Quilt by Martha Ann Taylor from the
West Virginia project and the Quilt Index
A couple of weeks ago I posted some Princess Feather patterns on my Facebook page
I sorted through the many pictures I had. It was a very popular pattern from about 1840 to 1900. Julie Silber, Darwin Bearly and I showed some quirky versions.
From Darwin Bearly's files
But then there are the more conventional versions.
8-arms and 6-arms
from my Encyclopedia of Applique
- Princess Feather
- Feather Rose
- California Plume
- Star and Plumes
- Washington Feather
The most common versions have 8 rotating arms---geometry that fits well inside a square block.
Marie Webster showed two versions in her 1915 book and named
them both Princess Feathers, which is probably why that name is still used so much.
Her book as the oldest index has probably been the most influential.
The Ladies's Art Company also called it Princess Feather in
their early 20th century catalogs.
Although there are dozens and dozens of surviving
examples there is always something unique about each one.
Some have a floral center
Above a flower formed in the negative white space---or is it just a circle in the center?
Others have a star in the center.
From the DAR Museum's collection
From Cindy's Antiques
Six arms is another option
Unnamed woman with a quilt that won the Minnesota State Fair in 1926
From the collection of the Minnesota Historical Society.
Fat ones and thin ones....
The most important part is to get the rotation right.
Things can get awkward if the feathers are flying in different directions.
And if you get the feathers paired up like this
it's not a Princess Feather any more.
See Bearly's quilt above