Friday, November 21, 2014

Lovely To See Progress!

Still working on my Eagle quilt! It's quite the process as the plan seems to be changing all the time.
Working on my Eagle Quilt
It's definitely turning out to be different than I expected but in a good way I think. I wrote more about it over at my blog if you're interested in the details. For now I'm just happy to see progress!

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

I have just finished tying this requires binding yet. 

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Getting Started On the Centerpiece

I'm so excited about all the unique eagle projects we have going on here! Love that they will all be so varied and different. As personalized as the quilters working on them! I started the prep work on my centerpiece earlier in the week. Still have a little more to get figured out, but the eagle has to be appliqued down first, so I consider this real progress!
Starting my centerpiece
I like to cut out tricky applique pieces like the eagle wings by tracing the pattern onto freezer paper, cutting it out and then ironing the shape directly onto the top of my fabric. I used to leave the freezer paper on as I stitched (around) it to the background, but no longer. Now I just pull the paper up and pin it into place.
Prep work for the applique
I kept fussing with the bottom of the eagle trying to get things centered, but then I realized my original isn't even centered. Okay, enough of that! I'm still crossing my eyes at the red center (shield) on my eagle too. Do I want it to look this patriotic or not? I think I'll wait a bit before I start stitching in case I change my mind and go with a different color.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Hi everyone, I'm Mary, and I think I like this Eagle Quilt from Piece O' Cake Designs: I think this is the one! Now to start on it!! Hugs, Mary

Thursday, September 11, 2014

An Eagle Series?

I haven't started an Eagle Quilt yet, but 
I seem to be seeing eagles everywhere! 
I've always wanted to make this Jo Morton quilt.
(Banner Day book)

And I have the panel needed to make this Jo Morton quilt.
(Banner Day book)

This Kim Diehl pattern is also on my list!
(Simple Season's book)

My friend Julierose reminded me about this one in American Patchwork and Quilting magazine.
(October 2002)

Maybe a quilt of just eagles?
(Nancy Kirk collection)

And right outside my sewing room window, the eagle watches!!
(wish it was a better photo--taken through the glass window and it was raining!)
I think I see a series of Eagle Quilts in my future!

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Appetizer - Still on the Menu!

I started this eagle embroidery project at the end of July as a warm up for my main Quilt Like An Eagle project.  I thought this would be a quick project, but that was an optimistic assumption!  I finished the embroidery last week, but did not have a chance to start the piecing aspect of the project until this weekend.
The postage stamp squares finish at 1 inch.  I plan to add two strips of 1 inch blocks to either side, creating a postage stamp frame.  I was originally thinking of hand quilting this, but I don't like hand quilting through so many seams.  I'm just making this up as I go along, so I'll make that decision later!

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Ever Vigilant

I've been wanting to do a version of this quilt for years, so I'm happy to have the motivation of a sew-along! 
I was first drawn to this quilt when Quilter's Newsletter published this pattern in 2002.
It uses the center motif of an early 19th century quilt. 

In 2005, Quilter's Newsletter published an article about this quilt.
It was inspired by the previously published pattern, but this quilter did some research and based her version more closely on the original. 

This is a photo of the original quilt.
 The quilt is made from hemp, as so has become known as the Marijuana quilt!

Barbara Brackman wrote about this quilt several years ago HERE. As Barbara points out, Jan Patek has a version of the same eagle in her book Flags of the American Revolution--you can see it on the cover:

Flags of the American Revolution
I have this book on the way--it was a Bobbins Bargain a couple weeks ago.
There is also some information on the quilt from the National Museum of American History HERE.
I'm not sure how my version will end up, but I will be doing the Eagle center similar to the Ever Vigilant version. 
The pattern from the magazine needs to be enlarged, so I am off to Office Depot!

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Eagle Thoughts

One of the things that has kept me interested in quilting for the past 25 years is the relationship between quilts and history.  Not only do quilts have their own history, but they also reflect the life and times of the women who made them.

As I began to think about what type of eagle quilt I would make, I also started to wonder about the history and symbolism of eagle quilts.

I have been going through my quilt library, searching out eagle quilts with an eye for history and design.  One of my favorite resources is All Flags Flying, by Robert Bishop and Carter Houck.
The book was published in 1986 in conjunction with the Great American Quilt Contest.  The first half of the book is devoted to antique patriotic quilts while the second half features patriotic quilts that were created for a quilting contest sponsored by Scotchgard.  If you're interested in the backstory of the eagle quilts you've seen on Pinterest, many of them are here.
This eagle quilt is from the Shelburne Museum and is attributed to Lydia Stafford, who was thought to have made it during the first half of the 1800s.  According to the text in the book, there are other quilts similar to this one, so it is possible there was actually a pattern for the quilt.
Fast forward 150 years or so, and another generation of quilters are inspired by Lydia Stafford's quilt!  "Warrior Eagle" was made by Jean Pearson Stanclift and the pattern appears in Barbara Brackman's book, Civil War Women.

The eagle quilts that fascinate me the most are the four block quilts with mirror image eagles.  Barbara Brackman discusses them in a blog entry entitled Eagles and Eccentricities.   I am amazed by all the variations in the pattern - each quilter seemed to adapt the idea to her own tastes, interests and skills.  I created a Pinterest board dedicated to cataloging as many of the four block eagle quilts as possible.
My current favorite is from the Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Folk Art Museum.  I read about this particular version in All Flags Flying, where the description piqued my imagination:  "the eagles wear crowns and apparently smoke cigars".  The online catalog description of the quilt is not quite so fanciful!  
Quilters are still interested in making this pattern.  Karen is planning to make a version published by Barbara Brackman.  I found another version in one of my books, America's Heritage Quilts, from Better Homes and Gardens.  The "Eagles Union Quilt" is attributed to Sarah Winters, Pennsylvania, circa 1876. 

I think I have found my eagle quilt inspiration - now I just need to decide how I will personalize my quilt!



Friday, July 25, 2014

My eagle choice

I have decided on this lovely quilt from Lori Smith.  I am sure I have most of the wool and I think I have enough of the black for the backgrounds too.  I will use a cotton background and wool for the applique.  I ordered the pattern this morning so I will be stalking the mailbox for the next week or so.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Deciding On A Eagle Pattern

I looked through my patterns and books and found many eagle patterns to choose from.  I plan on making two quilts.  One from a Barbara Brackman design and one from a Jan Patek pattern.

Hereis  Barbara's design that I like.  The blocks are large.  Thirty-six inches and I don't like handling that much fabric for hand applique.  But I have loved this design for quite some time.
And here are some tentative fabric selections.  I can't start for another two or three weeks so plenty of time to think about it.

I also am going to participate in a sew-along with Lori of Humble Quilts making Jan Patek's American Revolution flag quilt design.
I have had the eagle cut out for a good while now but had not done any of the needle turn applique stitching.
I do not want to peel off the freezer paper to get a better picture of the eagle fabric.  You can see it in the arc piece above it.

I look forward to seeing others create their eagle quilts.
Log Cabin Quilter

Friday, July 18, 2014

An eagle has landed

Here's my eagle block. He's quite neutral. I am not adding arrows or flowers or text or any color but putting him away until I work on the flower blocks that surround him.
The pattern that I'd ordered is for a wool quilt...and while I liked the colors in the quilt, I'd probably never be able to create such a color scheme without either purchasing wool, or all new fabric, which I don't want to do :)  By stopping now, I can come back to him in the end and decide if I want to leave him be or add anything else.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Getting Started on My Eagle Quilt

Okay, here it is, the rough draft of my eagle centerpiece! I have been drawing (and re-drawing again and again) until I got the basic 'feel' for what the center of my quilt will be. In applique of course!
My proposed eagle head...
 I made the mistake of asking my husband and daughters opinion, whether or not my drawing looked like an eagle. Whoa... Bad mistake. My wings weren't in proportion, the head looked like a seagull, too friendly looking and on and on. They were being SO helpful and I did need to change things up (boy did I ever--that's exactly why I asked), but wowsers. It's really hard to explain that I wanted something 'representational'! Why is that word so hard to explain when it comes to quilting? I took some of their advice though, wearing out an eraser or two and ended up with this.
And the proposed eagle body....
I'm not an artist and would never pretend to be. Pretty sure the art teacher actively disliked me in school! But eventually I'm going to be working with fabric, trying for a folk art look. The details won't be 'just right' or anywhere near perfect and I really wouldn't want even want them to be! The thing is, I know that if I draw up the picture myself, with pencil in hand (from an image I see in my head), then I'm much more likely to end up with a me quilt. That's a lot of I's and me's. Here's hoping it works.*wink

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

I have finally decided what I'll be doing. Aside from looking around at eagle quilts myself, the Pinterest boards and links provided here kept me thinking about what I'd like to make for days. There's so much inspiration on this site alone! :)

In the end, I downloaded a very simple prim / folk art pattern from Leisure Arts. It is a Pat Sloan pattern, just 2.99, and while I could have drawn it myself since it was simple, for 2.99 I purchased it. Having said that, I am not going to make her wall hanging quilt, but will use that eagle as a base for some sort of red, white and blue table runner.

Lori Smith has a four eagle applique pattern as well as a medallion with an eagle in the middle, called "Elizabeth's Pride."  I really liked that pattern but talked myself out of it since it would be a big project. How would I get it done in a year along with the other things that I am working on? I couldn't get it out of my mind, though. I just kept going back to it I have ordered it. I love the color scheme and everything about it. She has free shipping if you order via the Postal Service, which I did, so I expect that it will arrive within a week or so.

That pattern can be viewed HERE if you'd like to see it.

I have various fabrics in these shades and colors so aside from the pattern, I don't think that I'll need to purchase anything else, for awhile at least.  

I am excited to be part of this project with all of you :) Since I am pretty new to applique I can see some grief in store for me down the line as I work on Elizabeth's Pride but there will be enjoyment as well.

Monday, July 7, 2014

Amuse Bouche

I suppose it sounds a little strange to describe creating an eagle quilt in terms of food, but I think amuse bouche perfectly describes the small project I started last night.  An amuse bouche (literally "mouth amuser") is an individual hors d'oeuvre served to prepare guests for the meal to come and introduce the style of the chef.  My little project serves to initiate the creative process and help me focus on the project to come.

This project has been on my "to do" list for well over a year.  I was inspired by a small wallhanging at my local quilt shop, The Quilted Owl.  A customer gifted the store owner with a small, postage stamp type quilt with an embroidered owl in the center.  I wanted to make my own version with a bluework embroidered eagle and in a red, white and blue fabric colorway.  The Quilt Like an Eagle QAL was the perfect excuse to finally get this project started!

First, I found an eagle drawing that would lend itself to embroidery.  I used my photo editing program to shrink the drawing to the appropriate size.  Then I printed the drawing and darkened all the lines with a felt tip pen so the image would be easier to trace to fabric.
Using a small scrap of Kona Snow, I traced the eagle using a water-soluble quilt marking pencil.  I started embroidering with two strands of DMC floss (blue, although it looks much darker in the picture), but after finishing the first wing I wasn't happy with the result.   I switched to one strand of floss for part of the head and was much happier.  Instead of ripping out the earlier stitches, I'm just going to start over.  This time I'll get a decent-sized piece of fabric so I can use an embroidery hoop!
Red, white and blue scraps are no problem.  These are left-overs from a Minick and Simpson project.
When finished, the quilt will measure approximately 12 inches x 12 inches.
Just the little bit of work I did on this project last night really helped me focus my thoughts on the big eagle quilt project that will be unfolding over the next year.  I'm really tickled to have this amuse bouche to get me ready for the fun to come!

Quick note:  I got a little carried away yesterday trying to catalog the multitude of four block eagle quilts to be found via the 'net.  There's a new board dedicated to them in the Pinterest links section.  There are also several new links in the Other Inspiration section, so do check them out!

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Quilt Like An Eagle: The Gauntlet is Thrown!

Welcome to the Quilt Like an Eagle Quilt Along! We intend to inspire and motivate you to make that eagle-themed quilt that's been on your quilting bucket list forever. Your QAL hosts are kindred eagle quilt dreamers - we dream about the quilts but have yet to start them!

We're not offering up a specific pattern for everyone to quilt as a group. Instead, our goal is to provide inspiration to get started and motivation to see the inspiration through to a finished project. We will all choose our own style and method of eagle implementation.

If you'd like to quilt along, you're welcome to share inspiration and progress here on the Quilt Like an Eagle (QLAE) blog. Just email one of us (see sidebar) and we'll get you set up to post here.

We'll also be keeping track of links to eagle quilt inspiration to be found on the web. Check out our Links tab above for Pinterest boards and other great sources of eagle quilt ideas. The list will grow as the QAL progresses, so be sure to check for new additions!

Some folks will happily plan and execute their own eagle quilt designs. Others may wish to use commercial patterns. Either choice is fine, but we do ask that you not promote commercial patterns here. Share a link back to the pattern site and dedicate your QLAE posts to the process of making your quilt.

July 4th, 2015 will be the official end date for the Quilt Like an Eagle QAL. We'll plan an online show and share for that date so we can all celebrate our amazing eagle quilts!

We hope you'll catch Eagle Fever and join us!!