Amber Fields as you can see is a wonderful pattern when it comes to quilt making. The colors chosen as well as the design made is really the difference between knowing how to choose and what to do once decided. So let’s talk a bit about this pattern?

Amber Fields

Amber Fields

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Amber Fields

Amber Fields is made up of a pattern that is very nice to make and of course we always talk about it being the Simple Shoo-Fly quilt block. So we start to understand already how the pattern is. IMPORTANT TO REMEMBER: This pattern is by Designer: Kathie Holland and the site allpeoplequilt.com.

Clover bloom, from the nightshade family, has large lobed leaves, and large blue flowers with rounded petals. The juices from the foliage and roots were mixed with milk in a dish, which was then set out to attract flies. When the flies fed from this concoction, they died, thus the origin of the common name, Shoofly Plant.

Simple Shoo-Fly quilt block

Made of half-square triangles at the four corners of the block instead of squares, the Shoo-Fly block is a simple quilt block that was often used to teach young girls the basics of quilt design and construction.

Because of its simplicity and opportunities for creativity and color play, the Shoo-Fly block is a popular block with Amish quilters.

Another variation of the origin of the name “shoo-fly” is the sweet, rich Amish dessert known as shoo-fly, a gooey molasses bottom topped with spicy cake in a flaky pie crust, that is said to have attracted flies while it baked.

A quilter may decide to use up small scraps of fabric in the blocks, making a “scrappy” quilt or create a stunning overall 2-color scheme.

To show off the geometry of the design, the blocks were typically joined together with sashing (lattice) strips with a cornerstone square of a different color at the point where the strips meet.

Shoofly is a symbol that possibly identifies a person who can guide and help; a
person who helped slaves escape along the Underground Railroad and who knew
the codes.

There’s also theories it originated from an Amish pie recipe which was said to attract flies as it was baking. The pie was fragrant and had a gooey molasses base, spicy cake on top and encrusted in flaky pastry – I can almost smell this and I’m sure it attracted more than just flies!
Quilts were believed to be used as codes for the Underground Railroad and the theory is a Shoo Fly quilt identified someone who could offer assistance to runaway slaves. This person may be a former slave, a white ally or someone still enslaved themselves, and the quilt was a sign of hope for those looking for protection and shelter.
Whatever version of history you choose to believe, these theories give us so much more appreciation of the simple Shoo Fly block, and it justifies why it belongs in the Classic Quilt Blocks family. It may be simple, but it’s versatile and still relevant in our modern day quilting world.
The block is made up of simple squares and HST’s, and to determine the unfinished size of each grid unit you simply divide the finished block size by three and add seam allowances. As an example, for a 6″ (finished) block the unfinished unit sizes would be 2 1/2″ square.
In next week’s step by step tutorial, I will give you a Cutting Chart for six sizes of the Shoo Fly block to save you doing the math, and you can add this to your Classic Quilt Blocks chart collection.  I’ll also include trimming sizes for the HST’s and I’ll explain how to cut, sew and trim HST’s so they are perfect every single time.

Amber Fields PDF

This pattern is by Designer: Kathie Holland and the site allpeoplequilt.com.
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