Saturday, November 26, 2022

Seven Stars in the Ladies' Home Journal 1912


Library of Congress
Women and handwork on the porch of a newly built home
from the Farm Security Administration program in Flint River Farms, 
Macon County, Georgia, 1939. Picture by Marion Post Wolcott.
Nice stack of quilts!

The quilt on top is a traditional Southern design from about 1880-1930, a combination of Seven Stars or Seven Sisters in a ring of diamonds.

"An Old Time 'Seven Star

In February, 1912 Elizabeth Daingerfield of Lexington, Kentucky published a pattern in Ladies' Home Journal in an article on "Kentucky Mountain Quilt" designs, emphasizing their Southern regionalism. She also told you how to sew this block (sort of). You pieced circles and then appliqued them to the background.

"A really handsome effect is obtainable in the design ... known as the 'Seven Star.' 

"The entire circle is of pieced patchwork appliqued to the muslin only by the few lines of running stitches. The quilting is done after all the squares in which the pattern is shown, alternating with white, have been sewed together, the whole being lined and padded."

Elizabeth P. Daingerfield (1869-1951)
whose main interest was raising horses

That description would explain why these orphan blocks are not pieced into the background.
The magazine suggested you tame that outer edge by appliqueing it down (NO, thanks.)

All pieced.
There were several Seven Stars in the older editions of my Encyclopedia of Pieced Quilt Patterns and BlockBase but I did not include the LHJ publication. When we did the 3rd edition and the new BlockBase+ we gave it a name and a number 3534.6, which means you can print it out any size.

A 16'' finished block pattern (1/4th of it) fits on a single sheet of printer paper.

The best way to make a pattern seems to be using BlockBase+  to draw an outline block the size you want it and then make templates from the patches in the drawing. You get the basic shapes here but you stitchmeisters know what to do.

Linda has drawn it on freezer paper and is
ready to number pieces and choose fabrics.

I'd print the pattern above four times on freezer paper and cut a piece of every patch and do it EPP style. I am sure some easing will be required in the final stages. Or as Daingerfield advises, applique it to the background.

Some of the quilts in the design may have been made from the LHJ pattern
but more likely they were from patterns handed around rather than published.
This one in green and yellow from an online auction last year; seller in Pittsburgh.
Late 19th-century?

From Joanna Rose's collection of red & white quilts
now in the International Quilt Museum collection.

Block made by Maria Ingersoll Snipes (1869-1942) in Alabama, from the Michigan 
project and the Quilt Index. 1890-1930?
See Maria's quilt tops (some quilted in the 1970s by a relative) at this link:

Ebay 2013

Online auction seller thought 1920s

On the QuiltHistorySouth group Linda Czarny showed us this one from her Texas
 great-grandmother Erie Leake Barrington, mid-20th century. She made two!

Here's a bad internet photo of a variation---triangles
in the circle rather than diamonds.

Poor pictures, poor relation to the spectacular version below.

From the Pioneer Museum in Troy, Alabama

Other People's Patterns

Karen Styles's booth a while ago.

Karen sells a Circle of Sisters pattern
and templates

Michelle Yeo who loves a challenging pattern 
has a variation for sale that she calls Dutch Sisters in Nantes.

Posts on Seven Stars/Seven Sisters variations:
3 posts here at my Civil War Quilts Blog;


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