Sunday, March 4, 2012

Eagles on Quilts

Early fabric with Eagle motif.

At the time the eagle was selected to represent the new nation (June 20, 1782), apparently it was believed that the eagle existed only on the American continent.

There are many myths and legends associated with the eagle.

Even Ben Franklin got involved!

Cowan Auctions. Click here for source.

I admire people who have big visions and take on big challenges. Susan Wildemuth is one of those people.

1930s iconography.

Susan contacted me in December 2010 to ask if I would be interested in taking part in a very special project near and dear to her heart, her "Eagle Motif Wallhanging Decade by Decade Project."

WWII patriotic transfer patterns.

Sue wrote me, "I was walking one day and an idea occurred to me to commission wallhangings – decade by decade traditional or art wallhangings with eagle motifs by quilt artists and/or historians whose work I admire to add to my collection of eagle quilts. The more I thought about that the more I loved the idea.  I took a chance and approached my first quilt artist, designer, and historian and that dear soul said yes….. "

An eBay woven coverlet.

"How large is this quilt supposed to be," I asked? "I haven’t made a quilt since 2002! And that was my first completed quilt since 1989! I know I wouldn’t be up to anything more than a very small quilt and, even at that, I do not have the same quilting skills I used to have."

Freeman Auctioneers as seen on their website a year ago.  Click here to visit their website.

She wrote back that the only critieria was that it not be larger than 24x24 and that it have an eagle somewhere in it. "The sky is the limit -- really it is," she wrote.

Yippee! I don't have top make points match, was my first reaction! Honest, I had been wanting to make something for a long time but didn’t have the guts to get started. This project was my catalyst for it had a deadline. And I loved the idea of selecting a decade and trying to interpret it!

18th century Chinese famille rose porcelain plate made for the American market, circa 1780

"I’ll take the 1780s," I wrote back. And so the work began. The letter I sent with the quilt when I shipped it to Sue in June 2011 reveals my process. The images that inspired me are sprinkled through-out this post with links to their source when I could track them down.

I my next post I will show you the results.

Keep those needles flying!

Karen in the Islands

Patriotic Textiles at Goldberg Coins and Collectibles Auctioneers
c. 1907 and 1908. Two textiles, both
printed by Schwab & Wolf of New York. 


  1. what an exciting project! I can't wait to see the results!

  2. Love eagle quilts. Thanks for the post.

    1. I am glad you enjoyed the post, Susie. Thank you for dropping by and taking the time to leave a comment.