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 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!