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.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Chaos Is Upon Me

I know I've been a bit absent lately but I am knee-deep in the move.  Literally.  I began last week taking down all the pictures from the wall--they are piled in one corner.  I also took down all the quilts I had hanging and washed them and they are stacked in another corner.  Within hours of both projects, I was already going crazy with the chaos.  I just have a hard time with lots of disorder!  And I used to be the kid with the messiest room when I was young!

We escaped over the weekend, though.  We had a really lovely trip over to Kona on the Big Island.  We snorkled and he dived and we relaxed and the "four-letter words" of the trip, and thus unmentionable were: move, sort, work, toss, pile, mess, etc.  We came home Sunday afternoon and within 30 minutes the chaos had me stressed out again.

Today is already Wednesday and we have a pickup on Friday of our "unaccompanied baggage."  This means things that don't fit in a suitcase but that you would really like to have when you get there.  The idea is that you will get it quicker than your other household goods.  The thing is that the stuff you want right away is also the stuff you would like up until the end.  I'm thinking that the whole process of sorting that stuff out and making decisions isn't worth it, but we are committed.  Of course, that stuff is a whole other pile taking up most of the front living room. 

Today I'm trying to gear up to go upstairs and start disassembling my sewing room!  Ugh!  I'm thinking it will be easier with an audiobook--one of my favorites so I don't have to listen too hard and can still concentrate on making decisions.  Who shall keep me company?  Lizbeth Salander?  Harry Potter? or Katniss Everdeen?  I guess I'll have to see when I get up there.


Thursday, May 24, 2012

Completed Patriotic Quilt

A while ago I blogged about completing this quilt top.

I decided to have it custom quilted so I sent it to Sandi and I got it back last week!  I bound it and have been waiting for the opportunity to photograph it to share with you all.

When visulaizing the quilting that I wanted, I knew the border would be a large focus.  With the applique in two of the corners, I wanted more elaborate quilting in the empty corners.

 My other desire was to have the applique outlined, so it would puff up.  I also wanted feathers or stars--I didn't want to introduce any other shape.  Other than that, I let Sandi decide what she wanted.
I love the background quilting around the star blocks.  It is "McTavishing" which I had heard of but was unfamiliar with.  I need to try it myself!
 I love the feathers!  She did such a great job on the quilting!  I'm really pleased.

This is the border with the applique.  I really wanted the piano keys when I saw them on another quilt that she quilted.  I know they were a bit tedious for her, but they look so awesome.  I really like that they contribute a "stripe" motif to this patriotic star quilt!

 The empty corners of the border are filled with curvy feathers.  I love, love the transitions between them and the piano keys.

A picture of the back--because that is where you really get the full impact of all the quilting.  You can see on the back the cables that she quilted into the navy borders.  I LOVE what Sandi did to turn this nice top into a gorgeous quilt! 

We are off for one more Island Hop to the Big Island.  When we get back I will be in full on moving mode.  The packers and movers will be done two weeks from today!  I can't wait.  The chaos that will take over between now and then drives me nuts!  Meanwhile, I'm trying to photograph other quilts that I have made in the past so that I have something to show you this summer.


Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Photographing Doc

When I decided to photograph Doc in a Hawaiian setting, what I was visualizing was taking it to a beach with palm trees and turquoise water.  Sunday afternoon I asked my husband if he would help me out with it.

Remember that he is in the army.  Right now there is a big "exercise" going on with all services.  By "excercise" I mean "war games" of some sort.  Luckily, he doesn't have to go out to the woods and live in a tent or anything, but he is working an overnight shift.  He gets home about 3-4 AM and then sleeps until noon.  So it is Sunday afternoon and we haven't done much together so I asked if we could go photograph my quilt.  In fairness, it probably wasn't what he wanted to do, but he was a good sport about it!
This was actually the first try.  It was perfect!  Palms, ocean, and even boats--a plus.  We decided not to go too far and went to the harbor/beach at Hickam AFB.  There is a "point" of land, nicely grassy and with lovely trees, that sticks out into the water with the marina on one side.  That is my husband sitting on the table, hiding behind and holding up the quilt.  The big problem was that the afternoon trade winds were blowing.  Pretty hard at times.  See?
After taking some pictures at this first spot, we walked out further on the point.  I tried more compositions:
Still too windy!

A pretty picture, but you don't see much of the quilt.

The really neat feature of Hickam Harbor and Beach is that it is formed on one side by this land, Foster's Point, and then there is the harbor/marina and then the public beach and on the other side of the beach is the reef runway for HNL (Honolulu International Airport).  It is so cool to be there and watch the jets taxi out and then turn to take off.  We were lucky enough to see a few.
And the view is great, too, as you can see Diamond Head behind the sail.

As we continued to walk to the end of the point our attention was captured by a floating beach ball.  We saw it speedily floating out of the harbor, and a guy had gotten off a boat into the water and was swimming hard after it.  The scene reminded me a bit of Tom Hanks swimming after "Wilson" in Castaway.  At any rate, the guy was almost hit by a sailboat (this is the harbor, not the recreational beach) and the whole time I'm thinking "are we going to see this guy swim out and drown trying to save a $2 beach ball?"  Finally, he saw us--the ball was maybe 12 feet off the point--and he asks if it is our ball.  It isn't even his??!!!  We yell no.  And then I yell "you aren't going to drown for that ball are you?"  He realized about that time that he was losing ground.

I, of course, got a photo.

All in all, it was a fun hour we got to spend together.  As you can see, it was a gorgeous day!


Monday, May 21, 2012


I think I should begin this post by saying that the biggest challenge in making and blogging about this month's Schnibble is refraining from titling the post, "What's Up, Doc!"  That being said, when I saw the "assignment," I was eager.  I had never done a card trick block before.  When I was showing my quilt around, I heard that frequently.  I wonder why that is?  The block wasn't difficult, I just found it best to complete each one individually so as not to get things turned around.

This is probably my last Schnibble here in Hawaii.  I say "probably" because the packers come on the 4th and who knows if I will have a chance to complete June's in only 3 days.  (The possibility does exist, but is "probably" not likely.  We'll see!!)  Since it is, I decided to take out my completed quilt and photograph it with Hawaii in the background.  Here is what I came up with. 

I did not use a charm pack for this project.  I have been collecting black and white fabrics for over a year now and wanted to use them in a quilt.  I like black and white and one other color quilts real well, but what color to choose?  I like red, but it seems like I've seen many "newspaper quilts" (you know-- black and white and read (red) all over!) quilts lately.  I finally decided on turquoise.  It seems like turquoise has become a favorite of mine since living here.  I refer to it as my "favorite Hawaii color."  It is easy to understand why--the water, the sky, etc.

I began by dividing my fabrics into "black and white" and "white and black."  Each block had two cards of the dark, and two of the light.  I pressed differently than the directions said to because of the darker background.  I began by pressing all the half square triangles to the turquoise fabric.   My plan included using a solid black for the little corner squares in the sashing and then I really wanted a black and white stripe for the binding.  I love striped bindings!  I didn't have one, so I did a little online shopping.  I found this first:

And it was EXACTLY what I had in mind.  I put it in my cart and then, because I had typed "black stripe" into the search at Fat Quarter Shop, I continued to scroll through the results.  And came across this:

Be still my heart!  Was the turquoise the right shade?  How did I feel about the yellow?  I thought about it and decided to order both.  If I used the yellow, I would need to put it somewhere else to "make sense."  I saw that it was from the Lemon Grove line and looked for coordinates.  There was something that looked like I could "fussy cut" something from for the little cornerstones.  I bought a half yard of that, too.

 When the fabric came, it was perfect!  I looked over the coordinate and settled on these little sun shapes.  I loved them!  But, can you believe it?  In a whole half yard, I was two suns short of the number I needed.  Do I order another half yard?  I decided on cutting two of these little birds, instead.

I still wasn't one hundred percent sure of the completed top.  I took it to my bee and showed it with the stripe to use for binding.  It got rave reviews, so with renewed confidence I came home, layered, quilted, and bound it.  The binding really makes it!  I love how it came out.  One of my goals in doing Another Year of Schnibbles is to push myself out of my comfort zone, and this sure is but I'm really pleased with it!

One more "Hawaii shot."  If you look on the horizon, to the left of the boat you can see Diamond Head in the distance!

I have to say here that I have completed (quilting, binding, etc.) all of my Schnibbles by the end of the month.  It is killing me that I may not be able to do June's or July's!  (We do not arrive in Virginia until the middle of July and who knows when we will get our stuff and get unpacked!)  And if Sinta and Sherrie wanted to share the next one a little early so I could get it done before moving, I sure wouldn't tell anyone what it is!  I can keep a secret!


Saturday, May 19, 2012

Quilt Show--Hawaiian

I know I have already share some of the wonderful Hawaiian quilts at our show, but it was such a banner year for them that I felt I wanted to share more.  Some may be repeats, but if you are like me, you don't mind seeing beautiful Hawaiian quilts.

I hope you enjoyed your quilting trip to the Island.  I'm about to go off the the show for a fourth time!  I'm taking some more friends who are quilters but haven't yet gone to the show.  I have to go back tomorrow afternoon, too, as the show is ending and I have to pick up my quilts.


Friday, May 18, 2012

More from the quilt show--Asian

I have now been to the quilt show 3 times! I went to the opening, and then on Tuesday with two non-quilting friends, and yesterday I "worked," or as we call it "sat the show." I have taken many photos and decided to break them down into several posts. Today I am focusing on the Asian-style quilts. Living here in Hawaii, we have a strong relationship with "The East" and it is always fun to see those quilts.

 This one (above) was done by a dentist in the Air Force.  Both he and his wife quilt!  Another surprise I got from my husband was when he looked at it and said, "Someone's been doing a lot of fussy-cutting!"

This one is actually a panel that was purchased in Japan.  The quilter used the open space in the printed blocks to do sashiko.  The results are amazing and you can't tell it is a panel at all.

More sashiko.  I got a kit while I lived here.  It is still in the package.  Maybe I will try it soon.


Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Exciting Email

Can anything possibly be more thrilling than to wake up way over here in Hawaii (6 hours later than Eastern time) and find an email from a custom quilter containing photos of your finished quilt!! 

I sent this quilt to Sandi Zuker who blogs here at the recommendation of Mary at Quilt Hollow.  I had initially asked Mary to quilt it, but she was pretty busy.  I suspected Linda at the Quilted Pineapple was pretty busy, too, but I had no idea she was quilting for famous people!  (I'm so thrilled for her!)

Anyways, I got up this morning and checked my email and there was the magic message from Sandi saying the quilt was done and in the mail and there were also pictures!!  Oh my goodness!  It looks so fabulous!

It is also perfect timing!  I will get the quilt and have time to bind it and be able to share it at our Guild's Show and Tell and then let the packers pack it. 

Anyways, I can't write much longer--I have to go cut binding!!!!!!  Oh, and I also have Doc layered and hope to get him quilted this afternoon.


Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Boxes as Time Capsules

Yes, this is another non-quilting post, but moving seems to be consuming me right now.  If you are still interested, please continue.

We made these boxes when we lived in Arizona in the late 90s.  (Do you find it AMAZING that the nineties were two decades ago?!!  I do.)  They don't take much floor space and do hold things.  They didn't "live" in our house for very long when I realized the top one would hold travel brochures perfectly.  I mean, if we had tried to make a box to hold them, we couldn't have done such a good job.  Anyway, because they fit, I started putting them in it.

It has been crammed full for a a while now and then the other day I was thinking about it and deciding we probably didn't need all those brochures.  So I pulled them out and started a quick scan thinking I would just toss them all.  And then I didn't.  It was so amazing the memories that each one generated.  It was such a "story" of our lives.  We don't travel like other people, only on vacation.  Most of our travel is done when we move.  We will take a trip once in a while, but what I found in this box was just amazing.

The biggest treasure of all is shown below.  Airline tickets!!  Yes, real tickets, not a printout!  More importantly to our family, they are the tickets for my husband to fly home after his year in Korea.  I had no idea we still had these!

I am a purger and have no qualms at getting rid of a lot of things, but I'm going to keep all of this stuff.  I did eliminate duplicates, but I put the rest of it all back into the box where it belongs.


Monday, May 14, 2012

Great Weekend

I hope all mothers out there had a wonderful day yesterday!  It was a three-day funfest for me.  Friday was Military Spouse Appreciation Day.  This does not require any card/flower purchases, it is just a nice chance for my husband to appreciate the fact that I "reluctantly" follow him around to such dreadful places as Arizona, Alaska, Hawaii, you get the idea.  (by the way, that was sarcasm!)  In honor of the day, we went down to Waikiki to sip tropical drinks (for me, beer for him) at the beach while watching sunset and the fabulous fireworks, all while listening to nice live music.  (We actually do this pretty frequently.)

On Saturday was my monthly quilting Bee, so I loaded up and ventured out.  I have such great fun and there is always such great inspiration!  This day I sat next to Kristin LaFlamme.  She is one of the "twelve" in the Twelve by 12 group.  She was doing some improvisational piecing of her scraps.  She had sorted out creamy, yellow, maybe light brown (if I remember correctly) scraps and was just randomly sewing things together into chunks and then cutting the chunks into bricks.  This is something that is WAY out of my comfort zone.  Try as I might, I just can't be random or spontaneous enough.  Some of the combos were a bit wild/bizarre, but when she finished the chunk and cut it into bricks, the wildness disappeared and became really neat!  I enjoyed watching the process because then I may be more inclined to push myself sometime and try it myself.  In fact, I should go upstairs right now and start sorting scraps!  Oh wait, I gave them all away because I'm moving!  (insert the sigh of relief here, ha ha.)

Yesterday, Mother's Day, there was no breakfast in bed.  I was awake first (as usual on the weekends) and came downstairs to start the day.  The phone rang (it was my daughter!!) and I answered and was walking to the sink to get a drink when something scurried!!!  It was a gecko in my kitchen!  Yuck.  I put down the phone and hollered upstairs.  My poor husband, he didn't get to sleep in!  I don't know about you, but I'm not one of those "take Mom out to brunch/dinner" people, so we celebrated in the afternoon by going snorkeling at our favorite spot, Shark's Cove.  No, there aren't any sharks there, or I wouldn't go, ha ha.  We did see two large turtles.

I don't care to go to the beach at what I call the "burning time" (11AM-3PM) so we got there a bit after three and swam for an hour or so.  Then we stopped by Ted's North Shore Bakery to get a treat for after supper, and then went to another beach and walked it looking for sea glass, etc.  We found some nice pieces and even a complete, pretty cowrie shell.  By this time, it was around 5:30 so we stopped at the food truck across from Shark's Cove and had some of their really awesome grilled skewers.  Can Mother's Day in Hawaii get any better than sitting outside, across the road from the beach, watching the waves while eating super yummy food?  I don't.  We went home and after changing we enjoyed our bakery treats while watching Sherlock Holmes on Masterpiece.


Friday, May 11, 2012

Quilt Show

Last night our Hawaii Quilt Guild Quilt show opened.  I went to the reception and I even drug my husband along.  There was opening statements and a program.  This year instead of featuring one quilter as per usual, the show decided to focus attention on our service programs.  There are examples displayed.  Some programs include Na Lima Aloha (quilts for local charitable orgs), Japanese Tsunami quilts (these are 12" quiltlets made for survivors of last year's tsunami), Wounded Warrior quilts.  Quilts of Valor, and ASYMC Kid Comfort quilts (small quilts or pillows are made using transferred photos of the soldier and kids for the children with deployed parents)
Here is a photo of the service quilt examples.

 After the program, the gallery was open for viewing and the buffet of pupus (appetizers, etc.) was available.  We snacked a bit first, to allow some of the crowd to disperse a bit from the gallery. 

Finally, we went in.  I just have a few photos here.  It is difficult to photograph the quilts and really get to look at all of them at the opening.  I will be "sitting the show" later and will take better photos and document some of the amazing works of art.

The wall of the challenge quilts.  I blogged about them here 

Here is my Omigosh quilt hanging.  It is always so neat to see my quilts hanging--they look much more artful than spread out on my living room floor, or hanging off the back fence!

Now I don't know about you, but when I go to a quilt show in Hawaii, I love all the quilts, but I sure am hoping to see some magnificent Hawaiian quilts!  This year is no disappointment!  There were some real stunners.
This is a pikake quilt.  Do you remember the lei from Lei Day that was made with ric rac to look like pikake?  It is Hawaiian for jasmine.  I LOVE this quilt and I usually only like the traditional two-color quilts, but this is spectacular!

Monsterra is the plant featured in both this quilt and the one below.  I will try to get a better photo of the top one later.

 Can a make a comment here about my husband?  As we were looking at the Hawaiian quilts, he hold his finger up to the first one.  (He is smart enough to not touch it!)  He says, "this is a good one, they quilted it the proper way--a finger width between all the quilting."  Ok, what?!  Where did he learn about that?  He actually knows that the traditional way to quilt a Hawaiian quilt is one finger width between the echos?!!
This is called Taffeta Ti Leaf.  It is not only appliqued and quilted traditionally, but it is made out of taffeta!!  I can't image trying to needl-turn it.  Taffeta is notorious for raveling!

That is it for now.  As I said, I'll take more pictures and share them later.  Maybe along with more surprising comments my husband made!