Tuesday, July 5, 2016

A Gawky Eagle and a Coxcomb

For the Fifth of July: an eagle with a wardrobe problem.

 Platform shoes?

1) Eagle medallion from the collection of Deb Grana and Sharon Waddell

You may have admired this medallion at last year's
Vermont Quilt Festival.

I have seen those shoes before.
#2               #3

2) Note the eagles north and south in the borders of this
coxcomb quilt that Laura Fisher advertised in The Clarion in 1999.

3) A twin recently posted on eBay with four eagles.

4) A triplet sold at Cowan's Auctions in 2014

Eagle with reverse applique and anatomy difficulties.

Grana/Waddell feather (1)

All four quilts also have a feather with reverse applique.

In three quilts the feather is part of what we'd call a coxcomb, perhaps.
It's a relatively popular 19th-century applique design with a lot of variation.

But here it is with the same flourish to fill out the square block...

Some kind of vegetation with a reverse applique heart
A quilt from Stella Rubin  (pictured in a 1988 Quilt Engagement Calendar) with the same flourish
and the same bird as Number 2 above.

The pattern is indexed in my Encyclopedia of Applique. Variations are 43.7, cockscomb or coxcomb.

The Ladies Home Journal in 1908 called it The Olive Branch.

The pattern parts must have been passed around a good deal.
Add an eagle or not.


See more about my Encyclopedia of Applique here:


  1. Could there have been small town quilting groups who met in grange halls or something similar who would have shared such patterns? Surely they had access to the proper image of an eagle even if they had never seen one in person. Or perhaps it was just easier to give the eagle a blocked foot.

  2. To see another example see this Facebook group, Quilts Vintage and Antique.