Quilt blocks are often attributed to ladies such as Nancy Cabot and Prudence Penny who turn out to be pen names used for quilting columns in magazines early in the twentieth century. So I was pleasantly surprised to find that the Barbara Fritchie star is named after someone who actually existed.
During the American civil war Barbara was a Unionist and refused to lower her Unionist flag when Confederates arrived in her home town. At the rip old age of 95 she refused to obey orders to lower the flag and finally was allowed to continue waving it. She became an overnight heroine and is now the subject of many poems – and a quilt block!
The Barbara Fritchie star quilt block is made entirely from half square triangle units. I have used 2.7/8″ squares and I needed four red, six cream, two dark blue and two light blue squares.
Making the Barbara Fritchie star quilt block
Place two squares with right sides together and mark a line along the diagonal. Sew a 1/4″ seam either side of the marked line and cut along the line to produce two half square triangles. Make these in the following combinations: two cream/light blue, two cream/dark blue, two cream/red, two red/light blue.
Lay the half square triangles out as shown in four rows of four. Check with the photo as you go because it’s quite easy to place a triangle facing in the wrong direction. You can see that the central four squares form a mini pinwheel block. Sew the squares together in pairs and then fours across each row. Sew the rows together.
That completes the Barbara Fritchie star quilt block – a delightful block that is really easy to put together and can be used with bright colours to great effect.