Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Fabric... Welcome to the Patriotic Quilter where I like to share all things quilty as well as red, white, and blue! Please feel free to look around and enjoy yourself! I would love to hear from you.

Friday, January 23, 2015

Annie Get Your... ...Needle. And Thread. And Paint. And Coffee

Hi Everyone,

It seems I have gotten distracted again!  A bit over a week ago, I was looking on Instagram and saw the cutest rag dolls.  They are made by raggedyoldannies, who is really Nicole Campbell.  If you are not on Instagram, you can find her facebook page (raggedy old annies) or visit her website www.raggedyoldannies.com.  Alas, all the photos of completed dolls that she was selling were spoken for.  While visiting her website, though, I discovered that she sells patterns.  Two patterns screamed "me," so I ordered them.  Since they are PFDs, they came later in the day.  I got started.

Meanwhile, I was still drooling over her cute, cute dolls!  I finally broke down and have ordered one from her.  While waiting, though, making my own has been fun!

The first pattern I chose was "Miss America."  She featured a banner saying "Miss America" and a crown.  I decided to change the banner to read "The Patriotic Quilter" and left off the crown.

Instead, I made her a quilt!

I made it simply by fussy-cutting some flags out of a piece of fabric, using a glue stick to place them, and then just stitching around each one--raw edges and all.  I layered it with some batting and did a little simple quilting with my "hand quilting" machine stitch on my Bernina.  It isn't bound.  It all adds to the primitive look.

her dress is trimmed with rick rack--my favorite!  And her bloomers have a tiny crocheted lace edging.  Another change from the pattern directions was that I made her legs from striped fabric.  I did paint her shoes on, though.

Up next was "Sammy Annie."

She gets her name from Uncle Sam, of course.  She has an aged tag with his likeness.   I adore her big, big grin!

Her legs are totally painted--white with red stripes.  All the facial details are stitched.

Her bloomers are trimmed with a vintage red and white lace.  You can't see them, but they are white with tiny red stars.  

Once you get the dolls all complete and have the clothes stitched up, they get aged in a coffee bath.  I was a bit nervous as I thought everything looked great before, but I adore the "antiquing" that the coffee produced.  The most difficult part of the whole process was to be patient while everything dried!

They look so cute on a couple of my little red chairs.

You know who else likes loves my red chairs?

My nephew!  I can't believe that it was one year ago this weekend that I was at quilt retreat in Virginia when my sister had to have her baby early a she had developed preeclampsia.  

Despite being about 6 weeks early, my nephew was just fine and didn't have to be in the NICU.

And now on Sunday he is going to be one!  I will confess that since I finally got to meet him in July, he has securely wound me around his tiny finger and I wouldn't have it any other way.

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Snow Day

Hi Everyone,

It's another "snow day" here, although it is more of an "ice day."  This time, both of my nieces are over.  They did their online  schoolwork and now are doing "art."  It's always easy and fun to do art projects here at my house.  They wanted to sew, but are settling for construction paper, scissors, glue sticks, markers, etc.

Now that my computer is free, I can write this post!  If you remember last week I was mentioning that a new project interrupted my work on my big, complicated quilt.  As I explained, every member of our guild is asked to provide a kid's quilt,  They are taken to Camp Watcha-Wanna-Do, which is a camp for children who have been diagnosed with cancer or brain tumors.  Each camper is given a quilt to use and then take home.

While going through all of my fabric, I had already "assigned" some to this cause.  One group was all of my leftover moose and bear, etc. fabrics that I collected and used while in Alaska.  I haven't made an Alaskan theme quilt since.  (Did that stop me from buying a plethora of Hawaii themed fabric while in that state?  No, but I'm sensing future kid's quilts from that stash, too.)  One day I pulled them all out and looked over what I had.  I had a piece that had sort of preprinted squares, etc. on it.  You could use it as is, or cut it up.  I wanted to fussy-cut some of the motifs.  I had another piece which was a panel, only with long-ish rectangle pieces.  There was another with fussy-cutting possibilities, and then a bunch of fabrics with all-over moose and bear, woodsy prints, etc.    I gathered up a bunch of them and took them to the local shop to try to find a fabric to use with all of them.  This was not easy as some had neutral backgrounds, and there were golds, browns, dark greens, and reds in the mix.  I ended up choosing a light green fabric that played well with all of the others.  Luckily it didn't have flowers on it as I wanted to make a quilt for a boy.  (It's so easy to make girl quilts!)  I didn't have any idea what quilt I was going to make, but since there was only about 2 yards on the bolt, I bought it all.

At that point, I didn't have a plan, so I set everything aside.  I knew what I wanted:  a quilt with different size squares and rectangles, all sashed, that would fit together a bit like a puzzle.  At various times, I looked through my books and then one day I was on Pinterest, and I found just what I wanted.  I set out sketching the quilt.  I began with the larger squares finishing at 6", but that was too small of a scale.  I wanted to try something larger, but it was time to go to bed, so I had to leave it.  I hate leaving something when I'm in the middle!

The next morning, I leaped out of bed after the alarm went off at 5.  I went back to my graph paper and tried 9" squares next, and that was a bit too large,  8"  anded up being perfect so I drew it all out on paper.  I would need *' and 3.5" squares and other sizes inbetween  I began wondering if my panels and pieces would fit the size squares and rectangles for the pattern  so I took my sketch upstairs to my quilt room.  I grabbed the fabrics and YES!  they were going to work great.  I got right to cutting.  It was fun seeing what I could fussy-cut to the needed sizes.  I cut shapes from the all-over fabrics, too.  Pretty soon, I realized I needed to lay it all out so I could see if I was getting a good color-balance.  I cleared off my design wall and started laying it all out and cutting some more.  With a start, I realized I was an hour away from needing to be to my quilting group and I was still in my pajamas!  "Curses," I thought, "I have to leave my quilting to go to quilting!"  Haha.

So I got ready and went to my bee.  When I got home from that, I had about an hour before I had to run another errand, so I ran back upstairs and kept at it.  I was liking what I was doing!

Finally, the next day, I got all the pieces positioned and next it was just a matter of sewing it all together with the green sashing.  It went quick, since it was all easy sewing--nothing is really pieced, so everything fit together great.  The sashing strips were cut 1.5."  Once all the row elements were together, I joined the rows with more sashing in between and surrounded the finished piece with 2.5" strips.  The two yards of sashing fabric was enough, with just a little left over.

Here is the finished top.  I have the backing and batting ready.  I just need to layer them and I can machine quilt it.

This quilt was lots of fun to make and I'm really glad that it will be finished.  As I mentioned in my last post, these sort of projects are fun for me when I have a plan and get excited.  If I'm stumped and not in the mood, they seem more tedious.

Have a great day!