Monday, November 19, 2018


This airplane quilt was supposedly found after flying around in the tornado in Joplin, Missouri a few years ago. Let's hope it's been re-united with its owner by now.

Ragi Marino who has written the book on airplane quilts Flying High: The Airplane in Quilts used the same pattern when she made a copy of a crib quilt in her collection for the 2012 AQSG Quilt Study on Colonial Revival Quilts. Her pattern may have been the earliest of the patchwork airplanes, The Lone Eagle Quilt, designed by Emma S. Tyrrell for Successful Farming in January, 1929. The alternate block with the eagle has been done in embroidery and quilting.

Stella Rubin has one for sale with the quilted eagle.

Collector Joanna Rose showed one in her Infinite Variety show
a few years ago. It's hard to see the eagle in the quilting but it's there.

The New England Quilt Museum's airplane quilt also looks to have that quilting
but again it's hard to see.

In 1933 the Aunt Martha pattern company offered a pattern just for the plane in their catalog The Quilt Fair Comes To You. They called it Aeroplane and said "This shows the modern trend and explains how many designs originate." Copying patterns? I doubt that's what they meant but that airplane was such a good idea many pattern companies copied it.

Laura Fisher's Inventory

This pattern (with propeller in various places)
was quite popular

An all appliqued version honoring famous pilots was
sold as a block collection in an online auction a few years ago.

There's a subcategory

Kansas Project & the Quilt Index

Airplanes with circles and/or stars on the wings

International Quilt Study Center & Museum collection

From the Minnesota project & the Quilt Index
Must have been made during World War II,

From the Detroit News in the 1930s
Sent in by a reader of their pattern feature.

The News had their own pattern for
their quilt club, a fat little plane with a triangular tail.

This design (BlockBase #902) was published by
several sources.

With its nine-patch format it was a popular pattern.

Add a wide white sashing and blue corner squares
to create nine patches.

Texas project & the Quilt Index
Friends of  Ophelia Parker Bloys signed blocks with appliqued propellers for
a bridal shower quilt in 1939.

From Julie Silber's inventory. Blocks on the diagonal.

Massachusetts project & the Quilt Index
Planes on the diagonal, blocks on the straight.

Capper's Weekly published this pattern with a pieced propeller in 1930.
BlockBase #903.

 The Kansas City Star copied it in 1940.
This is one of the first quilts I made, and an article about airplane patterns is one of the first I published for Quilters' Newsletter in the 1970s.

A friendship quilt from 1933-1937 Claudell Grade School


  1. The New England Quilt Museum's Lone Eagle quilt does have the eagle hand quilted into the plain alternate blocks.
    Laura Lane
    Collections Manager at the New England Quilt Museum

    1. Hi Laura,Would you by any chance have any idea how many Lucky lindy/ lone eagle quilts were made in that time period ?Thank you .