Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Fabric... Welcome to the Patriotic Quilter where I like to share all things quilty as well as red, white, and blue! Please feel free to look around and enjoy yourself! I would love to hear from you.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Let's Do the Twist

Hi Everyone,

I'm back, just as promised, to continue the saga of my Uncle Sam Twister quilt.  When I left off on my last post, I had made it to the point of having all of the squares sewn together.

(And the picture is still sideways...)

I heard from several of you that Sam looked really great "as is" and I agree!  He looked great and I did have a few qualms about starting to cut it again, but I plunged in anyway, hoping the new version would be at least as good.  I do to let you know that I altered the pattern a bit.  Did I say this yesterday?  I can't remember, but in case you didn't either, or I haven't said it yet, the pattern called said to cut 3.5" squares and then use the appropriate Twister template for those squares.  I only have the mini Twister, and it cuts from 2.5" squares, so that was the size that I used.  Just imagine how big this Sam would have been if all the squares were an inch larger!!!

In case you are new the the Twister templates, they look like this:

You align those black lines onto the seam allowances between your pieced squares and trim around the edges.  It is a good idea if you have a small rotary cutter when doing so, because you don't want to "overcut" too much, or you will ruin another piece.  The pattern tells you how to cut.  I had my largest Lori Holt design board out to place the newly cut squares on so they would stay in order.  (The design board is a piece of foam core covered in batting)  Another important bit to mention is that since the piece is "twisted," the newly cut edges are all bias.  In anticipation of this fact, I heavily starched my Sam quilt before I began to cut. In order to avoid any other issues, I only cut 10 rows of squares at a time.

Here you can see that I have the lines on the ruler aligned on the seam lines of my Sam.  I used the rotary cutter with the blade about the size of a quarter, and it worked brilliantly for this project.

As you cut out the pieces you need, you leave "waste" pieces behind.  This is the reason for the drastic shrinkage between the "before" and "after."  I suppose Bonnie Hunter, and maybe many of you, would keep these, but I just chucked them.  (Yes, I can hear your horrified gasps, ha ha!)

More cutting.

I sewed the first 10 rows together and ended up with this.

I put it above the rest of the Sam so I could see just how much it shrank.  Wow!

Before I began this project, I considered it, as I usually do about any new project.  I had decided that the "worst" part of the project would be all the cutting with the template, and boy was I right!  It was downright tedious!  The little template is small and even though it has little grippers on it, I used a lot of pressure to keep it in place--making my arms ache.  It was a good thing that I was working in batches of 10 rows, as I the break between cutting sessions was just what I needed.  So I cut and sewed, and cut and sewed, etc.  The sewing was really easy.

This is how it came out:

The original Sam measured about 25" x 70" and the twisted Sam measured 12" x 37!"  Quite a difference.  The little squares that I cut using the template finished at one inch!  The finished Twisted Sam is heavy and thick with all of the seam allowances.

Here is the back, so you can see it.

But not only do I have that "finished" picture for you, I have another.  I got it quilted!  I wasn't sure what I wanted to do, since it was so thick.  I decided to put on the walking foot and just stitch in the ditch the grid lines between all of the squares.  I like how it came out.

Earlier today, I went to lunch with some of my good Bee friends, and after we browsed in some quaint shops.  There was one shop that was full of banner flags--the cute outdoor ones.  I've never seen so many in one place in my life.  They also had stands in many sizes to hold the flags.  I started picturing using the stands for quilts instead of the banner/flags.  Then I found one that would be perfect for this Uncle Sam quilt.  I wasn't going to get it, though, but my friends made me  encouraged me to get it.  I ended up being really happy with it.  Have a look:

See the stars on the pole and the base?  Perfect!  He isn't done yet, though.  I realized I still need to sew on a small button or else a french knot for an eye.  I will do that later.  I wanted to spend the rest of the evening blogging and sharing him with you.  By the way, even though the stand is for outdoor use, Sam will be staying inside!

One other thing, when I woke up on Sunday, my head was all back to normal--no more vertigo and no more sinus congestion, too.

Have a great day!


  1. Great job! It turned out so good, and the stand is perfect. Glad you're feeling better.

  2. I've worked with the mini template - yes, the smaller rotary is best and yes, you need to take breaks as you get TIRED. Love that stand and so perfect for SAM.

  3. Really cute! I have a twister template but mine might be bigger than your version. I haven't used it yet, waiting for the right project to come along. I have several tools in a similar holding pattern, LOL.

  4. Turned out really cool--and what a great find in that stand!!

  5. I love, love, love it. The stand was a perfect find.

  6. Awesome! I think the Sam version of these twister patterns has to be the best! Absolutely love the stand too!

  7. I really enjoyed this post and seeing the final result with that stand is just the best. I'm glad you have encouraging friends! I know Sam is a perfect compliment in your home and you will smile every time you look at him. Thanks for sharing!!

  8. Glad you are feeling better. Uncle Sam turned out really well. And that stand??? That is so perfect for him. I really love that- glad your friend made (haha) you buy it!

  9. Had I been there, I would have made you buy that stand too. It's perfect!
    The big question....would you do a twister quilt again?

  10. Ah, I see now what you meant by twisting. Neat!

  11. He turned out very cute! I love the stand--never seen one--cool!

  12. He turned out wonderful JoAnne. I might have to look for that pattern! I have the templates but never bought any of the specialty patterns like sam or the pumpkin! Great job....(and the stand is perfect!)

  13. I'm glad your friends encouraged you to get that stand. It's perfect for Sam.

  14. JoAnne, your Sam came out beautiful and the stand is just perfect! I must confess that I would have pressed every seam open!! Think I will go make my twisted heart one! Have a great day!

  15. Uncle Sam never looked so good!!! So glad your friends twisted (no pun intended) your arm into buying the stand... it is just perfect! And with a rather large collection of R,W,&B quilts, I'm willing to bet one of them could also grace the stand very nicely, if Sam would ever be willing to give it up!

  16. That really turned out great, JoAnne! Those twisters are tedious...but good for you for sticking to it and getting it done! The stand is perfect too!

  17. The stand is perfect for Uncle Sam and he looks great hanging there. I'm glad your vertigo cleared up. That's an awful feeling.

  18. LOVE the way Sam turned out. And, the stand is perfect for him. I just might have to look for that pattern.

  19. This is sooooo fun! I love the Twister tools, but somehow I've only made one project with it. That needs to change. Your patriotic project looks amazing and that stand is perfect for it!