by Sonia Delaunay (1885-1979)
Quilt Notes: STAR LANE was published by Nancy Cabot in the Chicago Tribune on September 18, 1934. It made its first appearance in quiltdom back in 1901, in the Ladies Art Company catalogue #403, according to Barbara Brackman's ENCYCLOPEDIA OF PIECED QUILT PATTERNS (#2105). Jinny Beyer's QUILTER'S ALBUM has it also (p. 203-7). All three offer the same basic design, but with somewhat different light and dark arrangements. In discussing the block, Cabot includes the following note referring to the interdependence of color and geometry:
"With the advent of geometrical patterns, the assortment and selection of colors became of ranking importance in carrying out the designs. Varicolored patches, with a predominating shade combined with three or four harmonizing or contrasting colors, were carefully arranged, and, as a result, we have had consistently successful blocks which became prize winners when exhibited."
Several designs at this site work with color combinations by well known artists (linked below), including, Johannes Vermeer, Georgia O'Keeffe, Alexander Calder, Paul Klee, and a couple of other works by Sonia Delaunay. Delaunay's print called "GEOMETRIC ABSTRACTION," illustrated left, demonstrates what are called "near-complements." Red's complement, directly opposite on the color wheel, is green: the near-complements for red are therefore greenish yellow, and greenish blue. Colors on computer monitors vary widely though.
There is an amazing transformation of this design when it is tiled. Almost hard to believe that the tessellation (see below) is the same illustration used upper right. As a single block it would appear that the star is partially hidden by the so-called "lanes," but the tiling does the opposite and exhibits the star in an open window.