Hawks Aloft Inc.
PO Box 10028
Albuquerque, NM 87184
Phone: 505 828-9455
Fax: 505 828-9769
E-Mail: gail@hawksaloft.org

Logo: Hawks Aloft Inc.

The Making of the Hawks Aloft Quilt

Each year, since our inception in 1994, Hawks Aloft has created a quilt to be raffled off.  In the beginning, it was the work of our founder and director, Gail Garber and her quilting buddies.  Over the years the project grew as more birder types involved with Hawks Aloft’s birding activities joined in.  Now, our annual quilt retreat is just about the most popular member event that we host.  We retreat to Gail’s cabin in the Jemez Mountains where the quilt top is stitched in ONE DAY.  Below are images of our 2016 retreat, held the second weekend in January 2016.  It is our 23rd raffle quilt!

Mama Great Horned Owl, based on an image by Doug Brown.

Mama Great Horned Owl, based on an image by Doug Brown.  Hand appliqued by Barb Deshler.

 

Owlets, created by Barb Deshler using hand made chenille techinques.

Owlets, created by Barb Deshler using hand made chenille techinques.

 

Great Horned Owl family, photo by Christie Wilcox

The owlets in the 2016 quilt were inspired by this Great Horned Owl family, photo by Christie Wilcox.

Gail’s design idea was to create a design that featured a virtual nest for the owl family.  Donna Barnitz, Barb Desher, and Gail met about 3 weeks prior to the quilt retreat to begin work on the center. That done, 14 of us  met at the Jemez Cabin on January 22 to begin work on the quilt.  Our goal was to complete the remainder of the quilt top on Saturday.  But first, a little hike was in order where we discovered Wild Turkey tracks in the abundant snow.

2016-01-22 13.19.59

By 9:30 a.m. Ed Chappelle and Rick Desher, were hard at work, cutting all the fabrics, while Sami Sanborn organized the pieces into individual block kits for the stitchers.

Rick Deshler and Ed Chappelle cut all the fabric for the quilt.

Rick Deshler and Ed Chappelle cut all the fabric for the quilt.

Stitching the quilt top.
By 10 a.m. the 2016 Quilt Team was stitching the quilt top.

 

Steve Elkins, a long time participant in the quilt retreat.

Steve Elkins, a long time participant in the quilt retreat.

Meanwhile, Barb Deshler, quietly worked on owlet faces by hand.

Meanwhile, Barb Deshler, quietly worked on owlet faces by hand.

A hearty lunch helped everyone have the stamina to stitch into the afternoon.

A hearty lunch helped everyone have the stamina to stitch into the afternoon.

By late afternoon, the complex checkerboard section was complete. Sami Sanborn and Pat Folsom have fun with it.

By late afternoon, the complex checkerboard section was complete. Sami Sanborn and Pat Folsom have fun with it.

Then, comes the fun part of removing the paper foundations. Ed Chappelle, Chellye Porter and Mary Chappelle took on that task.

Then, comes the fun part of removing the paper foundations. Ed Chappelle, Chellye Porter and Mary Chappelle took on that task.

Mary and Chellye pose with the quilt center!

Mary and Chellye pose with the quilt center!

A little libation for the late afternoon stitching.

A little libation for the late afternoon stitching.

By dinnertime, we were stitching the large sections together.

By dinnertime, we were stitching the large sections together, with Gail Garber, Barb Deshler, and Cynthia Figueroa McInteer.

At 7 p.m., our 2016 quilt top was complete, except for the owlets which had to be added by hand.

At 7 p.m., our 2016 quilt top was complete, except for the owlets which had to be added by hand.

Presenting the 2016 Hawks Aloft Raffle Quilt!

Presenting the 2016 Hawks Aloft Raffle Quilt and the quilt team!

We celebrated in style that night!

And posed for a photo the next morning.  The Quilt Team, from R to L: Mary Chappelle, Cynthia Figueroa-McInteer, Laurie Marnell, Sami Sanborn, Pat Folsom, Gail Garber, Chellye Porter (in back), Ruth Burstrom (hiding behind the quilt), Lizzie Roberts, Steve Elkins, Rick Deshler, Allison Schacht, Ed Chappelle, and Barbara Deshler.   The three retreat dogs, from L to R:  Barry, Gabby and Laney.

Many thanks to Donna Barnitz and Barbara Deshler, who helped with the pre-sewing, and Kris Vierra, who quilted this masterpiece on her long-arm machine.

Here’s our quilt for this year!  We draw the winning raffle ticket on December 3, 2016 at our annual holiday party.  Tickets are available now, at our online shop.