Quilt of the Month


October 2005

October 2005

Blazing Star
Maker unknown
Possibly made in Missouri
c. 1875-1895
93" x 84"
IQSC 1997.007.0405
Ardis and Robert James Collection of Antique and Contemporary Quilts

The complexity of the background of this Blazing Star quilt makes the star pattern nearly disappear. The viewer instead is drawn to the dark circle in the quilt's center, where the diamond pattern vibrates with contained energy. To further add to the bold dynamics of the quilt, the maker framed the top and bottom of the quilt with orange and green zigzag borders, and added a binding of bright red.

Star patterns have always been favorites among American quiltmakers. The single-star format, called a Star of Bethlehem or Mathematical Star, first appeared in the second quarter of the nineteenth century. Variations like this quilt as well as stars presented in a repeated block format, remained popular well into the twentieth century.