Category Archives: Quilting and Sewing

Flag Day Quilt

I’m so glad today is June 14th.  I woke up this morning feeling discouraged.  Yesterday I turned my ankle and immediately it looked like a baseball.  Nothing serious, but I had 23 gallons of lavender lemonade to make and deliver to a wedding reception!  With the phrase “I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength”  repeating in my mind, and with the help of my kids, we got it done.  The lemonade was delicious, the reception was gorgeous, and this morning I woke up with an enormous foot.  It’s the price you pay, right?  I won the battle yesterday but today felt bleak.  Until I remembered Flag Day.  My favorite holiday.  And this year it’s even better because I made a Flag Day Quilt.

Honestly, this quilt was a happy accident.  I pieced the red and white houndstooth section back in 2012, if you can believe that.   For seven years it hung in my sewing closet with more red and white fabric.  I looked at it every year or so, thinking “I should finish this.”

The last time I took it out, I realized I had no desire to finish it.  I also wanted to make something useful with it.  And the longer I looked at it, the more I saw stripes, and then I thought of adding stars, and all of a sudden it was the most interesting project in my studio!

The stars are foundation paper pieced using this pattern by Quiet Play and the five inch star was the perfect size both in width and scale.  Before I knew it I had a flag day quilt! I took it to Melissa at Sew Shabby Quilting and had her quilt waves on it, a perfect pattern for a flag.

 

I hobbled outside this morning to put my flags out and suddenly my festive porch was the perfect place for flag day quilt photos.  The quilt looks right at home at the top of those stairs – I almost wish I could just hang it there.

I backed the quilt with a vintage sheet and added a hanging sleeve for easy display during the summer.

It was fun to pay special attention to detail with the binding.  I carefully made it to have blue binding around the stars and switch to red for the stripes.  It frames the flag perfectly.

As I said before, I’m so glad today is Flag Day.  Putting up those flags and watching them flutter in the breeze completely fixed my heart.  There may be dirt, peeling paint, weeds, and general diarray, but I saw beauty.  I saw flags, colors I love, flowers I planted, a quilt I made.  A deep sense of contentment and gratitude filled my heart.  Who cares about swollen ankles? I can conquer today too.

I end with a quote from Calvin Coolidge, “We identify the flag with almost everything we hold dear on earth, peace, security, liberty, our family, our friends, our home… But when we look at our flag and behold it emblazoned with all our rights we must remember that it is equally a symbol of our duties.  Every glory that we associate with it is the result of duty done.”

The flag reminds me of everything that has gone right.

Happy Flag Day!
Jennifer

Everglade Quilt Blocks

It’s no secret that I love Carolyn Friedlander’s patterns, so it shouldn’t be a surprise that I started another one.  I’ve had my eye on the Everglade pattern for some time.  I was so excited to pair these fabrics with this pattern that my Everglade quilt blocks came together very quickly.

I am drawn to using pattern on pattern in my quilts lately.  I’d like to learn how to do it well, and with this pattern I’m experimenting with it.  Jennifer Paganelli’s fabrics are vibrant and colorful, and busy enough to challenge me.  Most of the prints in these blocks come from two of her collections, Sunny Isle and Hotel Fredericksted.  You know that feeling of having a fabric speak to you, and cause a deep emotional response in you?  I love it when that happens, and I felt that way about the colors and designs of several fabrics in these collections.

That blue!  This floral makes me want to buy yards and yards of it.  The florals themselves are gorgeous, but the blue is what makes my heart sing.  It’s similar to the blue background in my Lucky Lone Star quilt, which also makes my heart sing.  I can’t seem to get enough of that blue.

In the Hotel Fredericksted collection I particularly loved the bird print in green.  It’s fun when a design surprises me like that.  (Confession:  I may have ordered more of it when I found it on clearance…)

The Everglade quilt blocks are all the same size, but the pattern has templates for three different sizes in the trellis design.  It takes some time to baste and applique them all, but I enjoy hand applique and it travels easily.

One print, the yellow bird, is by another designer.  The yellow is a little bright but I’m embracing it.  I like the contrast in this block with the deep orange background.

These blocks were finished while I wait in the car to pick up my kids, or while they are doing homework, or while we’re watching a movie as a family.  It gives me something productive to do without being a distraction.

 

The floral print below is another favorite of mine, in every colorway.  Again, I’d like yards and yards of it…

These are eight of nine 17″ blocks that make up the bulk of the quilt.  I have one more large Everglade quilt block to finish, and then a few smaller ones.  I’m excited to put all of them together in one very colorful quilt!

Vintage Spin Quilt Top

Way back in 2016 (what? how has it been so long?) I attended a quilt workshop with Kathy Doughty.  I loved every minute.  She taught two different classes, and in my eagerness I began three different projects during the workshops.  This Vintage Spin quilt top was one of them.  The pattern is in her book Adding Layers.

I know, I know.  I have a problem with starting new projects.  But I had a good excuse:  I wanted to try everything she was teaching.  So I did exactly that.

I’d never made a dresden before, and it sounded really cool to square it up after sewing.  And if you know me well, you know that I love vintage things, so putting a “spin” on vintage was right up my alley.  So I made two blocks, cut them into squares, and then folded them up and put them away.  For about 2 years.

Last year I went through all my Art Gallery fabrics and cut the wedges.  There are a few prints from other manufacturers, but this is mostly Art Gallery prints.  I have a monthly sewing night with a group of friends, and I’m more effective on those nights if I have a project that stays in a box and only gets worked on when I’m there.  I cut it in advance, and make sure it’s not so complex that lively conversation will cause me to make major errors.  Then over several months I work away at it until I have a finished quilt top.

That’s the story of this quilt top.  After finishing the blocks I squared them up and stitched the center circles on.   Before I knew it all the blocks were sewn together and suddenly I had one less work in progress!

This Vintage Spin Quilt top is a happy one.  I love all the movement between the blocks, the floral centers, and the colors.  It reminds me of spring.

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