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Chevron stars with checkerboard corners

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Blackford's Beauty


Mrs. Smith's
Favorite

Blackford's Beauty
The Hunt/Black Beauty/Mrs. Smith's Favorite

To a non-quilter the difference between Blackford's Beauty and the rest of the blocks on this page is trivial: There are two rectangles, in addition to squares, in each quarter. The other blocks have only triangles and squares.

The Ladies Art Company first published Blackford's Beauty (#388) in 1897. The version at top left is based on the 1928 catalog, in which there are four seamless chevrons. The block is usually drawn with eight diamonds—that is, the block labeled as Mrs. Smith's Favorite here. We wanted to distinguish the two blocks. Both of them are called Blackford's Beauty. The "Make it!" icon links to instructions for making it.

The alternate names above are from Barbara Brackman's Encyclopedia of Pieced Quilt Blocks, in which the block appears as it looks at lower left.

Mrs. Smith's Favorite appeared in Needlecraft Supply about 1930; Black Beauty was in Nancy Cabot's newspaper column in 1933, and The Hunt, per Jinny Beyer, was in Farm Journal and Farmer's Wife about 1941.


Endless Chain

Endless Chain
Arrow Points

The Quilt Fair Comes to You, a series of "Aunt Martha" booklets, included this block in 1933. The name Arrow Points came along a year later, in a Nancy Page column in the Birmingham News. We thank Jinny Beyer and her Quilter's Album of Patchwork Patterns (2009) for this information.

The colors in the block at left are based on Arrow Points in Barbara Brackman's Encyclopedia of Pieced Quilt Patterns. In it, Brackman shows the chevrons themselves as whole pieces, not as pairs of diamonds.


Stepping Stones
(1931)



Stepping Stones (1948)


Arrowheads
Stepping Stones
Good Cheer

In 1931, the Kansas City Star published Stepping Stones in two colors. KCS designer Eveline Foland suggested alternating Stepping Stones with plain blocks. (We've reversed the dark and light colors to show the seamlines.) The name Good Cheer came from Clara Stone's 1906 Practical Needlework.

In 1948, the KCS republished Stepping Stones with the same pattern template but with an illustration that didn't match it. The illustration makes perfect sense as a way to construct the block, though, so we've reproduced it at left. Like the 1931 version, the 1948 block was published in only two colors, but we branched out here.


Arrowheads

Our "Make It!" icon (the one for Stepping Stones) links to a McCall's Quilting page, in which the colors are chosen to create a pinwheel effect. They call it "Arrowheads." The pattern is the same as the Kansas City Star's Stepping Stones.

Click on a graphic to see whole-quilt mockups.

Winged 9 Patch
Winged 9 Patch

The block breaks down into four 9-patch checkerboards (one in each corner), four bowtie blocks (one on each side) and a Sawtooth (in the middle). We've chosen the colors of our graphic to emphasize those sections.

In publishing Winged 9 Patch in 1940, the Kansas City Star noted that the quilter might prefer a "medley of sharply contrasting colors" over its 2-color illustration.


Arrowhead

Arrowhead

Seamstress Carrie Hall found this variation of Blackford's Beauty during her quilt-research travels in the 1920s and 1930s. The block she stitched up as an example is in the Spencer Museum at the University of Kansas. It is published in Carrie Hall Blocks (Havig, 1999). Like other variations of Blackford's Beauty, the differences lie in seam and color placement.