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, February 27, 2014

February's Schnibble

Hi Everyone,

I'm taking a break from the quilt festival to write about my Schnibble for this month.  Last night was the one and a half hour preview of the show for those who were preregistered.  We spent the time cruising by the vendors to see what we may want to go back too later, and yes, we shopped a bit, too.

This month's Schnibble was "Quilter's Choice."  It could be any Schnibble pattern as long as it wasn't a quilt that you already shared on a parade before.  I decided to make "Short Story" from one of Carrie's books, but there is also a pattern of it.  It looks like spools, and is a really fun  block to make.  Carrie is so clever in figuring out how to make it from charm squares.  Once you get the units ready to make the block, everything nestles perfectly together!

I used Midwinter Reds by Minick and Simpson but used a dark blue as my background.  This happens to be Moda Bella American Blue.  (Would I choose any other shade of blue if one of my choices is called American?  I think not!)

It was a gorgeous day on Sunday--nearly 70 degrees, so my husband and I took it out to photograph it.  

This is along the James River.  

I really love this quilt.  I know it is going to stay at my house!  

The parades on the first are going to be fantastic!  Normally I love the parades to see all the versions of the same quilt, but these are going to be fabulous to see all the different quilts!  If you want to see them for yourself, visit Sherri or Sinta.  They do such a great job putting them together and I'm sure parade day is chaotic for them!

Today will be a full day of the show.  I'm expecting to have really sore feet by the end of it.  I hope you all have a great day!

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year

Hi Everyone,

Today starts the most wonderful time of the year!  At least here in Hampton Roads, Virginia.  Tonight is the preview and then tomorrow is the big opening day for the Mid-Atlantic Quilt Festival!

As you can see, I have my credential and am impatiently waiting for the preview tonight.  Actually, it is going to be a busy day as I have a friend arriving today from Alabama.  She is staying for nearly a week and we will take in the show and spend extra time quilting and talking and drinking tea, etc.  I really wish all of you could join us!

We are taking a Free-motion Feathers class from Sue Nickels.  We also are taking a few lectures, but I don't remember what they are right now.  I will be taking lots of pictures of the quilts, etc. to share here.  Also, I'm sure I'll be sharing in "real time" via Instagram.

I have to say that I'm totally loving Instagram.  If you aren't sure what it is all about, or maybe like me, you thought it is an app to edit pictures, you may want to check it out.  It is sort of like Facebook, where you "follow" different people, but I have kept the people I follow (aside from close family members) limited to quilters.  It is sort of like mini-blogs.  People take a picture, write a bit about it and then share.  You can comment or just "like" it.  If you have a smart phone and want to check it, I strongly encourage you.  Find me "patrioticquilter" and then you can look at who I follow.  Sherri from A Quilting Life, Sinta from Pink Pincushion, Thelma from Cupcakes and Daisies, Mary from Quilt Hollow, Edyta Sitar from Laundry Basket Quilts, etc. are all on Instagram. I find that I am not spending nearly as much time on Facebook anymore.  I would much rather look at quilty fun on IG!

Anyway, I need to run.  I have a few errands to run before my friend, Dorothy, gets here.

Have a great day!

Monday, February 24, 2014

Spell it with Fabric: America

Hi Everyone,

I'm not sure if you saw the blog hop that Moda began last week:  Spell it with Fabric.  I visited the first few blocks but wasn't paying it much mind and then I began to get some ideas.  I revisited the blogs and started downloading the patterns.  Each day Monday through Friday, 3-4 blogs are featured and each one is providing a link for a letter of the alphabet.  As of yesterday, A-R were available, and I'm guessing that S, T, and U are featured today.  If you are interested, you can find the details and all of the links here.   I quickly started playing and could hardly wait for each morning when I could get the next few letters.  It was tough to get through the weekend as there were no new letters.  Can you believe I was looking forward to Monday morning?!

It was even harder to wait as I only needed the "R" to finish the project I decided to make.  I got the R pattern yesterday morning, made it, finished my top, layered, quilted, and bound it in time to take some pictures in the afternoon. 

Since it was a Moda project, I decided to use Moda fabric.  In this case, my favorite designers, Minick and Simpson.  I had some small pieces of large-scale fabrics.  Since I normally make projects with small pieces (and I don't like to cut large-scale fabrics into small bits) these have been languishing for a while waiting for the perfect project!  The background fabric is from Prairie Paisley, and most of the others are from Prairie Paisley II, although there are a few others thrown in the mix. 

I would love to take credit for having the idea of adding the tiny stars, but it wasn't mine.  Bonnie (from Bonnie and Camille fame) did the "C" and had added a tiny star to it.  Since I love stars, I had to play with them, too.  The star pattern didn't come with the letter block pattern, but I remembered that the Countdown to Christmas quilt that was a quilt-along last year by the Temecula Quilt Co had directions to make little 2" finished stars.  They worked perfectly with these blocks, as the letters are made from 2.5" strips. 

The finished quilt is more of a banner.  I hung it outside on my porch for effect.

It finished at about 12" high and 64" long.  I think each letter block finished at 8" wide by 10" high.  I cut 1.5" strips to put between every letter and to frame the entire word.  I haven't stopped with this quilt, though!

I made a J for myself, using some fun, patriotic fabric.  I'll quilt it and bind it in red and it can join my wall of minis.  But I'm still not done!  I have been trying to decided on presents for my young nieces who are taking First Communion, so I'm playing with their names now.  I'll share when I get them done, but I need the V and the X to finish.  I'm making their letters by piecing 2.5" squares, for more of a patchwork look.  It has been lots of fun clicking on the hashtag #spellitwithmoda on Instagram to see what other quilters are doing! 

Have a great day!


Hi Everyone,

The Olympics are now over--I feel like I've been on holiday or stranded on a deserted island.  It is good to get back to normal, but I am a little sad that it is over.

I am pleased that I was able to meet my goal.  I wanted to get those 4 center blocks finished while watching the games.

Here are my finished blocks taped up under my television with the opening of the Closing Ceremonies on the screen!

I must say that I didn't spend all of my time in  front of the television.  I'll be sharing in my next post what new project has tickled my fancy!

Have a great day!

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

I've Got the Fever

Hi Everyone,

I'm not sure how much I'm going to have to share this week.  I quite simply have caught Olympic fever and am spending very little time doing anything but watching the games (and appliqueing.)  I haven't even watched Sunday's episode of Downton Abbey yet!  Neither am I spending much time online reading blogs and making comments.  If you have been missing me, never fear--I'll be back next week.

I can update you on the applique blocks I've been doing.  I set the goal to finish the four, identical center blocks of Sarah's Revival and over the weekend, I got all the red done on all four of them.  It was some really nit-picky applique as the red consists of flowers with "star-shaped" blossoms.  That means they are full of sharp points, and my least favorite shape to applique is sharp points.

I began on the green, basting it in place as I finished each center square.  When I finished all of the red, it was time to begin with the green.  It is so much easier than the red--even though there is more green in each block than red--it is going much faster.  I thought I would share some photos of the process.

1.  The block with the green basted in place

2.  I've started appliqueing around the outside edge of the motif

3.  I've gotten part-way around the outside, and I've revealed some of the red.

4.  All of the outside is done

5.  Beginning the inside.  (Red peeking out)

6.  All of the inside is done.  I just have the small heart to stitch.

7.  It's finished!  One down, three to go.

Are you watching the games?  Do you have a favorite?  I can't say that I do.  We were on the edge of our seat watching the US vs Russia Hockey game.  Many American athletes who were expected to get the gold haven't.  I'm not sure if I'm that disappointed.  Sometimes when someone "rules" the sport, it is nice to see someone else finally win for a change.  The exception for me was that I really wanted the American ice dancers to win gold, so I was pleased for them.  I am looking forward to the women's hockey gold medal game on Thursday, however I have a luncheon at the same time!  Ugh.  I guess I will record it and not look or listen to any news, computers, phones, etc.  My least favorite thing about the games--the spoilers!

I hope you all have a great day!

Friday, February 14, 2014

Sarah's Revival Update

Happy Valentine's Day!

In honor of the day, I thought I would share some red and white.  It has been a while since I've done an update on this project.  That is probably because it has been a while since I've had anything to share!  But as I mentioned last week, I have a goal for the Olympics to get the four center blocks done.  They are identical blocks and the only ones to use red and green.  Before I could work on them, I needed to finish the other two blocks I had underway.  I usually only applique one at a time, but I also have one all basted and ready to start.

I drug this poor block around for months working on it a bit here and there.  Needle-turn applique is like other things--the more you work on it, the better it gets.  This block really suffered because each time I worked on it, I hadn't touched it for probably two weeks!

This was the block I already had basted.  Before I began it, I basted the red fabric on the four center blocks.  With back-basting applique, I find that the longer the basting is in, the easier it is to applique.  I can baste and immediately start the needle-turning, but giving it at least 24 hours makes a noticeable difference.  

Betweeen these two blocks, I crossed a milestone--the top block was the 18th out of 36 blocks.  The second block is the 19th, so now I'm more than halfway done with them!!!!!!

I decided to lay them all out to admire them

So far I've gotten the red done on two of the center blocks and have the green basted over the top.  I'm now working on the red for the third block.  I'm excited to see how a finished block will look--that and the fact that I'm spending lots of time watching the Olympics is really helping me keep focused!

I hope everyone has a "sweet" day!

Thursday, February 13, 2014

I Survived!

Hi Everyone,

If you remember, on Tuesday night my friend Janice and I were to give the program at our night guild meeting.  I'm here writing to you all that I survived!  I was afraid that I would get really nervous, but in the end, my fears were my only problem.  I slept fine the night before and when I woke on Tuesday morning, my stomach was not full of butterflies.  Janice came to my house a bit before 5 so we could talk through everything one more time and make sure that we had everything that we needed.  We did that, packed it up and went to dinner.

We stopped at an Italian restaurant and ordered.  We were talking about quilting, the Olympics, the color her daughter wanted to paint the kitchen, chocolate,  and all sorts of things.  We realized after a bit that it seemed to be taking a long time to get our food.  Finally, they brought my calzone and a few minutes later, they brought her pizza.  They had made the pizza incorrectly.  After we had mostly finished, I checked the time.  It was 6:00!  Guild starts at 7, but we needed to be there by 6:30 and it was across town.  We paid as fast as they could ring us up and headed out.  We got onto the freeway and promptly got stuck in a huge traffic jam!  Janice drove like a star, and we were those drivers that make everyone mad by flying down the open lane and then budging our way across the jammed up lanes.  It worked, though, and we made it in time!

Our program was about some of those "quick trick" blocks like Exploding Pineapple, Anita's Arrowhead, Disappearing Nine Patch, Disappearing Four Patch, Disappearing 16 Patch, Disappearing Pinwheel (this was those fun pinwheel churndash blocks) Disappearing Half Square Triangle, etc.  We showed samples and provided a list of links to the original sources.  Some of us who are "computer quilters" are already familiar with many of these, but there are many people who don't use the computer much.  Anyway, it was really well received.  We had many complimentary comments, so we felt pretty good.  My favorite moment was arriving a bit late, but seeing two good friends from our Bee who came to support us, even though they don't normally go to night guild!

Since I was sitting in the front row, and remembered my camera (!) I took some pictures of the show and tell to share with you.  We all love quilt eye-candy, right?

This is an antique quilt that someone found in a box in her in-law's garage!

There seemed to be quite a few art quilts this time, including this cat.

Do you know the term "Contraband" soldier?  It was given to slaves who escaped to Union holdings during the Civil War.  Fort Monroe (just recently closed) here in Hampton Roads, VA was one place that attracted former slaves.  This piece is called "Contraband Man" and features the Fort Monroe lighthouse.

Yes, this is a quilt!!!  It is all thread painting on black fabric.  Perhaps you recognize Harriet Tubman?  The artist had another piece that was a portrait of John Lennon, but my photo was blurry.

A One-Block Wonder.  The fabric had frogs on it.

A Wedding Quilt

"Under the Apple Tree"

Janice and I took all of our samples on many of the design boards that I made and blogged about before.  During the program, I also told how to make them.  I gave 4 of them as door prizes, and they proved to be pretty popular!

It was a great evening, but I'm really relieved that it is over!  Have a great day!

Monday, February 10, 2014

Tea at Downton Abbey

Hi Everyone,

Okay, so I didn't actually have tea at Downton Abbey, but I did have tea in Colonial Williamsburg, at the Williamsburg Lodge and also in attendance was Lady Carnarvon, mistress of Highclere Castle--know to all fans as Downton Abbey.  If you didn't know, she has written two books about previous Ladies who lived there and many fascinating stories, some of which she shared with us.

My ticket and one of the books.
For instance, did you know that Lady Carnarvon's husband's great grandfather was the Lord Carnarvon who financed Howard Carter in his quest to discover and reveal King Tut's tomb?  In fact, it was Lord Carvarvon who got bit by a mosquito and died--creating the whole "Curse" story.  That particular Lord's wife turned Highclere Castle into a hospital during WWI--inspiring that story line in Downton Abbey.   Just like Cora, she was an American heiress that the Lord married for her money.  Their son married an American wife, as well, and he was one of Prince Edward's friends who tried to talk him out of his relationship with Wallis Simpson (to no avail.)

This is my friend, Christy and me.  I'm on the right in red.

This was our table setting when we arrived.
We enjoyed tea before she spoke, however.  We arrived and were served Earl Gray tea.  We also had a glass of water and a glass of sherry.  Two scones were waiting for us, along with Devonshire cream and strawberry jam. 
I had decided early on that I would wear a dress.  Christy thought she would wear dressy pants, but a few days before, she told me she was wearing a dress, too.  Most women were in dresses.  I saw at least 10-12 ladies wearing hats.  There were quite a few ladies wearing pants, though, so we wouldn't have felt out of place if we had worn them.  I even saw a woman in pants and riding boots!  There were also quite a few men there--many more than I thought--and they were all wearing suits.  All in all, there were probably 200-300 people there.  We were in a large ballroom seated at round tables that held 10-12.  We also felt rather "young" for the crowd.  I would say that the average attendee was a married (or otherwise) couple in their late 60s-early 70s.  There were others, though, including a whole table of women friends nearby. 
We began eating scones and drinking tea and making conversation.  One of the waiters came to refill my tea and poured some all over my arm.  He didn't even notice!  Luckily, it wasn't very hot, or it could have ended the day's fun right then.  They cleared away those plates and brought sandwiches.

One was carrot ginger, one was Virginia ham, and one was smoked salmon.  Neither of us (or the lady next to me) was willing to bite into one in fear that it would be the salmon.  (Despite 4 years living in Alaska, I still don't like salmon at all.)  I guessed it would be the one with brown bread,  and that was right.  The other two were very good. 

While we were eating, there was a loop of music--including music from Downton Abbey--playing and two large screens were showing a slideshow of Downton Abbey pictures.  I took a picture, but it didn't come out.

Finally, as desserts were being passed around (nothing too extraordinary) the host introduced Lady Carnarvon and she began her presentation.  It was one of those that could have gone on forever--all the stories and anecdotes with charming old photographs--but before we knew it, she was concluding.  There was a brief period of Q&A.  Most questions were what you would expect: "What is it like when the film crew are there?" and "What is the subject of your next book?" (answer--food and entertainment) but why does there always have to be That One Person.  The Person Who Always Gets The Microphone and asks a totally inappropriate question?  (And subsequently feeds the stereotype of the rude American)  This person asked if Lady Carnarvon had know Princess Diana and if she thought Diana got a bad treatment from the Royal family.  (It wasn't as if it had already been mentioned that her husband's Godmother was Queen Elizabeth, for goodness sakes)  Lady C. was very gracious in her response that her husband had known Diana and that Diana was an extraordinary woman, and that her legacy remains with us in the form of her sons. 

Here is Lady Carnarvon at the podium.  Interestingly, she didn't wear a hat, and she was wearing pants!
We could then stand in line to get books autographed.  In the lobby, you could purchase books, either already autographed, or not.  We had ordered ours from Amazon, and were hoping to get them signed.  However, with so many people, I didn't know if it would be worth standing in a long line, but it ended up that she was doing the autographing right near us.  We were probably the 5th and sixth people in line.
Here she is signing one of my books.
Here Christy is getting her books signed.  She took a picture of me, and texted it to me, but I haven't got it saved in my computer yet. 
I got home in plenty of time to get my husband's supper and then to watch last night's episode of Downton, but I actually watched the Olympics instead, and watched Downton this morning.
Have a great day!


Saturday, February 8, 2014

The Olympics

Hi Everyone,

I plum forgot to mention the Olympics in my last post detailing how I would be spending my February.  Every 4 years, I get interested in sports <grin> and watch the Olympics.  Maybe it is because it is something interesting to watch?  Maybe because so many other people are watching and it is a good conversation starter?  Or maybe because it drums up a lot of patriotic fervor?  I think it is all three, but especially the last.

By now you probably have seen and/or heard about how Sochi is using patchwork graphics for the Olympics.

Isn't it gorgeous?  It isn't my quilting style, but I love it!  I'm guessing it won't be long before there are fabrics and patterns available to emulate the look.  At any rate, my husband is getting pretty darn sick of me pointing out the patchwork as we are watching!

But these bright graphics aren't the only example of patchwork that I've spotted.  The other one is more up my alley.

These are the uniforms of the US Snowboarding teams.  Men on the left and women on the right.  I did some research and discovered this article about how they were developed.  They actually bought a vintage quilt and had a master quilter deconstruct it in order to create a prototype for the uniform.  They also used a vintage flag.  I really love the "faded glory" look of this uniform.  I may use this color scheme in my own quilt.

Here is a photo of the actual vintage quilt.

While I'm watching, I am appliqueing on my Sarah's Revenge Revival quilt blocks.  I have set myself a goal of getting the four center blocks done while the Olympics are on.  I'm off to a rip-roaring start already:  these blocks have two colors of fabrics and I basted the green down first when I need to do the red first instead.  I wasn't very happy, but kept reminding myself that at least I hadn't begun the applique before I noticed.  I already finished the block I had in the works and am doing another one first before I get to the center blocks.  They need to be basted and "sit" for a while before they are appliqued.  (It's the back-basting method and the longer the basting stays in, the easier it is to do.)

Are you watching?  What is your favorite sports?  I really like it all but I if I choose I would have to say the ski jumping.  It is neat that they are letting women compete for the first time this games.  I also really like women's hockey.  The men's hockey is all dominated by NHL players and I feel like that is "cheating."  I like seeing the amateur players more.  When we lived in Alaska, my daughter played girls' hockey in high school.  They just began a varsity program for girls and she became the first female from her high school to earn a varsity letter!  Applique and hockey go well together.  I did nearly an entire quilt while she was at practice and during games.

Have a great day!

Friday, February 7, 2014

My February

Hi Everyone,

The first thing I have to say about my February is about February in general--I found this image and found to agree with it wholeheartedly.

Did any of you see the fabulous Schnibble parades on Monday?  They were awesome.  There is always such a wonderful showing of quilts--all made from the same pattern--but looking so unique and gorgeous!   Aside from all of the quilts, I'm always excited to see what the new pattern with be.  This time it is our choice!  We can either make a "vintage" pattern or a new one.  We can make and show any quilt that we haven't already shared on a past parade--so for instance, if I want to make another version of Clover, I could.  (Ha ha ha--I don't think so!)  While it is exciting to be able to make whatever pattern one wishes, I found it a bit frustrating as there isn't one I really want to do, and I was complaining a bit to myself that I now had one more decision to make.  I got out all of my patterns and books and looked through them all.  Nothing was obvious.  I went and looked at all my charm packs thinking if there was a line of fabric I really wanted to use, I could start with that.  Again, nothing was obvious.  As a few days passed by, though, I found myself thinking about one of the patterns more than others.

I actually don't have the pattern--this one is also in one of Carrie's books that I have.  I love that it is a spool block.  I know that we did spools before when we made Gentle Art, but my version of that quilt went to live at my sister's house as the fabrics went perfectly in her living room.  Since I no longer have a spool quilt of my own, I thought I would make another--and this time I would make it in colors that go with my house.

I decided to use Midwinter Reds.  I love that line--the problem is that it is red, tan, and cream so choosing a background can be tricky.  Luckily I had a dark blue (not quite navy) solid, so I'm using that.

Here is a sneak preview of some of the blocks.  I'll write more about them later.

So that settled my Schnibble plan for the month.  The next big event on the horizon is on Tuesday night.  A friend and I agreed to give the program to our night Guild meeting.  I still haven't sorted out exactly how that happened, but when I do, I'll write about it.  I'm more than a little nervous.  I know that I will either do fine or else I will be a wreck when Tuesday night arrives.  Since I'm an Army wife I'm laying bets that I will do fine, however one never knows.  Consequently, I am over-reacting by ensuring that I'm absolutely prepared with as many samples as possible.  I will write all about it after the meeting when I know I have survived!

Finally, the last week of the month is the big Mancuso Midatlantic Quilt Show here in the area.  A friend is coming to stay for it and we are taking one class--Sue Nickel's free motion quilting class on feathers.  If you remember, last year I took Pat Delany's feather class.  Have you seen me show off any quilted feathers?  No! that's why I'm taking another class.  Probably, what I need to do is practice, and I'm not so good at that, but I'm hoping this time will make a difference.  

Do any of you plan to come to that show?  If so, it would be really fun to meet up.  Let me know!  As for the rest of you, have no fear--I'll share the show with you.

I suspect that this month is going to fly by. Oh, and in case you are wondering, both my sister and tiny nephew are doing great.  He is nearly back to his birth weight and actually opens his eyes a bit more often now.  

Have a great day!