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.

Saturday, May 14, 2016

Doll Quilt Swap: Quilt Received

Hi Everyone,

Goodness, I'm a day late and a dollar short posting this!  Spring is upon us and I've been doing lots of gardening, yardwork, and babysitting recently and that is keeping me from stitching as much as I like!  Oh well, soon the heat will keep me inside in my sewing room.

The last post I shared detailed the quilt I made for the Reproduction Doll Quilt Swap hosted by Lori at Humble Quilts.  Making and sending a quilt off is lots of fun, and next was the true excitement when the mail came each day to see if my quilt was there.  Finally, one day, my husband brought in the mail and there was a package for me!  I confess, I was so eager to open it and see what it was that I didn't even hear him telling me about his day.  I think he was a bit miffed at me about that, but frankly, non-quilters just don't get it...

Anyway, what came out of the package was simply stunning!

This totally gorgeous quilt, plus some fabric, a pattern, and some awesome RWB measuring tape ribbon bundling it all together.

The quilt is so fun.  I'd never seen any pattern like it before--it reminds me of houses.  Just a few days later, though, I was looking on Amazon and they had "recommended books" for me to look at.  One was this:

It's the pattern, or at least the inspiration, for my quilt!  It was like recognizing an old friend.

Meanwhile, lets take another look at mine.

I made the photo as large as possible so you could see the gorgeous backing fabric.  I love the label as well.

I've shared the quilt, but I've not told about the very talented creator.  My swap partner was Patricia Riley, owner of Prairie Hill Retreat in Janesville, Wisconsin.  She included a brochure for her retreat center and it looks like a wonderful place to go with friends to quilt.  If you are interested, it is on Facebook.

I wanted to write this post yesterday when Lori put up the linky party, but I had plans to be down in Indianapolis to garden with my daughter.  We had a lovely day and the weather was perfect, so it was more yardwork last night when I got home.  My husband and I are in the process of building a raised-bed 4 feet wide by 20 feet long so I have lots more room for dahlias this year.

Have a wonderful day!

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Doll Swap Quilt--Indiana Crossings

Hi Everyone,

Last year I participated in the reproduction doll quilt swap hosted by Lori at Humble Quilts.  So when she announced that she was doing another, I eagerly signed up.  The rules are that it cannot be larger than 24" on a side (can be square or rectangle,) and has to be made with reproduction fabrics, prior to the 1920s.

I decided that I would try to replicate some or part of a real antique quilt and since I needed to start my search for a quilt somewhere, I chose to search for Indiana antique quilts, since Indiana is my new, adopted state.  I stumbled across this one, found here.

It's in my favorite colors!  And I love to make flying geese.  Lets look a bit closer.

And even closer.

That's a bit better--although I should have cropped the pictures maybe--but you get the idea.

I decided to make a piece of the quilt--pretty much as shown in the photo just above.  To make it, I needed a LeMoyne star block for the center and then lots of flying geese.

I realized that I own a Rapid Fire LeMoyne Star ruler, so I got it out and made the smallest one I could.  I then made the smallest flying geese I could with the Bloc Loc rulers that I have.

I tried to see how they would fit together and I realized I needed a LeMoyne star block that was a half inch larger than the first one.  I went back to the ruler and was momentarily stymied by the fact that it increased only in inches.  I considered for a short time and then decided to attempt to make it only a half inch larger by imagining a line exactly between the ones on the ruler.  It worked great!  Next, I started making more geese.

I laid out the units I would need to make a square.  I didn't like it, though, it looked like a block from a larger quilt.   I decided to add more geese to stretch it into a rectangle, so I made more geese.

Yes, I had to use "Y" seams to construct the top, but they really aren't that scary!  I find that as long as I mark the quarter inch intersections, they go together easily.  The result was as you see above, but I wanted a border.

I decided to continue with the flying geese and use them as a border, so I made more geese.  I laid out several possibilities and decided that I wanted each border to have the geese pointing to the center, so I would need an even amount on both the top/bottom and the sides.  Like this:

Of course, the center wasn't the right measurements for the border, so I had to add some skinny strips all around to "float" the center and bring it to the right measurments.  I sewed geese together to form the side borders and discovered I needed more, so I made more geese.

My next dilema was the corner squares.  Should they be navy or cream?  I thought they should be navy, since in the antique quilt, there are navy squares that appear where the geese meet, however on my smaller version, they just "boxed" the center too much.  I loved the inspiration quilt as it was so "airy" and "unconfined"  and it didn't have a heavy border surrounding it.  So in the end, I chose cream for the corner squares.

Last year, I designed a quilt for the swap and ended up not sending it out,  (I sent another in its place.)  Why?  I had machine quilted it by meandering over the top.  I personally thought it detracted from the "antique" look that we are striving for.  I don't object to machine quilting at all--but to me, the meander didn't look authentic.  I considered my options for this top and decided to hand quilt it.

I haven't hand-quilted in a while, so I had to get back "in the groove."  I really enjoyed it, too!  I used to do lots of hand-quilting but haven't lately.  I wonder why?  I suppose because I'm doing lots of other hand work--needle turn applique and wool applique.

It didn't take too long and it was finished.  I bound it in red and washed it to get the lovely "crinkle."

It's going to be difficult to send this out!  I'm proud of the fact that I didn't use a pattern and I had the technical skills to see how it was constructed and then make my own version.  I need to do that more often!  I named it "Indiana Crossings" not just because the lines of geese criss-cross acosss the quilt, but also because Indiana is know as "the Crossroads of America" as so many freeways travel across our state.

This is the back--I love the texture of the hand-quilting!

I'll send this off later this week.  The deadline is May 1, but I know this has a long journey.  I can't wait to see the one that arrives in my mailbox!

Have a great day!

Monday, April 11, 2016

The Wedding

Hi Everyone,

I know I've been absent again, but in the time I was we had a Big Event!  My daughter, our only child, got married.  The couple was only engaged about 6 months, but in that time, they planned a really wonderful wedding.

The big night was Friday, March 11, at the Indiana Children's Museum and what an event it was.  So many people said it was the most fun wedding they had ever attended--and I agreed.

I began the festivities with my daughter in the morning, going to the hair salon with her and the bridesmaids.
These are pictures of her getting her hair done.  Everyone kept remarking on all the hair!

The final result

After the hair was done, we went to lunch, where we all had pizza, except the bride, who had salad.

Then we headed to the museum.

I may have mentioned that the wedding would have a bit of a dinosaur theme...  The reception would be inside the Dinosphere.  Anyway, just as I snapped this picture outside, my phone battery went in the red!!!  I had no charger along with me.  

The bride and we ladies would be changing in the Manor--a Victorian mansion adjacent to the museum.

This is the room we were given--the picture is from their website--that isn't my daughter's dress!

Anyway, once we carried everything in, I sat in my daughter's car so as to charge my phone, until one of the bridemaids told me she had a wall charger along--then we all took turns plugging in to it.

In the end, it really didn't matter, since I never got a chance to take many pictures.  Have you had a daughter get married before?  It was all such a whirlwind of emotions, and seemed to flash by in seconds.  

We all were ready by 5 when pictures started.  Jessica hired a really wonderful photographer, and she kept them busy taking lots of fun photos all over the museum right until the ceremony began at 7.

My mom took this picture.  It still makes me cry a bit--she is so beautiful!

Here is my husband walking her down the aisle.

Cutting the cake in the Dinosphere

After we had eaten and the cake was cut, we went back to the atrium for dancing.

Their first dance.

The Father and Bride dance.  More tears!!!

My husband and I

The festivities wrapped up by ten, and then we had until 11 to get cleaned up.

I did get this picture of the bride getting ready to leave.  I loved her flowers!

I loaded up my daughter's car and drove it back to the hotel--she had left with her new husband, of course!  

It seemed like it was over so quickly.  Other than the festivities, I loved having so much family come.  My older sister and her husband flew in from southern California, and one of their sons and his girlfriend came from Colorado.  My mother-in-law flew in from North Dakota.  It seemed like I didn't get enough of a chance to visit with all of them, though.  

I think I'll write another blog post later about all of the "crafting" and hard work that my daughter did to make her special day.  Here's a hint:  not only was she the bride, but she made the wedding cake, too, with the help of some friends!  

Have a great day!

Thursday, February 11, 2016

My Moda Bake Shop ABC Birthday Quilt Along Quilt

Hi Everyone,

Boy, that title is sure a mouthful, isn't it?  As I may have mentioned in an earlier post, I had heard about this QAL several weeks ago.  I toyed with the idea of making a quilt with patriotic words at first, but I just couldn't get excited about it, so I moved the project to the back of my mind.  Then about 2 weeks ago, I read a quote on Facebook and got excited.

Do you ever get so excited about a project that you immediately grab paper and begin sketching out the idea?  And as it takes hold, you forget about any other projects, responsibilies, or even other fun events?  That was happening with me.  As soon as I sketched it out, I got right to cutting and sewing.

I used a fat quarter bundle of Moda's Red, White, and Free by Sandy Gervais that I had on my shelf.  I also had yardage of the background fabric and some of the other pieces.  I was two thirds finished when I realized I would need more background.  I did a Google search and wasn't having much luck.  Finally, after a page or two of results, there was a link to a shop that I've been ordering from for years, The Stitching Post, located in Southern Indiana.  They had some!  There was 2 1/4 yard left so I ordered it.  The next day I was out for a while and when I got home there was a message on my machine.  My heart sunk when I saw it was The Stitching Post calling--I figured that they no longer had the fabric.  I was wrong, though!  They actually had more and were calling to see if I needed more!  Talk about fabulous customer service.  We chatted for a bit and finally the owner asked if I or my husband had been in the service as she had several addresses from me in the system!  I laughed and said, "Yes, but now we are retired here in Indiana, too."  I would love to one day visit the actual shop.  With every order I have placed, it arrives with a personal note, handwritten on the form.  I love that.

Anyway, once I had more fabric, I was able to resume.  Besides all of the words, I needed some filler blocks.  I wanted to make them with the neutral fabrics so that they would be less visible and not take away attention from the quote.

It was fun to play with these fabrics and still get fun blocks, even though the contrast is low among the pieces.

Once I had all of the words completed, I was looking it over and realized I had made some of the "A's" different.  About half were this way:

(with long legs)

And half were this way:

(wish short legs)

Grr!  I decided in the end that it wasn't bothering me enough to change things.  Just a note here:  the patterns for the letters, Spell it with Moda, call for using 2.5" strips.  To get my quote to fit on a smaller size, I had to make them half the size, using 1.5" strips.

Finally on Monday, I got the entire quilt top finished.  I am really happy with it!

This quote means so much to me.  I'm so glad that I was able to fit it into a quilt.  Just a note here:  the patterns for the letters, Spell it with Moda, call for using 2.5" strips.  To get my quote to fit on the size quilt I wanted, I had to make them half the size, using 1.5" strips.  The finsihed quilt size is 63" square.  I was surprised about that--I had realized it would be 63" wide early on, but I had no idea how long it would become with all of the spacer strrips included.

All of the fabric is Moda, aside from the star field in the flag.  I have no idea who designed it.

And all of the Moda was from the Red, White, and Free line except what I used for the word, soldier.  I decided that should be different, and camoflage.  Luckily Moda had another line, "Because of the Brave" which had the perfect fabric.

I had one design challenge:  As you can see, I used the light blue background to highlight some of the words:  Flag, Breath, Soldier, Protecting.  I wanted to highlight another word, and Fly, Wind, and Moves were the choices.  After thinking about it, I decided on Moves, as it referenced "moving" to me, which describes the quote--I find it moving.

Now that this project is finished, I will admit that I'm feeling a bit like the day after Christmas--let down and depressed--in other words, the excitement is over.  For now.  There will be other projects!  (I'm just not sure what to focus on next.  I expect my husband would appreciate it if I did some grocery shopping!)

Have a wonderful day!

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Big, Complicated Finish

Hi Everyone,

I was trying to wait for a nice day to take some outdoor photos, but after we had thunder, lightning, pouring rain and then snow and wind all in 24 hours, I decided it probably wasn't going to happen, so I will have to settle for showing you the photos I took inside.

After fixing my problem border sections, it wasn't too difficult to get all the border completed and sewn on the quilt, finishing my part of my big, complicated project that I wanted to make last year.

I have it hanging on the soffit of my basement.  It will be a king-sized quilt and measures 114" square.

It's from Judy Martin's "Extraordinary Log Cabin Quilts."

I love how you get curves and circles, but all of the pieces are rectangles or squares!

Now I need to get it to the long-armer.

After finishing such a major project, I felt compelled to clean up my sewing room.  Do you ever do that or do you keep things tidy all the time?  I tend to make a mess as I sew and then clean up after.  I even vacuumed!

Have a wonderful day,

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

At Home

Hi Everyone,

I'm so glad it is finally February!  January never is my favorite month.  This year was no different and I spent most of it holed up at home, doing some quilting.

If you have been following my blog, you may recall that I love listening to audiobooks while I quilt.  I recently finished a couple that I enjoyed.  The first one was the newest Mitch Rapp book.  Vince Flynn started these books and tragically died a couple years ago--before I discovered his books.  The newest one was ghost written by Kyle Mills.  He did such a good job that I had no idea it wasn't "discovered" in Vince Flynn's computer and published posthumously!  (I recently listened to the new Girl With the Dragon Tatoo which was ghost-writed and I really didn't like it--the new author didn't stay true to the originals at all.  Characters had the same names, but were totally different people.)

The next book is different and by an author that is new to me.  One night a few weeks ago, my husband and I were bored with tv and so watched a movie "on demand."  We chose "Into the Woods" with Robert Redford and Nick Nolte.  It was really good.  At the credits, I saw that it was a true story and had been written by the man portrayed by Redford, Bill Bryson.  Interested, I checked him out and saw that he has written many books, one of which, "One Summer, America in 1927" I have had on my "too read" list.  Intrigued, I went to my Overdrive (libraray audiobook) app to see if any were available.  They do have several, and I put "One Summer" on hold.  As I was looking, I discovered that one, "At Home, a Short History of Private Life," was free to check out, so I did.

  Bill is known as a bit of a travel writer, but for this book, he was inspired to travel around his house.  At the time, his family lived in England in a former Victorian parsonage.  As he traveled through the home, he examined the history of nearly everything associated with home.  I found it fascinating!  History is mixed in with the story of the development of so many things that I had no idea about.  Corn:  scientists to this day have no idea how ancient MesoAmericans developed corn.  Its most closely related plant is a form of grass.  In fact, corn is dependant on people--it cannot resow itself and would disappear if it was no longer planted.  Concrete:  Initially "cement" (a ground up limestone) was mixed with clay and fired in a kiln.  One man experiemented with it, mixing it with aggregate and not firing it, and figuring out that it would harden on its own.  Cotton:  did you know it was once more valuable than silk?

While listening to these books, I was able to finish a few things.

I got my free BOM from Stacy West at Buttermilk Basin together.  It required nearly 240 one inch finished HSTs for the lattice.  I love how it looks, though.  I had some trouble with choosing the border fabric.  I auditioned many and even asked friends opinions.  I decided if I needed help with the decision--it must not be the right fabric, so I continued to audition and finally settled on this one.

I also finised piecing another of her patterns, Vintage Tree Farm Quilt.  I widened it a bit and shortened it to fit above my mantle for Christmas.

The "red truck with the tree in the back" has been a Christmas motif for the past couple years.  I'm sure it will disappear after a while, but I like it--especially as my husband drives a red truck.  (not vintage, though.)

I've got another big finish to share, but I'm waiting for another post for that.  I have some pictures but they aren't the greatest.  I'm wishing for good outdoor conditions for better photos, but so far, that's not happening.

Meanwhile, I started another project.  One of the reasons I avoided making a list of quilts to make this year was that sometimes fun projects just pop up out of nowhere, and this new quilt is one of them.

The Moda Bakeshop is celebrating their 7th anniversary with a Quilt-Along using the Spell it with Moda patterns.  I read about it, briefly considered something--making a quilt with patriotic words, but then dismissed it.  Then last week, I read a quote on facebook that I loved and wondered if I could sew it.  I got out graph paper and began sketching out designs, wondering if the quote would fit into a lap-sized quilt.  It would if I shrank the letter blocks.  The pattern calls for using 2.5" jelly roll strips, but I am using 1.5" strips.  Here is my first word.

As you can see, I'm still sticking with my usual theme!  I had a fat quarter bundle and some yardage of Sandy Gervais' Red, White, and Free, so I'm using that.  It's such an exciting project!  I can't wait to see it come together and turn into a great design.

Have a great day!

Monday, January 18, 2016

"I Pick You"

Hi Everyone,

So while I was on "hiatus" from blogging this past year, we had a major event.  My daughter and her boyfriend went to my parent's house for a weekend in late September.  They toured wineries and also went apple picking.  A fun time was had.  They went home and began unloading the car.  My daughter went to carry in a container of apples and found this.

Her boyfriend said, "I pick you!" (and some other romantic stuff.)  Anyway, he is now her fiance and we are in the middle of wedding planning!

The date is set

and it is coming up quickly!  We had a whirlwind of planning late last year.  They looked over options of venues and decided on the Children's Museum in their city.

They will have the ceremony in the atrium and then have the reception in the Dinosphere--so its going to have an elegant, (wait for it) dinosaur theme!  The colors are what I call "kiwi, cocoa, and khaki," acutally a moss green, medium brown, and biege --elegant earth tones.

We considered making her dress, perhaps including bits of my mother's dress (it was way too tiny for my sister and I or my daughter to wear) but when we went looking at patterns, we just couldn't find one that seemed right.  I must confess that I'm more than a little relieved to not have that project and all the stress it would create!  We went shopping instead.  I think it was amazing!  She tried on dress after dress and they were all beautiful; and then she tried on The Dress and that was just IT.  There was no question about any others.

She scoured Pinterest for dinosaur wedding ideas and came across a pair of shoes.  They were really expensive, so she made her own.

The heels are T-Rex dinosaurs!  She has been practicing walking around in them.  Her dress will cover them during the ceremony, but they will peek out during the reception.  She ordered the gold pumps and then purchased two dinosaurs the right size, carefully cut out a hole for the heel, and spray painted and glittered them.  They fit on so well, that they don't need to be glued, so they can be removed if desired.

Her dress is still here at our house for safe-keeping.  Today my project will be this:

Back nearly 30 years ago, when my older sister was getting married, I bought a card of three blue, heart-shaped buttons.  I sewed one on her dress.  A year or so later, I sewed this one on my dress.  I carried the third one around, kept safe in a a box in my cedar chest, for just about 15 years until my younger sister got married, when I sewed it on her dress.  Today I'm going to cut mine off my dress and put in on my daughter's.

Have a great day!