On the left is the "Star Spangled" (finished) table runner, in the center is a "Quilts of Gee's Bend - Blocks and Strips" lap quilt flimsie and on the right is "Tribute", a (finished) mini quilt. If you viewed the "Valor" quilt post, you probably recognize the fabric used for the runner and the mini -- they were both also made from Pat Sloan's "Tribute" fabric line from 2011 (which still can be found around the web as of today).
UFOs have been my primary focus this year and getting "Valor" done was part of that. I had discovered the "Valor" kit in the Spring 2011 issue of Fabric Trends For Quilters (now Quilt Trends) magazine. It had been designed to showcase Pat Sloan's (then) new line of fabric for P&B Textiles called "Tribute". But also in that issue was a lap quilt called "Tribute" also designed by Pat. I loved that it was made from the same fabrics as "Valor" as well as that it had applique on it. Back then I had just learned how to do hand applique about six months prior so was on the lookout for projects to try my new skills on. Having already decided to buy the "Valor" kit, I had hoped that like most kits, there might be a generous amount of fabric left from the primary project that could help jump start this one too.
"Valor" was completed as a top in 2011 but not quilted until this year. By this time I had also purchased the Gee's Bend kit and looked forward to making it to display on my (brown) couch during the summer months between Memorial Day and July 4th. So I didn't have a need for another patriotic colored lap quilt even though I still wanted very much to make Pat's "Tribute". So the solution: make it a MINI!
The original lap quilt was designed to finish at 40"x46". My mini finished at a little larger than 14"x16". With the piece that small, I didn't do any hand applique after all (this was all fused with zigzag around the edges) but I did get to really stretch my ability to figure out just how small to go with all the design elements and still make the quilt look like the original. I did have to change a few of the fabrics and eliminate a few design elements to make it all work but in the end, I think it's a pretty good approximation of the original. I was particularly aided in that process by Quiltmaker Magazine editor Diane Harris' blog article on "Fabric Scale" that appeared on the Quilty Pleasures blog during the week I was working on this project. What's even better is that I have a display space in my dining room for mini quilts so this patriotic beauty will get to be on display ALL year long!
The other new finish was a table runner called "Star Spangled". The pattern for it appeared in a magazine: Quiltmaker's July/August 2011 issue. I think I had received it just around the time I was either contemplating or had already purchased the "Valor" kit. So of course it was another case of "hey, this will be great for the kit leftovers!".
As noted when I talked about "Valor" in the last post, I had actually purchased some more of this fabric line during a Fourth of July sale at Fabric.com. During that sale I also picked up that Obama 2008 print. When plans to display it somewhere else in the house were preempted, I decided to take a little of it and use it for the backing on this runner. "Valor" will be displayed off of our terrace on July 4th and while sitting out there I can also use "Star Spangled".
I realize that a kit is probably an ironic choice for attempting a quilt in the style of a Gee's Bend quilter since their quilts are truly improvisational and "make do" fabric-wise. But I really chose this because I liked the colors of the quilt and haven't had an opportunity to use hand dyes before. Oh and there's the fact that the kit was on sale and I love a good kit sale! I've also been warming up to "modern" quilts and thought this design reminded me of the modern style. I'm actually planning to try some of the modern quilt stitch patterns when I get around to quilting this. It was extremely quick to make up -- definitely a "quilt in a day" because that's exactly how long it took to make! Although that time did not include pre-washing the fabrics (something I never do but highly recommended for these fabrics) and the cutting.
I've seen another one of these kits for a good price so might buy and make another one. I have a vow that along with UFO busting I want to complete any new projects I start this year so that I don't add to the UFO pile I'm trying to whittle down. But for now, this one will sit for awhile as I move back to projects already on the UFO list.
I'll link this post to Barbara's June NewFO linky at the CatPatches blog once it's up. Bye for now!