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.

Sunday, June 30, 2013

Scrap Basket Sunday #9

Hi Everyone,
For my next Scrap Basket Sunday post, linking with Kim, I chose more red, white, and blue fabrics since I am only working in those colors during these 39 days from Memorial Day through July 4.
Last Sunday, I pulled out a baggie full of Minick and Simpson scraps.  These were left overs from a past project and I though mostly unusable as they were small and skinny.  However, they worked perfectly for the next scrappy, patriotic pattern that I wanted to play with.

It's another Schnibble pattern featuring patriotic pincushions. I made some pincushions a while back, so I still had plenty of stuffing (crushed walnut shells.)  The pattern gives 7 different versions and I made 6 of them.  For backing I was using a piece of red wool felt and I didn't have enough for the seventh "pinnie."

This is the red wool backing. 

I decided to have fun and use some of my collection of vintage, red, children's chairs to display them all.

I like the look of the very skinny logs on this one, but I really wish I had been paying attention and turned the center square so its diagonal was the same as the block's.

Of course, this is my favorite!


These pincushions are fun and fairly quick to piece, so it is nearly as easy to make a bunch as it is just one.  I think one or two will go to my guild this month for their door prizes. 
Have a great day!

Friday, June 28, 2013


Hi Everyone!

I'm finally ready to show this month's Schnibble!  This pattern really reminded me of the pinwheels we had as children. 

For fabric, I went through my patriotic pieces and found the brighter ones that I never use in any other projects.  I also wanted as many stripes and lines I could to help show movement.  The problem I had was in background fabric.  Some of my pieces were "light" so I didn't want to use a light background.

Since I was trying to emulate toy pinwheels, I decided to use a sky-blue background fabric.  This one has patriotic words printed on it, as well. 

Just a reminder, the Vintage Schnibble group is making this pattern by Carrie Nelson
Image of Dulcinea PDF ~ No. 404
There are already so many fun versions popping up in blogland!  Of course, I think I say that every month.  I also see versions that make me want to make the pattern again!  I think that is why I love this group.  The hostesses are Sherri and Sinta.  You can visit their blogs on July first to see the parades. 

Here is my finished quilt.  I took some pictures in my yard with some yard stake pinwheels, but then I took it over on Fort Eustis by the James river and got the fence photo.

I love this one!  I really like the fence, too, and am going to have to take larger quilts over there to photograph them.   I did the photography just before this week's Music Under the Stars concert by the Army Band.  This week's theme was "Big Band."  We put the Schnibble and camera away, got out our chairs and picnic supper and settled in.  And then the thunder began.  A storm was across the river and heading towards us.  They announced that if the storm passed quickly, they would go ahead with the concert after, but we should all seek shelter.  We packed up and got back to the car and within 5 minutes, it hit.  There was even hail the size of nickels!  We stayed put but then made the decision to go home and not wait around.   So far, two of the past 4 Thursdays have been stormy.  I hope next week isn't, as it is the Fourth of July.

Have a great day!

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Dulcinea Schnibble

This is for all of my fellow Schnibblers! 

This is exactly how the Dulcinea block looks.  And the name come from Don Quixote.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013


Hi Everyone,

Yesterday was one of those days when I didn't get much time in my sewing room.  There was laundry to do and other tasks not nearly as enjoyable as stitching.  Finally in the afternoon, I was able to get some time in and managed to make some patriotic banners that I had pinned on Pinterest.

 If you are interested in the directions and seeing the original post, you can find it here.  The instructions weren't that detailed, though.  There were no sizes mentioned.  I ended up cutting my burlap pieces into rectangles that were 8" x 8.5."  I folded a half inch over and pressed it for the "casing" leaving me with an 8" square. 

Next I laid a ruler on the bottom edge, so that the edge of my ruler was 1 3/4" from the bottom.  I centered the flag along the edge and once it was where I wanted it to be, I used a glue stick to hold it in place.  I made six at a time.  Once they were all glued, I stitched the flag on with a zigzag stitch.  When I had six, I sewed them onto brown twine.  First I wrapped up about 18" of twine and clipped it with one of those red clips.  This would be the tie at one end.  Then I just sewed the burlap pieces one at a time around the twine.  I left another 18" at the other end for the other tie.  While I was zigzagging the pieces, I did some stitching over the twine to secure the burlaps so they would not slide off one end.  I made two strings of 6 for my porch.

I like the way they look, but I'm a little uncomfortable with this project.  In all of my patriotic d├ęcor I take care to treat any actual flags with respect.  I feel like this project may come up to "the line" or else cross it a little bit into the disrespectful zone.  I'm giving it a little bit of time to see how I feel.  If I continue to be unhappy with it, I will take it down. 
Since I was outside with the camera, I set up several photo shoots for later posts.  It wasn't that hot out, but boy was it humid!  I really hate humidity.  In about 5 minutes, I was dripping.  I persevered, though, since the light was good and now I have other things to show. 
When I was done with the photography, I got the mail and I found a nice package!  Doniene at Now It's Just Quilts had a giveaway a week or two ago and I won one of her small, patriotic quilts!   

 I enter giveaways all the time, but I rarely win, so I was really excited!  Doesn't this look perfect on my deck table?  It won't be staying there, though.  I'm going to have to find the perfect spot for it!

I really love that she put a personalized label on the back.  Isn't the backing fabric, with the patriotic bows, just the perfect thing!

Thanks again, Doniene!

Have a great day,

Monday, June 24, 2013

Flag Fun

Hi Everyone,

I'm almost done with the initial list of patriotic quilts that I wanted to make during this 39 days of Patriotism, but I have a few more in mind, if I have time.  I'm running low on some of my favorite red fabrics so I may have to do a bit of shopping to replenish the stash!

Last week when I showed  you the finds that came home with me from the antique shops, I mentioned how I had found 49 star flags and didn't know they were prevalent.  After posting the blog, I went and rounded up all the vintage flags that I have that I assumed were 50 star flags and examined them. 

This is the star field for a 48 star flag.  It has 6 rows of 8 stars in a grid pattern.  The grid pattern makes them very easy to spot.
This is a modern, 50 star flag.  The stars are in alternate rows of 6 and 5.  There are 5 rows of 6 (30)and four rows of 5 (20)  The stars are not in a regular pattern, but appear more diagonally arranged.

And this is the field for a 49 star flag.  It has 7 rows of 7 stars, but instead of being regularly placed, like the 48 star flag, they are alternated for the diagonal look of a modern flag.  So at a quick glance, most people would assume that it is a 50 star flag.  Hence my confusion.  I think the arrangement makes it look like there are missing stars.
I did a little check on history, and when Alaska became a state on January 3, 1959, the first 49 star flag was made and flown over Independence Hall in Philadelphia on 4 July, 1959.  It was only official for one year when, after the admittance of Hawaii, the 50 star flag was first flown 4 July, 1960. 
There is occasional talk about Puerto Rico or another protectorate of the US becoming a 51st state.  I wonder how they would arrange the stars then?

The good news is that while looking through all my flags, I found a 49 star!  I was thrilled.  When my husband came home from work, I announced that I had something really exciting to show him.  I don't think a 49 star flag was what he was expecting or hoping for!

We spent a quiet weekend just hanging around the house.  After our trip, that was what we both were happy doing.  I spent some time in the sewing room, though, and have things to show later. 

Have a great day!

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Scrap "Caddy" Sunday

Hi Everyone!

I'm back again with another post for Scrap Basket Sunday, hosted by Kim.  This time my post doesn't really seem like it is going to be about scraps, but I promise--a few scraps will be involved.

Do any of you know my blogging friend, Freda at her blog, The Adventures of the Empress of the Universe?  Yesterday she had the best post about a brilliant idea!  Please click on her name to see it.  She had been in Target and found a great caddy which is perfect for quilting.  I had just been at Target before I read her blog, but I went right back out.  This is why.

Right now in their outdoor department, they have these picnic caddies.  Freda figured out immediately that they would be great for the cutting table.  The reason why is because they are fairly heavy and sturdy.  And they also have great openings.  She bought a white one, but they also have red, green, and blue.  I chose the red, of course.  (It was the last red one at my Target, too!)  It cost $9.99 in my store.

Here is the "downward" view.  See the larger opening at the top of the photo, the three triangles (for cutlery) and the smaller opening at the bottom.  Great space.  But, as Freda mentioned, there is no mesh bottom for the larger and smaller compartments.  She cut some white cardboard for the bottoms on her white caddy and it looked great.  I don't have any white cardboard--I would have to use pieces from a brown box, so I started thinking about how to make it pretty.  Freda also suggested using a glass for holding pens and pencils, etc. but she didn't have any so, being so clever, she used toilet paper rolls (empty.)  She covered them to make them pretty, so my mind was thinking "cover it to make it pretty."  I first considered scrapbook paper.  I have tons, and plenty of patriotic.  But I was worried a bit about durability.  Then I thought of fabric, and then I remembered!

I had some narrow strips of laminated fabric scraps left over from a bag project.  The vinyl on the fabric was just what I thought I wanted for the caddy.  I have kept these pieces not knowing what they would be good for, but they were just the thing. 

I cut my cardboard and fit it in several times until I was happy, and then I used spray adhesive on the back of the laminated fabric (cut to size.)  I cut out squares at the corners and wrapped the edges around to the back.

I did take the time to center the chevron down the length of the pieces.

Then I inserted them into the caddy.
Cool!  I love the patriotic feel!
Next it was time to fill.
I splurged and got one of the coordinating glasses at Target to hold pens and pencils.  I put it in the largest opening, right next to one side.
It leaves plenty of room next to it for rulers.  It is heavy enough that even having a 6x24 in it won't tip it over!  If you don't use a glass, you can get up to 9" wide rulers in that large compartment.
The center triangle compartments hold scissors and rotary cutters perfectly!
But what really "sold me" on getting this caddy was the smaller, front compartment.  When I saw Freda's, I knew it would be perfect for all my smaller, specialty rulers that I'm always losing in my ruler drawer!  It didn't disappoint me, either!  They work perfectly in it.
The tall handle was a perfect spot to hang my perfect circle templates that I'm always losing!  Now they have a designated place that is visible and easy to grab!
Look at all the stuff I've got loaded in it!  And no tipping!
And one more view on my cutting table.
Remember--this wasn't my idea, it was Freda's--and I can't thank her enough!  She has great vision.  You know if they marketed this directly to quilters, they would charge $45 for it!
I'll hopefully be back next week with projects using more scraps.  Have a great day!

Friday, June 21, 2013

The LONG Trip Home

Hi Everyone!

When I left off yesterday in describing my trip, we were leaving Minot, ND and heading back to Fargo/Moorhead.  We took a different route--in order to see some "different" scenery, ha ha.  Actually, we did drive through some rolling hills, so it wasn't as flat as we had previously seen.  We drove diagonally down from the North West to the South East until we got on the freeway at Jamestown.  It turns out that Jamestown in the home of a sacred white buffalo, which we glimpsed as we drove by.  There wasn't enough time to get a photo.  Did you know that the Native American tribes in the great plains considered white buffalo (albinos and very rare) to be sacred?

We arrived in the Fargo/Moorhead area around 2-3 in the afternoon.  My husband tried calling his mom and couldn't get a hold of her.  We had checked into our hotel and as we drove to it we spied an antique store, so we went back to browse.  Meanwhile, I was texting with his sister and she said the we could go to their house for supper and a visit.  After we were done browsing, we finally got his mother on the phone (she had been away having coffee) we went to her apartment and picked her up and went to my SIL's house.  We have three young nephews there, and it was fun seeing them since we haven't in several years.  Young boys sure grow fast! 

The next day was all about visiting my MIL, since it was Monday and everyone else was working, etc.  We spent the day with her doing some things to help her, like cleaning up a few things on her computer, and hooking up a new tv for her with a cable to the computer so she can get netflicks if she wants.  We also went to an antique mall and while the shop the previous day was pretty junky, this mall was AWESOME.  Because we were flying, I had to restrain myself, though.  Here are some of the "spoils."

I like to get old flags.  These are 48 star flags.  When I first began finding them, my husband couldn't figure out how I knew, with a quick glance, if they were 48 stars or not.  I showed him how the stars are in a grid pattern.  These were VERY affordable, too.  I was thrilled to find the larger one with a navy staff as I had another at home, and pairs are always better! 

Then I discovered something that I've never seen before:
I have never seen 49 star flags before!  The blue star field looks very similar to our 50 star flag, so I plan to count the stars in some of my older "50 star" flags to see if any are 49 instead. 

The package contained a panel of one larger flag, and two smaller ones.
Another fun thing that I found was this still "new/in the box," vintage travel iron.

The cord unplugs from the iron and the handle folds flat.  There are no switches or settings--it is on and hot if plugged in and off when unplugged.

I tried it out yesterday and it works great!  I LOVE the sharp point of the tip.

I also collect little, red child's chairs.  They had a great one with awesome paint, but it was way too big for the suitcase, but I did find this miniature one, so it came home with me, too.

The next day, Tuesday, was our return day. Our flight was leaving at 2pm, but we wanted to get to the airport by 11 in order to return the rental car so we didn't have to pay for an additional day.  My MIL had a doctor's appointment, so we had made our farewells the night before.  We got up and packed everything and decided to have a large breakfast so that we wouldn't be hungry at lunch time.  We were still done early, so we headed to the airport anyway.  There was an earlier flight to Chicago and I thought maybe we could get on it.  I was worried because we only had 50 minutes in between flights in Chicago and on our way we had to change terminals.  We arrived at the airport at 10 AM or so.

We weren't able to get on the earlier flight, but we had books, computers, ipods, etc. so we could occupy ourselves until our 2:00 flight.  After a while, we started overhearing conversations about late aircraft and fog in Chicago.  Hmm.  Our flight was still okay, so we went back to reading.  It turned out that the earlier flight was late arriving and departing.  Around 1 pm, I got an email from the airline telling us that our flight from Chicago to Richmond would be late.  Immediately after that, I got another email that it was cancelled.  I packed everything up and went to search from my husband who was walking around, so that we could go to the counter to see our options.  He needed to call the Army and add another day of leave.  As we were waiting in line, I got a third email saying we were rescheduled on another flight departing at 9:40 from Chicago and arriving in Richmond just before midnight.  We stayed in line to see if we could get our boarding passes, but we couldn't.  So we went back upstairs to go through security  for our flight out of Fargo.  Just after we settled in the gate area, I got another email saying that our Fargo flight was delayed.  I could go on and on here--but I suspect that you are getting the idea of our tedious day.  We finally left Fargo at 3:45.  The flight to Richmond was delayed again.  We landed in Richmond at 1:08 AM.  We still had to get luggage, ride the shuttle to our car, and drive home.  We drove in to our garage at:
Can you see?  2:39 AM! 

What is it about spending a day sitting around in an airport or on planes that makes a person so tired?  We slept until 9:30 AM and the rest of the day I managed to do laundry and run out for milk, but that was about it.  Did I mention that I hate to fly?  This is a prime example of why!

Yesterday I felt more normal and I actually worked on my Schnibble!  It is pieced and even half-quilted.  Hopefully I can show it to you soon!

Have a great day!

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Back From My Trip

Hi Everyone!

I am back from our trip.  If you remember, I may have mentioned that we were going to North Dakota.  We are both originally from South Dakota, but my nephew was getting married up north where he went to school in the town where his bride is from.  Also, my mother-in-law and my sister-in-law and her husband and kids live just across the border in Moorhead, Minnesota.  When it came to deciding if we were going to the wedding, we decided we could do that and then take a couple days to see my husband's family so we decided to do both.
When I made travel plans, we decided to fly in and out of Fargo, ND.  I checked on Google maps and the wedding location, Minot, didn't seem too far away.  Once everything was booked and I checked the map again, I was surprised to discover that it was almost 400 miles away! 
Here was the itinerary (and what really happened):
Flight from Richmond, VA to Chicago:  Friday at 5:45 AM
(Since the flight was so early and we are an hour from Richmond, we decided to drive to Richmond on Thursday night.  My husband would get home from work as usual around 6:30-7:00, he would change, and then we would have dinner on the way up to Richmond--I figured we would get there around 8-8:30.  What actually happened was that around 6pm we got hit with that freak wind storm that swept across a great portion of the eastern US.  It knocked out power in various places across the area causing a huge traffic jam on the freeway to Richmond and other dramas.  We finally arrived at our hotel at 10:30pm.  We had to get up at 3:45 AM to get to the airport, etc.)
Flight from Chicago to Fargo, ND.
(Delayed an hour.)
We landed in Fargo around 11 AM eastern and got our rental car and started heading for Minot--the city of the wedding and where our hotel was located.
Here's a map.  Fargo is in the bottom left corner.  We had to travel to the north and a little left of center.  Can you see Minot?  Anyway, it was a lot of North Dakota to see.  I had previously been in Fargo once before, but that was pretty much it.  My husband had really only been driven across the border into the state so he could say he had been there, so it was all new territory for us both.  We headed up the freeway to Grand Forks and then west from there.  We had lunch in Grand Forks.
We both grew up in the Midwest and there is a regional chain of Mexican fast-food restaurants called Taco Johns.  Maybe some of you are familiar with them.  Probably it isn't that different from Taco Bell, but since it had been years since we've been to the area, we wanted Taco Johns.  So we found one and had lunch there.  Then we hit the road again.
Here is a photo.  North Dakota is fairly flat, but there were more trees than I expected--just not in this photo.  Can you make out the large, white wind generator in the center?
We finally made it to the bride's parents house in time for the rehearsal dinner, which was a cookout full of yummy foods.  We visited for a while and then continued on to Minot.  (The bride's family live about an hour northeast of Minot in a tiny town.)  We sat around the pool in the hotel visiting with everyone until 11pm when we finally went to bed.  (Remember we had been up since 3:45 Eastern)
The next day, Saturday, was the wedding.  It was at 1:30, so we had the morning to relax, etc.  My other sister (not the mother of the groom) had arrived late the previous day.  She had had a wisdom tooth extracted on Thursday and was swollen and in pain! Most people had to go for photos before lunch, but she, my niece, my parents, and my husband and I were free until the wedding.  We were talking about where to have lunch when my sister said she wanted Taco Johns!  (See, we all love it!)  So we went again.  They we got dressed up and went to the wedding.

The wedding was in one of those small, white country churches in the middle of nowhere that is common to the Midwest.  The bride's father is the pastor there, so it was a really touching ceremony.

Here is a snapshot of the happy couple with my parents.

After the festivities, we all trooped back to the hotel to change and relax.  My sister (the mother of the groom) who lives in California,  decided to provide supper for everyone and the bride and groom wanted pizza, but she wanted Taco Johns, so she got both and so we had it again for supper!

The next morning, Sunday, was Father's Day and most of us were leaving, so we all met and had a Father's Day breakfast together and then went our separate ways.  We drove back to Fargo because my MIL lives just over the river in Moorhead.

Since this is getting long, I will leave part 2 until tomorrow! 
Have a great day!

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Busy Days

Hi Everyone!

I have been busy the past few days.  On Tuesday I worked an election.  It was a primary for one party and there were only two entries on the ballot--a choice between two for LT. Governor and a choice between two for Attorney General.  There were seven of us working the precinct.  We arrived at 4:45 AM to set up everything so that the polls could open at 6 AM.  We have a really good group of people (they've all been doing it for years--I'm the "newbie") so we were easily set up in plenty of time.  Our precinct has just over 4000 registered voters.  The polls were open until 7 PM.  We suspected that turnout would be small, BUT it even surprised the experienced workers.  We had 55 people vote.  All Day! 55!  I'm so disappointed that more people didn't vote.  At any rate, even though we didn't have much to do through the day, it was fun visiting with everyone.  At the end of the day I got the best compliment ever when they all agreed that I couldn't move away.

Yesterday the air conditioning that has been out for three weeks upstairs finally got fixed!  We have been very patient with the landlords but it was getting tough the past week as the heat and humidity has increased.  It is nice to have my sewing room nice and cool again!

The workers left in time for me to head out to a hair appointment.  I have not been too thrilled with the first stylist I visited, but I was tying to hang in there.  First she offended me by using a term that I found really offensive, but then last time she overbooked her time and her next client arrived while I wasn't even half done so that client had to wait while she hurried through and then didn't even cut my hair--just trimmed the bangs.  I decided that I had given her plenty of chances, but I needed to find someone else.  Luckily I was at lunch with some friends shortly after this "last straw" and one of my friends recommended her stylist.  She is pretty busy, though, so I had to wait a bit to get in, but my, it was worth it!!!  I loved her!  I really think finding a good stylist who also suits my personality is the biggest challenge when moving.  Our conversation was even lively and entertaining!  She reads lots of books, too, and so we discussed favorite authors and each learned about a few "new" ones to us.  I love that!  I'm always looking for a great book.

Today I have a whole list of errands to run.  We are leaving tonight for a short trip for a family wedding.  It is going to involve flying!  I'm no longer a huge fan of flying.  I really don't like getting crammed in seats designed for shorter people!  I just keep reminding myself that driving all that way would be long and boring!  Having a miserable, short trip seems better than a long, boring one. 

I found another fun item in the store the other day!  I love finding new, fun patriotic things, so when I saw these, they had to come home with me.

Have a great day! 

Monday, June 10, 2013

Liberty Ridge

Happy Monday Everyone!

I have another finish to share.  I didn't piece this entirely this week!  It was a UFO that I had left from Hawaii.  I bought this kit the day it came out from Little Quilts--the designers.  I distinctly remember ordering it because we were having a tsunami in Hawaii and yet I called over to Little Quilts in Georgia to order it.  The charming lady I spoke with, when she found out where I lived, asked, "Aren't you having a Tsunami?"  I laughed and said yes, but that I was safe but I really wanted to make sure I got my kit!  Goodness, the things we quilters I sometimes do.

Despite my eagerness to get the kit, I didn't start on it right away.  I eventually did and got as far as framing the panel (yes, the flag is a printed panel--not pieced) with the ribbon border.  I also had the flying geese for the star blocks made. 

When I pulled out the WIP, all packed up in a large ziplock, I sorted through everything and got it organized.  I began by attaching the cream spacer border above and below the ribbon border.  Then I began to piece the star blocks.
I laid them all out to make sure that I had enough pieces, but I was short some of the light corners.  Hmm.  I looked through my stash to see if I had extra fabric, but I didn't.  I did have a few short strips the right width, so I cut them into the squares, but I was still short.  I went though everything again and discovered a pile of the right squares.  I made the star blocks and next I had to sew them together with some spacer strips.  Eee gad!  The short strips I had cut for corner squares (and didn't need once I found the other squares) were my center spacers!!!  This is why I don't like having UFOs--because I forget things, lose things, or screw them up.  I ended up cutting spaces from a different cream fabric from the kit and it is okay, but still...
It was pretty easy to attach the star rows and then border it all twice--once with the cream and once with the navy.  I really like how it came out.  There is way more blue in this quilt than red and I really like that look--it is different!
I'm loving how my design wall is looking, but I really need to get some layering, basting, and quilting done!
After that I started pulling fabric for my Schnibble--Dulcinea this month.  The pattern looks like children's pinwheels to me, so I decided to use some of my "fun" patriotic fabrics that I rarely use.  This is what I have so far, but I'm not certain if I'm going to like it yet.  I will continue for now and see how I like it together.
I pulled fabrics with stripes and other lines that would lend a sense of movement to the pinwheels.
Have a great day everyone!