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.

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Austin Bluebird is Finished!

Hi Everyone,

I hope your July has been a good month.  Summer has been slow to get underway here in Northern Indiana, but it has finally arrived with a few really hot, muggy days.  I've been staying inside and sewing.

I was really excited to finally finish my Austin Bluebird quilt!  I just began it back on National Quilt Day, March 21, so I think I made great progress on it.  I was determined not to let it languish and become a UFO that sits around for years (sort of like Sarah's Revival.)   I had the kit, but I ended up using lots of my other Minick and Simpson fabrics for a more "scrappy" look.

This is the quilt top finished as the directions state.  I have known for awhile that I wanted to border it.  I knew I wanted to "float" the center with more cream strips and then add some sort of sawtooth/dogtooth border around that.

I turned to one of my most favorite books ever:

I love this book--it is perfect for designing borders of all types and complexities.  It's by Judy Martin and Marsha McCloskey, in case you can't see the small print.

I decided on an appropriate border and that the units would finish at 4".  This means that my center needed to be divisible by 4.  I measured the center carefully, decided about how large I wanted it to be (divisible by 4) and then figured how wide to cut my floating cream border.  A little math, a little confidence, and it was easy enough.

I had already precut the units I would need for the border.  In fact, I took it with me to retreat in June and had them already made.

The look would be a shaded saw tooth border.  Once I attached the cream strips, I next began to assemble the sawtooth units.  Big Problem!  (I know--this seems to be the Summer of Mistakes for me, so I shouldn't have been surprised.)  I carefully made sure that I sewed the units exactly like the photo, so I wouldn't have any mistakes, but the mistake was that each border strip needs to be made up of half like these, and half a mirror image.

Luckily, I had plenty of fabric left, so I made a bunch more units in the reverse.  The next problem was that I now needed to relook my center with the cream strips.  I had made sure that it was divisible by 4, but now it needed to be an even amount--that is the measurement of the center, say 88 inches, divided by 4 would by 22.  That is an even number.  This is important because the sawtooth border has to be divided in half.  I had a 50% chance of it being right, but of course, this being the summer that it is, mine was an odd number.  I was in luck, though, that both the side-to-side and the top-to-bottom were "odd."  I needed another 4 inches all around the center.

At that frustrating point, I quit sewing.  We needed to go somewhere, I can't remember where right now, but as we were driving in the car, I was telling my husband about the mess I was currently in.  He asked if I could't just add more cream to the borders.  I had already cut the cream borders and sewn them on.  I had purchased 3 yards of extra cream fabric so I could cut the strips with the length of grain and not need to piece them, The leftover fabric, I had cut up to make the sawtooth units.  I had some left, but only short pieces.  I also didn't want the look of two long, cream strips sewn to each other--looking like a mistake.  I thought I may have to get three more yards of cream and start all over, but I didn't want to have to do that.

In thinking that over, I did realize that I just needed to add 2 inches all the way around the quilt, and that would give me the extra 4 that I needed for the sawtooth borders.  I finally got the idea to "frame" out the cream with a 1" finished navy stip, followed by a 1" finished cream strip.  Being narrow, I wouldn't mind if the 1" cream strips were pieced together, rather than cut from one, long piece.

Here is how it came out.  You can see the wider cream floater, then the navy 1" strip and the other cream 1" strip and then the sawtooth border.

When viewed with the entire quilt, I love how it looks.  I think the navy "framing" strip really brings a lot to the party and makes more of a statement than if I just had the sawtooth border.

I really love the space that the wide cream border created, too.  I'm so excited to be finished with this quilt!  Now I just need to get it quilted.

If you are interested, the cream fabric from the kit is Moda Bella Snow.

Have a great weekend!

Friday, July 3, 2015

July Fourth Home Tour

Hi Everyone,

You may guess that today is one of my favorite holidays!  What's not to love on the most Patriotic day of the year?  I thought I would celebrate by finally showing you pictures of our new house, since it is always decorated for the Fourth.

Here is the front.  We only have the bunting hanging on Patriotic holidays.  This was Memorial day, but we also hung it on Flag day, and now for the Fourth.  We are going to take down that tree that blocks the porch.  I hate to lose a tree on purpose, but it blocks so much light.

This is the entryway.  I knew the wall would be perfect for a church pew, so we shopped around on Craig's list and antique shops and finally found one the right length and price.  On it, are some pillows inside vintage pillowcases that we have collected from every military post that we have lived. (They were popular from WWI through the 60s as gift items)

Next up is the dining room.  When we bought the house, it was painted a wine/maroon color.  I have always wanted a red dining room, but it was just too dark (the window is covered by that tree out in front of the house.)  I painted it cream, and it is much brighter.

Here is the living room from upstairs.  

Across from the entertainment center is the fireplace.

The yellow walls came with the house.  I like it so far, but I suspect when it needs to be painted, it will become cream, as well.  It is not a "do it yourself" project with the vaulted ceiling!

There was nowhere to display my Uncle Sam collection, so I made this shelf and my husband helped me put it up.  Through the door is the kitchen.

The fireplace in the living room is a pass-through.  Here it is from the kitchen side.

The kitchen has a desk area, which I love and is where I keep my laptop and the household paperwork.  The quilt is one that I didn't make--my good friend Dorothy made it for me and I love it!

From the desk, you look out the slider across the eating area.

The kitchen itself.

The kitchen was two shade of green when we moved in.  I don't have anything against green, but it just doesn't go with my decor.  I did a lot of considering and decided on a medium blue.  I got the idea from Minick and Simpson's fabric lines.  They are patriotic--red, white, and blue, but they usually have a pretty, medium blue as well.  This color is "Americana" by Pittsburg Paint, which made it perfect, in my opinion.

Behind my desk area is the sunflower-themed powder room, which I shared here.  The laundry room is behind the kitchen. Behind the door in the kitchen is a pantry.

Off the living room is the master bedroom.  I decided that I wanted a main floor master since this house will be our "forever" home and in case there is any issue with either of us in the future and using stairs, I wanted to eliminate the need.  I was just looking for pictures of the master, but I can't find any.  I'm afraid this post won't be finished if I go take some, so I'll skip that for now.

Upstairs are three bedrooms--one of which is my quilt room and a bathroom.  The other two bedrooms are guest rooms.  The "front room" (facing the street) is still green.  It also has a vaulted ceiling, so I haven't painted it yet.  The green works, though, with some of my quilts.

The quilt on the bed is "Eldon" by Laundry Basket Quilts, made from Thimbleberries fabric.  There is an old, green ladder in the corner full of quilts, too.


The front room is bright and is where visiting girls usually stay.  

The other room was that of a teenage girl when we bought the house.  All walls were gray except the window wall was teal.  This room became our "Presidential Suite."  We started the long-standing joke about the name of this room years ago.  When you decorate Patriotically, there are sub-themes, such as Uncle Sam, etc.  I also collect vintage Presidential memorablia, so we display it in the guest room--hence the "Presidential Suite."  When I was looking at paint samples, I found one at Lowe's that was actually called "Presidential Suite!"  I took it, but I thought it may be too dark for a room.  I decided to try it out, though.

It is a dark blue, but it has a lot of red in it, making it more "royal," maybe, but not too bright.  When I first started painting, I panicked!  It looked really purple.  Here is is on the teal wall.

I knew, though, that paint dried darker and needs more than one coat.  In the end, I loved it!  Here are some pictures from around the room.   My nephew's crib is usually in the corner.  This is the room that the boys usually sleep in.

We also have a finished basement, but I'm not quite done decorating down there yet.  I've put all my "leftover" decorations down there and am having trouble pulling them together.  So, that's pretty much it for now.

 I hope you have a safe and Happy Independance Day!