Monday, December 26, 2016

Mountain Mist's Princess Feather

Grace McCance Snyder, dated 1953
This Princess Feather variation was Grace Snyder's last quilt. She used a Mountain Mist design called Princess Feather. It's identifiable by the sashing pieced of squares and the circles appliqued onto the feathers.

The Mountain Mist pattern from inside a quilt batting wrapper.
Picture from the Quilt Index.

I don't have a date when Stearns & Foster published this but I'd guess the 1930s.

The International Quilt Study Center & Museum has one
obviously made from that pattern.

A similar quilt advertised as "A Bird's Head" in an online auction.

From the Briscoe Center, Anita Murphy collection

This quilt is from the Mountain Mist Historical Quilt collection.
It looks like an end-of-the-19th century quilt that they
copied for their 20th century design.

A glimpse of a similar vintage design.
No sashing.

Donna Johnson, Michigan 2002. Quilt Index
Donna used the Mountain Mist pattern and designed her own border.

The Mountain Mist design is NOT in my Encyclopedia of Applique.
On page 83 you could write it in as 15.35, Princess Feather

Right next to the very similar 15.4 
Ben Hur's Chariot Wheel

That pattern was designed by Carrie Hall. Here's a photo of her 25" block from the Spencer Museum of Art. It looks like Carrie modified the Mountain Mist design and gave it a dramatic new name.

From Hall and Kretsinger's book Romance of the Patchwork Quilt in America (1935)

Hall left off the dot and added a piece (purple here).

You could probably make a block from the two photos above.

Read a little more about the name "Chariot Wheel" at this blog post.

Linda Pumphrey has a new book Mountain Mist Historical Quilts, updating 14 of the Mountain Mist designs, but I don't think the Princess Feather is one of them. 

Quilt for sale at Woodard & Greenstein's online shop.


  1. I know finding every quilt pattern ever made is probably an impossible task. Are you planning another book with patterns you've found since the first books (both the applique & patchwork books) were published?

  2. No books planned. I'm hoping the world wide web is a better format for documenting patterns.

  3. My understanding is that the pattern name Princess Feather was a misspelling of Prince's Feathers, named after the heraldic feathers or plumes motif of the English Prince Regent who ruled England in the early 1800's...and the quilt pattern derived from this, kept the name thru to modern times.

  4. That's certainly a romantic story but there are other possible sources for the names. I think it might be more related to Bertie the Prince of Wales, Victoria's son who became King Edward VII. He came to the US in about 1860 and was quite a celebrity traveler. I am working on a post about more names---will post it soon.