Example of a "blazed trail" marker
and indicating that one should —
PROCEED DIRECTLY AHEAD
BLAZED TRAIL first appeared in print in Nancy Cabot's column in the Chicago Tribune on July 23, 1937. Cabot says the patchwork is very old, dating back to 1836. |
The illustrations above are called "fussy piecing," because the fabric designs themselves add new elements to the pattern (the line drawn fabric motif is based on the shape of a Ginkgo leaf, see tiling below). Otherwise the block seemed somewhat locked into itself, instead of enhancing the beautiful "S" shaped meander created by the small squares and triangles. Compare with WORLD'S FAIR PUZZLE and related patterns in Barbara Brackman's ENCYCLOPEDIA OF PIECED QUILT PATTERNS (#1360).
To "blaze a trail," trees were marked with various insignias as illustrated left, so that travelers could find their way through an unfamiliar woodland. According to Wikipedia, as a means of creating employment opportunities during the Depression era in the States in the 1930's, the federal government created jobs (for the unemployed) blazing the trails and laying markers.
Roads, trails and various type paths, including those made by creatures or etched into the landscape, for instance by winding streams or furrows, are a much beloved theme in quilt designs, see for example at this site:
STRAIGHT FURROW (with Paul Klee)
CITY STREETS (with Georgia O'Keeffe)
ROAD TO OKLAHOMA
GREEN RIVER (with Georgia O'Keeffe)
FOLLOW THE LEADER (children's game)
A WINDING TRAIL