Several quilters commented on Rail Fence Star. I found it in some patterns from Wallace's Farmer. In the early 1900s there were many publications with Farmer in the title. These were supposed to help bring culture to rural areas. Although they published excerpts from classic literature and fictional stories, they also had a needlecraft column. There was real purpose was to get advertising to those in rural areas.
They usually included a few quilt patterns every month...mostly traditional blocks. There weren't any directions and it was assumed that the reader already knew how to make a quilt. The Rail Fence Star I found was just a small drawing on a partial sheet of paper. When I saw it I fell in love immediately.
The past several weeks I have been working on Nancy Cabot blocks. The name was a pseudonym used by the Chicago Tribune for Loretta Lightner Reising (spelling?). This was common in the 30's. I think like the movie stars the paper wanted their columnist to have simple, easy to remember names. So far I have cataloged 980 blocks. Some are traditional patterns and some were newly designed, but the most incredible were the applique patterns. I have not seen quilts made of these patterns and would love to make a sampler of some of the ones I like the best. My hands and shoulder may not be up to it, but I will give it a go. I traced many of these patterns and have included a couple of pages here.
Yippee! My border fabric came for my Rail Fence quilt. Hope to have the complete top to show soon.