Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Fold, Shape, Stellate

I was catching up on some Independence Day reading today and came across a story about Betsy Ross and the making of the first American flag I don't remember hearing before.

According to the tale, several members of the Continental Congress (including George Washington) made a secret trip to Ross's upholstery shop and asked if she would create the first American flag according to their plans. Betsy agreed, but pointed out that the six-pointed stars the group wanted were more difficult to make than five-pointed ones. She used a sheet of paper to demonstrate, folding it and making one cut to prove her point. The group agreed to change the design, and history was made.

I was intrigued by this easy way to produce a star, and wanted to find out how it was done. I got the answer to my question on the 5-Pointed Star in One Snip section of the Betsy Ross Homepage. I grabbed a piece of paper from the recycling bin, cut it to the right size, and got started.

The Website had detailed directions and great illustrations, so making a star was easy to do, even for me. After I'd finished the nine steps, I ended up with a perfectly symmetrical star.  Unfortunately, since I'd chosen to use recycling paper, my star had information about filing for unemployment on the back, so I placed it back in the bin. I'll remember this for next time I need to make a good-looking star, though!


  1. In grade school, I remember thinking it was so cool that I shared her name! I was the only Betsy I knew...even in my entire school! :)

  2. Interesting information, Kathy!

  3. This is interesting, now I'm thinking that I should try this because I've always wanted to make a unique quilt and one with stars would be so pretty with the right combination of materials. I'll just add that to my list of things I'd like to do one day! ;-)

  4. This was a fun bit of history to learn. Upholstery shop? Can you just picture George Washington talking to Ross and discussing the design?