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Sew a Patchwork Eagle Wall-hanging - Free Pattern
How to Make a Patchwork Eagle
You will need:
- paper, pen and ruler to make the eagle pattern
- coloured cotton fabrics
- sewing pins
- sewing needle
- cotton thread
If you wish to make your patchwork eagle into a wall-hanging you will also need thin batting and some fabric to use as a backing layer.
Patchwork Eagle Pattern
Making the Eagle
If you look at the eagle pattern above, you will notice it measures eight squares wide and eight squares long. The size of your squares will affect the size of the finished eagle - so if you want a big one, go for big squares, and if you want a smaller eagle (such as for a cushion cover) go for smaller squares. All you need to do is make sure you ensure you make all squares the same size - hardly difficult!
Draw out the pattern - or print this one to your chosen size.
Some of the squares are divided in half diagonally. Before cutting out the individual parts of the pattern, you might want to number them to avoid confusion - such as A1, B3, C8: which indicates row A, piece 1; row B, piece 3; row C, piece 8, for example.
There is no need to use exactly the same colours as I have, of course. Use whichever shades of brown, gold and cream you already have in your fabric collection. You can make the background any colour you wish - I've used blue, as if the eagle's flying against a blue sky, but you can do whatever you want.
Pin each piece of the pattern to the fabric of your choice, making sure you leave extra room around the edges of the paper pattern for a hem. Cut out each piece with the hem in mind.
Next, carefully fold the fabric over the edges of the paper pattern and iron in place.
Hand sew each section of the eagle and its background together. You will probably find this easier to do in rows, then stitch one row to another to build-up the entire design.
You might wish to add a border, either by machine or by hand.
Next, carefully iron the back of the patchwork eagle, smoothing out any tiny creases or sticking-up hems.
How to Make the Eagle Wall-hanging
Lay the patchwork eagle face-down on a flat surface, then place the thin batting over this, then place your backing cloth face-up on the batting.
Your backing cloth needs to be bigger than the other two layers.
From the centre working out, pin then tack the three layers in place.
Having done that, you can now choose your quilting pattern. Qulting helps to bind the three layers together, to stop them sliding around or bunching up. Quilting also creates its own textured pattern.
You may wish to quilt along the seams of the squares, or around the outside of the eagle's body. Quilting in the border can add a complimentary geometrical element to the finished thing. A quilting hoop helps to maintain fabric tension while you sew, but for small pieces they're not really necessary.
When you've finished quilting, neatly turn the hem of the backing cloth neatly over the edges of the batting and patchwork and stitch into place, making tidy corners.
Then you're ready to display your patchwork eagle wall-hanging!
Use multiple eagles to create a patchwork quilt, duvet cover, table-cloth or throw. You could alternate the direction in which the eagle is looking if you wished.
Instead of making a wall-hanging, why not use the patchwork eagle pattern to create cushion covers or a quilted shoulder bag?
Or you could sew a tiny patchwork eagle and use it as part of a greetings card design or a cover for a diary or journal.
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Patchwork and Writing
One of my fictional characters, Bethany Rose, does a lot of patchwork. It's one of her main hobbies, and she supplements her income by selling her textile art. She loves working with colourful textiles, and has a large collection of fat quarters - fabric squares, in lay terms. How she comes to explore and develop this craft is a sub-plot of one of my novels.
When I mention Bethany's work, I know exactly what she's doing and which techniques she's using as patchwork and other needle-crafts are among my hobbies too. I first became interested in patchwork not long after I had married. Money was tight and we needed a new duvet cover, so I bought some end-of-roll pieces and stitched them together. A relative smiled indulgently at my clumsy efforts and handed me two books filled with glorious patchwork designs, from traditional geometric American block quilts to vibrant, fluid landscapes made from deliberately torn cloth by contemporary Australian quilters. I was hooked!
I loved the colours, the patterns, the patient craft itself - the time and effort which had gone into each piece. And so I made a few things of my own, and when Bethany Rose gradually formed in my imagination she absorbed this interest.
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© 2010 Adele Cosgrove-Bray