Tthere are a number of similar patterns called COWBOY'S STAR, and originally published in as many sources. This particular incarnation, with the large diamond in the background, is unique to Nancy Page's syndicated column, where it debuted in The Hartford Courant, and elsewhere, on March 29, 1938. In her notes, Page (aka Florence La Ganke) states the following:
"Maybe I became interested in this design because so many of my friends are going to a "dude ranch' this year. Or possibly the idea came to me because my son Peter is interested in Wild West stories. At any rate, here I am with a COWBOY STAR, which I am sure any boy would like to own. [...] I would not select dainty pinks, blues or lavenders for this star. It is a husky one, that lets you know it is there."
According to Page/La Ganke, the dotted line around the illustration left indicates that the design can be worked effectively into an over-all quilt pattern, or not, as you please. That dotted openness to possibility should be drawn around everything anyone does in quiltdom, except that the titles of the designs usually hold the block to certain basic parameters. Here COWBOY is masculine and energetic, for instance, and the colors work well if they are a bit daring and bold. Page also rightly mentions how unusually powerful this block is in its presence. A fabric with wide stripes in the print works well (see illustration upper right), or perhaps add a 3rd dimension via dark and light fabrics (see upper left and the tiling below). And as regards the tiling, notice the interesting optical illusion, where the grey, background 4-point star alternately appears and disappears.
Jinny Beyer's QUILTER'S ALBUM OF PATCHWORK PATTERNS, p. 80.7, situates this design along with such bold patterns as the vigorous, outdoor world of CROSSED CANOES, but also the equally exquisite MILKMAID'S STAR.
For more children's titles, including games and rhymes, etc., see:
BUTTERFLY IN CIRCLES
TO MARKET, TO MARKET
ANN'S DOLL QUILT
OLD KING COLE'S CROWN