New Orleans House Project

Friday, April 12, 2013

Re-visiting the Schoolhouse

"Made in the USA" quilt from Christmas Memories:  A Folk Art Celebration by Nancy J. Martin
Schoolhouse quilts and quilt blocks have been charming and inspiring quilters for years.  A quick thumb-through of some of my "vintage" quilt books turned up two very different interpretations.

"Schoolhouse Quilt" from Better Homes and Gardens America's Heritage Quilts
A Google search will turn up even more varieties of schoolhouse quilts.  So many, I had to start a new Pinterest board just to keep track of my favorites!  

I'm re-visiting the schoolhouse this week because a dig through my fabric stash last weekend reminded me of this quilted wall-hanging.  It was made circa 1990 and may have been from a Better Homes & Gardens pattern.  Machine pieced and hand-quilted.

As I look at this quilt now I'm amazed I used such plain fabrics!  If I made the quilt again using today's fabrics, I'd at least use fabrics with shading or texture rather than flat solids.  On the other hand, fabric selection was much more limited when this quilt was made, so my choices do reflect that era.  I may have been trying to use only fabrics in my stash, too!

One of the things I especially like about this particular schoolhouse block pattern is the use of negative space to create a stencil-like effect.  The basic block can be used effectively with just about any fabric and style of interpretation.  I think I see another schoolhouse quilt in my future - providing I can decide which style direction I want to take!

Just for fun - here's my family schoolhouse connection.  The schoolhouse was built on land donated by one of the farmers in Burns Township, Wisconsin.  Known as the Striped School, the building dates to 1859.  My dad's family were among the earliest settlers in Burns Township and several of my ancestors were schooled here.  It's no longer used as a school, but I understand community meetings are still held there on occasion.  



  1. I love the schoolhouse quilts too. Some day I may actually make one too.:)

  2. I love those quilts, I have a pinterest board dedicated to house, etc. quilts, also!

  3. Angie, I love all these quilts!!! What a wonderful story about a real schoolhouse! I've always wanted to make a red/white school house quilt - might just have to go on my list!! Thanks for sharing!!