We tend to call this design Feathered Star,
a rather generic name that means a star
with serrated or feathered edges.
This particular quilt looks to be from about 1880-1920. The faded khaki, probably once green or blue, is a good clue to that time span. The pattern with it's octagonal center is older. I found the one below at FirstDibs. It looks to be mid-19th-century.
It's a spectacular example
with Turkey red prints in the star points.
How did mid-19th century quilters pass this design around?
I haven't seen any evidence that it was published until the early 1930s.
Yet there are many examples dating to the
late 19th century.
Quilt dated 1876 by Emma Mills Dabney.
This version has been floating around Pinterest.
In my BlockBase program the star with the octagonal center is #2248.
Three names were published in the 1930s.
Capper's Weekly from Topeka, Kansas, called it Star of Bethlehem.
Aunt Martha's pattern company from Kansas City, Missouri called it Chestnut Burr or Radiant Star.
The Aunt Martha company sold a pattern through the mail in 1933.
Encouraging more quilters to try the design.
Since the pattern is in my BlockBase program for PC's you can print out templates any size.
Here's a snapshot of 2 pages of the 4 pages of templates for an 18" block.
Roseanne Smith did an almost identical star (I guess it would
be numbered 2248.1 in BlockBase) that she learned from the
Queen of Feathered Stars: Marsha McCloskey.
Marsha with 2248.1
The square in question is pieced of two triangles in Marsha's. In the old quilts it's a single square.
She has books on feathered stars and this EQ software
for digitized pattern drawing.
Sandi Klop, Perennial Star
Sandi Klop at American Jane sells a similar pattern in Perennial Star,
a few more points.
And Marti Michell has templates also for a star with a few more points.
Maybe this version should be numbered 2248.3
Feathered Star by Hortense Beck, 1990
Hortense Beck did a reproduction of an old quilt a few years ago that is in the collection of the International Quilt Study Center and Museum. Go to:
And near the bottom of the page pull down the menu in Collections to see the 57 quilts by Hortense Horton Beck.
I'll show you a few more feathered star designs in the next few weeks.