From 1928 to 1961, The Kansas City Star left an indelible imprint on the history of American quilt-making. In those years, the newspaper published more than 1,000 quilt patterns that have since become legend. For the first time, these patterns are now available for your computer, carefully reconstructed exclusively for The Star and Quilt-Pro Systems by Debby Kratovil. Create your favorite Star Blocks and Quilts by printing foundations and templates with Block Factory. You can print your blocks on your computer any size you want, any time you want. Block Factory makes it easy and fun.
Complete Index of The Kansas City Star Patterns 1928-1961
The original Kansas City Star patterns appeared as line drawings in newsprint many years ago. Quilters gladly clipped out these blocks, week by week, intending to not only some day sew them but also to keep their own collection of paper patterns. Contemporary quilters are still discovering boxes full of these clippings that a long gone quilter had so lovingly assembled into a notebook or other archival method. But not all the collections are complete. Remember, these patterns appeared faithfully in the Kansas City Star newspapers from 1928 well into 1961. That's 34 years of dedicated collecting!
In recent years a renewed interest in the Kansas City Star patterns has sent various determined quilters to hunt down and compile the complete series. It is wonderful to see these collections, most just simple photocopies of the original newspaper patterns. But what has been discovered along the way is that the original drafted patterns weren't always accurate. The experienced quilter could always make a sample block and then adjust the templates for a more precise pattern. Also, yesterday's quilter many times didn't own a sewing machine or just preferred hand piecing. Today's quilter loves all the simplified methods of the rotary cutter and quick strips. But it is also true that today's quilter doesn't always enjoy setting in a lot of funny angles and odd shapes.
In my quest to not only catalog these blocks for easy archival access on my computer but to also redraft them for quilting, I discovered that the limitations of a software program may not always allow me to create EXACT replications of the originals. But I also didn't want to sew them as they were originally intended. As a quilter with over 35 years of sewing experience and 5 years as a quilt magazine editor, I have learned to streamline many quilt blocks for easier piecing. The resulting block looks identical to its original; the road traveled to get to the block was just shorter and easier!
In our endeavor to present to today's quilter these Star patterns in computer format, we kept first and foremost in our minds that we wanted to offer USABLE blocks. To view these blocks on your computer screen, in color and in reproduction fabrics, is a feast! They first appeared in black and white and quilters were given fabric and coloring suggestions, but contemporary quilters have become very used to seeing quilts in all their colorful glory. But, beyond just viewing the blocks, we want you to be able to make them. Of course, our software enables you to, with the click of a mouse, make your selected block in any size. And my redrafting of these blocks took some artistic liberties so that you would WANT to sew them. We don't want you to not only look at our colored renditions. We want you to feel confident enough to sew them. We have eliminated some set in seams. We have straightened out others. We have added appliqué pieces where the original pattern had a very odd curve or jagged piece for a template.
The computer has been heralded as the most revolutionary machine since the first printing press. It is meant to simplify our day to day activities. Today's quilters live very full and busy lives. We want all the quilting time we can grab. We don't want to be slowed down with archaic methods. If we can piece a block, accurately AND quickly, we are the happiest of all. Welcome to the world of quilting where yesterday and today meet to give you the best of both - - time-honored patterns in a timely fashion.
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