Sunday, September 18, 2011

Another Eagle Quilt in a Field of Patchwork

Quilt donated to the Smithsonian Institution in 1947
attributed to members of the Brown-Frances family
 of Canterbury, Connecticut

This undated quilt is attributed to the first decades of the 19th century and may well reflect the patriotism of the War of 1812. Although the fabrics and the style are simpler than the eagle quilt in the last post the quilts have several  design ideas in common.

Both feature a central eagle drawn from the Great Seal of the United States, but this artist has few of the drawing skills shown in the chintz eagle.  The fabrics in this more primitive example have none of the flair of the imported prints in that quilt.

The central eagle floats in a field of patchwork, in this case a nine-patch block that creates a neat chained design.
The Smithsonian has another early Connecticut quilt with a similar field of patchwork. The prints are simple, dyed with blue indigos and brown vegetable dyes, perhaps printed in the United States rather than shipped from Europe or India.

The quilt was donated in the 1890s by John Brenton Copp of Stonington, Connecticut, part of a comprehensive gift of textiles and other furnishings.

Notice the shell quilting in the plain blocks, a common period pattern that lost favor as the 19th century progressed. The quilter alternated parallel diagonal lines in the blocks. 

We can buy templates but they probably used a circle of some kind, perhaps a coin.

See more about the two Connecticut quilts by clicking on these links:

A comment reminded me that Jan Patek has done an interpretation of that Smithsonian eagle at the top. See her book if you'd like a pattern.

1 comment:

Susie said...

Love the funky eagle quilt. I have made Jan Patek's pattern of flags of the revolution with this eagle featured, altho, I left the bonnet off it. Fun.