I feel very productive this evening. After dinner, I went downstairs and completed the sixth block of the American Beauty BOM. Then I cut the fabric for the Clay's Choice block and spent the remainder of the time hand quilting the big UFO. Progress somewhere! Yay!
I figured there would be some record of the Clay's Choice block since I kept running into the block over the past few weeks. I did find some alternate names for it in The Quilter's Album of Patchwork Patterns: 4050 Pieced Blocks for Quilters, so it has been around for a while. It seems to have shown up first in the Ladies Art Company Catalog in 1897 as Shooting Star. In 1929, Ruth Finley called it Clay's Choice, Harry's Star, Henry of the West, and Star of the West. Nancy Cabot, called it Clay's Favorite in the December 13, 1937 Chicago Tribune. She had previously published it under the name Henry's Star in that same newspaper on April 5, 1933. Other names for it have been Meteor Quilt (from an unidentified newspaper clipping, date unknown), The Star of Bethlehem (The Farmer's Advocate, April 27, 1933), and Stardust Quilt (Nancy Page, Birmingham News, December 7, 1937).
The block appears to be a tribute to Henry Clay, as cited in the Quilter's Muse Virtual Museum and various other sites.
You can download a free pattern for this block at Red Rooster Quilts or at Quilt Genie.
I am looking forward to getting this block pieced, probably that relates to it being a kind of star block.
We are "looking forward" to several inches of snow over the next two days, so maybe I'll get some more quilting time!