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Center-point X stars
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Rocky Road to
Kansas (LAC)

Rocky Road to Kansas


Scrap-quilt, string-quilt, and crazy-quilt fans will love this block for the random patchwork of stripes in each triangular star point. It was the Ladies Art Company's #236, published in the 1897 catalog, and it is laid out on a 4x4 grid. Click on the icon to see a whole-quilt mockup.

Rocky Road to Kansas (Hall)

Rocky Road to Kansas


In layout, the two Rocky Road to Kansas blocks are identical, but quilt researcher Carrie Hall used two colors in the center of hers in a layout that quilters call quarter-square triangles. (We call the shape a bowtie or hourglass on this site.) Carrie Hall stitched up an example block, which is now at the Spencer Museum at the University of Kansas. Hall's example was colorful, unlike the LAC's -- which was, after all, printed in black and white.



Kite

Kite

Clara Stone's 1906 block is reminiscent of the striped and tasseled jester's cap of a Hopi Hana Koshari (clown). It's drawn on a 16x16 grid.




Teddy's Choice

Teddy's Choice
Cowboy's Star/Arkansas Traveler/Travel Star

The earliest published Cowboy's Star block dates back to 1906, when Clara Stone called it Teddy's Choice for then-president Theodore Roosevelt. Stone's version (#166 in her Practical Needlework) doesn't show any seams; otherwise, it's identical to later Cowboy's Star blocks.


Cowboy's Star

Cowboy's Star
Arkansas Traveler/Travel Star

We owe the names Arkansas Traveler and Travel Star to Finley's 1929 Old Patchwork Quilts, but Cowboy's Star seems to be the most popular name for this block; it's what the Kansas City Star's Evelyn Foland called it in 1932. The two blocks at center left are based on her design.

Cowboy's Star suits Roosevelt, who spent a few years as a working cowboy on his own North Dakota ranch. Besides, Theodore didn't like the name Teddy. It was his first wife's pet name for him, and he never wanted to hear it after she died from complications of giving birth to their daughter Alice. Roosevelt's cowboy days were a part of working through his grief. (A sister cared for Alice during her early years.)

Cowboy's Star
variation

Cowboy's Star
Arkansas Traveler/Travel Star

Columnist Nancy Page provided a far simpler Cowboy's Star for Birmingham News readers in 1938. Unlike the other Cowboy's Stars, hers is drawn on an 8 x 8 grid instead of a star (polar) grid. In Page's variation, each pair of intersecting lines (the ones forming the diamond checkerboards) are placed on the center point between....

Well, hey, let's just show you the diagram.

To draw the block yourself, you'll need both the black and the pink lines, but you erase the pink lines when you're done. Or you can use our full-size diagram of this drawing by clicking here:





Job's Troubles

Job's Troubles

This pretty X star is all over the web as Job's Troubles.

The block is based on a 4x4 grid. When you see it, you think it's been around forever. However, it's not in any of our print sources, so no one has laid claim to the design. We won't either.




Crossed Canoes

Call any of the next three blocks a Crossed Canoes and quilters will know what you mean. All are two color, all have four triangular points, and all have a bowtie in an on-point center square. The only real difference is in the proportions, which we've given for each block below. Click on an icon to go to a whole-quilt mockup of each block.




Crossed Canoes

Crossed Canoes
Santa Fe Quilt/Twinkling Star/Tippecanoe

This handsome design dates back to the Ladies Art Company catalog of 1897 (#89). It is drawn on an 8x8 grid.



Indian Canoes

Indian Canoes

This block, with its svelte "canoes," was drawn on a 10x10 grid and published in the Kansas City Star in 1933.



Crossed Canoes



Crossed Canoes
The Dragon Fly/Indian Canoes/Two Canoes

Crossed Canoes is from a 1929 Kansas City Star, which republished it as The Dragon Fly in 1936 and 1954. Nancy Cabot and Nancy Page called it Indian Canoes and Two Canoes in 1936 and 1940, respectively.

The proportions, drawn on a 10x10 grid, are identical to the center-patch blocks Hobby Nook and Kaleidoscope. To see those blocks, click here:



Milkmaid's Star

Milkmaid's Star

The Kansas City Star had a whimsical take on geometry at times, so we cannot tell you the exact proportions of this 1948 block. Our graphic, on an 8x8 grid, is as close to the Star's illustration as we can get without tracing it in all its irregular glory.

The proportions put the star itself on a 6x6 grid. For such a simple block, it makes a highly effective whole quilt. Click on a block to see a mockup.