<%@LANGUAGE="JAVASCRIPT" CODEPAGE="65001"%> Ohio Star block info

Ohio Star

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Because Ohio Star is such a beloved block, the basic design has collected names that once stood for specific variations. We've tried to get back to specifics on this page. Click on a block to see a whole-quilt mockup.

Ohio Star

Ohio Star
Ohio Star
Godey's Design (1862)/Eight Point Design (1897)

In 1862 Godey's Lady's Book published this, the classic Ohio Star, without a name, and 35 years later, the Ladies Art Company called it Eight Point Design (#323, 1897).

It came to be known as Ohio Star by the early 1930s, after it was published in Capper's Farmer (1927). It is drawn here on a 6x6 grid (as are all the blocks on this page). We're not sure exactly what it looked like in Capper's, but quilt researcher Carrie Hall showed Ohio Star as solid white on a dark print, like the block at lower left.* The block at upper left is the LAC's version.

Variable Star (Finley)

Variable Star (Hall)
Variable Star
The Lone Star/Texas

Finley published this variation of the Ohio Star in her 1929 book Old Patchwork Quilts. The block, she said, took on its alternate names once Polk became President.

Because Finley's black-and-white drawing is shaded by hand, it's not absolutely certain whether the block has three colors or four. If it is four (which is what it looks like to us), the center block is darker than the background but lighter than the other two colors.

Since Carrie Hall didn't give her block sources, it may be that she decided to make the design definitive on her own. In The Romance of the Patchwork Quilt in America (1935), she nails down the Variable Star as three colors—light background, dark inner triangles, and medium outer triangles and center square.

Lone Star (Hall)
Lone Star
Texas Star

Hall's Lone Star or Texas Star is a three-color star with a light print-fabric center square, outer triangles in dark red, and the background in white.

It seems possible that the block names, so similar to Finley's (above), were in fact borrowed and adapted from Finley's book. Quilt-block design is shot through with such borrowings. It's droll to think how much more attention publishers might have given these blocks had they known that quilting would become a multi-billion dollar industry a half-century later.

Star Spangled
Star Spangled
Star of the West/Henry of the West/Western Star/Star of Hope

Among the five names for this block, Star Spangled appears to be the earliest, with a 1930 publication date in McCall's. All the fabrics were prints except for the background, and we'll assume they were intended to be red, white, and blue.

Nancy Page coined the alternate names. Star of Hope is the only one for which we have a date, and that is 1934, according to Jinny Beyer. All four alternative-name blocks, according to Brackman's arrangement of light, medium, and dark colors, looked exactly alike.

Patchwork #1
Mosaic Patchwork #1
Happy Home

Mosaic Patchwork #1 was an early Ohio Star variation, published in Dictionary of Needlework (Blanche Saward, et al.), in 1882. Barbara Brackman's Encyclopedia shows the arrangement of printed, light, and dark fabrics for the block. Clara Stone's 1906 "Practical Needlework" used the same arrangement but called it Happy Home.

Flying Crow
Flying Crow

Flying Crow appeared in Farm Journal Quilt Patterns Old and New, which Jinny Beyer, in her Quilter's Album, dates to about 1935.
*It seems that Hall's Ohio Star block took on a few additional names after the publication of her 1935 book. In Havig's Carrie Hall Blocks, which shows many of the Hall blocks in the Spencer Museum at the University of Kansas, the white-on-dark block that Hall called an Ohio Star was also called Variable Star, Lone Star, Texas Star, and Mystery Flower Garden. However, all of these names referred to specific blocks published before 1935. We tend to think that the additional names are more confusing than helpful.