique Hour Glass Blocks Tutorial

Leave a Reply