A few weeks ago I treated myself to a day trip a big antique show in Kutztown PA (I wrote a post on the topic previously). One of my finds was this bright Pennsylvania German pieced pillowcase, dating to ca. 1870. It measures 21"x16". The yellow and green squares in the nine-patch are 2.25" (They're huge!) Patchwork pillowcases were made almost exclusively by the German immigrants who came to southeastern Pennsylvania. You don't see patchwork pillowcases from New England or other parts of the US. The Germans did not bring a quilting tradition with them when they arrived in the 18th and 19th centuries. They were weavers who adopted quilting from their English neighbors in the Philadelphia area. And, as you can see, they loved bright colors!
I have made a couple small quilt tops to play around with this design and color combination. Of course I had to make some changes. I used a finished size of 1 inch for the nine-patch squares (maybe still a little large, what do you think?) and did a couple different border treatments.
My ultimate plan now is to make a four block quilt using the color combination of the quilt on the left. So it will be like putting four of those together with red for the sashing between the blocks. I am going to make the pink and red borders a little narrower, so the yellow corner square is the same size as the squares in the 9 patch. Will it be 1" or 3/4 " finished? Hmmm, don't know yet.