Wonder what she means by "saucy plaids?" Nancy presented this block in her Chicago Tribune column and sold the pattern for "5 cents in stamps or coin" as she did all her patterns to this date.
She went on to write that if one didn't have any plaid fabric, prints could be used but noted that "the plaid seems to accentuate the points of the star and carry out the geometrical scheme of straight lines and sharp angles."
This block really has me stumped as to how it was made. I found two old Tennessee Star quilts made similarly to Nancy's drawing in the newspaper here and here but Nancy's block looks more like the drawing of the block I show above. The difference is in the shape of the sections I show in red. Nancy's drawing shows these as being diamonds. Nancy's drawing also does not show a circle in the center. My drawing is a revised version of the Tennessee Star or #W004 block available in Electric Quilt's Blockbase program.
My best guess is that an eight point star block was made and then eight more diamond shapes were appliqued on top of the eight point star. Any other ideas?