Quilters have always looked to the world around them for inspiration for their quilts: plants, animals, birds, houses, ships, etc. For quilters in the 20th century another inspiration appeared: airplanes.
Despite the poor quality of online photographs, I decided to purchase the small airplane quilt which is my study quilt. It had been acquired by the seller from her neighbors when they moved. She was told that it was made in 1926 in North Canton, Ohio for the wife’s brother, by their mother.
When the quilt arrived, it turned out to be very badly faded, thus the poor photographs. However, imagine my surprise to see that it was almost identical to the crib version of earliest “true” airplane pattern I found during extensive research on airplane quilts! The pattern is described in detail in the January 1929 issue of Successful Farming in “The Lone Eagle Quilt” by Emma S. Tyrell. She designed the quilt to honor Charles Lindbergh, the “Lone Eagle,” and the airplane in which he made his May 1927 transatlantic flight, the Spirit of St. Louis. So, I have not only the study quilt, but the pattern that was likely used to make it. Because of the date of the article, and the fact that despite much research I have yet to find an earlier version, I suspect my study quilt was made in 1929 rather than 1926. I have seen numerous quilts of this pattern, but this is the only one of crib size.