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.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Battlefields and Bugs

Hi Everyone,

I'm working away at patriotic-themed quilt right now, but there isn't much to show.  I'm having fun with it especially since I've been wanting to make it for about 2 years now.  The only problem is that my quilt room is upstairs and the upstairs A/C went out.  I'm patiently enduring the landlord's desire to get three estimates, but it has been a week already and it is getting HOT, so it isn't much fun to be up there right now. 

I thought I would share some of our trip last weekend.  We traveled up to Sharpsburg, Maryland on the first day to visit Antietam battlefield.  On the way up we were able to stop at a Hobby Lobby!  We don't have one close, so that was a treat for me.  When we got to the battlefield, we watched the movie.  If you have ever visited a national park, you know that they usually always have a movie.  This one was particularly good, in my opinion, but it must be shared because they had copies for sale.  The events at this battlefield took place over just one day.  There were three major events--the cornfield, the sunken road, and then the stone bridge.  By the time the day was over there were 23,000 casualties total for both sides.  23000 men were killed, wounded, or missing.  In one day.  I believe it still remains the largest single day of loss of life for America. 

This is the Cornfield in the distance.  The battle took place in September, so the corn was tall at the time.  The battle begun here and the fighting was so fierce that by the end of it not a single stalk of corn remained--and the whole place was covered in bodies.

This is the sunken road.  The Confederates were in here, using the lower elevation as protection so they could just easily mow down the Union soldiers who were coming across the open field towards them.  Eventually, the Iron Brigade of the Union army was able to flank them and get into the sunken road.  Then it was the Confederates who got mowed down.  They said this sunken road was filled with bodies.

Antietam was the first big battle to be photographed extensively.  The photographs were published much to the horror of the rest of the country.  One photograph in particular, of the casualties of what was known as the "boys' battery" (a battery is a group of artillerymen who fired the cannon) generated a general outcry.  It was known as the "Boys' Battery" because the average age of the group was 17.  There were some boys as young as 11 also there.   At the end of the day there were, as I mentioned, 23000 casualties.  The results?  Nothing.  The Union did keep the Confederates out of "the North" but that was it.  Nothing was gained or loss.  It was a "draw."  But 23000 lives were destroyed.  It is really hard to get your brain around.

The next day we went a few miles down the road to Harper's Ferry.  If you remember your American History, you will recall that it was there where John Brown captured the Arsenal as the first step in his attempt to free the slaves.  It failed, he was captured, and hung.

  These events occurred before the Civil war.  Did you know that the arsenal was stormed by a group of Marines?  The Marines were commanded by Robert E Lee.  The young officer that ordered the door of the building that Brown was holed up in to be stormed was Jeb Stuart.  Both of these men would later be prominent in the Confederate Army.

Harper's Ferry was really neat.  I'm not sure what I was expecting, but there was a lot of fascinating history.  There used to be factories lining the rivers, but repeated floods finally drove them to find other places.  I was amazed to see a display featuring the Lewis and Clark Expedition.  Merriweather Lewis armed his group from Harper's Ferry when they set off to explore the west.  As a child in the Midwest--we lived along the Lewis and Clark trail and we studied it quite a bit in school.

We left Harper's Ferry and traveled southeast.  We were able to stop at a quilt shop called Web Fabrics, but I can't remember right off just where it was.  Somewhere west of Leesburg, VA.  It was a nice shop--know for the huge selection of blenders.  Pushing on we arrived at our next destination--Manassas, VA.  The community of Manassas was the site of two different Civil War battles.  Did you know that the Union usually named the battles after a geological formation nearby but the Confederates names them after the nearest community?  Thus the battles here are know as Manassas to the South and Bull Run to the north.  Bull Run is a creek in the area that figured into the first battle.  While it wasn't deep, the banks were very steep, so it could only be crossed at bridges. 

The first battle of Bull Run was known for two things.  One--it was the first major battle of the war.  No one seemed to realize just how terrible it was going to get.  Civilians on both sides flocked out to watch and were promptly horrified by the blood.  The other major reason to remember the first battle has to do with a person.  This man was a teacher at Virginia Military Institute.  He was the least favorite instructor there as he had all of his lessons memorized.  If the students had questions, he would just recite the lesson over again exactly the same as previously.  Anyway, after the war was looking certain, he took a group of the students and formed a brigade.  They were there on the battlefield and it was looking like the Union was winning the day.  Many of the Confederates were fleeing and running back, but this guy, Thomas Jackson, stayed on the field.  One of his fellow Generals said:  "There stood Jackson like a stonewall."  Thus the nickname of one of the most famous Confederate generals--Stonewall Jackson--was coined. 

The fighting in the second battle took place over three days.  At the conclusion of the three days, there were also around 23000 casualties.  And this battle took place just three weeks before Antietam.  So in three weeks there were 46000 casualties.  It is just incredible to consider!

While we were there, we took all the tours they offered.  At each one, the ranger would caution everyone against going in the tall grass, as they had a tick problem.  Meanwhile, it became obvious that other bugs were going to take center stage.

The Brood II cicadas were finally coming out of the ground.  These are the 17 year cicadas that are all over the East coast.  We don't have them here in Hampton Roads, though.  Anyway--they were all over and really gross.  Really.   Freaking.  Gross.  I don't like bugs.  Eew!  A few of them landed on me!  Yikes!

We went home from there and arrived Sunday evening.  My husband promptly did all the yard work, washed cars, etc. all day Monday.  After all that work, he had a shower and discovered a tick on his back!  We were being so careful, too!  After I found that, I checked myself over good, and was tick free, but still, my skin is still crawling.

Have a great weekend!

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Patriotic Project #1

Hi Everyone!

My first patriotic project does not involve quilting.  Have you seen this on Pinterest or in blogland?

I have been drooling over it for more than a year now.  The other day when I went to my local craft store, I spied the flag picks on sale, so I scooped up several  all they had.  The link to the original post can be found here.  The instructions were pretty brief and described the materials more than the technique.

I got a styrofoam wreath of about the size mentioned and opened my picks and starting sticking them in.  I got maybe 75 in and didn't really like it.  I consulted the photo from the blog (above) and realized that I was putting the flags in like this:
When I looked at the inspiration photo, I could tell that the flags were put in vertically, not horizontally.  So I first tried to twist them, but discovered that I broke fewer of the toothpicks by just pulling them out and beginning again.

In this photo, you can see that I am now sticking them in more vertically.  After I did a bunch more, I realized  that you could just look straight through the flags to the Styrofoam.  I didn't want that, so I took them out again and reinserted them in at an angle--so they were leaning to the right a bit.

Here you can maybe see about how far apart they are.

I kept it up, worrying about the last bit--when I would have to tuck them under the area where I began.  Since they were "leaning," I thought it may be tricky, but it wasn't.

Here it is--all complete.  I think I used more than 300 flags--probably closer to 350.  You can still see a bit of white under the flags, but it will be okay.  I have it hanging on my front door for the photo, but since I don't have a storm door, it will be exposed to wind and rain, and I don't want it to get damaged, so I will probably hang it inside. 

It was a fairly easy project, once I figured out exactly how to do it. 

I hope you all have a great day!

Monday, May 27, 2013

Memorial Day

Hello Everyone,

I hope this Memorial Day finds you with family or friends.  When I was growing up, we spent considerable time in the week before this day making planters to set on family graves.  It was a time of learning about family history and respect for the dead.  Both of my grandmothers figured prominently into my Memorial Day memories.  One grandma still called today "Decorataion Day."  I think it is fairly fitting that they both passed away on Memorial Day--one six years ago and one just last year. 

This is also a time to remember our war dead, and pay them the honor they deserve.   We were just visiting a few Civil War battlefields and the scale of death was incredible!  Luckily for our country, we have always had men and women willing to sacrifice for our country and because of that, we have the best country in the world.

Beginning today, it is 39 days until the 4th of July.  During that time, I have decided to focus exclusively on patriotic projects.  I have so many that I want to do that I think it should be easy to fill the next few weeks.  I may blog about other patriotic topics as well and as always, I would love to hear about anything that you are doing.

Have a great day!

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Shamming Around

Hi Everyone!

It is a late blog post for the day because I was shamming.  I wish I could say I was just sitting downstairs in the cool AC browsing on Pinterest all day, but instead, I was upstairs in my quilt room, which is temporarily without air conditioning (the guy was here today and it is going to mean a new unit--I'm glad we are just renting) working on these.

 Yep, pillow shams.  They are to go with the quilt I made my daughter.  You probably remember it, but if not, here is a reminder.

For the shams, I used a Schnibble pattern--Plan C.  Not only is the pattern perfect, with stars and squares, but three rows of it fit a pillow almost perfectly.

I knew I wanted to make these when I was working on the extra border to the quilt, so I made sure that I had the proper size strips left over.  I made the flying geese units with my Fit to Be Geese ruler, which I love.  Then I just needed lots of 4-patches.  I got the centers of the shams done yesterday.

Then I spent quite some time on Pinterest and Google looking for easy flanged sham directions.  I swear I just read a neat idea on someone's blog, but couldn't remember it.  I finally gave up and just proceeded as I normally do--I've made shams before. 

Today, I put the borders on, layered the tops with batting and a lining, and quilted them both.  Then I put the backs on and finished them up. 

Speaking of Google, did any of you see the Google header today?  It featured the winner of the national "Doodle for Google" school contest.  It was a real tear-jerker.  You can click on the link to see it.

Earlier this week I managed to get this month's Schnibble, Gentle Art, quilted, bound, and washed.  This morning I had a bit of a photo shoot with it.  This is my favorite picture:

This weekend is a holiday weekend here in the US.  It is for Memorial Day.  My husband has Friday and Monday off so we are leaving tomorrow for a few days.  We are traveling up north a bit to Maryland and NOVA (northern Virginia).  The destinations are the Antietam and Manassas Civil War Battlefields.  I'm planning to visit some quilt shops, too.

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Summer Reading List

Hi Everyone,

It's my favorite time of year!  No, in this case it isn't because of the patriotic holidays--I love this time of year because everyone seems to be reading!

I read all through the year, but it seems like many people have a special list for the summer.  I'm always looking for a good book or a great author.  I'm wondering what is on your list right now?

I thought I might share a few books from the quilting fiction genre--if there is such a thing.  These are all books I've read.  (I've linked the authors to their Amazon page simply to make it easy for you to see all their books.  I'm not promoting Amazon at all.)

Sandra Dallas:  The Persian Pickle Club, Alice's Tulips, The Diary of Mattie Spenser, Prayers for Sale, etc.  The Persian Pickle Club has the most to do with quilting, Alice's Tulips has some, too.  I love all of Sandra Dallas's books, though.  I especially enjoy listening to them.  I actually emailed her a few times and found her to be completely charming.

Jennifer Chiaverini:  Quilter's Apprentice, Round Robin Quilters, The Aloha Quilt, etc.   A classic quilter's series.  I have totally enjoyed many of them, and not enjoyed a few of the others.  I'm not exactly sure why I have "run hot and cold" with these books, but it just seems to be that way.  They are great, though, especially the first few. 

Earlene Fowler: Kansas Trouble, Fool's Puzzle, etc.   I began reading the Benni Harper books, and then would get away from them for a while, and then visit her again.  I enjoy them, but I tend to forget where I am in the series.  I don't think I've read a few of these and should visit again.

Emilie Richards:  Wedding Ring, Sister's Choice, Endless Chain, etc.  Emilie has written many books, but her Shenandoah Album series is the one with the quilt titles.  Those books drew me to her and I've read most everything else she has written.  I'm eagerly awaiting her newest.

Whitney Otto:  How to Make and American Quilt.  I'm sure many of you may have seen the movie, and while it was good, the book is so much better! 

Marie Bostwick:  The Cobbled Court Quilt Shop books--A Single Thread, A Thread So Think, etc.  I have only read the first one of these books, but I have several more on my Kindle that I'm looking forward to reading.

Other favorite authors include Diana Gabaldon, Lousie Penny, Joe Dereske, Judith Merkle Riley, J. A. Jance,  Rosamunde Pilcher,  Steig Larsson and Fannie Flagg. 

What do you like to read?

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Blogger Girls BOM

Hi Everyone,

I can't believe it is already the 21st of May.  At the beginning of the month I was busy, so I put off making this month's blocks for the BOM, so I tackled them yesterday.  There is only one more month left!  It will be fun to have the quilt all together, but it will be sort of sad to be finished.  I'm having lots of fun making these blocks.

In case you aren't familiar with the program, it is free and by Monique Dillard of Open Gate Quilts.  You can find the details here.  The idea is that you can make two of the same blocks, but alter color placement in order to get two very different blocks from the same pattern.

Here are this month's blocks.  I found them more difficult to "change" than some of the others.

In the first block, I always use my focus fabric, usually "fussy cutting" it.  The focus is the stencil-like fabric with the motifs.  Don't worry, this is an example of poor photography (for some reason) and not poor quilting.  I cut the tips of those points off while taking the picture and I didn't notice it until I put everything away!

Here is my second block.

I must add here that once I got the components (flying geese, square in a square, etc.) completed, these took a little altering.  In the top one, I initially had a red square in the center (Instead of the roosters) and it was way too much red.  On this second block, I had the centers all green for a while, but then decided that a variety of colors might be better, and I do like the look. 

I also have the center of my Bee Sampler quilt done.  All it needs are the borders. 
I had begun this project with Thimbleberries fabrics, but fell out of love.  The problem I had in selecting fabric was that in the original pattern, there was a butterfly block on the left side, and a tulip block on the top left.  Our bee leader decided to substitute the Buggy Barn's buggy wheel pattern for the tulips, and then suggested a substitute for the area where I put the flag.  Well, once I realized we could switch things out a bit, and I knew one area was long and skinny--I knew I would put a flag in there.  It was easy to take out the butterfly block and make the whole thing patriotic!  It came together really quick after that.
My next challenge is the outer border.  The design features some little pieced flowers, but thanks to my lessons in the Blogger Girls BOM, I'm thinking I can alter placements so it doesn't look flowery.
I hope all of you are safe from the horrible weather!  My prayers are going to those in Oklahoma.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

One Small Step for Quilters....

Hi Everyone!

I survived my experiment at NASA.  Coincidentally, did any of  you see this news story:  First Quilter in Space that was online yesterday?  I wish I could say that I was at NASA to experiment on how to quilt in space, but of course, I wasn't.  First of all, I loved the story, but they got it wrong--there was another astronaut who quilted--I remember Alex Anderson had Jan Davis, a three-time shuttle veteran on Simply Quilts years ago--however, I don't think she actually quilted in space.

I needed to be at the gate by 9am to get my visitor's badge.  Once I had it, I was all "officially official!"

Next I proceeded to the building I needed.  Maybe some of you didn't know, but NASA has a large research facility adjacent to Langley AFB here in Hampton Roads.  Also, out on the Eastern Shore of Virginia is Wallops Island--a rocket launch facility.  They recently blasted off a rather large rocket out there and I would have loved to go to see it, but it actually launched on the third attempt, and by then I lost track of when it was to be launched.

Anyway, I found the building just fine as I had already been there.  I was going to the Acoustics Research Lab.  Once I arrived, I had to have a hearing test.  The experiment was on the Large Civil Tilt Rotor study and four of us were there to listen to sounds of aircraft and rate what we heard.  After a bunch of paperwork, safety briefs, and instructions, we finally got down to it.  Essentially we were to listen to a sound of an aircraft (specifically a helicopter) flying over, pretend we were out in our yard at home, and rate the sound on a scale of 12-14 different criteria.  Some of them were "annoying to not annoying,"  "smooth to rumbly," "squeaky to not squeaky," "threatening to harmless," etc.  In all, we listened to 20 different aircraft.  I believe the purpose is to find a sound that is less offensive to people who have to hear it.  Before yesterday I never would have dreamed that there could be so many different sounds of helicopters that could be so different.

Once the experiment was over, we had to have another hearing test.  I should say that the sounds we heard were not that loud--they weren't any louder than a vacuum cleaner, so there was no danger to our hearing, but I suppose they want to make sure that everyone can hear just fine.  I was back on my way home before 11 AM, so I still had plenty of quilting time yesterday.  For my "trouble," I was paid $50 plus mileage, so it is a nice little bit of "pin money" to spend on a future fabric purchase.

It was fun, but not as exciting as this:

If you've been following this blog for awhile, you have seen this photo before.  It is my husband and Neil Armstrong.  My husband had the opportunity to meet Neil, as well as Gene Cernan (the last man to ever walk on the moon) and Jim Lovell (from Apollo 13 fame) back in 2011 when he was in Afghanistan.  The USO brought the astronauts over to visit the troops.  It was a really cool experience for my husband.

Have a great day!

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Good Mail Day

Hi Everyone!

I was able to do some fun sewing yesterday--working some more on my bee sample.  I shall show pictures of that tomorrow.  In the late afternoon, I came downstairs and checked the mail.  I found a lovely package on my step.

I picked it up and it was heavy!  I looked at the return address and it read "The Person who is not Rosie."  I immediately knew that it was from Carrie!  Remember my Schnibble from last month?  When it was in the parade, I was lucky enough to be chosen for a prize from Carrie.  In case you don't know, Carrie Nelson is the lovely designer of the Schnibble patterns and all the Miss Rosie quilt patterns and books.  When the winners of the parades were announced, Sherri said something like, "Rumor has it Carrie will be sending a layer cake."  I was lucky enough to win a prize last year, and I discovered that Carrie is one of the most generous people! 

So when I got this heavy box--Carrie seems to take the "If it fits, it ships" post office motto seriously--I was quite excited to see what was inside. 

Wow!  What I discovered was no less than a quilty treasure trove!

Not only did I get one layer cake, I got two!  I also got 4 charm packs--two each of different lines--, 6 packs of Moda candy, and two books!  Thank you Carrie!

I won't get as much sewing done today.  Today I'm working as a test subject at...   wait for it...  NASA!  I found out about the program from a local quilt friend.  I'll spend the morning doing something--I'm sure I'll write about it afterwards, and even get paid a little! 

Have a fabulous day!

Monday, May 13, 2013

Gentle Art

Hi Everyone!

The Schnibble for May is Gentle Art.

Image of Gentle Art PDF ~ No. 408

If you are interested in joining in, you can get the pattern here if you can't find it locally.  All you have to do is make your version and then email Sinta and Sherri and they will give you the details.
You don't need a blog, either! 

I have had this pattern for a while and it has been high on my "to do" list, so I was glad to finally have an excuse to make it.  I immediately considered fabric possibilities.  Obviously it would be fun to make with sewing/quilting themed fabric, and there are many fun lines out right now.  Before I purchased anything, though, I went through my stash of charm packs.  I'm afraid that since beginning to "Schnibble" I have managed to acquire quite a pile of them.  As I perused them, I remembered that I had some from the Fellowship line by Brannock and Patek.  I think the title of that line was exactly what I had in mind.  Lately I have been mentioning how important quilting friends are to me, so Fellowship was perfect!

Along with the charm packs, I usually get a little yardage, and in this case I had the solid background, and beautiful floral, and another coordinate.  In the pattern, the idea is to use light charm squares for the block backgrounds and use leftovers for a scrappy border.  There weren't enough light charm squares in this collection, so I used the background yardage.  I did use the light charm squares for the inner border, though.  I used the gorgeous floral for my border, cutting it a bit wider than the scrappy border would have been.  I can hopefully use the leftover charm squares that would have made the border in a Little Bits pattern.

I love the way it turned out and the story it tells--of the friendships made through sewing.  I plan to get it quilted and bound by the end of the month in time for the parade, so you may see it again.

Have a great day!

Friday, May 10, 2013

Friday Fun

Hi Everyone,

Today is one of my favorite days of the month--Day Guild!  I'll be off to it soon, but first I though I would post since I've been sort of quiet lately.

I've been fairly busy in the quilting room.  I recently made a chunk of a sampler quilt that my bee is doing.

This is actually the second version of this section.  I began working the pattern in Thimbleberries fabrics, but I wasn't totally happy.  I set it aside and decided to begin again with patriotic colors.  Much better!

I've also been working on the ribbons for our upcoming guild quilt show.  Have any of you ever made them?  I think I have a bit of a plan, but I'm not sure how they will come together and look when they are done.  The show isn't until October, but I want to have them done and ready long before then.

I've done other bits and pieces between which has resulted in a total mess in my quilting room.  I think it is time to do a major cleanup in there.  Friday was always the traditional cleaning day so I guess I may as well do that later today.

Yesterday I attended a luncheon with around 16 other ladies, all of varying ages.  We were sitting at an arrangement of banquet tables forming a large square, with the center empty.  Conversation was mostly with the people next to you, but at some point, someone started talking about a doll that they had and someone from across the table heard and joined in.  Now that conversation was louder and everyone heard and the next thing you know, the whole group was talking about the dolls they had as children!  It was such an animated conversation and totally fun!  We heard about Shirley Temple, and Mrs. Beasely.  Chrissy whose hair grew if you pushed the button on her stomach, Donny and Marie Osmond, and Cabbage Patch dolls were also mentioned.  Immediately you could tell who was about the same age as you by which dolls they had.  It made me curious, what was your favorite doll when you were young (or even now!) 

I had an Effanbee baby doll that I still have (along with many other anonymous baby-dolls)  When I got to "Barbie" age, I also had the Dolly Parton doll.  I think I still have her, too.  She was the same size as Barbie, but she didn't fit into Barbie's clothes!  At least the tops!  LOL!

Have a great day!

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

A Quilt Shop Sale and Celebration

Hi Everyone!

On Saturday, a few friends and I went to Millstone Quilts up in Mechanicsville, VA (near Richmond.)  They were having an annual sale, (25% off everything!) quilt show, and free barbecue.  We departed from home with the weather overcast and spitting.  Since they hang the quilts outside, we were wondering if it show would still be going on, but it was.  It was overcast and chilly there, but not raining.  I think by the afternoon, the sun came out, but we had moved on by then.

The quilts are so lovely and charming.  It was great fun to see them hanging.  I have many quilts that I wouldn't mind showing out of doors, but to see a version of Dear Jane out where the birds could leave a calling card, worried me a bit.  It was a gorgeous quilt, though!

The quilt shop is really a favorite.  It is in a historic mill, out in the country and is so quaint.  It is also chock full of great stuff.


After we shopped, we enjoyed the barbecue and then set off.  As we were pulling away, someone suggested that we go to a shop in Richmond, since we were so close.  I had not been to any of the shops there, so I was very interested.  I will say one thing, though--once you have been to a shop where everything is 25% off, it isn't as much fun to visit another shop, or two.
The second shop that we visited (Quilting Adventures) was set up more for the modern quilter.  They have lots of solids and the more contemporary, modern fabric.  They also had a nice selection of batiks, though.  I just got some thread and a little kit that I will attempt to make and show later.
As we were leaving that shop, they decided to go to another one that they said was really nice and in a quaint area--so off we went.  The third shop was Quilters Corner in Midlothian and I really enjoyed that shop, too.  They had a nice selection of the types of fabric that I like, but more importantly, I found several bolts of Lori Holt's Sew Cherry in the clearance area!  I must confess that a great deal of it came home with me.  I still have a fat quarter pack of Sew Cherry and I really want to make another quilt with it. 
It was a really great day, but the best part was just being out with quilting friends.  I hope you all have had a chance lately to spend time with other quilters.  They are some of the best people in the whole world!
Have a great day!


Sunday, May 5, 2013

Scrap Basket Sunday #5 The One with the NIne Patches

Hi Everyone,

If you've dropped by this week, you may have read that I was working on some nine-patch blocks, squeezing some quilting time in between all the stuff I had going on.  This is why.

I don't think I ever blogged about this quilt.  I made it in Hawaii.  Many of the members of my Bee there bought this kit.  I didn't, but then one of the ladies didn't want hers, so I paid her for it.  The kit came with white background fabric, but I wanted to change it up, so I replaced the white with black.


It had another border--a plain black one 4.5" wide.  It finished at around 73 or 75 inches square.  I really get frustrated with that size.  It is fairly large for a lap, but not big enough for a bed.  Anyway, if you read this blog with any regularity, you probably have realized that this is not "me."
When I finished it in Hawaii, I put it away, although I did show it to my daughter.  It is her style.  Anyway, about a month ago, I got a text asking me if I could make her a quilt for the bed.  This was huge!  About 10 years or more ago, she told me she didn't like the way my quilts feel.  I like the flat, cotton, antique feel, but she likes the puff of a comforter.  For her to ask for a quilt was amazing!  And gratifying!
I pulled this out and tried to determine how to make it larger.  I needed about 8 inches more border all the way around.  I mulled things over, came up with a plan, and proceeded.  Luckily I had lots of leftovers/scraps.  I began by deciding to remove the 4.5" black border, leaving me with the quilt as it is above.  I would then need to add a border that was at least 12 inches wide.
Next, I began making nine patches.  Lots of them.  I wanted to alternate them with plain black squares, in three rows.  Therefore, to get 12 inches of border with three rows, the blocks had to finish at 4 inches.  Four divided by three is not a fun number to use in quilting.  Instead of playing with third of an inch measurements, I figured I could cut the strips and segments at 1 7/8" and  use a quarter inch seam allowance (instead of the scant quarter inch) and just do some slight trimming.

It worked like a charm!
I just needed 126-7 of them.  I made about 133 so I would have some extras in case things were too "matchy" in areas.

It didn't take too long.  I loved having them all trimmed and squared up.  They are so neat-looking.

I spent my free day on Friday assembling the borders and attaching them.  Once I got them on, I finished with another narrow green border.

This is how it came out.

As you can see, I was trying to echo the diagonal lines from the center.  I also didn't want to fuss around with something complicated.  All in all, I think it came out great. 

I was lucky that I had enough scraps from the original project so that I could add on.  It will get sent off to the longarmer this week.  The backing is black, too, so I purchased a black batting.  Have you seen them or used them?   I decided to get poly, also, so that it would be fluffy like my daughter likes.

Maybe next week I can get back to my Simply Charming book.

Have a great day,

Friday, May 3, 2013

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year

Hi Everyone!

Just a quick post as I'm busy in the sewing room.  I'm still working on the nine-patches and hopefully will finish today!  I have the whole day to myself and I'm so excited! 

I do want to share that this is my favorite time of the year!  It is the season for the Patriotic holidays--Memorial Day, Flag Day, and Independence Day.  I do a lot more shopping this time of the year because the Patriotic stuff starts appearing.  I need to start visiting antique shops as well as places like TJ Max, etc. 

Look what I found in the grocery store!
 Patriotic Pretzels!  The are shaped like flags, stars, and Liberty Bells!  I bought three bags!

Have a great day!

PS  I always appreciate tips about cool things that you see that I may like! 

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Busy Week

Hi Everyone,

Wow, it has been a busy week for me.  My heart is going out to all the teachers and other school employees who must be really crazy busy.  I'm in a club whose year ends in May, so I'm trying to finish a bunch of stuff--we also have to submit paperwork for the club to continue to be  allowed to "meet" (For my military friends, it is the Spouses' Club) and I'm in charge of that.  I'm also in charge of getting nominations for next year's board and I couldn't find someone willing to be President and then at the last minute I had two contenders!  It has been just a little stressful.

I also have meetings for our guild's upcoming show--one on Tuesday and one this Saturday.  I had bee yesterday and it is the best way to be busy.  I'm off to a meeting this morning, too.  But I don't need to go on about that all.  Suffice to say that I'm not getting as much sew time as I like.  I am getting some minutes here and there at the machine to make 170 nine-patch blocks.  I will share more about them in another post.  That little bit of sewing is helping me keep my sanity!

I will leave you with this photo which turned up on Facebook and which I totally love!  I loved the movie Cinderella--especially the mice making her dress.

But the sentiment is perfect!  All of you and the rest of my quilting friends have made my life so much better!