Do you remember the String Game that was popular in the early 2000s? It basically consisted of creating various shapes out of a looped string. Well, I happen to know there was a particularly difficult string shape that only the most elite middle schoolers could create: the Jacob’s Ladder. This is what a successful Jacob’s Ladder looked like, and you can learn how to make it yourself with help from MomsMinivan on YouTube. You know, for fun.
When it came to the String Game, Jacob’s Ladder was reserved for only the most skilled string gamers. Fortunately, it’s not nearly as intimidating to make this week’s BLOCK Friday block, Jacob’s Ladder. The Jacob’s Ladder quilt block is actually a great block for beginner quilters. Read on to learn why.
The great thing about Jacob’s Ladder is that it can be constructed using strip sets. The whole block is constructed of four-patch and half-square triangles units, which means quick construction using the 8-at-a-time Triangle-Squares technique.
Because of the many parts of Jacob’s Ladder that make up the whole block, there are seemingly endless variations on the look of this block. For example, in the quilt below, Jacob’s Coat of Many Colors, the center squares are actually four-patch units, which creates a strong secondary chain pattern. You can see it better in the flat shot of Jacob’s Coat of Many Colors.
Normally we see the ladders lined up in the same direction to create a strong chain design, but in the quilt below, designer Joann Rasch set up the ladders perpendicular from each other. The chain is still there, but the eye wants to focus on the large white spaces between the chains. You can see the illusion more clearly in Rotating Stair Steps’ flat shot.
I’ve always thought Jacob’s Ladder is a unique quilt block. Every time I see it, I recognize it immediately, and I always think it’s very attractive, but I can’t quite put my finger on why. I’m alright with not knowing. Do you also like the Jacob’s Ladder block? Have you made a Jacob’s Ladder quilt? Please share your photos in the comments below.