“Mariner’s Compass is the name quilters use to refer to star designs that radiate from the center of a circle as opposed to the star designs that grow from a square, like Ohio Star or Sawtooth Star. If you are going to call your design a Mariner’s Compass it should probably have 16 or 32 points like the compass card on a magnetic compass or a map.
It’s not surprising that the Mariner’s Compass pattern is one of the earliest quilt patterns. The design is a very old one. Before the compass was available early mariners depended on a wind chart called the wind rose. Though not always reliable it was the best that could be done before the magnetic compass came into use in the late 13th century.
For some time after sailors still depended on the winds, as they didn’t completely trust the magnetic compass. During this time the wind rose gradually evolved into the compass rose on nautical maps. The compass rose continued to be a useful decorative feature on charts and maps for the next few centuries. It’s likely that quilters were inspired by the varied designs used to depict the compass rose over time. The first known quilt to use the Mariner’s Compass design was made in 1726 in England.
As I am working on my current quilt,”Love & Joy”
I reflect on the meanings of these quilts and the love that goes into them… I need strength and direction…..
I am struggling today,
and will walk my laps either at the lake or the Rec Center if it is raining.