QM Scrap Squad: Bonnie’s Old Glory

QM scrap squadB3 QM Scrap Squad: Bonnies Old GloryThe QM Scrap Squad is a select group of seven QM readers. They take one pattern from each regular issue of Quiltmaker and make their own scrappy versions to inspire you.


QMMP 120800 PATRIOT flat QM Scrap Squad: Bonnies Old Glory

Old Glory by Margie Ullery appears in the July/August '12 issue of Quiltmaker.

The Scrap Squad project from the July/August issue of Quiltmaker is Old Glory, designed and made by Margie Ullery of Ribbon Candy Quilt Company.


BonnieStapleton1 QM Scrap Squad: Bonnies Old Glory

Bonnie Stapleton

Today’s featured quilt is by Bonnie Stapleton from Powhatan, Virginia. She blogs at institcheswithbonnie. You’ll hear from Bonnie in her own words below.

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When the Scrap Squad received the Old Glory pattern, we were encouraged to think of other motifs to sprinkle across the quilt. I came up with 19 ideas.

In the end, owls trumped all the other ideas because I have a new grandbaby on the way.

Several months ago, I was on a visit to see my daughter Jenny. She had just done some stenciling on the wall of the new baby’s room. I snagged her paint chips to use as my color choices.

PaintChip 1024x611 QM Scrap Squad: Bonnies Old Glory

Um, really? Lime green, mango orange and blue? I went shopping and I was tickled to find fabric that matched the paint chips. Of course, three fabrics weren’t enough so I did some stash diving once I got home.

Hawaiian fabric 225x300 QM Scrap Squad: Bonnies Old Glory

This orange fabric came from Hawaii where Jenny and her husband, Brian, honeymooned. I was given the fabric with instructions to use it in a quilt for a grandbaby.

I got going on this quilt—except I didn’t want my owls to tumble gracefully across it—I wanted them grounded. Real owls perch on tree branches, right?

I added the brown for branches with diagonal seams.

I sewed and ripped several times because I didn’t like the distance between the branches.Later I realized how much blue there is in the top of the quilt. Maybe that is a bit of sky? And yikes—those dots are a bit wonky—but it’s all okay on the final quilt.

Piecing the Center 836x1024 QM Scrap Squad: Bonnies Old Glory

When Quiltmaker sent me the owl pattern, I made two reduced copies and one enlarged copy. I worked with 115%, 100%, 85% and 75% of the main owl design.


Pressing sheet 300x213 QM Scrap Squad: Bonnies Old GloryTrimming Adhesive 300x225 QM Scrap Squad: Bonnies Old Glory
I didn’t want the appliques to be stiff so I trimmed out the center of the fusible web before ironing it on. I used an applique pressing sheet to build my owls.

After building several, I decided their eyes could be looking somewhere instead of directly ahead.

My owls1 1024x762 QM Scrap Squad: Bonnies Old Glory

I started placing the owls on the branches. But, honestly, would this many owls all be just sitting around on branches?  I don’t think so! Several have decided to fly off the branches.

I decided this could also be a counting quilt. The first branch has one owl sitting on it, the second has two owls sitting and flitting, and so on—until there are five owls on the last branch.

And, I couldn’t just plop them straight on the branches…some are moving around.

To keep the quilt soft, I used a water soluble stabilizer for stitching the owl parts.

7 owl parts x 15 owls = a lot of stitching!

After stitching, I trimmed the excess stabilizer off; the rest should wash out.

Placing my owls1 793x1024 QM Scrap Squad: Bonnies Old Glory


At one point while constructing the background, I decided I needed more of a particular strip color and width, so my quilt ended up being slightly larger than the size given.

What I didn’t think about was what a slightly larger quilt top would do to the pieced outer border. I had cut most of the pieces before I really looked at the border—and figured out where I could “fudge” my measurement to make it fit.

This border is easy to fudge: I adjusted the “F” and “G” pieces. I also marked and matched the half and quarter points of the quilt top and the border. One side was slightly longer than the border so I sewed with that side on the bottom, against the feed dogs, to help ease in the fullness.

Total Owls 860x1024 QM Scrap Squad: Bonnies Old GlorySeveral months have gone by since we got the Old Glory pattern. I am now at Jenny’s house waiting for my new grandbaby to make his or her appearance.

I’ve applied the binding here while on “baby watch.” I couldn’t resist taking a photo of the quilt draped on the crib with the stenciled walls.

sneakpeak in the nursery 1024x768 QM Scrap Squad: Bonnies Old Glory


These owls are just ridiculously cute! Please join me in wishing Bonnie, Jenny and their whole family the best as they wait for this new baby. Hoo-hoo do you suppose it will be?!?

Help yourself to the free applique patterns for Bonnie’s owls and all the other Scrap Squad options!

About Diane Harris

I'm an editor for Quiltmaker magazine in Golden, Colorado, USA. For six years, I wrote pattern instructions, product reviews and how-to articles. Then I spent four years as QM's Interactive Editor, working to generate much of our online content. Now I'm back to patterns and how-tos, which is a great fit for me. I still love writing about quilt-related topics for Quilty Pleasures, and I always have my finger on the pulse of the quilting world. I teach a variety of quilt classes and give guild programs, too. Reach me by email: editor@quiltmaker.com.
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18 Responses to QM Scrap Squad: Bonnie’s Old Glory

  1. Vicky Coughlan says:

    OMG!!! I´ve never been an “owl” person but you´ve definitely converted me! How cute are they???? Love them and the idea of the tree is fabulous!! And THANK YOU so much for sharing our pattern with us!!!! I´ve got 2 grandkids and I can see me doing 2 quilts one with ….. owls and the other maybe with butterflies and I also like the idea of the pumpkin and the fish and and and………

  2. thank you for the download patterns as i have a couple of baby quilts to make you have given me some great ideas… just love the owls..

  3. Laura Betts says:

    Love the background colors, but not the branches. My daughter is doing owls in her nursery, may skinny those owls up a bit and add dimension to the branches.

  4. Lisa says:

    Absolutely darling quilt!!!! I love baby rooms which aren’t the typical pink or blue. Your quilt is the perfect finishing touch.

  5. Marcia G says:

    What a clever way to depict branches in a quilt. I would have never thought of it, but the sight of this quilt starts the mind going for sure. This is adorable and how could the baby’s parents not love this. Thanks for the idea and the appliques to play with to design my own one-of-a-kind quilt. You have hit a home run on this one!!

  6. Marilyn Bischoff says:

    Am looking for Jackie Hughes – not Jennifer’s- fish adaptation of the Old Glory pattern. What’s the URL for her adaptation? Thanks a bunch!

  7. Marilyn Bischoff says:

    Several weeks ago you posted a quilt designed by Jennifer that adapted the Old Glory pattern with fish. I loved it and meant to print it as a design idea. Now I can’t find it on your website. How can I locate it? Thanks.

    P.S. I enjoy your blog and resources!

  8. Pam L says:

    Congrats on the new addition! The quilt came out great! I really like your process of useing the original pattern and making it your own with the colors and owls. Well done!

  9. Susan C says:

    So cute!!! My granddaughter’s nursery has owls. I think I will have to use that cute owl in a project for her. Congratulations on the new grand baby!!

  10. Great job, Bonnie! It is too stinkin’ cute!

  11. Bonnie Blue says:

    I never would of thought to put owls on a quilt like this. Just goes to show you that everyone has such different imaginations. It is beautiful and goes so well in the babys room. Thank you for sharing.

  12. Karlene says:

    Very cute and clever!

  13. Donna Amos says:

    Such a special quilt. It is so colorful and cute. The brown for the tree limbs is such a good idea and makes a perfect perch for the owls.

  14. Jackie says:

    This is just so cute and colorful! I love your owls and your addition of a tree. Great fabrics for your owls too. This is my favorite ‘Old Glory’ quilt so far!

  15. Kaye M. says:

    What a great quilt. I love the zig zag fabric used on the owl in the bottom right side. It looks like he has real feathers!

  16. ritainalaska says:

    how cute! when i saw your ‘old glory’, i thought butterflies but i sure think your owls are cuter. i have a new dggs to make this for.

  17. Tiffany says:

    Gasp! This is so ADORABLE! Everything about it. I love it.

  18. Amy (NW WI) says:

    OMGoodness! There should be a law against something being so darn CUTE!
    THAT is one adorable quilt. Amazing rendition of the pattern.

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