4th c. Celtic Gold-Plated Disc
from Celtic Art, Wikipedia
Quilt Notes: This version of STAR OF ERIN, a four patch block, is included in Maggie Malone's full color 5,500 QUILT BLOCK DESIGNS (#821), and with piecing grid same as upper left. |
Erin is a Gaelic word for Ireland, as in "Erin go Bragh" (Ireland Forever). The design has a rather mysterious symbolism to it, comparable to Celtic spirals, knots or interlacery, and producing an exquisite tiling pattern (see below — the rotating clusters of small triangles connecting the stars could be viewed as scrolls).
The design made its print debut in quiltdom in Nancy Cabot's Chicago Tribune column, April 10, 1936. However Cabot renders it with light and shadow, more like a three-dimensional, metallic object, and without the lyricism, that is, the sense of spin and dance, the vague wildflower quality, picked up so elegantly in Malone's magnificent star variation. Cabot is probably faithful to the original quilter's intent. But see also Brackman's ENCYCLOPEDIA (#1298) with Cabot's piecing grid, but more like Malone's rendering. Jinny Beyer's QUILTER'S ALBUM has a copy of the Cabot block (p. 142-6).
Compare with some other uniquely designed stars at this site, including: (THE) MILKMAID'S STAR, also STAR LANE and ALPINE CROSS.