I got my copy of Gwen Marston's new applique book. While I'm still not fond of the gigantic four block lay out, I loved her examples, student work and antiques. It's a liberated approach to applique, where she explains how to do it freehand, but okay here's the templates if you must. A quote from the book:
As you can see, it seems that for nineteenth-century quiltmakers, variation in design was considered as legitimate an approach as design demanding exactness. The free-form approach to technique, including folded-fabric shapes and free placement of shapes, also contributed to the spontaneity of these earlier quilts.
This difference in attitude toward quiltmaking is key to the look of these wonderful old quilts. It is hard for me to believe that a seamstress with such obvious and impeccable sewing skills couldn't have turned a corner if she had deemed it important. It's all in the attitude!