There is no pride like a Mother’s pride… and I have to say… I am feeling so much pride these days. My oldest son recently achieved the rank of Eagle Scout after a distinguished 11 year career with Boy Scouts of America. My husband is an Eagle Scout and from the moment I gave birth to his first son, he just couldn’t wait to be a part of scouts and share all the same wonderful experiences with his son. He lucked out and we eventually had three sons… all of which have an interest in scouts. My oldest is a Senior in high school this year and has been accepted to quite a few colleges so it’s his year here at the Cabin for achievement and celebration.
I wanted to commemorate his scouting career by making him a custom quilt. I wanted something that would reflect his scouting career but still be something he could use in his college dorm or his house and that his future mate might not crumble up in a box and store in the attic. Something he could be proud of. I set out to make something completely custom and include the family. I did a lot of research on blocks, picked up yardage of a very nice Eagle border print and settled on a Civil War reproduction fabric look.
I added some appliqué blocks to the quilt. A center focus circle and star, a few cornerstones with the Fleur-de-lis and pieced arrow feathers with an appliqué arrowhead representing his Arrow of Light (bridging to Boy Scouts from Cub Scouts) and Order of the Arrow. I added the appliqué using a machine appliqué method with Terial Magic as my stabilizer and decorative stitching.
Each of the blocks was chosen for a specific reason. I placed an Underground Railroad block in each corner. The path circles the quilt so that his journey, wherever he chooses to go in life, will always bring him back home. One of the blocks was constructed by his Dad. I wanted a little piece of everyone in this quilt to remind him of all the people who love him. We added a Gentleman’s Fancy block to the quilt because anyone who knows by son knows how fancy he can be. He loves to dress up in suits for all his school presentations and generally look nice wherever he goes. My son is a history buff and since the quilt is Civil War fabric themed I added the Battle of Fredericksburg block for our hometown and his birthplace. There was a Love Letter block added as a love letter from Mom, because I think every man needs to know that someone in the world loves him. The Day and Night block symbolizes the changes I have seen in him throughout his life journey and his scout journey from boy to man. The Compass Rose was added for direction. It is a symbol of scouting and of all the clear directions in life. A compass helps you find your way. Grandmother’s Choice and Grandmother’s Pride blocks were added, and stitched by my mother, so that a piece of his ancestry and heritage are in the quilt.
Many of the other blocks found in the quilt are flags. This is for several reasons. We pride ourselves on our patriotism in our family. Our sons are no different. My son’s Eagle Scout project was to create a Flag Retirement Memorial to honorably bury the remains of flags after retirement. He placed his tomb on the property of the Isaak Walton League grounds here in Fredericksburg, VA. He has often lead the Flag Retirement Ceremonies for the Izaak Walton League. This year he was nominated to attend the National Youth Leadership Forum in Defense, Intelligence and Diplomacy. While at the forum he won an essay contest about what the American Flag means to him. He and 3 other youth leaders from the forum were awarded the opportunity to participate in the wreath laying ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery. Here are a few pics of the event. My son tied a ribbon on the back of the wreath containing grommets from his flag retirement ceremony to be honored at Arlington.
I searched through tons of block patterns and found a few that I thought would be perfect to commemorate his journey and also allow for some ideas I had for the machine quilting of this quilt. I wanted something custom and special. They were also blocks commemorating the Civil War. I chose Old Glory, Confederate Flag, Union Soldiers, and Southern Flags and Patriotism. Here are a few of the blocks created for this quilt. Many of the blocks had quite a few pieces but I found them to perfectly represent my son.
I added the Eagle border print through the center rows. The fabric is called Freedom Rings by Paula Barnes for Marcus Fabrics (4491-0110). When I found it… I bought all I could get my hands on so that I had extra for the next two scouts in the house.
Then I pieced the outer border as I knew I wanted something with all the fabrics in around the arrow blocks. I arranged each of the blocks and positioned the border print for each column and then assembled the top. I am very proud of the finished product. It turned out exactly as expected.
Want to see how I quilted it? Subscribe to the Blog and tune in for the next blog post. I will show you how I quilted each block and the borders and the special way that I used those flag blocks. Thank you for your interest in this project so near and dear to my heart. Let’s hope it inspires you to make a special memory quilt for someone special in your life.