Finding Free Quilting Patterns July 28 2014

So many beautiful blocks and free quilt patterns are available today it's often hard to choose which one to use in our next quilt. One that I especially love is the Lady of the Lake quilt block. It's a very old and popular quilt block and can easily be found among the many free quilting patterns on the internet. I think my next quilt will be one in red and pale pink and I'll call it the Red Lady


Note that in the Lady of the Lake quilt block all of the dark pieces
point in one direction and the light pieces point the opposite direction.
There are many variations and those all have (or should have) different names.

"History has it that the Lady of the Lake Quilt Block was named after a poem by Sir Walter Scott, published in 1810. The pioneer men and women loved the heroic tales of Sir Walter Scott, and the women honored him in their most practiced method of artistic expression by naming a patchwork block after the poem. The Lady of the Lake quilt block appeared shortly after publication of the poem, one showing up in Vermont some time before 1820." QuiltingCoach Penny

For the last 100 years or so I’ve been quilting. Well, maybe not quite a hundred, but let’s just say my grandmothers taught me to cut the patterns out of cardboard, trace them onto the fabric with a pencil, then cut the pieces out with scissors. Yes, we had many of the standard sewing implements like needles, thimbles and sewing machines, but marvels like rotary cutters and cutting mats were years away from being invented.

Folks often passed around to each other their own versions of free quilt patterns with handmade cardboard templates. Sometimes they just looked at a quilt, sketched out the design and made their own patterns. It was a rewarding and creative effort to make a quilt for which there were no printed patterns or directions. Today most sewing and quilt shops (including those on the internet) have a large selection of patterns, kits and instruction books for blocks and quilted items. Such convenience!

With another great invention, the internet, finding both new and old quilting patterns has gotten easier than ever. If the name of the block is known, a search often turns up tons of places to find the pattern. I often take a shortcut and check out Marcia Hohn's Quilter's Cache website first because the block I want is probably already there. Another great feature of their website (and there are many!) is the Missing Quilts page.

Use your favorite search engine to find “Lady of the Lake quilt” and hundreds of links will pop up. Of course, you can use any block name in place of Lady of the Lake. Check out the links until you find the block or quilt design you want.

Here are just a few of the hundreds of websites I found when looking for the Lady of the Lake quilt pattern. Check them out!

Quilter's Cache  

McCall's Quilting   

Facebook group from Lake City, Florida:


If you chose to visit any of the websites listed here, please pay attention to their copyrights and other permissions before sharing their patterns and instructions with others. By linking to their pages instead of sharing only the pattern or instructions, we are attributing their work to them and that’s important because creators need to be recognized for their efforts. (Before anyone asks, the Lady of the Lake quilt pattern has been around for a very long time and no one can copyright the pattern itself. However, if a person writes or draws the pattern or quilt, those writings and artwork are copyrighted and may not be reproduced without permission.)

So keep on looking until you find that free quilting pattern you want - it's out there!

Happy quilting!


Disclaimer: Neither TopAnchor Quilting nor Betty Bland is associated with any of the internet sites mentioned above other than for researching and information for personal use.