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Star Puzzle

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Nora Ezell (aka Nora Lee McKeown Ezell)
American, 1919–2007

Star Puzzle


Object Type: Textile
Creation Place: North America, American, Alabama
82 1/2 in. x 72 in. (209.55 cm x 182.88 cm)
Medium and Support: Cotton and cotton/polyester blend
Accession Number: 2008.0009.0002

Credit Line: Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts Association Purchase

he Montgomery Museum of Arts’ Star Puzzle (2001) quilt is the result of several decades of practice and variation of a standard blazing star design. The original pattern, as Ms. Ezell recounts, was made in 1974 while she and her husband still lived in New Jersey. After that original was completed, Nora Ezell went on to explore at least five other variations on the design, including the MMFA’s example. With each new Star Puzzle quilt, Nora Ezell took the opportunity to change some element of the composition; either the size of the star patterns, their color and pattern, their placement within the confines of the quilt, or the borders that surround them. Some of her variations may have been refined when she began working on her Broken Star (1981) quilt in 1981, which featured a central star design surrounded by repeating elements of the points, while others may have been on-the-spot improvisations.

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