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
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.