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Snow Flake

4-Point stars, plus (+) shapes

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These four-point stars are oriented as if they're plus (+) signs. All but 1 have points in the middle (for the Southside Star, scroll to the bottom of the page). Click on a block to see a whole-quilt mockup.




Night and Day

Night and Day

First published in March 1937 in the Detroit Free Press, this block is a product of "Alice Brooks" -- that is, the anonymous design genius of the Old Chelsea Needlework Company. It's based on a 12 x 12 grid.

You can make the block stark in black and white or soften it considerably with a less extreme contrast -- or by making it with prints. Click on the graphic at left to see a mockup.


The New Four
Pointer
The New Four Pointer

We've followed the Kansas City Star's choice of color intensities in our illustration at left, but if you want to bring out the star, you can swap the medium and dark pink colors. We've included an example on our mockup page (click on the graphic).

The block is from 1944, designed by a 7th grader named Betty Jean Perryman in Boone County, Missouri — so the newspaper tells us. It's drawn on a star grid rather than a simple foursquare one, so she must have been a genius.

Beautiful Star
Beautiful Star

This star has the distinction of being #1 in the Ladies Art Company catalog of 1897. Like all the rest of the LAC's blocks, it was in two colors. We've added a third color on the whole-quilt mockup to show more clearly where the seams are. Click on the graphic to see it.
Snow Flake
Arkansas Snow Flake



Michigan's
Pontiac Star
Arkansas Snow Flake
Arkansas Star/Snow Flake/Cowboy Star

This block, with all three of its names, appeared in the Kansas City Star in 1935. On the web, it's called Cowboy Star, but we don't know when it picked up that name.


Michigan's Pontiac Star
The Kite Quilt

Barbara Brackman cites Workbasket 1915 for this block, showing scraps for the horizontal points and a solid for the vertical points. The Kansas City Star's Evelyn Foland, who did not suggest scraps, called it The Kite Quilt in 1931.

The block differs from Pontiac Stars, below, in the placement of dark and light fabrics. In this block, all the stars look the same.

Four Points
Four Points
Humming Bird/The Kite/Star Kites/Snowball

The Ladies Art Company's 1897 catalog included this block as #306. (We've reversed the dark and light colors to show the seam lines.) The name Humming Bird comes from Prairie Farmer (1928). Nancy Cabot called it The Kite and Star Kites (1933, 1937), while Snowball is from a 1954 Aunt Martha booklet. We thank Jinny Beyer and her Quilter's Album of Patchwork Patterns for the alternate names.

Danish Stars
Danish Stars

Danish Stars* appeared in the Kansas City Star in June 1942, along with a story from the contributor: When she and her family were "stormbound" in the port of Glasgow en route from Denmark to America, her future mother-in-law persuaded a blacksmith to forge a pair of scissors because hers were packed away in the ship's hold. Those were "the scissors with which she cut the pattern for this block," the Star noted.

*The newspaper used the word "Stars" but illustrated a single block.

Job's Troubles
Job's Troubles
Four-point, Kite, Snowball

Carrie Hall & Rose Kretsinger included Job's Troubles in The Romance of the Patchwork Quilt in America (1935). The alternate names are theirs.

On the web, Job's Troubles is the name used for a split-point X star. Click here to see it:

Pontiac Star

Pontiac Star

First published in 1906 in Clara Stone's Practical Needlework, Pontiac Star could date back to the 18th century. Chief Pontiac was an Ottawa who led Pontiac's Rebellion against the British in 1763-1766. Later settlers thought well enough of him to name their new town Pontiac in 1820. (Pontiac cars first appeared in 1926.)

Then, too, there were reports of diamonds found on Michigan's northern peninsula, where Pontiac stands. To the poetry-minded, stars and diamonds are pretty much the same thing.


Southside Star
The Southside Star Quilt

In 1940, the Kansas City Star credited this block to a girl named Ona Lee Jones of Damascus, AR, who named it after her school. (The colors are hers.)

What happened to this precocious schoolgirl? We can't find her. The Census tells us that in 1940, Onia Jones of Damascus was 56 and married. An Ona Lee Jones, age four, lived about 80 miles south in 1930, part of an African-American family of nine children, but in 1940 she's gone from the Census. Update, anybody?