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Paper Piecing Patterns for Quilters


Venetian Chain Borders and Quilts

The Venetian Chain block and its companion corner block may not look too inspiring as single block designs. But set them together in a quilt, and see how they come to life!

The Venetian Chain border design shows to best advantage if the two interlocking chains are pieced in complementary color families (as above) against a strongly contrasting background. Choose tone-on-tone prints and hand-dyed fabrics -- busy, multi-color prints will detract from the optical illusion of interlinking chains.



Using two different values of the two "links" colors gives a "folded" look to the chain as in the figure above. (The center of the quilt is plain here only to highlight the border design.)



To create the interlocking chain effect, you'll need two different, but related colorations, of the Venetian Chain block. Notice for the chain, the two colorations are alternated. In one coloration, Color A is used for the top "links" or bars, and Color B for the bottom links. In the second coloration, Color A is on the bottom links and Color B on the top links. (For the "folded effect", you'll still only need two different colorations for the chain, but using four colors for the links instead of two.) You may also need two different colorations for the corner blocks as well -- it depends whether you have odd or even numbers of Venetian Chain blocks in your border. Careful advance planning of your border will pay off in the end!



Don't limit yourself to borders, though, when considering these blocks. The Venetian Chain block by itself can form an all-over interlinking pattern. Even more interesting effects could be obtained by carefully gradating the values or hues for the chains either vertically, horizontally, or both.



Even the corner block presents a wealth of possibilities. Four Corner blocks create the Venetian Wheel block shown at right. After playing with this design a bit further, I realized it is related to the Sun Rays block showcased in the Design Notebook earlier -- though composed of only straight lines, it gives the effect of a 1/4 circle. The setting variations shown for Sun Rays block apply as well to the Venetian Chain Corner block. Here are a few additional examples to inspire you. Notice that the Venetian Chain Corner block has some patches in the "empty corner" to play with -- that's how the small pinwheel effect is done in the Winding Roads and Orange Peel designs.

Winding Roads
Orange Peel
Venetian Chain Corner Free Paper Piecing Quilt Block Pattern