This was a day I shouldn’t have been quilting. Things were going so well and I was getting quilt after quilt done without problems until today. I had tension issues and will have to frog a partial row tomorrow and re-quilt it. I was so disgusted at one point that I walked away and went downtown for a coffee and to pick up some fresh bread for dinner.

I did come back and finish the rest of the Baptist Fan quilting so once I frog and re-quilt that partial row – I’ll be done.

On another subject – Julie asked me if I knew the origin of the Chinese Coins quilt. I’m not sure if she meant the name of the pattern or the pattern itself but the only reference I was able to find was in the book Amish Crib Quilts from the Midwest which suggested that it was a Bars Quilt variation.

I looked in another book on Amish quilts, An Amish Adventure by Roberta Horton and was surprise to find that she shows a Chinese Coins quilt as a Bars Quilt variation saying “you can break up the odd-number bars into squares of different colors, a pattern know as Chinese Coins.” And what I consider a Chinese Coins quilt, she calls a Roman Coins (another Bars Quilt variation).

Does anyone else have any information on the origin of this pattern/quilt name?


  1. Hi Mary,the chinese coin quilt has been around for a long time!according to Barbara Brackman’s book Encyclopedia of pieced blocksthe earliest example is 1850there are a few variations of the block …thus the different names!ie roman square when every fourth block is dark,chinese coins the blocks are actually different sizes;bars when the blocks are all the same size and the veritcal rows in between are the same size…etchope this helps!think today we classify all of these quilts as chinese coins.Kathie in NJ

  2. No idea, but soooooo many quilts are know by several names… I was browsing throught “Egg Money Quilts” the other day & each of those very traditional quilt patterns have a couple names… I know in the temperance movement that it was “wrong” to call a drunkards path a drunkards path…

  3. Thanks, Mary ~ I posted pics today on my blog showing progress on the coins quilt I’m working on. When I deliver this quilt (birthday gift), I want to include a bit of history on the accompanying card. My biggest question in this case is why ‘chinese’ coins?

  4. When you google it, the quilts that pop up seem to be mainly Amish/Mennonite, which is very neat. I have a growing basket-full of strips that are destined to be a Chinese Coin. Hope your machine starts behaving itself again.

  5. I’m not sure about the Chinese Coin quilt, but I do have another question. I hope this is OK to ask here. :-\I will be coming to Minneapolis to the Women of Faith conference and I will have the opportunity to go to Mall of America. Are there any quilt shops to visit in the mall?Clueless in North Dakota

  6. Probably won’t make you feel any better but I rolled a quilt last night and saw that a whole bobbin worth of stitching had bad tension and I had to rip it all and will have to re-do it when I can get back to that point. I’ll have to finish, unpin the top from the roller and then go back and pray I don’t get any puckers. What a hassle, huh?

  7. At least you had the sense to walk away and do something else. I tend to keep at it getting more and more frustrated until I want to scream. THEN I walk away and do something else. Would be much simpler if I knew when to take a break!

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