Friday, August 24, 2012

Baltimore Applique Society's Lady of Victory Quilt

My friend Taryn wrote recently about the unveiling of the Lady of Victory opportunity quilt on her blog "Reproduction and Antique Lover"  with photos of the lovely applique block she made. So, I thought I would share the story about this quilt, and photos of the block I made.

How the project came about: Mary Koval purchased a beautiful Baltimore Album quilt. The center block is Baltimore's "Battle Monument" and at the top of that monument stands the Lady of Victory -- thus the name "Lady of Victory Quilt." Mary has since donated the antique quilt to the Wisconsin Museum of Quilts and Fiber Arts in Cedarburg, Wisconsin.
The patterns: Mary graciously gave her permission to the Baltimore Applique Society to produce the Lady of Victory quilt patternThe pattern set includes 25 - 18"x18" patterns, border patterns, information on the history of the quilt, and a CD-ROM with a high-resolution photo of each block. Proceeds from pattern sales will help the BAS further its goals to help museums preserve antique quilts and to promote the art of applique.
The opportunity quiltBaltimore Applique Society then produced an opportunity quilt from the pattern set. BAS members volunteered to stitch the blocks, then all the embroidery details were added. Blocks were to be made as close to the antique quilt as possible. Volunteers were each given a kit with all the fabrics, a photo of the antique block and a pattern to work from.
     Here are some closeups of the block that I stitched. Lots of techniques on this block! The eagle's eye is an oval fussy-cut. I tried to keep the edges nice and smooth, but keep the little lines that look like eyelashes. It was a challenge to needleturn such a tiny piece by hand! But that beak was the most difficult challenge -- to get that red part flat underneath and then cover all the edges with the inner and outer points on the beak.

To make this flower, I sewed strips of red and pink together, then cut the petals out one at a time; the same way we often make split leaves from two green fabrics.
Berries were made the same way.
... and a little split bud. The little pointy red bud but was done with reverse applique. The eagle's yellow feathers could be done with reverse applique, or applique on top. I chose to stitch them on top -- I basted them on in a group as one piece, then cutaway excess a little at a time.
The flag is red stripes only, just like on the antique quilt. The star on the flag was MUCH easier to stitch by stacking two triangles crisscross.
I hope you enjoyed this little applique closeup tour. I can't wait to see the whole quilt in person, all quilted!
Keep Stitching!
~ Barbara


  1. I definitely enjoyed it and appreciate the details. My block on the Lady of Victory was probably the easiest one. That's all I was comfortable with at the time but I am now ready to take on the eagle and all of his glorious details.

  2. Wow! Thanks for sharing and showing us the details. What a glorious block!

  3. Thank you for telling us about the quilt and your block, as well as about how you made some applique pieces. How exciting to be part of such an important project! (Taryn's comment encourages me to keep working away!)

  4. So many little details and very well executed. Like that the red stripes only were sewn on & the 2 triangles to make the star. Even the split colors on the flowers and berries. Thanks for the upclose details. Need to go find this pattern.

  5. Thank you for the info and pictures on how you did this. very enlightning!

  6. Wonderful post. Your techniques will come in handy when I run into "how to proceed" problems. Thanks!

  7. Thanks Barbara for the details of your block. BAS members made two Lady of Victory quilts: the opportunity quilt and one to give to Mary Koval to thank her for her generous gift to us. You can see the quilt at the September 19 BAS meeting at 7 pm at the Howard County Center for the Arts when it will be presented to Mary. The Society would love to have visitors.

  8. Barbara, thank you for sharing this gorgeous block and your sewing tips. This seems to be not only beautiful but also perfect all over! I am impressed.
    Regina in Germany

  9. I'm a beginner in applique. Your block is so pretty. Maybe after many, many hours of practice, I could attempt something like it. Something to aspire to! Thank you so much for sharing your expertise.

    1. Everyone is a beginner at some point. Just keep stitching and enjoying applique.


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