roman-square quilt block

Roman Square Quilt Block

The Roman Square quilt block consist of strips of fabric attached at the long side. The Roman Square is very suitable to use scrap fabric. The quilt block is very versatile because of the endless opportunities to play with colour and composition.

The Roman Square is known under several other names, such as the Roman stripe quilt block and the Rail Fence quilt block. It is common for quilt blocks to have several names. Especially for the more ‘simple’ designs which have been around for a long time.

It’s possible that the name ‘Roman Square’ comes from the Latin term ‘trabea’, which means ‘a toga with a border of coloured stripes worn ceremoniously by various men of rank in ancient Rome’.

In the early days, fabric was hard to come by, so every cm needed to be used.  Early quilt blocks all have in common that they are suitable to use small scraps of fabric.

The log cabin is usually created in a square or rectangular design which consist of several of the smaller Roman Square pattern pieces.

 Handen die een rode roman square quilt maken met een naaimachineQuilting a roman quilted coaster

The Roman Square quilt block history goes back to the origin of quilting in America (however it probably was designed in other places too, since it’s basically stripes)

I believe in teaching the basis to show what's possible with quilts. With the basics people can explore their own creativity using quilt techniques.

In the early days, fabric was hard to come by, so every cm needed to be used.  Therefore, early quilt blocks all have in common that they are suitable to use small scraps of fabric. In the early days, people made quilts out of necessity to stay warm, so they had to adapt patterns to the fabrics they had.

Plummer T. Pettway Roman SquaRre quilt  Plummer T. Pettway Roman SquaRre quilt  "Crazy" quilt from old pants

Nowadays, people also buy fabrics to quilt. The benefit of that is that the fabric can be chosen in such a way to create specific layouts with the Roman Square quilt blocks. Some popular compositions have their own name. Examples of those are the Beggard Blocks Quilt pattern, the Cat & Mice pattern, the Basket Weave pattern, and the Rail Fence quilt pattern.

Simple quilt blocks like the Roman Square are the basis of more complex quilt patterns and blocks. Once you understand the basic patterns, you’ll have the freedom and knowledge to design any kind of quilt you want.

The Roman Square block is one of those basic blocks that stand at the foundation of many complex pattern and quilt designs. That is one of the reasons why it’s part of the sampler quilt class of Kick Ass Quilts.

roman-square quilt block

Simple quilt blocks like the Roman Square are the basis of more complex quilt patterns and blocks. Once you understand the basic patterns, you’ll have the freedom and knowledge to design any kind of quilt you want.

I believe in teaching the basis to show what's possible with quilts. With the basics people can explore their own creativity using quilt techniques.

Roman Square coaster variationCoaster Roman Square variation

4.1: Basics in the Lap Sampler Quilt

The lap quilt sampler class is designed to teach you intermediate basic quilt techniques. It is a follow-up from the beginner class where you learn the 6 steps to make a quilt (get it here). In the sampler quilt class, you learn to apply those skills to create a lap quilt. The lap quilt class also teaches you 5 basic quilt patterns which form the foundation of most other quilt blocks.

Those blocks are the log cabin quilt block, the n*desire patch, flying geese, and the pinwheel quilt block. You can get the class here.  After finishing the Sampler class, you are well on your way to become a confident and proficient quilter!

To finish your basic quilting toolkit follow the pro class where you learn to adapt the quilt skills, and basic patterns into various projects for your home such as pillows, coasters, laptop sleeves and bags. After the pro class, you can make all the textiles in your home yourself. Subscribe to the newsletter to get updates on the pro class.

Roman square blocks Kick Ass Sampler QuiltRoman Square Blocks Kick Ass Quilts Sampler Quilt

Questions:

  • Which variation of the Roman Square do you like most?
  • Have you ever made a quilt with the Roman Square pattern?


Sources:

https://tehistory.org/hqda/html/v23/v23n3p099.html

https://www.kshs.org/index.php?url=km/items/view/220880

https://www.quilting-in-america.com/roman-square.html

https://www.pinkdoxies.com/2017/08/what-is-roman-stripe.html

https://www.soulsgrowndeep.org/artist/loretta-pettway/work/roman-stripes-variation-local-name-crazy-quilt

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