Thursday, July 5, 2018

Eagle in Mysterious Blue Dots

Eagle with reverse applique
and rather unusual talons.

This eagle of polka-dotted, navy blue print is in the corners of a four-block Princess Feather quilt in the International Quilt Study Center & Museum, from the Linda Giesler Carlson and Dr. John V. Carlson collection.

Last month at the Covered in Blue event at IQSC we got a closeup look.

Right away the blue print bothered the group examining it.
We'd seen a LOT of 19th-century indigo blue prints with dots over the weekend.
But this print was different.
Too purple for one thing. Too many dots per square inch.
It's hard to put a visual reaction into words.
The print just did not match the pattern and set which were so elegantly
19th century.
The print looked 1940s....

1938 Sears catalog

The eagle with his odd appendages and reverse applique---so 19th-century.

Perhaps a mid-20th century copy of a 19th-century quilt?

But then Barb Garrett wondered if it was not a 20th-century repair to a a 19th-century quilt. Some industrious stitcher had covered every patch of an antique quilt with new (sort of) similar fabric. Even doing the reverse applique.

What was underneath the blue polka dot?

It will remain a mystery.

IQSCM has another four-block quilt with the eagle in the border, this one
date-inscribed 1849, made by Lydia Ann Herman from the Dillow collection.

See more about this gawky eagle at a post a few years ago.


  1. That is such an interesting find! I wonder if you can xray like they do mummies to find out what is undernearht?

  2. Those eagle feet are just too weird. I'm sure they were easier to sew but they just look so clunky. Maybe the feet were on a branch and the branch was cut smaller originally. And then it kept being copied. I guess I won't loose any sleep over it but it just makes me shake my head.

  3. I think it's the Ironing Eagle. He is clutching an iron in each talon!!

  4. Glad you "eagle eyes" were able to figure things out! Wish I'd been able to come up there after MOKA. Thanks for sharing part of the experience with us.