There is just something satisfying about a quilt made with fabrics in red, white, and blue. Maybe I feel that way since I have quilted 15 Quilts of Valor so far this year and the fabrics have been really gorgeous. The thought of those quilts being awarded to veterans who have been touched by war also brings a smile to my face. Quilts with these colors also scream "summer". As a result, I was excited when Memorial Day came around and I could decorate with my stash of patriotic quilts.
One of my favorite quilts is called Proud Patriot and is a pattern that I downloaded from Connecting Threads. I first saw this pattern at a demonstration on English Paper-Piecing at the Homestead National Monument in Beatrice. I had wanted to learn that technique and was thrilled to have the opportunity during their annual Homestead Days in June. I have been hooked ever since. I machine-quilted this on my domestic machine by echoing around the hexagon appliques, using wishbone and stacked triangle designs in the red and white stripes, and stitching a loop-and-star design in the blue fabrics. This quilt hangs on our staircase railing.
The second quilt hanging on our stairway is entitled Bursting With Pride and is from a kit that I purchased from Connecting Threads. I stitched in the ditch and also did a free-motion star design. I love the kits from this company because there are so many cool patterns and fabric from which to choose, they are so affordable, and there is always more fabric included than I need for the project. I especially like to check out the kits on clearance.
The quilt on my kitchen table this season is a scrap quilt that I made using the Twister tool. It is so interesting to see how this quilt evolves by simply sewing squares together, cutting them out with the Twister tool, and then sewing the new squares back together again. I machine-quilted in the ditch around all of the shapes in the center of the quilt, stitched a square-in-square design in the striped fabric, ribbon candy in the white border, and a loop-and-star design in the outer border.
Small quilts are so fun to make because they can be finished in a short amount of time. The pattern for this quilt entitled Celebration Flags comes from the book, "Little Quilts: All Through The House". I hand-quilted this 17" x 13" treasure and it hangs at the bottom of our staircase with a hanger from Ackfeld Manufacturing.
Another one of my favorite quilts hangs in our entryway and is entitled Nana's Patriotic Flag. I found the pattern in the August 2006 edition of Quilter's World magazine. I love how the outer border looks like a ribbon. I also like how the striped fabric lined up so well to make the five flags. I was especially thrilled with how the straight-line quilting in the yellow triangles emphasized the stars.
The quilt that hangs in my kitchen now is a larger quilt entitled A Place In Our Hearts. I found this pattern in the June 2006 edition of Quilter's World magazine. This quilt was machine-quilted primarily using stitch-in-the-ditch. I also stippled in the background fabric and used a figure-eight design in the two inner borders that I transferred to the quilt with a stencil.
This Mini Freedom Quilt hangs on one of the thread racks in my sewing room on another hanger that I purchased from Ackfeld Manufacturing. This appliqued pattern was found in the Art-to-Heart book entitled "Easy Does It Patriotic". I hand-embroidered the words and machine-embroidered around the appliqué shapes. In addition, I machine-quilted around the shapes. I also appliqued some kitchen towels with a design that I found in this book.
Another small quilt that hangs in our family room now is the Patriotic Mini that I stitched this spring from a kit purchased from Connecting Threads. I quilted this one on my long arm with pebbles in the background fabric and parallel lines in the borders. It also hangs from a metal hanger purchased from Ackfeld.
Also included in the "Little Quilts: All Through The House" book are instructions on how to make little pillows. These are so quick to make and a great way to use scrap fabric and batting. I have patriotic pillows, as well as some for fall and Christmas. It is so fun to fill crocks and baskets with them to decorate for the holidays.
With all of these ideas -- both large and small -- there is no excuse to not have at least a few red, white, and blue goodies to decorate your house to make it patriotic and summery. As I like to say, so many patterns, so little time. The hardest thing may be deciding where to start!