“No matter how much we evolve as quilters our foundation will always remain rooted in the traditional building blocks of patchwork. Barbara Brackman’s updated Encyclopedia is an essential primer for anyone who is passionate about quilts, whether you are a collector, a maker, a designer, or a historian.”
- Tula Pink, Fabric Designer and Quiltmaker

As the holidays approach let’s take a look at a book that is the perfect gift for every quilter and quilt lover, the third edition of Barbara Brackman’s Encyclopedia of Pieced Quilt Patterns.

The History of Brackman’s Encyclopedia

This book is the result of decades of research by quilt historian Barbara Brackman. Barbara initially set out to find the original names of quilt block patterns, but as her research progressed, she realized that task was impossible. The names of different quilt block patterns vary greatly between regions and time periods. Instead, what she created was a database of the different names associated with various block patterns in the United States and lots of information on when and where those block patterns were published. She designed a system for identifying different block patterns based on the major seam lines and compiled all of her research into a book, the Encyclopedia of Pieced Quilt Patterns.

The third edition of the Encyclopedia was published by The Electric Quilt Company and provides line drawings and color illustrations of over 4,000 quilt blocks. It’s great to flip through for inspiration, or, if you have a quilt block design you want to identify, you can use the book to learn more about it.

How to Identify a Block with the Encyclopedia

This video shows you how the block identification works, using a block sewn for us by Jean Wall of Winston Salem, NC:

The Encyclopedia and BlockBase+

Despite its name, the Encyclopedia of Pieced Quilt Patterns does not contain any measurements or cutting and sewing instructions. If you want to quickly get started making a block from the Encyclopedia, that’s where Electric Quilt’s software, BlockBase+, comes in.

Released earlier this year, BlockBase+ is the companion software to Barbara’s Encyclopedia. It lets you print rotary cutting charts, templates, or foundation piecing patterns for all of the over 4,000 blocks in the Encyclopedia at any size you want! It’s standalone software, which means that you do not need to own Electric Quilt 8 (EQ8) in order to use it. If you own both EQ8 and BlockBase+, however, you can link the two in order to use the BlockBase+ blocks in your EQ8 quilt designs. You can watch a demo of BlockBase+ here.

The Encyclopedia and BlockBase+ are On Sale Now!

Right now is a great time to get the Encyclopedia of Pieced Quilt Patterns and BlockBase+ for your quilty friends and family members (or even yourself), as Electric Quilt is running a 25 days of 25% off sale through midnight eastern time on November 30, 2021. Just enter code 25DAYS at checkout to save 25% on everything!

“When Barbara’s first edition of her book was released, it instantly became the most valuable, helpful, and necessary quilt reference work ever written…. I did not think Barbara could top her first classic opus, but with the additional blocks, full-color illustrations, and the brilliant partnership with Electric Quilt, she has!”
– Alex Anderson, Co-host of The Quilt Show