Quilt Notes: How many points would we say this star actually has, eight or twelve or sixteen? Then, again, is it really a star? Or is it a frame playing at being a star? And so the vagueness of the name STAR OF MANY POINTS would seem quite accurate as regards the undecided identity of the polygon itself. The block made its debut in print in the first edition of the Ladies Art Company Catalogue (#2), in the 1890's. Nancy Cabot published her version much later in the Chicago Tribune on September 6, 1936, and with a bit more room in the center diamond (see left). The title would certainly seem to celebrate variety, as it seeks to express itself as the "many," and thus Cabot's illustration, faithful to the idea, variegates the dark and light of the parallelograms comprising the border.
The quilt design compendiums are not all that consistent either on just how wide the interior diamond ought to be, or if the colors should alternate dark and light around the frame or, considering the block's vacuousness, whether it might be better to utilize a print for the center. See Jinny Beyer's version, for instance, in her QUILTER'S ALBUM OF PATCHWORK PATTERNS (p. 141-9), compared to Barbara Brackman's much smaller diamond inset. The pattern obviously suggests some optical, 3D effects, so that a darker ground (see tiling below) greatly enhances that dynamic. The illustrations above utilize a print in the center and Cabot's dark and light rotation, but with the 20 x 20 grid, required for the LAC and Brackman's ENCYCLOPEDIA OF PIECED QUILT PATTERNS illustration, #2538.
On the ambiguity of points, compare with the so-called FOUR-POINTED STAR. Related designs at this site, located in the compendiums on the same or an adjoining page, wouid include:
LOVE IN A MIST
STAR OF ERIN