CROSSED CANOES is an easy to piece, four patch block with only three seams per patch, see ANIMATION. The design debuted in print in the Ladies Art Company Catalog in the late 19th century (drafted on an 8 x 8 grid.) A later 6 x 6 version was offered by Ruby McKim, see 100 PATCHWORK PATTERNS, 1929, reprinted by Dover, with exquisite, original drawings and paper templates. One of two Nancy Cabot entries for the block in the Chicago Tribune (June 10, 1933, titled INDIAN CANOES) states the following:
"The featherweight, handmade birch bark canoes [employed by Native Americans] provided the impulse for the creation of this quilt design [....] The broken square formed by the crossing of the canoes usually was pieced of bright colors by early quilt makers to represent the emblem which the tribal chiefs used on their canoe."
According to Wikipedia (illustration right):
"The word canoe comes from the Carib kenu (dugout), via the Spanish canoa. [...]
Many indigenous peoples of the Americas built bark canoes. They were usually skinned with birch bark over a light wooden frame, but other types could be used if birch was scarce."
For another boat pattern at this site, compare with VARIATION OF SAIL BOATS. But what is the meaning of "CROSSED CANOES," what might it symbolize, for instance, in a dream? A fascinating and very beautifully designed website called INSPIRED BY DREAMS suggests the following:
"The letter 'X' often marks the spot and can be directing you to look closely at the symbolism to find direction. [...] Travel over water is indicative of emotions and how the ‘flow of events’ or ‘current’ is leading you forward into the future."
Compare the "optical" rendering in the tiling pattern below with OP ART DESIGN.