Chimney Sweep Pattern: A Pioneer Friendship Quilt

"…the blocks of the 'Chimney Sweep', made of brick-shaped patches and squares, have a not unduly far-fetched resemblance to the opening at the top of the oldest type of American house-chimney."  Ruth Finley 1929 1

A Chimney Sweep Quilt Pattern & Variations

Be sure to look at The Album or Chimney Sweep Quilt Pattern to learn how this quilt pattern has been used in pioneer days.

Chimney Sweep Quilt Pattern

The quilt shown to the left is a basic version that can be made with this free Chimney Sweep Pattern. Variations include alternating the pieced blocks with plain ones and/or setting the blocks on point. By changing the number of blocks you can make the quilt any size you wish.

If you are making the quilt with adjoining Chimney Sweep blocks put sashing between them. I have seen this quilt made without the sashing but usually sashing was included with good reason. Take a look at the illustration to the right and just imagine trying to get all those corners matched perfectly!

adjoining blocksThis pattern for the Chimney Sweep block is easy to make and a quilt completely of these blocks looks great. But if you choose to alternate the blocks with plain blocks you could add some other elements to the quilt. For example you could applique the plain blocks or stitch an interesting quilting design on them.

Cutting and Assembling Instructions for the Block Pattern

Use the cutting instructions below for the 10 inch Chimney Sweep block.

cutting instructions for Chimney Sweep quilt

or go to Chimney Sweep Rotary Cutting Instructions for a printable PDF.

After cutting your fabric sew your block together in the following order.

You will need two of these per block. Sew triangles on each end and then add the smaller corner triangle.

You will need two of these per block. Sew the triangles onto each end.

You will need two of these per block. Sew the rectangles to the center square first then add the triangles on each end.

You will only need one of this. Sew the center patches first then add the small corner triangles.

Sew all the rows together
working from the center out.

Add Elegance With Appliqued Oak Leaves

The Chimney Sweep quilt with applique shown below has oak leaves around the edges and in the center block. Sometimes a center block like this was used to add information about the quilt. The central block might tell who the quilt was made for, what group made the quilt, when it was made and if it was made for a special occasion.

with oak leaf appliqueFor the templates go to Oak Leaf Applique Templates PDF. The template has no seam allowance and will for fine if you are fusing your applique. If you choose go traditional with hand applique you will need to add a scant quarter inch to turn under. The applique could be put only around the edge without the center block or you might want to alternate the Chimney Sweep blocks with appliqued oak leaf blocks.

Of course other applique designs could be used. For example if the quilt is for a bride you might want to use a Rose of Sharon applique pattern. The Rose of Sharon patterns at that link are set for a 12 inch block so you would need to slightly reduce the size for use on a 10 inch block.

© 2007 Judy Anne Breneman

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1 p132, "Old Patchwork Quilts and the Women Who Made Them", by Ruth Finley