Whether you wish to choose traditional or modern quilt blocks there will be a block that gives the design that you want for your quilt.
Quilt block patterns have many subdivisions to help in the search for particular quilt blocks. The first subdivision is based on how many patchwork squares are used for the block: a plain square is a one patch block and a nine patch block is made using three rows of three squares each. Each square may be subdivided into smaller squares and triangles so the possibilities really are limitless.
The first quilters found quilt block patterns either by word of mouth or by quilting columns in magazines and newspapers. Several of the quilting columnists used pen names and published many thousands of free quilt patterns which are now known by the name of the columnist, such as Nancy Cabot or Nancy Page. These patchwork quilts patterns are no longer copyrighted so they make a good choice for a quilter when choosing a design.
Many quilt blocks represent something specific like a cat or dog and these are particularly useful in quilted wall hangings. It also provides another way of searching for a particular block. A baby quilt made with blocks representing trains or planes is always popular and there are many blocks representing aspects of nature such as maple leaves or pineapple plants. This can help you if your quilt is to be based on a theme or if you are planning on making a sampler quilt with every block different.
Sometimes free quilt patterns don't just give instructions for individual blocks – the placement of the blocks in relation to each other make an overall design which gives the eye plenty to look at within the quilt. Movement in a quilt comes when you see different designs appearing as your eye moves across the quilt. Sometimes this happens through the layout of the blocks and sometimes it comes from clever colour choices within the blocks.
The colour placement is another way of finding blocks. Many blocks have the same basic layout of the patchwork squares but the name varies with the colour choice. This probably dates back to the days when quilters within one region had little contact with other quilters and so they all named their blocks differently even though the block design was the same.
With all this information available to help you in your search, you can be sure of finding the right block for the quilt that you want to make.
Find How to Make a Quilt and quilt blocks