Saturday, February 1, 2014

Princess Feather quilt block

Princess Feather or Washington's Plume
September 1, 1933-Nancy Cabot introduced her quilt pattern using the Princess Feather block today.

Nancy felt the origin of this block was a mystery but suggested "Some contend that it might have been the waving plumes of a royal princess' headdress and others that it was the flower found in old fashioned gardens called "Princess Feather."

In George Washington's day, the plume in the upper right corner was changed to a lighter color and known as Washington's Plume according to Nancy.

The pictures of her blocks that were shown in the Chicago Tribune are black and white hand drawings that often don't show much detail.  I think the Princess Feather block may be one such block.

I say this because as I find old quilts and patterns, they show a very detailed Princess Feather quilt block. There is a red and white version from the 1800's here, a red, white and green version, also from the 1800's, here and a really spectacular unusual modern version here. This version however looks most like Nancy's design.

There is a copy of a free Princess Feather quilt pattern that Mountain Mist printed on the inside of their batting wrapper here. It's more detailed than Nancy's version of the quilt block.

Again, since this is an applique block I did not make it for my sampler. It isn't particularly suited for a 6" block anyway.  There have been alot of applique blocks lately and as I look forward I see there are many more to come. I hope those of you making a sampler quilt will have time to "catch up".

As always, I suggest you make only the blocks you really love!

Tomorrow-Harrison Rose

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