"The makers of these three quilts would have had the skill and time to devote to the accuracy required in the curved piecing and applique work."1
(In reference to three Wandering Foot Quilts that went west on the Oregon Trail.)
Be sure to look at The Wandering Foot Quilt History page to learn the facts and myths behind this quilt pattern.
I've chosen two options for this quilt pattern. The completely pieced version is easier as it is all straight seams. Find it at the Pieced Wandering Foot Pattern. For the second, shown to the left, I am offering a pattern that is both pieced and appliqued.
I chose the white on a blue background for the fabrics based on a quilt that traveled to Oregon in 1852.2 Colorfast blue fabric was quite expensive at the time so more often we find the blue on a white background.
I'm also providing a wagon wheel quilting pattern for those of you who might want this symbol of the journey west for your quilted motif.
Both the pieced and applique pieces need to be cut out using templates. You will find them at
Appliqued Wandering Foot PDF. Be certain the printer is set at page scaling "none" so that the templates will print out the right size for a ten inch block rather than to fit the paper.
The diagram to the right indicates the pieced and applique lines. You will piece along the dark lines and applique the pieces indicated with the lighter line.
As this is an advanced pattern I leave you to decide how best to put it together. One alternative to the tricky piecing would be to applique all of the block though the points in the center would be quite challenging.
The number of blocks you will need depends on the size quilt you want. On the example above the binding and narrow border use the same fabric as the background. It could be contrasting and of course you can use any colors of fabrics you want.
Many quilt makers used more than one color for the foot motif. You can add a contrasting border but be aware they were not very wide during the mid 19th century. Women of this period prided themselves on how narrow they could make their bindings so consider that as well.
The wagon wheel quilting pattern can be found at the Wagon Wheel PDF. Don't forget to check that the printing is set at page scaling "none" so the size will be correct.
© 2007 Judy Anne Breneman (For your personal use only. Please write to me for permission before you copy this for others.)
Questions? Contact Judy Anneprint a printer friendly version of this page
1 p154, 2 p70, "The Oregon Trail", by Mary Bywater Cross