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GREEN RIVER  
ANTIQUE GEOMETRIC QUILT DESIGNS * GOOSE TRACKS (VARIATIONS)
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Goose Tracks, Hudson River, NYC
GOOSE TRACKS
Hudson River, Ebb Tide
Quilt Notes: GOOSE TRACKS imitates the prints made by the spade-like webbed feet of geese, crisscrossing in the sand. The traditional design is illustrated upper left, the rendering upper right is a variation, lending more interest to the tiling pattern and providing a built in sash. The design derives from the Carrie Hall collection, 1935, illustrated online at the University of Kansas Spencer Museum of Art (shows piecing layout, opens in new window).

In print the pattern dates back to the Ladies Art Company Catalogue, #156, published in 1897. The basic layout (upper left) is similar to the more famous DAVID AND GOLIATH pattern. also called FOUR DARTS, except that the sections brought forward via dark and light differ dramatically (see Barbara Brackman's ENCYCLOPEDIA OF PIECED QUILT DESIGNS #1950, p.247).

Geese have all sorts of incarnations in quilt designs. If you bookmark this site, you'll see a favicon comprised of two equal triangles pointing upward, the archetype for FLYING GEESE, and from there all sorts of variations have evolved. But GOOSE TRACKS keeps us down to earth. See the photo left taken along the Hudson River, tracks can be discerned just behind the goose in the sand. There is a famous Zen poem, which combines the idea of tracks on land with the route birds like geese take in the air. It is composed of the simplest of images, like any good design, quite beautifully:

Water birds
coming and going —
their traces disappear
but they never
forget their path.

~ Zen Master Dogen

Compare at this site with:
SNAIL'S TRAIL
MIGRATION SOUTH
STARRY PATH

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