I was given an interesting challenge to make a quilt of a school mascot. I was presented with a picture of a tee-shirt with the mascot on it and asked to make a quilt for a graduation gift. The mascot --- a red hawk. For a while I wasn't sure what I wanted to do. I had a multitude of ideas and had to pick just one. I actually chose to use applique!!! I probably design applique less often than any other method of quilting. Like I said, it was a challenge. I wanted a beautiful and unique quilt to be given as this special gift for this young woman to remember her high-school experience. It was a success.
The most challenging part of this project was to get the red hawk to be the correct size. I am reluctantly going to admit a personal deficiency --- I cannot draw! Most of my second graders can draw better than I. They learn quickly that I use stick people, puffy trees and simple houses :) . I have an extraordinary green thumb, I am a good cook, I can do most any craft, I am a successful teacher, I can create and make wonderful quilts.........but I can not draw!!! Someone said to me, "Enlarging isn't really drawing, you can do it." Thanks for the encouraging words, but, no...I couldn't.
Days went by before it dawned on me, I am a teacher and I know how to use an overhead projector! So, first I made a transparency of the picture of the tee-shirt. Then I used the overhead to project the image on a large sheet of paper I had taped to the wall. Next, I traced the projected image on the paper and had the perfect applique pattern!! Sometimes the simplest solutions are right in front of our eyes.
Once I had my pattern the project went quickly and smoothly. Solid red and black were used for the major portion of the bird with a tonal white on white for the outline and the eye. The appliqued bird along with the white outline was attached to a red panel as the body of the quilt. At the top of the quilt body are two small embroidered panels. One tells the name of the graduate and the other shows the name of the school and the years she attended.
While I was working on this quilt my husband brought me a cup of coffee. He looked at the project while I was working and said, "Wow, that really looks good. You don't usually do much applique. It's nice." I was stunned. He often compliments my work --- which of course makes me happy --- but I was stunned because he knew that what I was working on was applique ..... and he knew it is not what I do most often!!! It's nice to know he does pay attention to what I do!!!
After adding a few borders, the quilt was quilted and bound. A quilt was born!! The recipient was extremely pleased. This makes me happy.
I hope you enjoy seeing this project and consider doing a project that is a personal challenge to you. When you do, please share with the rest of us!!! We'd love to hear about it.