Many of you saw our last post on the commemorative Eagle Scout Quilt that I designed for my oldest son. This post is all about the machine quilting process for the quilt, why I chose the designs I chose and how it was ultimately finished. As a reminder, this is where we left off last. I had completed the design and the top of the quilt. If you didn’t get an opportunity to read that post you can catch up HERE. The quilt top is complete and now it was time for the machine quilting.
I knew that I wanted at least part of the quilt to be custom quilted. I had planned a few of the blocks for special reasons… but I also knew that I wanted to use the longarm and let it do some of the work. I didn’t want a fully hand-guided quilt. I found some wonderful quilting designs by Anne Bright that I wanted to incorporate into my design. I purchased the American Heroes Eagle Collection and Scout Collection for the machine guided portion of the quilting. That would work for a few of the blocks and would be mixed in with some miscellaneous designs and my hand guiding.
A few of the blocks really lent themselves to hand guided quilting. I used a few “doodle” designs to finish the blocks to enhance their design. The Compass Rose in the center really needed to stand out.
I chose to plan each block separately, stipple throughout the border which would be a simple way to quilt around the eagles and the arrows and add in some hand guided handwriting. I could have planned out the handwriting and completed that with the automated machine but chose to stitch my own handwriting in as a special touch. I added some hand guided wavy lines to the flag in Union Soldiers to add some motion in the corners. The Scout designs are fleur-de-lis designs that are turned several ways.
The special touches of handwriting were added to a few of the flag blocks which were chosen specifically for their # of lines so that I could add in all of the Cub Scout ranks, Boy Scout ranks and the Scout Law. As you can see from the next few blocks (some of the stitching is difficult to see) I have added in all the scout ranks into the flags. The Souther Flags and Patriotism block has the Scout Law written in each line of the flag and reads,” Trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful, thrifty, brave, clean and reverent.” I used some miscellaneous small block designs to quilt in the stars and half-square triangles of the blocks.
The final piece of the puzzle required several turns of the quilt. I had to stitch a border and then turn the quilt on the frame to stitch the next border. I have a few photos of the handwriting of the Scout Oath/Promise written in to the first border of the quilt. It reads, “On my honor, I will do my best to do my duty to God and my country and to obey the scout law; To help other people at all times; To keep myself physically strong, mentally awake and morally straight.”
You can see in the above photos that I used the Scout designs again in the middle border to quilt over the scrappy blocks. The inner border was quilted with a mixture of handwriting and loop designs to fill in the space. The loop design was repeated in the outer border to complete the quilting. The quilt turned out exactly as I wanted it too. I added a beautiful denim chambray cotton to the back with fleur-de-lis designs on it. I did add a hang sleeve in case he ever wanted to hang it up in a “man cave” somewhere. He’s in love with the final result and so am I. Once he completed his Eagle Scout Board of Review I presented it to him from Mom and Dad.
Thank you for joining me on the journey of the Eagle Quilt. I have to say this was one of the most satisfying projects I have done in a long time. It is really nice as a designer to walk away from the business for a time and just create a one-of-a-kind design that is really special. This will not be written up as a pattern because each block should be unique to the scout. Hopefully it has inspired you to make a one-of-a-kind masterpiece of your own with no pattern. Just get into your sewing room or studio or wherever you create and make something from your heart.
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