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Art Quilts

May 24, 2023

Wings Like Eagles

This month I have been working on taking my business a step further; building a website, starting a blog, etc. But, besides all of those technical tasks, This week I had a chance to both start AND finish 😉 a custom art quilt!

Just in the last six months, I have found a passion for threadwork quilts, where the design is formed only through quilting or other thread embellishments. I love FMQ so much, and the more I dive deep into threadwork, the more I want to skip the steps that normally come before! Maybe it is impatient of me, and maybe a little lazy too, but I like to think of it as a challenge, haha. I ask myself on many occasions, “How can make ____ with only thread”, and let me tell you, that is often easier asked than answered. Just last month that question led me to make my own mesh-like topper for a quilt because I could only use thread! (I will share more on that quilt a different week).

Anyway, back to this week’s quilt. Wings Like Eagles was made for a friend of mine. I asked for their favorite verse and worked from there! I have been thinking about the design for this quilt for a little while now, not sure how to best portray the message of the verse in a visual form. Sometimes when I make a representative quilt, the images are quite obvious, as in this quilt, and sometimes they are more obscured. Because of the clear imagery in the verse, I chose to make the representation more obvious.

I started by drawing the general shapes of the mountains and the placement of the eagle. Using photos as a guide, I thread-painted the eagle, using 8 different thread colors. For this type of thread-painting it is important to pay attention to the direction and shape of the line you are quilting. You can see this most obviously in the difference between the body and the wing. Although they are made with the same colors and mostly the same gradation pattern, the distinction between the two areas is formed through the shape of the line. The wing is formed with longer straighter lines and the body with a sort of zig-zag pattern to represent the different feather layers.

Once the eagle was completed I quilted the texture of the mountains, changing thread with each peak so they would be lightest in the back. This quilting pattern is formed with elongated curves that occasionally bump into each other. This is a great texture design for landscape quilts or any shape you want a directional feel.

Then for the letters. I know that letters like this could be done with an embroidery machine. I even have a machine that would be able to do it, which is what I use for my quilt labels. Still, I like to create my pieces completely free-hand. So, I spent a few hours stitching letter after letter. I actually like the inconsistencies in the letters and how the stitching is identical to my natural handwriting. This gave the quilt an extra personal touch.

On a personal note……. Hebrews 4:12 says “For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intention of the heart.” Making this quilt was such a reminder to me of how alive the word of God is. God used this verse (Isaiah 40:31) in my own life a few years ago when I was far from seeking him. I was dealing with chronic health issues and this verse gave me hope to have perseverance through that struggle.

Then, as I was making this quilt, I was focused on its recipient, specifically praying over that person while I was making it and focusing on how God would encourage them through it. But, one evening, after I had set the quilt aside for the day, I was looking at scriptures that would speak to a different personal struggle of mine and this verse came up. Even though I had been dwelling on the verse for hours that day, God finally opened my eyes to see its implications in my own life. I felt God’s presence wash over me and heard him speak this promise to me personally. God can use the same words in different stages of life, for different people, and in completely different circumstances. It never ceases to amaze me how living and active his words are and the astounding fact that he would even desire to share them with me. So, this quilt has become an encouraging reminder for me just as I hoped it would for its recipient.

If you have made it this far, thank you for sticking with me to hear the whole story of this quilt! I would love to hear from you in the comments! And, if you are interested in hearing about my next project be sure to sign up for my email newsletter so I can let you know when the next blog is published!

  1. Bev Quemada says:

    I love this quilt. It is one of my favorite Bible verses.. You always amaze me with your work.. Its really beautiful. Keep them coming..

  2. Just beautiful! I also like the uneven letters, they add to the personal feel of the quilt. Brava!

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