Sunday, June 1, 2014

Calico Star quilt block

Calico Star
December 5, 1933-Carolina Pattern Enables Quilters to Use Up Scraps was the title of Nancy Cabot's column in the Chicago Tribune today. She was referring to her Calico Star quilt pattern.

She wrote, "When this design originated down in the Carolinas several generations ago the only available prints were of calico or percale." I guess this is her explanation for why the block is called Calico Star.

This block design "puts the scraps left over from other quilts to most attractive use" she suggested.

There are two different copies of Nancy's Calico Star pattern here.

I combined foundation paper piecing and templates to make my 6" Calico Star quilt block. This is what the parts look like-

The sides are paper pieced and the remaining pieces are cut from templates. You can download my pattern here.

This is how I put the parts together-

Here is a view of the back of my center. I marked where my 1/4" seams are because to inset the paper pieced section, you only sew from seam to seam when attaching the four pieces to the center octagon, as you would do in hand piecing.

I sewed opposite sides first. When attaching the paper pieced section, I started by sewing the small triangle shape to the octagon center, again only seam to seam. This made it easy to sew the long sides then.

The last two sections get attached in exactly the same way.

A Calico Star quilt block can be found in Electric Quilt's Blockbase program as #3606 but it does not look like Nancy Cabot's.

I could not find an example of this quilt but I did find a variation of the Calico Star pattern at Nellie's Niceties blog. Templates are provided as well as some general guidelines on how the block goes together.

The center is a hexagon instead of an octagon and the points are all equal in size but I'm showing it here because these blocks are English paper pieced and that made me think that the Calico Star block could also be made using that technique for those of you that love English paper piecing.

Tomorrow-Milly's Favorite

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