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Everything Old Is New Again


Tips, Ideas, Patterns, and more by the crew at Bernina Sewing & Design


Everything Old Is New Again

Marsha Cowan

The Ohio Star Quilt Block

“Everything old is new again.” If you’re a quilter, you know that saying applies to more than those 70’s bell-bottom jeans hitting the stores this fall. The quilt blocks we sew at our high-tech, electronic sewing machines with on-board computers are the same blocks that our great-great-great grandmothers pieced by hand. In our new monthly feature, we want to take a look at these traditional blocks—you’ll be surprised at how far back in history some of them go. But no matter how long they’ve been around, today’s quilters can give them a fresh and modern look with their fabric choices, block placement, and quilting style.

The Ohio Star block is a variation of a nine-patch pattern, with three rows of three blocks, containing squares and quarter square triangles. There are quilts dated to the late 1700’s featuring this block. The Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History has such a quilt, called “The Treaty of Pillnitz,” made sometime between 1792 and 1810.

The Ohio Star is also known by these names: Texas Star, Lone Star, Eastern Star, Variable Star, among others.

Here’s a link to a free pattern, featuring my step-by-step tutorial on creating a 12” finished block:  Click here for the free Ohio Star Pattern written by Marsha Cowan.

For lots of interesting quilt history pertaining to star blocks and quilts, and pictures of amazing historical quilts, visit the following websites: