Free Quilt Pattern: Greek Key

Pam Rocco

A long time ago, Pam Rocco of Santa Cruz, California, took a drawing class where she learned how to make thumbnail sketches. “The aim was to try out many different ideas quickly to help me spot the best one,” she said. “I don’t usually sketch my ideas before I sew, but it occurred to me that, before attempting a full-sized quilt, I could make a smaller, simpler version, like a thumbnail, to try out my idea in fabric. If it didn’t turn out, I wouldn’t waste much time or material.”

Greek Key is one of those “thumbnail” quilt designs, an enlarged courthouse steps variation of the classic log cabin block. The placement of dark and light fabrics in a monochromatic palette creates the swirling design, and improvisational cutting and piecing techniques add to its organic qualities.

Because of the improvisational nature of Greek Key, in this pattern we give you approximate measurements as guidelines, but we encourage you to take Rocco’s thumbnail sketch approach when you make your own version. Don’t spend too much time worrying about exact dimensions; rather, take this as an opportunity to work more intuitively and improvisationally. At 40˝ x 54˝, Rocco’s Greek Key is a wall hanging, but you could easily make yours larger – just add strips until your quilt is a size that pleases you.

You can read Rocco’s full column, “Words to Quilt By,” in the October/November 2015 issue of Quilters Newsletter. Greek Key was machine
quilted by Linda Barbin of Hollister, California.

Download the full free quilt pattern for Greek Key.

Click the image to enlarge.

Greek Key

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