Red, White, and Blue Star

Welcome to Day 4 of the Patriotic Palette Blog Hop, hosted by Paintbrush Studios and Painter’s Palette Solids!

Red, White, and Blue Star • Quilt #183
25″ square, made from Painter’s Palette Solids

A couple of weeks ago, the fine people who make Painter’s Palette Solids sent me some fabric and asked if I would make something. At the end of this post, there is a giveaway so you can win your own stack of red, white and blue fabrics.

I’m part of a series of posts showing items you can make with just three reds, three blues and some white.  Here is the complete list and the days that they are presenting:

6/23: Jayne of TwiggyandOpal (@twiggyandopal)
6/26: Elizabeth of OPQuilt (@occasionalpiecequilt)
6/30: Cindy Wiens of Live a Colorful Life (@liveacolorfullife)
7/3: Stephanie of Peas in a Pod (@stephiepeterson)

The project I chose was a quick and easy mini-quilt, which finishes at 25″ square, and is perfect for a table top when you want to give a little patriotic flare to the kitchen.  I’ve written up a free pattern, available in my Craftsy shop for download (see button to the right), but the instructions are here if you need any tips and help with construction.

RedWhiteBlueStar_9

RedWhiteBlueStar_2

I was sent fat quarters in three shades of red, three shades of blue and a fat quarter of white.  The white needs special cutting: cut the long borders first (see chart on pattern), then the squares for the half-square triangles.  You may have enough the other way, but do it this way to be safe.  I also was tight on the medium blue, as I used it for the binding, too.  You’ll need to provide your own backing (about 3/4 yard, or pieced scraps).

RedWhiteBlueStar_3

I basically constructed this as a nine-patch, a favorite thing of mine to do with minis. I started by sewing four bright red triangles on the edges of the blue square, then pressed them all away from the center.  I squared this unit to 7 1/2″.  (This quilt is forgiving if yours is slightly smaller.)  I squared all my nine units to the same 7 1/2″ as then I wouldn’t have to square up (or true up, depending on how you refer to it) the finished quilt top.RedWhiteBlueStar_2a

Next was the construction on this corner, sewing the medium and dark red triangles together to make a square, then sewing on the dark blue triangles to make a larger triangle.

RedWhiteBlueStar_2a1

Sew on the medium blue triangle to make it a square; true it up to 7-1/2″ inches.RedWhiteBlueStar_2b

Now make the rest of the blocks: sew the triangles together as shown, then seam those together to make a square.  I always press to the side, if you are wondering.  Only rarely do I press open, so avoid that.

Lay out all your squares (as shown above, left), then sew them together like a nine-patch (upper right).  Measure the square; the sides should measure 21-1/2″.  Trim your long white border rectangles to measure.  Sew the darkest red blocks on each of two of the white rectangle borders.

Sew two white borders: one on top of the quilt and one of the bottom.  Press.  Then sew on the borders with the squares attached; press.  Admire your quilt top.

Let’s get quilting!

Here’s a picture of the quilt in the sunshine, showing my quilting stitches.  I always have the hardest time coming up with what to quilt where; yours may vary.  The “bandstand swag” arcs on the outside were a happy accident.

RedWhiteBlueStar_6

This was all done on my Sweet Sixteen machine, but that functions like a domestic sewing machine. I did do ruler work (which is probably easier on my machine than a domestic) but it can be done on your regular sewing machine.  Just make sure you have a thick enough hopping foot and thick rulers designed for this task (not your cutting rulers!); put grippy stuff on the bottom of your rulers, as you’ll use them to help you move the fabric under your needle.

Happy Fourth of July!

If you haven’t heard me tell you about Painter’s Palette Solids, made by Paintbrush Studio, you must be a new reader.  It is my FAVORITE solid: it’s easy to work with, has a nice hand, deals well when I need to unpick and re-stitch (I had to do that with the quilting, but you can’t see it, right?).  It’s a fairly new fabric to the market, but many brick-and-mortar shops, as well as online shops, are starting to carry it.

Giveaway Banner

Patriotic Bundle June 2017

from here

As is my custom when sewing for Painter’s Palette, I give away my scraps when I finish a project, so that some fortunate quilter can give this fabric a try.  BUT!  Paintbrush Studios has generously offered up a stack of the fabrics I used in this quilt — seven fat quarters — so you can make your own (giveaway is for domestic/US only).

To enter, leave me a comment telling me if you like fireworks, and why (or your most memorable).  I’m not talking the little things that are lit up down on street level, but those glorious bursting displays of color and light.  It will get us all in the mood for Independence Day.

Giveaway picking a winnerI’ll activate the Husband Random Number Generator and pick a winner, to be contacted by email.

Good luck!

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A Tiny Quilt on Its Own Stand

Tiny Sailboat Quilt_front on frameI made this for an exchange at my Guild Night, but then my daughter and her family came into town and I didn’t go, so now I have my own little quilt.Tiny Sailboat Quilt_on frame

It has its own stand, and it’s easy-peasy to make.

Acrylic Frame

First, buy one of these.  They used to be more durable, but this is cheap-cheap-cheap and it works.

Tiny Sailboat Quilt_1

Make yourself a sailboat.  I pieced the sail on the left first before sewing it into the mini-mini-quilt.  Here’s the templates in a PDF file (be sure to set your printer to 100% before printing): Tiny Sailboat  And if you like to foundation paper-piece, here it is again: Tiny Sailboat PaperPiece Pattern

Tiny Sailboat Paper Piece

If you are using the foundation paper-piece, cut the pattern into three pieces, as shown by the red lines, being sure to mark it somehow with seam allowances. (I use a colored pencil and draw it along the line before cutting it apart to remind me it is NOT a cutting line, but a seam line.)

The little sailboat finishes at 6 1/2″ by 8″ which isn’t big enough for the frame.  I added the sunshiney fabric on three sides, seaming a bit of “ocean” fabric on the sides to keep the horizon line.  I also added ocean fabric to the bottom, so now my little boat is afloat.

Tiny Sailboat Quilt_cut to size

Quilt as desired (curvy waves in the ocean, straight lines outlining the sailboat and sails, and stippling in the sunshine), then trim to the above size: 8-3/4″ by 10-1/2.”

Tiny Sailboat Quilt_back

Make the sleeve: Hem one short edge of a piece of fabric cut to 8-3/4″ by 9-1/2″ and place it wrong-sides-down on the back of your mini-mini quilt.  Pin in a couple of places.

Cut strips of binding 1 1/4″ wide, seaming if necessary to get the desired length.  Stitch the binding from the front, right-sides-together, then turn the back, tucking under the raw edge.  Hand-stitch closed.

Tiny Sailboat Quilt_front on frame

Our guild does these a couple of times a year, creating a changeable scene for your home.  I’ve previously hung minis on a wall, but I’m really liking this quilt-on-a-stand idea.

Inching through June • 2017

So, I really have to get serious about my Chuck Nohara quilt borders, because it’s acting like New Jersey’s Bridgegate: closing down my creative roads.

Chuck Nohara Center_May17

So here it is where I left it.  I think it looks really fabulous, but as I said, it’s beginning to haunt me.  So I’ve tried about four different versions of borders, but here’s just two so you get the idea of how hard this is:

So, now I’m thinking: pieced border.  I went back to the Chuck Nohara book and found a block that I think will work, but I took off the center circle.  Here’s my sample:

Chuck Nohara border block

I decided also to make all the background in this one different from what I have in the center of the quilt, as this quilt — an idea I scoped out from looking at “Partnership Charity Blocks” from Japan:

Parternership Quilt Border Idea

In fact, after looking at all these (found here on my Pinterest Board), I wondered if the Chuck Nohara blocks were an outgrowth of these quilts made by quilters in Japan (or did her work come first, and then the quilts?).  Those who want to participate all make small six-inch blocks, submit them to the chairperson, who organizes then to be sewn into quilts which are then auctioned off for charity.

In her quilt in her book, Chuck Nohara sashed with small plus blocks, and I followed her lead.  But I liked, how in the quilt above, hexagon circle blocks (which look like signature blocks) created a border.

Chuck Nohara Border Mock-up

So I borrowed that idea of using a single block all around in the border.  Here’s my mock-up, done in my Quilt Pro quilt drawing software.  I had to include two smaller inner borders to get the right dimensions, but that’s okay, too.  It will help stabilize all that piecing.  (The back is as fun to look at as is the front.)

I cut a lot of pieces, but since those star points are alternating and directional (and I wrongly cut some fabrics back-to-back) I’ll have a lot of “extras.”  Oops.  Maybe I’ll make some more stars for another project.

Chuck Nohara border_3

Here are the blocks I’ve finished, residing next to the “quilt middle” on my design wall.  I decided to try and do a ombre-style effect with the block middle, moving from yellow to yellow-green to green to yellow-green back to yellow as it goes around the edge.  We’ll see if I can pull it off.

amor-towles-gentleman-in-moscow-mr

I’m listening to this, as I stitch away.  It took me a bit to get into it, but now I’m in the groove.  We could use a few more gentlemen and gentlewomen in the world these days; guess I’d better start with myself, learning how to seat people at dinner parties.

I can think about this as I make my 48 blocks.

Sweet Land of Liberty

SweetLandLiberty_frontSweet Land of Liberty
Quilt #182
28″ squareSweetLandLiberty_upper border

I started this in January, prepping up the stars and beginning the hand-blanket-stitching a couple of days after my rotator cuff surgery.  This was a bright spot during that time, keeping me focused as I moved forward through different steps of what I was calling my “Liberty USA” quilt.SweetLandLiberty_stars

My friend Susan of Patchwork N Play, in Australia, is always hand-quilting her quilts, and I wanted to try that, too.

SweetLandLiberty_star

So I rustled up some patriotic colors of perle cotton from my Oh Christmas Tree quilt, and went to town…well, riding on a pony and all that, because it took some time to do this.

SweetLandLiberty_detail

I cut some fabric for the rod pocket this week and on the selvage, I saw this.  Perfect for my title, I thought!SweetLandLiberty_back

It’s up there, stitched onto the rod pocket in the upper right corner.

SweetLandLiberty_label

I listened to Hamilton, the novel, last year and one take-away for me was how imperfect our early Founding Fathers were, but what a magnificent thing they created as they pulled together and figured out our country and its laws.  They had patriotism in its purest form: e pluribus unum, out of many, one (our country’s motto).  I try to keep that ideal in my head every year as I celebrate our Independence Day.

And yes!  I finished the quilt by my self-imposed deadline of July 4th, so that’s great news.

RainbowGardensLiberty

(You’ve seen this photo before…)

This makes three red, white and blue quilts for me.

AQuiltingLife_RWBI’m way behind my friend Sherri, of A Quilting Life, who has over a dozen in this collection. Head over to her blog to get a tour.  I’ve got to get busy to catch up with her!

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Rainbow Gardens, redux

RainbowGardens2017_front

Rainbow Gardens (the original) was made for a swap back in 2015, and I always wished I’d kept it for myself.  So this week I did the next, best thing: I made a new one.

RainbowGardens2017_upper corner

I had all but one of the fabrics for this 18″ mini quilt still in my stash, as I pretty much hoard my Kaffe Fasset fabrics.  I tried to quilt it the same, too, using my favorite Magnifico Thread from Superior Threads. But the backing is different, as is the label:

RainbowGardens2017_backRainbowGardens2017_labelRainbowGardens17_corner

The backing is “pindar paisley” from Alexander Henry, from 2012.  The front of the quilt is all Kaffe Fasset fabrics, some new, some older.

RainbowGardens2017_angle

I also updated the pattern, trimming out this and that, and editing it more tightly, and it is up on Craftsy for sale, if you want to replicate this.  And even though it feels strange to say this, I’m going backwards and keeping  the number from the original make: this is quilt #148 of mine.RainbowGardensLiberty

I so rarely duplicate my quilts, that this feels a little odd.  I have plans to remake one more, but that will come later this summer.  After sending off these two quilts to their owners, I wised up and began duplicating everything I swapped from then on.  I rather like my quilts, I guess.  Have you ever swapped a quilt, and then wished you had it back?

I also finished another quilt this week.  Stay tuned.