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.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

An Old Favorite

Hi Everyone,

I know that I said that during these 39 days of Patriotic holidays, I was only going to work on patriotic projects.  I made one exception, though.  I want to finish the Blogger Girls BOM that I have been working on all year.  The final block pattern was released on the first and I want to finish it while I'm still excited about it.

Meanwhile, I thought I would share a quilt that I made quite a while ago, long before I blogged.  Many of us remember Simply Quilts on HGTV.  I still can't believe they did away with it.  In fact, they have done away with most of my favorite shows on that channel.  Now a days, it is almost all real estate shows.  I wish they would make another channel just for that and bring back the design and garden and craft shows!  Anyway, I digress.  Alex had an episode featuring what I remember as "shadow quilts" in which a secondary pattern was created by altering the value/color of the block background.  Here is a photo I found on the internet that demonstrates the concept:
See how the blue fabric is used in the background to form the secondary pattern of squares in the quilt?  That was the concept of the show.  I kept that idea in the back of my brain for awhile and liked it.  Now I think you know enough about me to figure out that the "background pattern" I came up with was a flag.  I got out my graph paper and found some blocks I liked and made this:

I was inspired by the second verse of "My Country Tis of Thee" where is says:  "Long may our land be bright, with freedom's Holy light."  I think I pieced this around September 11, 2001. 

So you may be thinking, "that's cool, but JoAnne--you really screwed up on the border."

See how it is really skinny on the right side?  Yes, the border is wonky--but for a reason. 

This quilt had a bit of a history.  Originally, it wasn't supposed to have a border--I just wanted the look of a flag.  But, I had sent it off to a long-arm quilter that I had used before.  I sent a deposit along with it of over $100.  Months went by and I emailed her.  She had some excuse--her mom was sick, they were moving, etc.  More months went by.  More emails.  More excuses.  Finally she admitted she wasn't quilting anymore.  I asked for my quilt back and she said she would return it along with my deposit.  The quilt top finally came home.  With no deposit!  I wasn't happy, but at least I had my top back. 

Next, I decided to try quilting it myself and got as far as sketching out some patterns on it.  I didn't even layer it.  Then it languished in my pile of unquilted quilts for a few more years.  Fast forward to 2007-08.  I realized that with the addition of a border, I could use this quilt as the backing for this quilt:

Yep, the border on the flag quilt was a bit off center because it is the backing for this one!  This is a Jo Morton pattern and features her large-star fabric, fussy cut for the centers of the couthouse steps blocks and the inner border.

 I'd had the patriotic toile fabric for a while, and was waiting for the perfect place to use it.

I think it worked out great to use one quilt to back another.  As long as it is getting an all-over pattern, it should look good on both sides.  I was pleased. 

I've since tried again to use another pieced top as backing, and it came out even better!  You can read about that quilt in this post from my early days of blogging.

Have a great day!


  1. JoAnne ... absolutely LOVE, LOVE, LOVE the flag quilt with the houses on it ... did you write a pattern for that? OMGosh ... so wonderful!! How appropriate the inspiration should come around September 11th! God bless this great country! Linda

  2. It's lovely! And I love that you got your inspiration from one of my favorite patriotic songs!! And I love that it became the backing for another amazing quilt!!

  3. This is Beautiful, I love it. Can't decide which side I like better, but the little village in the stripes is so original. If this is not a pattern, you need to write one.

  4. I love the flag quilt and I love the courthouse steps quilt. It almost seems sad to me, though, that only one side at a time can be seen (in most circumstance) because they are both so gorgeous. The border on your courthouse steps is really fabulous. I love how you used triangles with stars. Seems like it would be a tricky bit of math to work out that detail! Thanks for sharing your beauties, JoAnne.

  5. Perfect! The flag side is really amazing and I've always loved the courthouse steps pattern too and the toile is just right. Too bad about that quilter - so disappointing when people take advantage and are dishonest.

  6. I love your little houses on the flag - it is really cute.

  7. How clever using the flag as a background in a quilt, that's backed with a quilt. Three quilts in one!