I first saw this block design in a library book soon after I started quilting 1984-1985, but have never seen it made up, probably because it would have been very tedious to do as a hand appliqué.
It was described as ‘modern’ in the 1920s—1930s.
That is about the only information I have found about the pattern, but at least I found that information in two books I have in my personal library.
I scribbled a few variations on scraps of paper in 1984 and put it in the too hard basket. Every so often I would think about it and put more scraps into other too hard baskets.
During the unpacking at Bordertown in 2004 I collated all the scraps of paper, and also had some scraps of fabric with fusible webbing already fused on to them. I needed a quick quilt fix before the unpacking was finished and cut out the beads and found a scrap of homespun just big enough for a table runner.
In 2005 a quilt using the original block with alternate plain blocks was published in a magazine, the first reference I have seen made to it in twenty years other than it being included in block collections. However, it was still done in traditional hand applique.
With modern fusible techniques it was so much quicker to do, I started three more projects almost straight away, including this one.
Then this one.