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, May 20, 2014

Talkin Turkey Flimsy Finish!

Hi Everyone,

It was just over 6 weeks ago that I got to spend the day with Bonnie Hunter working on this project.  As you may recall, I took it to my retreat in April and did a whole bunch of work on it.  I was hoping to finish it there, but I didn't get all of the flying geese completed, and then I realized I had cut the scrappy sashing strips incorrectly (9" instead of 9.5")  I lost the momentum at retreat but when I got home, I put some of the finished blocks up on the design wall to relook the sashing.  I was going to cut more scrappy pieces, but as I was pulling out fabric, I came across a patriotic, star-studded piece that I really liked.  I thought it would add a patriotic touch to my Talkin Turkey.  I cut a few strips and put them up, but couldn't get a good enough look, so I cut even more.

See the strips with the stars and light red stripes?  

I started second-guessing the choice.  I thought the stars were a bit too "bossy"--that they took over too much.

This is with the scrappy sashings--the way Bonnie made hers.  I liked it fine, but I started thinking about putting my own stamp on the project--I could make it like Bonnie's and it would look nearly exactly like Bonnie's.  That would be okay, but it wouldn't be "mine."

So I was stuck in indecision, and I hate that.  Meanwhile, I got distracted working on my Blogger Girls BOM, etc.  Once I finished it, I got this back out.  I really wanted to finish it prior to moving, as I didn't want to lose any of the pieces.  I got it out and put it back up on the design wall to make a decision.  And my decision was just to finish it already!  Sometimes it is possible to think too much--I needed to sew.  

Actually, I had several more of the blocks to finish, and then I made the 200+ flying geese for the border and when it was time to start sewing everything together, I just went ahead and used the star sashing strips.  I reminded myself that they would be a half inch narrower, once the sew allowances were sewn, and that may help "minimize" the bossiness.  I think it did.

I finished it on Saturday.  I couldn't photograph it outside that day as we had contractors here installing a new door to the back deck.  On Sunday, it was too windy, so I finally got some pictures Monday.  Although it looked nice and still outside, once I took it out, sure enough--a breeze came up.  Doesn't that always happen?

Here's a closeup so that you can see the star sashing sewn in.

The middle went together very easily, but the borders took forever.  Have you ever noticed that?  You get a fairly complex quilt done and think the border will only take an hour or so and it takes an entire day.  Or two!

First was a completer border, comprised of the final row of the nine-patches with strips of three rectangles in between.  I made and sewed on all four sides of that.  Next was the first of the flying geese borders.  Some of them needed a spacer square in the middle, and some needed an HST at the ends, etc. so I really needed to pay attention to constructing the border strips and getting them attached correctly.  After that was the string-pieced border.  The directions said to sew them all together into one long, long strip, so I did.  Then I carefully measured through the middle of the quilt to get the correct measurements, and then I carefully measured out the correct lengths and cut them off.  I did two for the sides, and then two for the top and bottom.  In both cases, the first strip went on perfectly--the strip fit exactly.  In the second case for each strip, it didn't fit.  For the second side, the strip was a tad too short, and for the bottom, it was way too long.  I had no idea what was going on.  The only think that I can figure is that the string-piecing made for a really "springy" border.  Literally, it was almost like an accordion.  Although I was careful not to stretch it while measuring, I must have.  Anyway, I just added another string to lengthen the side, and I trimmed off the excess on the bottom border.  Finally, the end was near!  Just one more round of border--another flying geese one, again with spacers, and HSTs, and other squares on the ends of the sides.  I was a bit nervous, too, that it would fit okay with those two string borders being off, but they fit perfectly!  I was done!  Well, almost.  I quickly determined that I was going to need to stay-stitch all around the perimeter to help keep things from falling apart before it can get quilted and bound.

I love this quilt for several reasons:  First and most importantly because it represents my class with Bonnie Hunter.  Secondly, because I've always wanted a red/cream quilt.  And finally, I love the complexity of Bonnie's patterns and all of the pieces and kinds of fabric that went into it.

 I think that I listened to at least 3 Mitch Rapp books by Vince Flynn while working on it.  I like Mitch Rapp, but he's no Jack Reacher, or maybe I "kept my distance" from the series a bit since I know that Vince Flynn passed away last year, and there may not be any more books.

Have a great day!


  1. Absolutely stunning!! LOVE IT!!! Great job!!


  2. Beautiful quilt and I LOVE how you made it YOURS. :)

  3. Yes, this is stunning and I love the star sashing! I took Bonnie's class in January for SMith Mountain Morning. Should have had her sign one of the blocks but I love the quilt and it fits my bed for Christmas. You probably won't be giving this one away, too many memories. I have nearly all of her books and I love her scrappiness.

  4. JoAnne, that turned out great! I've had that quilt bookmarked to do since i got Bonnie's book. You've inspired me to plan to do mine soon!!!


  5. Love this quilt! Isn't it funny how you always think...I can finish this in an hour or two...then days later it's still not finished? Everything always takes longer than I think it should!

  6. What a great quilt the star fabric really looks good I like it.

  7. It's beautiful! I like your choice for the sashing strips, too.

  8. I don't think it bossed it, I think it calmed it down. Nicely done and congrats on a finished flimsie.

  9. I agree with Sharon. Having a unifying sashing calmed the sea, so to speak. I really like it!
    BTW, I NEVER think the border on a Bonnie quilt will go quickly! *LOL*

  10. Just gorgeous! I totally get the indecisiveness...but I think you did the perfect option. It needed "your" personal touch with the stars and stripes fabric. No one will ever think it should have been different if you don't keep pointing it out! LOL That's an issue I have too! Great job! Definitely a quilt on my bucket list too!

  11. Absolutely gorgeous! And I love the sashing fabric choice... perfect. When I first saw this blocks, I thought... uh oh! I like these blocks way too much... so there may be another of these quilts happening in south-central NC. *lol*

    Congratulations on a wonderful finish! Very inspiring!

  12. Stunning! Your choice of fabric for the sashing was just "perfect"! Awesome job, JoAnne!

  13. A beautiful finish! The sashing is great, I think it ties it all together and as you said, it makes it yours!

  14. I am so like you, JoAnne, in that I, too, over-think my decisions. Your choice for the sashing is perfect. The quilt speaks your name and love of patriotic quilts.

  15. What a GORGEOUS finish!
    Your fabric choices were really beautiful and your top is Stunning!

  16. It is a really stunning quilt. And I can see why the borders took so long. I don't particularly enjoy putting them on, but complex ones can really add a lot to a quilt. This is definitely one to be treasured!