<%@LANGUAGE="JAVASCRIPT" CODEPAGE="65001"%> Sawtooth star block info

Sawtooth star blocks

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Click on a left-column graphic to see whole-quilt mockups of these blocks.

Evening Star/Ann's Doll Quilt/Cluster of Stars/Square & Points/8-pointed Star/Nameless Star/Saw Tooth/Variable Star

This venerable star's name dates back to an 1884 issue of a magazine called Farm & Fireside, according to Jinny Beyer's Quilter's Album. More than a dozen years later, the Ladies Art Company called it Evening Star (Block #5, 1897). Despite collecting seven more names, the block still usually goes by Sawtooth.

Ribbon Star
Ribbon Star

The Ladies Art Company's Ribbon Star (#268) was published exactly as we show it at left. The drawing left quilters all at sea about whether they should add seams inside those oddly shaped pieces (in dark pink in our graphic at left) or piece the block the hard way. A curious quilter practically had to order a diagram (5 cents in 1928s) or a pattern (15 cents in 1928).

That's marketing for ya.

Joining Star
Joining Star
Cog Block/Eight Pointed Star

When it was first published, Joining Star was identical to Ribbon Star except for the seams. It was published in just two colors, like Ribbon Star. We've branched out here,

Joining Star was part of a quilt called "Quilt of Many Stars," designed by Nancy Page and published in 1934 by the St. Louis Star-Times as part of the Nancy Page Quilt Club series. The quilt is a windowpane style, with "sashing" of contrasting fabric separating each block. This pretty star was in the intersections of the sashing pieces, joining them together.

Stars & Squares
Stars & Squares/Star in a Star
Rising Star/Double Star

This LAC block, #11 in the 1897 catalog, is a Sawtooth within another Sawtooth, a point that probably explains its popular name, Star in a Star. Jane Alan named it Double Star in the Illinois State Register (1933). The name Rising Star is from Ruth Finley's 1929 Old Patchwork Quilts.

We thank Jinny Beyer and her Quilter's Album for the Illinois State Register citation.

For the Stars & Square pattern by the Bulgarian designer Rumi, click here: 

8 Hands Around
8 Hands Around
8 Hands Round

Another LAC block from 1897, this time #149.

"Eight hands around" is a basic square dance "call," or instruction, to the 4 couples in a square dance grouping. It tells the 8 dancers to hold hands and walk in a circle while they await the next call.

There are at least four other blocks named 8 Hands Around, but only one resembles the LAC's, and that is designer Nancy Cabot's, described below.

Eight Hands Around (Cabot)
Eight Hands Around
Castle Garden

Designer Nancy Cabot's version of Eight Hands Around was published in the Chicago Tribune in 1936, and again in 1937 as Castle Garden.

Castle Garden was the U.S. immigrant intake center in New York City from 1855 until 1890, when Ellis Island opened. The walls of Castle Garden are in Battery Park and a must-see for tourists on their way to Liberty Island.

Free Trade Block
Free Trade Block
Free Trade Patch/Coronation

Until the income tax came along in 1913, tariffs paid up to 90 percent of the U.S. budget. In 1861, the Republican party decided that tariffs should be higher, a position they maintained for 60-odd years.

The quilter who invented this block apparently disagreed, but we don't know when—just that it was probably after 1861. The name Free Trade Block is from Ruth Finley (1929); Free Trade Patch is from Carrie Hall (1935).

It was columnist Nancy Page who came up with the name Coronation in 1937. That was the year Britain's George VI was crowned, taking the place of Edward VIII, who had abdicated to marry the American divorceé Wallis Simpson. George's wife came to be known as the Queen Mother and was Britain's morale-booster-in-chief during World War II.

Quilters and painters alike took the news of the new monarch in stride. According the UK's Daily Mail (January 3, 2012), at least one artist adapted by painting George's head over Edward's in a coronation portrait.

We've covered these stars in the Pinwheel Stars section:

Sarah's Choice

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