Tuesday, August 13, 2013

South for the Winter

Give thanks for what you are now, and keep fighting for what you want to be tomorrow. –Fernanda Miramontes-Landeros

Since July 4th I've been puttering around with my Patriotic Sampler. This is a project I started before LadyBug was born {which was 11½ years ago. Can she be that old already?} and is my second oldest Ph.D {Project Half-Done}. I keep thinking I need to put it away and work on something else, but there is always another something fun to tinker with on this quilt. I put together 120 flying geese for the outer border. I geese. And I this no waste method for flying geese.

I also made the transition pieces for the centers of the flying geese border. When I originally planned it, I'm pretty sure I envisioned diamonds {square in a square} at the center of each side between the geese. But because I didn't write my plans down anywhere, I had to come up with it twice. When I finally added the border to my layout graphic, I put in alternating strips of red and blue to bridge the gap between the different colors of geese. But once I had my strip sets sewn, I knew they needed to be diamonds rather than squares/rectangles.

I scanned the blocks and added them in to my layout. I really like how the diamonds look {compare to the previous incarnation}.

I forgot math while I was working on my border centers and accidentally made the ones for the sides too long. It took me for. ev. er. to get the background triangles in the corners right. I only discovered the blocks were too long when I went to square them up. But aren't they pretty?

Anything that I went to that much trouble to make does not end up in the discard bin. I decided to use them as a part of one of the place mats. {Backstory: I have this huge blank wall in my kitchen. I want to make a quilt for every month to display there, and have coordinating place mats on the table, which is next to the wall.} Place mats are fun, but I think for any future quilts, I'll probably do a table runner instead of place mats. Because no one will eat off these place mats. Ever.

A row of geese on each place mat was the original plan. I really like how it looks. There will be a sashing strip between and a border of the same width all the way around.

Since I used those discarded stripey diamonds on that first place mat, I decided to mix it up a little on some of the other place mats as well.

Another one with a row of geese.

Three diamonds made out of the geese units seemed to fit really well with this block.

And another one with just geese. It was purely coincidental that I ended up with three with rows of geese and three with something different. It was also purely coincidental that I posted them in alternating order.

I love the pretty red, white and blue scrappiness of this project. And I love the tan that ties everything together.

I started to put sashings on the quilt blocks for the top. Here it is on my living room floor up on my design wall. I debated about whether to just go ahead and put the top together, but I still need to finish eight of those tiny paper pieced five-point stars {I made three more since my last report} that go at the corner of each block. And didn't want the quilt top to sit folded somewhere for the next nine months until I can get to quilting it, so I only put things together insofar as they won't have to be folded when I put them away.

My last bit of puttering was to figure out how to label this puppy. Two of the blocks {The Old Red & Blue and Land of Liberty} are original designs by Marcia Hohn at The Quilter's Cache and her terms and conditions of use stipulate that any original block be credited to her and her site referenced in a permanent manner on the back of the quilt. I picked up ideas and/or patterns for a number of the other blocks from other folks around the internet {credits here}, so in fairness to everyone who creatively contributed, I decided to make a little embroidered label for each block. They are between 1½" and 2" tall and 4" wide. There's also a label with the name of the quilt {This Land Is My Land} and credits to me for piecing, layout and quilting. I'm going to put them together in a strip that will go up the back of the quilt along length of the seam where I join the two pieces of fabric to make it wide enough. I'll add varying lengths of strips of red and blue fabric or left over geese between each embroidered piece. I'll keep the labels in my go bag for hand projects for when I know I'll be sitting and waiting. Hopefully, I'll have them all finished when I'm ready to get this quilt out again and finish it. {Sidebar: LadyBug had her pre-6th grade well-child check the other day. I didn't bring anything to work on because I thought we'd be in and out in a jiffy. The last few times we've been in for other things, I've barely got my project out when they're ushering us out the door. But after 10 minutes in the waiting room, we sat for a full 30 minutes in the exam room before the doctor came in. I think they forgot we were in there because they weren't busy. We entertained ourselves with a rousing game of "I Spy." Lesson learned. Always bring a project. Always.}

I put everything back in the storage tote today. I made myself little notes and put things in separate baggies so that when I get this back out again, I won't have to reinvent. There's not much left to do before I have a flimsy. Eight 5-point paper pieced stars; adding the sashings and corner stones to the blocks, sewing the blocks together, sewing the flying geese border together and adding it to the quilt.

Yes. Next year is definitely the year to get this quilt finished. But for now, the 120 geese {and company} are flying south for the winter.


Shay said...

I know you'll finish this and it'll be beautiful.

Time to move into something else for a bit.

Paulette said...

Well, I don't know how you can bear to put this beauty away, since you're so close to having the top done.

You are awesome. Not only do you have a stunning quilt in the works, but you have placemats and embroidered labels for each block. Amazing!