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 X Stars, center points

 

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 without center seams, click here:



 

Rocky Road to Kansas
Rocky Road to Kansas
Kite

Teddy's Choice
Cowboy's Star

Cowboy Star

Job's Troubles

Milkmaid's
Star

Crossed Canoes


Crossed Canoes

Indian Canoes

Wyoming Patch

 

 


Rocky Road to Kansas


Rocky Road
to Kansas

Ladies Art Co. #236
1897


Scrap-quilt, string-quilt, and crazy-quilt fans will love this block for the random patchwork of stripes in each triangular star point.

It was the Ladies Art Company's #236, published in the 1897 catalog, and it is laid out on a 4x4 grid.

The MakeIt! icon links to a page on freshlemonsquilts.com, where the instructions show straight stripes for the star points.

You can use the same tutorial to make the LAC's version, with points made of random widths and angles like our illustration -- more fun, if you ask us, and perfect for scraps.


Rocky Road to Kansas

Rocky Road to Kansas

Rocky Road
to Kansas

Hall, 1935

In layout, the two Rocky Road to Kansas blocks are identical, but quilt researcher Carrie Hall used two colors in the center of hers in a layout that quilters call quarter-square triangles.

Carrie Hall stitched up an example block, which is now at the Spencer Museum at the University of Kansas. Hall's example was colorful, unlike the LAC's — which was, after all, printed in black and white.



Rocky Road to Kansas

Kite

Kite
Stone
1906
Clara Stone's 1906 block is drawn on a 16x16 grid.

Its cheerful stripes remind us of a Hopi Kachina clown, but we think it would look terrific with any bold fabric with a stripe effect, including plaids.


Kite

Teddy's Choice

Teddy's Choice
Stone
1906
Cowboy's Star/Arkansas Traveler/Travel Star 

The earliest published Cowboy's Star block dates back to 1906, when Clara Stone called it Teddy's Choice for then-president Theodore Roosevelt.

Stone's version doesn't show any seams; otherwise, it's identical to later Cowboy's Star blocks.

The name Cowboy's Star suits Roosevelt, who spent a few years as a working cowboy on his own North Dakota ranch, working through his grief after his first wife, Alice, died from complications of giving birth to their daughter. (Roosevelt's sister cared for the baby, also named Alice, during her early years.)

Besides, Theodore didn't like the name Teddy. It was Alice's pet name for him, and he never wanted to hear it after she died.
Teddy's Choice

Cowboy's Star

Cowboy's Star
Finley
1929
Arkansas Traveler/Travel Star

We owe the names Arkansas Traveler and Travel Star to Finley's 1929 Old Patchwork Quilts, but Cowboy's Star seems to be the most popular name for this block; it's what the Kansas City Star's Evelyn Foland called it in 1932.

This variation of Cowboy's Star may be identical to Teddy's Choice, but we don't know for sure because Stone didn't include seam lines in her illustration.

The layout is based on a star grid, according to author Jinny Beyer. That's a grid with spokes like a bicycle wheel. Straight and curved lines intersect with the "spoke" lines. It can get very complicated very fast.

Our "Make It!" links to a page on the American Quilter's Society blog. It follows the seam structure for Finley's star.
Cowboy's Star
Cowboy's Star (KCS)

Cowboy's Star

Cowboy's Star
Page
1938

Arkansas Traveler/Travel Star

Columnist Nancy Page provided a new and far simpler Cowboy's Star for Birmingham News readers in 1938.

Page's star is drawn on an 8x8 grid — much easier for a reader to reproduce for her own quilt than a star-grid block. While we haven't seen the original column, we think it calls for four colors.

We've posted a diagram for you to use as a pattern. Just click on the purple icon.
Cowboy's Star (Page)



Job's Troubles

Job's Troubles
Origin unknown
This variation of Job's Troubles is from the web. It's on a 4x4 grid and looks as though it has been around forever, but if it has, no one has yet laid claim to the design.

It's simple to make if you don't mind sewing on the bias — or if you want to practice. You can download a pattern from Scissortail Quilting Company by clicking on the blue "Make It!" link.


Job's Troubles

Milkmaid's Star

Milkmaid's Star
Kansas City Star, 1948
The Kansas City Star had a whimsical take on geometry at times, so we cannot tell you the exact proportions of this 1948 block. Our graphic, on an 8x8 grid, is as close to the Star's illustration as we can get without tracing it in all its irregular glory. Our star is on a 6x6 grid.

For such a simple block, Milkmaid's Star makes a highly effective whole quilt whether it's in three colors or two, as it was originally published.

The Star credited the block to Audrey Ellis of Minturn, Arkansas. What really cracked us up, though, was the Star's note about "the easily interpreted diary theme." They're saying that the points look like udders.

Milkmaid's Star

Crossed Canoes


Crossed Canoes

Ladies Art Co., #89 1897

Santa Fe Quilt/Twinkling Star/Tippecanoe

This handsome design dates back to the Ladies Art Company catalog of 1897 (#89). It is drawn on an 8x8 grid. 

Crossed Canoes (LAC)

Crossed Canoes

Crossed Canoes
Kansas City Star, 1929
The Dragon Fly/Indian Canoes/Two Canoes

Crossed Canoes is from a 1929 Kansas City Star, which republished it as The Dragon Fly in 1936 and 1954. Nancy Cabot and Nancy Page called it Indian Canoes and Two Canoes in 1936 and 1940, respectively. The block is drawn on a 6x6 grid.

 


Crossed Canoes (KCS)

Indian Canoes

Indian Canoes
Kansas City Star, 1933
While Crossed Canoes (above) debuted in the Kansas City Star a few months before the original Black Friday (the stock market crash that helped start the Great Depression), Indian Canoes came along in 1933, when just about everybody was unemployed, poor, hungry, or fearful they would be.

Perhaps it was the belt-tightening zeitgeist of the times that inspired the Star to print this Crossed Canoes variation on a 10x10 grid. Three years later, the Star went back to its 6x6 Crossed Canoes.


Indian Canoes (KCS)

Wyoming Patch

Wyoming Patch
LAC, #494
1922
Texas Sunflower 

The Wyoming Patch was in the Ladies Art Company catalog of 1922 as #494. The LAC showed the block in only two colors, but we've added a third shade to show the seams.

The name Texas Sunflower is from Comfort magazine, according to Barbara Brackman's Encyclopedia of Pieced Quilt Patterns.
Brackman #3566

Wyoming Patch