Thursday, January 30, 2014

A Few Feathered Stars: Variations with Sunbursts

This quilt from the Kansas quilt project and the Quilt Index
looks to be about 1880-1910,
made by Sarah States in Illinois.

I have pictures of several similar quilts from the end of the 19th century with faded khaki colors.

This one's from Sharon Yenter's collection
but it isn't quite the same pattern.

From the Kirk Collection
 probably late-19th century

Here's an older one from dealer John Saul with fancier border and fancier quilting, natural green rather than synthetically dyed khaki, both indicating an earlier date of 1840-1880 . Apparently the feathered star with a circular center and a sunburst goes back to the mid-19th-century.
Very similar design, same time, same colors, less fancy.

From Shelly Zegart's collection.
Twelve spokes on the wheel, two circles framing the center.

This one from Laura Syler's Pinterest page.
It's about impossible to find two the same.

 probably mid-19th century

The despair of a quilt pattern indexer.

Kentucky Quilt Project, probably late 19th century

Rosetta Cox Singleton
Iowa Quilt Project
 probably mid-19th century

Margaret Webster
Iowa Quilt Project
Hard to date since indigo and white was so popular over so many decades.

In BlockBase and my Encyclopedia of Pieced Quilt Patterns I drew up two versions.

BlockBase #2270
This may be the earliest published pattern. In 1934 Mrs. Danner's Quilts sold a pattern and gave it two names: Golden Splendor in golds and Star Spangled Banner in red, white and blue.

The surviving quilts show many more variations than have been published as patterns. It seems like the more complex the pattern the more variations you see. 

 probably mid-19th century

 probably mid-19th century

Michigan Quilt Project
 probably mid-19th century

Connecticut Quilt Project
 probably mid-19th century

Iowa Quilt Project
Sarah Penina Young

Did these two women know each other?

Quilts Inc. Collection
Turkey red star with red work embroidery
After 1880

For the ambitious among you, BlockBase will print out templates for the two listed. 
Here are the first 2 pages of an 18" version of  #2271---10 pages in all.

You'll find one made from #2270 for the recent Quilt Alliance Twenty Auction at the blog
She drafted her own pattern I think.


  1. Those are beautiful star quilts and it amazes me how they do them so beautifully. I have come to the conclusion that I cannot make anything with points, lol.


  2. Very interesting how different they are. Also: I notice that some are a square block with the star points added on, and others are based on an octagon. That's even more daunting for me!

  3. That is such a great pattern!! And so many variations.

  4. Another amazing post!! I would love to try making a block but it looks hard!
    I just posted about a few antique quilts on my blog. My friend and I have a question about one of the fabric dyes. We have no expectation that you'll stop by and comment - just curious and I thought it was worth a try asking :0)

  5. The pattern for the red, white and blue Feathered Sunburst quilt featured above is available on my website - www.michelleyeoquiltdesigns.com. It was previously part of the heritage quilt collection featured on The Online Quilter website for which I redrafted the patterns of some of the antique quilts in the collection. It is a beautiful quilt with a quirky border. One day I might finish making my version!