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 Four-point X stars, center patch

 

Here are our X-shaped four-point star blocks so far. These stars have seams in the center. Click on an icon for a short cut to the block that interests you. For X stars with center seams, click here:



The Priscilla
The Priscilla
Kaleido-
scopic
Patch
Kaleido-
scopic
Patch
Diamond
and Star

Priscilla
Amethyst

World Without End

Geomet-
rical Star

Geomet-
ric Star

Geomet-
rical Star

Kaleido-scope
Hobby Nook

 


The Priscilla

The Priscilla

Ladies World
Magazine, 1893
World Without End

The Priscilla was first published in Ladies World Magazine in 1893, according to Jinny Beyer's Quilter's Album of Patchwork Patterns. It was also in the Ladies Art Company catalog of 1897 (#199). Both blocks are pictured at left. 

Do the blocks look the same to you? They're not quite. The 1893 block was laid out on a grid of 14 squares by 14; the 1897, 16 by 16, Beyer says.
The Priscilla, 1893
The Priscilla, 1893
The Priscilla

Ladies Art Co., 1897
It's possible that this remarkable precision was a natural accident of drawing by hand. Certainly, such exactitude would have been out of reach for the turn-of-the-century home quilter. At best, she could buy patterns from the LAC (15 cents each; 12 for $1 in 1928). Or she could buy the LAC's colored cardboard diagram (5 cents; 35 for $1). But quilting then was still the work of thrifty wives. Many would have measured the graphic and drawn up a template based on a 4x4 grid (scroll down).

Aside from Nancy Cabot's 1933 block World Without End, which was identical to the LAC block, Priscilla variations from the 1920s on tended to be wide-point stars laid out on a 4x4 grid or narrow-point stars laid out on a 10x10 grid. 

Kaleidoscopic Patch

Kaleidoscopic Patch Ladies Art Co., #386, 1897

The LAC's Kaleidoscopic Patch (#386, 1897) was nine Priscillas in a single block. Each of those mini-Priscillas was drawn up on a 10x10 grid. 

In 1934, Nancy Cabot used the same the nine-patch design for Kaleidoscopic Patch in her Chicago Tribune column, but she simplified it by drafting each star as a four-patch (4x4).

Kaleidoscopic Patch
Cabot, 1934
Tippecanoe and Sugar Cone (Gutcheon, James) were also drawn as four-patches, but we haven't seen the originals, so we don't know how many colors they had or how many stars were in one block. 


Kaleidoscopic Patch, LAC

Kaleidoscopic Patch, Cabot

Diamond and Star

Diamond Star

Ladies Art Co., 1922
Frontier Fiesta

In its 1922 catalog, the LAC published another nine-star block as its #481. Diamond & Star was based on a star grid, according to Jinny Beyer. 

Perhaps the design's complexity encouraged more quilters to buy an LAC pattern. By using star grid, the designer passed on making the block square (the diamond shapes could have been split lengthwise). Instead, the block is a continuous design with a strong familial resemblance to the Priscilla. 

Columnist Nancy Page followed up in 1937 with the identical Frontier Fiesta block (Birmingham News).

Diamond and Star

Priscilla



Priscilla

Hall
1935
World Without End/ Tippecanoe/Sugar Cone 

This two-color, four-patch star goes by Priscilla and World Without End, names it picked up from Hall's and Kretsinger's The Romance of the Patchwork Quilt in America (1935). The names Tippecanoe and Sugar Cone came along much later (Gutcheon, 1973; James, 1978). 

Carrie Hall's goal was to find and stitch up an example of as many quilt block patterns as she could. It seems likely that she encountered a quilt based on the older, published blocks described at the top of this page, and that the block was already simplifiedto a four-patch when she found it. 

Priscilla

Amethyst

Amethyst

Finley
1929
Windmill Star/Crazy Quilt Star/Crazy Star Quilt

When the Kansas City Star published Amethyst in 1931, it was four stars per block and three colors.

The other names were from the usual suspects — columnists from other newspapers. In this case, Windmill Star was from Virginia Snow, a Star columnist who also published her designs independently (1932). Alice Beyer of the Detroit Free Press gave us Crazy Quilt Star (1934), and Nancy Cabot came up with Crazy Star Quilt (1935).



Amethyst

World Without End



World Without End

Finley
1929
Diamond Star/Golden Wedding Ring/Priscilla

The oldest block with the name World Without End was this one with alternating colors, first published by Ruth Finley in her 1929 book Old Patchwork Quilts: And the Women Who Made Them.

It's worth remembering that many two-color blocks were designed for scraps of two intensities — light and dark. While the scraps would make the design less obvious, they couldn't overwhelm a strong, simple pattern.

World Without End

Geometrical Star/Geometric Star

Geometrical Star

Stone
1906

The sole difference between Clara Stone's 1906 Geometrical Star and Prize Winning Designs' 1931 Geometric Star (below) is a pair of seams. Geometric Star has them; Geometrical Star doesn't.

A single of each block is laid out on a 4x4 grid, but Stone's block is continuous. There is no straight-line division between one star and another. In that, the block is exactly like Diamond and Star (above).


Geometric Star

Prize Winning Designs
ca. 1931


The booklet Prize Winning Designs (ca. 1931) added a vertical and a horizontal seam, dividing the four-star block into four separate one-star blocks. The whole can be pieced in alternate colors like a World Without End block, although we're not entirely of the colors in the original Geometric Star.

Carrie Hall also published a variation of Geometrical Star
Geometrical Star

Hall
1935


in her 1935 book. It had only one four-pointed star, which, like Stone's 1906 star, had a light background and center. However, its proportions made the center larger and the ring smaller than any other block inspired by The Priscilla.

Geometrical Star (Stone)
Geometric Star (Prize Winning Designs)
Geometrical Star (Hall)

Kaleidoscope

Kaleidoscope

Kansas City Star
1930


The Star's Kaleidoscope's half-dark, half-light background make it an even more versatile block than Priscilla for creating whole-quilt patterns. It was published in 1930. 

Another block, also named Kaleidoscope, looks like a propeller but is similar to a four-point star when it is laid out as a whole quilt. Click on this icon to see it:  

Kaleidoscope

Kaleidoscope -- alternative setting

Hobby Nook

Hobby Nook

Kansas City Star
1955
The Hobby Nook block (Kansas City Star, 1955) mimics Kaleidoscope in its proportions (it's drawn on a 10x10 grid) and Amethyst in its color placement.

A similar but more dramatic block style is Crossed Canoes, one of which is identical in proportions to Hobby Nook. Click here to see: 

Hobby Nook
Hobby Nook alternative setting