FIELDS AND FENCES
by Nancy Cabot
FIELDS AND FENCES debuted in print in Nancy Cabot's quilt column in the Chicago Tribune on July 5, 1938 (see clipping left). Cabot's notes state the following:
"FIELDS AND FENCES is one of the older pieced patterns and is based on a simple four patch design. It is singularly reminiscent of the tobacco fields around Daville, Ky., and the manner in which they are laid out. The large pieced block is set together with other pieced squares to form an all-over design. Either printed or plain materials may be used singly or in combination, depending upon the individual interpretation of 'Fields and Fences.' Only thirty squares are required for a coverlet, so it is readily seen that a quilt in this design may be made in a brief space of time."
This unusual 11 x 11 pattern is well known and is included, for example, in Maggie Malone's 5,500 QUILT BLOCK DESIGNS, see #3297, illustrated in brown, white and green. Jinny Beyer's QUILTER'S ALBUM OF PATCHWORK PATTERNS (p.254) has it in shades of red, orange and brown.
The beautifully poetic naming of the design is reminiscent of other well-known quilt titles, which double the first letters of a couplet or otherwise rhyme. Just to name a few examples, see at this site, for instance:
BEACH AND BOATS
BEG AND BORROW
CROSSES AND LOSSES
FAIR AND SQUARE
KITTEN IN THE CORNER
SUNSHINE AND SHADOW