Wednesday, April 27, 2022

Flying Geese-Wild Goose Chase


Mark French Antiques
Classic quilt in the Wild Goose Chase or Flying Geese design.

The earliest publication I've been able to find is the Ladies' Art Company,
which called the pattern Wild Goose Chase in their end-of-the-19th-century catalog.
They seem to have the proportions wrong.

Something I echoed in BlockBase & The Encyclopedia of Pieced Quilt Patterns.
The triangle should be a right angle HST.

Like this one attributed to Abba May Alcott in the collection of Orchard House in Massachusetts.

Date-inscribed 1847

The earliest date-inscribed example in the files is this one associated with Samuel B Cleaver in the 
Brooklyn Museum's Collection. Dawn at Collector With a Needle took a detail shot a few years ago when it was on display.

Possibly from the Cleaver family who lived in this house Linden Hall in Port Penn, Delaware

Massachusetts Project & the Quilt Index

The files have several examples from about 1840 with the strips offering a good place to recycle some old chintz curtains perhaps.

This one may be a little earlier---1830s?

Garth Auctioneers

Rhode Island Project
Collection of the Babcock Smith House

International Quilt Museum

Or some samples.

Connecticut Project---that's a stripe in the alternate plain strip.


Beth Donaldson of the Quilt Index suggested this one from
Merry Silber's collection be included. Purple perfection.

Observation indicates the pattern originated
about 1840 with the new abundance of cotton prints, favored by New Englanders.

The design became a national pattern

With variations

Triple Strips

Another early one from Indiana University's Museum

With the Prussian blue prints so popular in the 1840's & '50s.

Connecticut Project

About 1900

South Carolina project, attributed to Hattie Jones Sutton 
of Georgia, late 19th century

And then there are variations within the geese...

Hepzibah Prentice, Genesee County, New York
Mid - 19th

Maybe 1850-1875

New York project

I suppose anything that makes a right triangle could be a goose.

And then I remembered I'd made this reproduction quilt years ago.


  1. https://quiltindex.org//view/?type=fullrec&kid=12-8-1365 this one was donated to the Michigan State University Museum by Julie's Mom & Dad, Merry & Albert Silber.

  2. The quilt you attribute to the Massachusetts Documentation Project #5166 is in the collection of the New England Quilt Museum: 2005.05