Michigan Quilt Project
Michigan Quilt Project

Collections Main

The Kitty Clark Cole Collection

Four Eagles on Cheddar
Maker unknown
84 1/4" x 84 1/4"
MSU Museum Accession 2001:158.3
Photo by Fumio Ichikawa, all rights reserved by the MSU Museum

Among donor Kitty Clark Cole's special collecting interests are quilts with "Cheddar" fabrics and those with patriotic motifs. This quilt combines both those elements. The bright, golden-colored fabric known as "Cheddar" (because of its similarity to the color of Cheddar cheese and sometimes known as chrome orange or antimony) was a color choice popular among quilters of the last quarter of the nineteenth century.

Many members of Kitty's family have served in the military and Kitty feels that collecting quilts with patriotic motifs is a reflection of her heritage. Her collection of patriotic quilts includes designs of stars, stripes, ones honoring veterans or commemorating wars, and several featuring a four-block, eagle design.

"Four-Block Eagle" quilts usually range in date from ca. 1875 until the 1930s and have been made throughout the United States, but they seem to have been especially popular in Pennsylvania. Some textile historians think this was prompted by the 1876 Centennial Exposition, held in Philadelphia on the one hundredth anniversary of the Declaration of Independence. That event spurred many needleworkers to create items with patriotic themes.

By Mary Worrall, excerpted from American Quilts from Michigan State University Museum.


GLQC Home About GLQC Collections Exhibits Programs Publications Internships/Volunteers Quilt Index On–Line Newsletter Virtual Quilt Sponsors/Endowments Links Quilt Care Site Info Contact Us