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Monthly Archives: October 2011

America the Beautiful

© 2011 by Heike Scharmann

It is done.

Somehow time went by and another quilt top is finished. Ha! I am pleased already with the result thought I have yet to quilt my new treasure. As always, I am going to handquilt with white thread.

© 2011 by Heike Scharmann

While I was still waiting for the last part of the quilt pattern, I visited to take a sneak peak and find out what other quilts the new issue would comprise. In the Bonuses section, I came across something very funny: It seems that I was not the only person who had a problem with the flag. There they featured a bonus pattern for a Canadian flag. Not that this would have solved my problem—but somehow it relieved me to know that I was not the only not-American creature being so loony as to sew an all-American/patriotic-to-the-core quilt and then has a problem with the flag!

But my flag problem is a problem no more. You can see for yourself now. I hope you enjoy these pictures.

© 2011 by Heike Scharmann

This would be the windowpane variant (my father and André are getting loooong arms):

© 2011 by Heike Scharmann

Following the quilt pattern, the first border should have been red, the second border brown, and the outer border should consist of half square triangles in the same brown and cream. As you can see, I changed this a little bit: the first border is white (I used these whites for some houses’ and trees’ backgrounds), the second border is blue, and the half square triangles are in multi colour and cream. I must own that this is due to the fact that I had not left over the required amount of any of the fabrics already used. So I decided to piece a scrappy border (and in fact I used several fabrics up to the last snippet). Since the design in itself is alread highly vivid, I sorted the colours. This quite eliminates the scrappy look and brings some peace to the eye—almost as good as a border of cream and only one other colour would have.

© 2011 by Heike Scharmann

Finally, I will not forget to put down the due credits: America the Beautiful was inspired by the song of the same title (by Katharine Lee Bates and Samuel A. Ward). The quilt was designed by Lynn Lister. The pattern was from McCalls Quilting Magazine.

One last detail

© 2011 by Heike Scharmann

Do you know what this is? Right—a wedding apparently. I like those funny pictures where you only see a detail but know on first sight what it is. When your mind adds the missing parts of the picture and you realise that the detail you see is not the most important part of it—but still you can tell what it is. Okay, in this particular example I could not have chosen any other cut-out that would have been harder for you to guess. A wedding is just too obvious.

But here is another challenge for you:

© 2011 by Heike Scharmann

Okay, this picture shows not only a detail but the reverse side. And you may take a guess at how the front side will look like. Or—if you are an experienced quilter—you can even guess the name of the pattern?

It is actually my third attempt at the flag block. I followed my own advise and scanned other quilters’ works for an idea. And I must own: I had many. All of a sudden I had to decide which idea to realise.

Since the flag’s rectangle should not exceed 7 to 15 inches, I could not do a large or too complicated a pattern. So I resolved to do a simple pattern in a small scale. I started with 2 inch squares and ended up with 1  1/8 inch triangles. Working with such tiny bits was really fun! The most important part of this pattern is colour placement. I like the Amish quilt I borrowed the idea from because of the use of colour. It really teases the eye and gives the impression of movement. Ideal for a flag flaunting on a pole!

Of course, my flag does not symbolise any country. If anything, it stands for the imaginary state of all the quilters of the world. I fancy that anyone who has ever done a quilt in his or her life would look at this flag and find something to identify with. Like a language among like-mindeds that is universally understood. That is the message I would wish my flag to transport: Take a piece of cloth, a needle, and a thread—and then anything is possible.

I will post no picture of the flag’s front side and thus spoil the riddle. You will see soon enough the overall result when I will present the finished quilt top here. And I can promise to do so within this month.

(in case you cannot wait)