Chicksaw Legend - Bright Moon and Blue Jay by Laura C Gilmartin

Chicksaw Legend – Bright Moon and Blue Jay

Laura C. Gilmartin

Stafford, Virginia, USA

Artist Statement

In looking for Native American Legends, I happened upon the Legend of Bright Moon and Blue Jay. Bright Moon was the Chief’s daughter, and Blue Jay was a young warrior that loved Bright Moon, a love that was reciprocated. The Chief didn’t like Blue Jay so he gave him an impossible challenge. Blue Jay had to kill a rare white deer. Blue Jay did find a white deer, shot him in the heart, but the deer didn’t die. It’s eyes turned fiery red and he attacked Blue Jay. Bright Moon was heartbroken when Blue Jay didn’t return. Every full moon, she saw in the fire, a white deer with an arrow, running. She hoped every time, that this time, the white deer would die and her beloved Blue Jay would come back to her. The white deer hide was treasured for brides, a color wedding dress that persists today.

The lasting, albeit tragic love story inspired me to create this quilt. I tried to portray all of the legend in the vignettes. The bright full moon is what binds the story together. Bright Moon never married. A love story for all ages.


Machine applique, fusible applique, Trapunto, thread painting, domestic free motion quilting, hand beading and embroidery.


Wool roving, Swarovski hot fix crystals, embroidery floss, bridal netting, Dream Quilt wool and blend batting, Angelina fibers, embossing foil, cotton, rayon and holoshimmer thread, natural stone beads, quality cotton.