Monday, July 4, 2011

Patriotic Lone Stars: Part II

Having decided to make Mike a real lone star quilt, I set about trying to figure out how to do it.  I decided to make it a largeish wall quilt so he could hang it in his office.  In retrospect, I'm quite glad I didn't decide to make it bigger because even with the easy techniques, it was a lot of points to match up for this precision-challenged girl.  It makes me even more in awe of the precision piecing on display at the big quilt shows. In the end, I think mine turned out pretty nice, the saddest part was that while quilting it (on the long arm), I got a bunch in the backing fabric, so there's forever an ugly ripple on the back.  That's a mistake I hope I won't have to make twice.

Anyhow, Jan Krentz has a great book for traditional fancy lone stars, I initially got it from interlibrary loan, and then decided to just buy it (Lone-Star Quilts & Beyond).  I used her strip piecing method to make the star points, that definitely made it easier, and I encourage anyone considering a traditional lone star to use that method.

After piecing the star points, I took these (out-of-focus-cell-phone) pictures to see which arrangement my quilting buddies liked best.

The third one won out, so I pieced the rest using sparkly white background fabric and some USMC accent fabric in the borders.  I designed four patriotic applique/embroidery patterns which I sewed onto the white background blocks by hand before piecing them into the quilt.  Mike's a Marine, so I did my best to capture the Marine Corps emblem in one of them.

For the label, I printed (on fabric) a picture of Mike at a display of Christmas lights- I liked the big flag and it seemed to fit with the theme for this quilt.  

Here's the final quilt.

Proud to be an American, 2009 49"x 49"

I think Mike liked it; I gave it to him for Christmas in 2009.  I certainly like the colors and it was fun to do a traditional pattern.  He hung it in his office until he retired, and now it lives in our entryway.