Star-Crossed is the December Block

Posted by on December 1, 2012 in blocks, housekeeping | 6 comments

The block for December is a 9-inch (finished size) Star-Crossed block in Quilter’s choice of three fabrics: one LIGHT, one MEDIUM

Print-friendly (PDF format) directions for making the block are here:

Star-Crossed Block

I wanted to add another star block to our 2012 lotto blocks and liked the idea that this one had the same sort of cross at the hot-crossed 9-patch blocks we made in April.

Some History

I felt sure this must be a traditional block (with a traditional name).  When I looked in Brackman’s Encyclopedia of Pieced Quilt Blocks, I didn’t find it, but I found this similar block, called Fly Away Feathers, with different proportions and construction-but close.  It is attributed to Nancy, Cabot.  Nancy’s was a syndicated column written by Loretta Loiter Rising for the Chicago Tribune in the 1930’s.  There were hundreds of Cabot patterns that were sold mail-order and grouped in booklets.  The same patterns were also sold by the Spinning Wheel syndicate and the Progressive Farmer. The Cabot Column began in 1932 and continued through the decade. Patterns were re-printed in the 1960s and ’70s by several small publishers but are currently out-of-print again as far as I know.  Wilma Smith writing as “Nancy’s” indexed the Cabot patterns.  Many of those attributed to Cabot by various indexers are probably NOT actually from that source.

Block Guidelines

  • Each block is made from three fabrics of your choice in three values, light, medium and dark.
  • Fabrics may be solids, hand dyes and prints in your choice of color and pattern as long as they differ in VALUE.
  • Your light, medium and dark fabrics may be placed wherever you choose in the block.
  • If you make multiple blocks, you may repeat fabrics and fabric combinations as long as each block is unique.
  • You may make the usual maximum of 9 blocks to enter for chances in the Block Lotto drawing at the end of the month
  • Blocks must be 9 1/2-inches square (to finish at 9-inches when sewn into a quilt


Please use the tag star-crossed for posts about this block.

Working with Value

If you find it difficult when working with very different fabrics to see their relative value, your digital camera is a great tool.  Take a photo and turn it into black & white, using tools in your camera or other editing software.  I used the Aviary editor on Flickr and applied the “black and white” effect to look at the fabrics I used in the sample block:

The Virtual Quilt

Here are some of the blocks made by sneak peelers, Maree and Toni and me.

You can see the full size photos of all the blocks in this post in my Flickr photo set Star-Crossed Quilt Blocks.

Updates to this Page

I apologize for the tardiness of this post.  I have since updated the block pattern directions and added a few of my blocks to the virtual quilt.  I think that now, we’re good to go.


  1. Great looking block 😉 am hoping to make this one this month 😉

  2. The PDF link doesn’t go anywhere when I click on it. There is no PDF. Also, the colors? First it says to use three color values, light, medium, and dark, and then it says to use a black or black-on-black background. Something seems wrong here. Please clarify. The blocks in the picture don’t contain any black.

  3. SOPHIE sorry you have been under the weather. YOU are a great person to keep BL going through moves and illness. I think that the two paragraphs. Right above TAGS need to be revised. Per the samples background does not have to be black.

  4. Love this block! I’m going to try my best to make some this month, in spite of how busy it is.

  5. Okay got the PDF. Duh.

  6. Thanks to everyone for the careful review. I think I’ve now fixed everything. I was feeling lousy and decided to copy last month’s announcement post so I wouldn’t forget anything … but then didn’t take all the old guidelines out. doh!

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