Star with various chintzes from about 1800
Some of the earliest blocks feature right angle triangles and their cousins, stars pieced of right angle triangles.
Sawtooth Star alternating with chintz blocks sold at Christies.
Many call this star a Sawtooth Star today. It's #2138 in my Encyclopedia of Pieced Quilt Patterns with the name Sawtooth referenced as from Farm & Fireside magazine in 1884. The Ladies' Art Company published it as Evening Star a few years later. In 1935 Carrie Hall called it Variable Star.
This quilt in the collection of the American Museum in Bath is dated in the late 18th century. The date has been damaged but it might be 1770s.
Quilt dated 1820 by Sophia Hooker
Briscoe Center for American History,
University of Texas at Austin
See the Quilt Index photo here:
This star is a nine-patch with a proportionately larger center square---the center square is twice as large as the corner squares.
One could turn the stars on point and vary the shading.
And link them in rows for borders and strips.
And add more shapes. This one with the Turkey red points and am extra yellow square in the center square might be about 1830-1850. Quilters continued to vary the variable star over the years, but the early versions tend to be simple.
An Ohio Star?
From Connecticut's Stratford Historical Society
See the full quilt in a Quilt Index photo here:
Another common star is the variation based on a nine-patch with 3 equal divisions. The square in the center is equal to the square in the corners. This star is #1631 in the Encyclopedia with many names, perhaps the earliest published name being Mosaic Patchwork #1 in Saward & Caulfeild's 1882 Dictionary of Needlework from England. Carrie Hall called it Ohio Star and that name has stuck. It seems just a simple step from the ubiquitous Broken Dishes to this design.
From Colonial Williamsburg.
This star is often seen set on point.
See the URL for more at the bottom of this page.
From the Washington (NH) Historical Society
Quilt dated 1811 with a Hewson panel in the center.
Collection of the Cincinnati Art Museum
Stars alternating with a striped toile from Skinner Auctions.
The third common star variation is pieced of diamonds (#3735). It was called Star or Eight-Pointed Star in the 1890 era publications, names too generic for Ruth Finley who called it The Star of LeMoyne in 1929.
Smyrna, DE in 1806
Here it is as a medallion border in a quilt dated 1806 in The Delaware Historical Society, the earliest dated example I've seen so far of either the simple star of the complex Star of Bethlehem. See more here:
So if one had some fabulous fabric and wanted to do an early reproduction--- a simple eight-pointed star would be a good choice.
Sophia's Star by Carol Gilham Jones
An AQSG study by Claire McKarns
Another of Claire's small stars.
Roseanne Smith was inspired by an antique shown above to make this star of William Morris reproduction prints.
Evening Star & Bouquet