Vintage View: Pretty Patchwork


I’m not sure when the Trip Around the World quilt pattern first came into being, but back in the day, the squares were pieced individually, often times hand-pieced.

I remember, when I was small, my mom had one laid out on our basement floor (the pieces were all clothing scraps, of 1960s-1970s double-knits–it lives with my sister today).  She had it laid out and carefully pinned, and as she tells the story, on more than one occasion, my little brother and I went down to the basement to play and would shuffle our feet across/through her quilt top, so she had to start again laying it all out.  Hearsay?  Could be, I only remember the pieces and the pins, I don’t recall the mischief making I allegedly partook in.

This one (from the quilt show we went to the first weekend in October) is amazing, the prints make a flawless watercolor blend of color and pattern…

Today, we would make this using a rotary cutter and a strip piecing technique, not individually cut squares (cut with a template and  a scissors!) and aside from making sure you were piecing rows together without flipping them the wrong direction, it would go together rather quickly.  Not these vintage beauties… just imagine the time and attention to detail these quilt makers employed!  Here is another one, very similar coloration; check out the edge and the binding:


And one that incorporates a rectangular piece rather than a square:

And I’ve always admired this variation, very much like Katy’s QAL in 2010:

The fabrics in this quilt are to die for, I could have gawked at it for an hour or two:


Have you ever made a Trip Around the World (or a variation)?

Is this a quilt pattern that is on your Bucket List?






9 thoughts on “Vintage View: Pretty Patchwork

  1. Trip Around the World is on my bucket list. I think it would great using Fassett fabrics. Is the first quilt a Trip Around the World or a Boston Commons? I get those confused. The second one reminded me of Liberty Fabrics. Going to your point of traditional quilting should be appreciated.

    • I think you may be right, that it is a Boston Commons variation of the TATW. I couldn’t find a definitive answer either way, but I “think” that a true Trip Around the World starts around one square….

  2. I think it was the third quilt I ever made, but I started with 3″ squares of fabric cut from jeans and cords that I had long since outgrown or worn holes in. I did it all by hand, using button thread for the thick fabrics, until it came to the binding and backing (where I deferred to the strength and speed of the machine). I didn’t do the full large trip, though. I did six trip blocks about 7 squares across and then added wide borders and sashes that had been cut from pant legs. I can tell which is the top of the quilt by the way the pocket sits in the middle and the Gap washing instructions in the lower right corner. It’s in storage right now, but it’s one of my favourites; I always have a sense of accomplishment about it.

  3. Yes, I made a Trip Around the World quilt back in the mid-90’s. I sewed it using Amish solids in shades of rose, blue, green and black. It was a disaster because I machine quilted it with quilting thread! I thought that’s what you were supposed to use to quilt a quilt. It’s no wonder the threads kept popping while I was sewing, and then continued to break after the quilt was finished. I no longer have that quilt to remind me of my stupidity. And no, I don’t want to make another one!

  4. what beautiful quilts! And that binding! I have made Irish Chain and Trip Around the World, but never with that many pieces! I want to make the Scrap Vomit quilt by I’m a Ginger Monkey, although I think I will rename it…

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