<%@LANGUAGE="JAVASCRIPT" CODEPAGE="65001"%> Patterned hexagonal blocks
FieldGuidetoQuilts.com
Dolly Madison Pattern

Patterned hexagons

Click on a graphic to see a whole-quilt mockup.

Crazy Tile Quilt
Crazy Tile Quilt

The example of Crazy Tile Quilt at left features another inexplicable color combination from the Kansas City Star, which published the block in 1939.

Whirligig Hexagon


Texas Trellis
Texas Trellis

Whirligig Hexagon

This is a Kansas City Star block from 1936. The Star suggested using it as a scrap block, with one print fabric per hexagon for the 4-sided pieces and a different one for the triangles.


Texas Trellis

It's worth noting that when the Star published this variation of the Whirligig Hexagon in 1943, the paper recommended that each block use a different pair of fabrics.

That advice applies to both blocks. When you look at the whole-quilt mockups, you'll see why: When all the hexagons are in the same colors, the hexagons meld, obscuring the honeycomb pattern that grouped hexagons create.

Dolly Madison Pattern
Dolly Madison
Pattern







Dolly Madison Pattern
Texas Star/Dolly Madison Star/Hexagon Stars/Friendship Hexagon/Hexagonal Stars/The Star Garden/A Garden of Flowers/Dolly Madison quilt block.

This charming little pattern has more names than the Queen of England. Dolly Madison's Pattern was the Kansas City Star's name for it in 1937.

Of the other names, two are shared: The LAC's Texas Star, the oldest name (1922), is also used for a multi-ring diamond star, and Home Art's name, Dolly Madison Star (we don't know the date), also stands for an Ohio Star variation. A volley of snores suits the rest: Nancy Page's Hexagon Stars and Friendship Hexagon, as well as the magazine Hearth & Home's Hexagonal Stars.

The Star published it twice in the 1950s, calling it The Star Garden in 1954 (it credited a Missouri reader for the design) and, finally, A Garden of Flowers in 1956. At that point, the Star noted, it was also known as the Dolly Madison quilt block. The Star would know.

The Flower Garden


Six Point Flower Garden

The Flower Garden Block
Six Point Flower Garden/The Flower Garden

Does either of these blocks look the same to you as the Dolly Madison Pattern? They're not.

Between each of the Dolly Madison's points is a four-sided diamond patch; between each point of these two blocks is a three-sided triangle. The blocks are, however, identical to each other except for the color placement.

The Star's The Flower Garden was published in 1937 and 1951. The variation Six Point Flower Garden was in the Star in 1938.

The blocks below, also from the Star, differ from one another in exactly the same way as these two differ from the Dolly Madison Pattern.


Godey's hexagon

Godey's hexagon

When Godey's published this sweet little 12-piece hexagon, nameless, in 1851, it didn't begin to show the possibilities of the block.

We'll be adding more on this block, including its many names, as time goes on.


Ozark Diamond


Ma Perkin's
Flower Garden

Ozark Diamond

Eveline Foland designed this block, published in the Kansas City Star in 1931. She included the striped fabric in the ring of diamonds that surrounds the star.


Ma Perkin's Flower Garden

Five years later, the Star replaced the outer diamonds with triangles and republished the block as Ma Perkin's Flower Garden.

The block is named for the title character of a radio drama that came on the air in 1933: Oxydol's Own Ma Perkins.

Ma Perkins (the Star misplaced the apostrophe) was a generous-hearted widow who co-owned and ran a lumber mill in a country village. The show revolved around Ma's children and her conversations about life with the mill's other owner, Shuffle Shober.

Ma and her folk wisdom were so beloved that the drama ran until 1960, clocking more than 7,000 episodes of 15 minutes each. Only on the last broadcast was Ma Perkins revealed to be (gasp!) an actress.

The Star's block illustration lacked the patches in medium pink that we show in the graphic at left. Those patches were included in the pattern, labeled "This is the shape of the piece used to set the blocks together." To us, that spells "hexagonal block."

Whirling Diamonds
Whirling Diamonds

This hexagon arrangement looks better as a whole quilt; on this page, we wanted to emphasize the six-petal hexagonal flower that you see in white in the graphic. Click on that graphic to see a whole-quilt mockup.

Whirling Diamonds is not quite the same block as Seven Stars, which is one of the oldest Ladies Art Company blocks (#8). Someday we'll draw it up for you.