Back in 1994, I had a major obsession with red and green quilts. It started when the Quilt World December '88 magazine ran a 1860's design of the Princess Feather in its traditional four block design. The front cover had an older woman in a moppet hat sitting and quilting this beauty with a hoop in her lap.
I had admired the quilt for six years before I finally started the applique. I was quick to finish one block, then, years went by without the ambition to complete the remaining three blocks.
A few years ago I decided the last three blocks just weren't going to happen. That is when I had a brainstorm to just put the one feather star block on point and fill in the outer corners with half square triangles.
While I enjoy this quilt, especially during the holidays when red and green fills the house, I still think about the original quilt design.
This past fall, while I was browsing through Etsy, I came across a red and green quilt from southwestern Ohio. I think I only looked at it for two seconds before I "clicked" the purchase tab. The classic four blocks of the Princess Feather in red and green could still make my heart skip a beat.
Barbara Brackman discusses the history of sewing machines in American Patterns of Progress: Quilts in the Machine Age. Woman who were fortunate enough to have a sewing machine wanted to display their skills and machine quilted their quilts. This quilt was sure to have been a family treasure.
Look closely at the binding. It was also applied by machine!
I admire this early quilter. She was skilled with her machine and she didn't hesitate to put her beautiful applique workmanship under the needle.
A Christmas treasure for our family for many years to come!