Any other inner frame shape:
Double star block info

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To see a whole-quilt mockup of a block, click on its icon. To go to the search page, click on the page icon at upper left.

Carpenter's Star


Circle Saw

Carpenter's Star
Square A/Star Quilt Block/Black Diamond/Diadem Star/Double Star/Star of Bethlehem/Lone Star of Paradise/Twinkling Stars/Sunflower/The Knickerbocker Star/Star Within a Star/Carpenter's Wheel/Eccentric Star/Morning Star/Octagonal Star/Star & Diamond/Twin Star

This star goes by no fewer than 15 names—too many to list all their origins here. Carpenter's Star seems to be the most popular.

We haven't seen the original Hearth and Home in which it was first published, as Square A, in 1880 (according to Jinny Beyer's Quilter's Album of Patchwork Patterns), but the block would probably have been in two colors, and that's how we've shown it at upper left. Most people think of a carpenter's star as three colors, like Dutch Rose, below, or our rendering of Circle Saw.

The Lone Star of Paradise

The light and dark colors in Paradise, or The Lone Star of Paradise, are exactly as the Kansas City Star recommended in 1933. The center background, here in medium pink, was supposed to be a print.

Circle Saw

Star of the East

The Kansas City Star added a curious fillip in 1936 by combining the corner square with the square clockwise to it and calling the block Circle Saw. The block was in two colors, with the corner rectangles in the background (light) color and the rest dark. Here, we've added a third color to emphasize how it differs from the Carpenter's Star.

If you make Circle Saw, be aware that in a whole quilt, the rectangles create a shape that's reminiscent of a Nazi emblem. You'll see when you click on the graphic; you'll go to a page of whole-quilt mockups.

Dutch Rose

Dutch Rose
Unknown Star/Star of the East/Star with Diamonds/Triple Star/Orphan Star/Eccentric Star/Star & Diamond/Morning Star

The difference between Dutch Rose and a Carpenter's Star is that the corners are triangles instead of squares.

When Dutch Rose was first published as #185 in the Ladies Art Company's 1897 catalog, it was in two colors, with the corner triangles in the background color. We've branched out here to show them, and also to show how a 3rd color adds a hint of a 3rd dimension to the block. Unknown Star was Marie Webster's name for it in her 1916 book Quilts.

In an octagonal block (with the corner squares removed), this star is called...wait for it...Octagonal Star! Click here to see it:

Carpenter's Star

Modern Carpenter's Star
Carpenter's Wheel/Carpenter Star

This simplified Carpenter's Star is drawn up on an 8 x 8 grid instead of the traditional grid of multiple circles. It's so popular that nobody seems to notice the difference. But in this version, the square pieces around the center star are in two different sizes, and the diamond pieces are parallelograms.

Lots of tutorials exist on the web for this star. We've included a link to one of them.
The only difficulty for a newbie is sewing the half-squares together. It's easy to stretch diagonal edges as you sew. One way to avoid that is to starch (yes, starch, as in "with an iron") the half-square pieces before you sew them together.

Stars & Cubes
Stars & Cubes
Star/Yankee Pride/Heavenly Stars/Captive Beauty/Double Star/Cubes & Tiles/Maple Leaf

The star-in-star block was first published under the lackluster name Star in Ohio Farmer (1896), according to Barbara Brackman's Encyclopedia of Pieced Quilt Patterns, and in the following year as Stars & Cubes in the Ladies Art Company catalog (#15). The other names came from several writers and publishers.

The block is sometimes mistaken for a Carpenter's Star, but it's not quite the same — besides being on an 8x8 grid, it looks as if it's on point. Arguably, the design is even lovelier when the blocks are in a group. Click on the graphic for a whole-quilt mockup, and you'll see what we mean.

Rolling Star

Brunswick Star

Mother's Favorite
Star (1940)

The Parallelogram
Block (1945)
Rolling Star
Chained Star/Eight Pointed Star/Mother's Favorite Star/The Parallelogram Block/Starry Field/The Virginia Reel

The Ladies Art Company made Rolling Star its block #4 in its 1897 catalog. In just two colors, it's much different from the block Ruth Finley included as Brunswick Star in Old Patchwork Quilts (1929). She also called it Chained Star.

It has been in the Kansas City Star under three different names. Eight Pointed Star (1929) is an octagonal block covered elsewhere (click on the icon): . Mother's Favorite Star is from 1940, and The Parallelogram Block is from 1945. We have Jinny Beyer and her Quilter's Album (2009) to thank for Starry Field (undated), which is an Alice Brooks block from the Detroit Free Press.

The Virginia Reel was published in Mrs. Danner's Quilts (1934; our copy, combining Books 1 & 2, is from 1971).

Scioto Inhoff Danner -- her real name -- wrote, "Each block usually has three kinds of calico. Two are combined in the center star and one for diamonds around the star."

Rolling Star is drawn up on a circle grid, but it is a simple one, requiring only a single circle drawn to the same height and width as the block.

The Virginia Reel

Once that large circle is on your diagram, you draw horizontal, vertical, and diagonal lines through the block. Two corners of each square meet on those straight lines, and one corner of each square touches the outer circle.

Easy peasy, right? Okay then: click on the "Make It!" icon above to go to Beyer's free instructions for making the block.