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A Peek Inside the Glamorous World of Commission Quilting, Week Seven

This week I can honestly describe as a week of ups and ups. You know, like ups and downs, but without the downs? Yeah, that’s right, it was a week of ups and ups. I’ve found blogging to be tricky for me. Oh I can prattle on and on and make all my posts, three times a week on schedule, but a lot of the time I feel like I’m talking to myself.

Hound Quilts


Or the dog (who probably gets sick of me talking to her, see the disdain in her eyes?).




Or this happy cardinal, who I got at the dollar store. And it was worth every bit of the dollar it cost, because it tweets out a happy song randomly. I think it’s supposed to be motion activated but, umm,  no. It’s totally random.

So when I’m the only one home and I’m in the next room sewing away and the bird just starts tweeting away for no apparent reason? I figure he’s just keeping me company through the long hours of sewing I’ve had lately.  Sweeeeet.

But my family? Not impressed with the bird. There may have even been death threats aimed at my sweet little friend, but I digress.

Back to the happy thoughts, shall we?

Last Saturday I went to my Modern Quilt Guild meeting at Finch Sewing Studio (spoiler alert! Nicole Morganthau, owner of Finch, is one of the creative mamas I’m featuring in my Motherhood by Design series next month, I can’t wait!) and shortly after walking in someone said “Let me see you and all your red, white and blue thread!” and I swear it felt like the skies had parted and the sun shown down and the birds were singing…(I didn’t bring my cardinal friend, promise). Why?

Because she read my blog! She knew all about the flag project - I’m *not* just talking to myself and the dog and the bird after all. And that felt like a million bucks.

OK, let’s cut to the chase then and talk about this flag quilt, shall we?

Last week I’d finished and pressed all the panels, ready for assembly. Starch was definitely my friend with all those zillions of seams and you can’t beat the fresh smell, so it was a win-win.


Blue Panel


First I squared up the blue panel.

Next I measured the length of each red and white panel and I grouped them into sets that would yield the correct length stripe. Because they were pieced improvisationally, they ranged between 22” and 25”. So before making a single cut, I carefully measured each panel and matched it up with other panels that when sewn together end-to-end, would be the right length.

Once that was finished, I began very, very, ever so carefully, cutting the panels into 3 3/4” strips.

And that’s when it hit me.

Remember back in Week 4 when I told you I it dawned on me that I was only making half as much as I actually needed, and I had to remedy that by making more panels?

Well it turns out I was right in the first place. I’d calculated the correct amount of panels the first time around.

So what I’m trying to say is yes, DUH, I made twice as many red and white pieced panels than I needed.

There could be worse problems I guess.  Ahem. Moving on.

The thin red and white stripes were each joined end-to-end, and I began to piece them into the flag shape.


Flag Pieces


I have to admit, at this point things got pretty exciting. After the uber-reductive process of taking yardage all the way down into tiny slivers and building them back up again, it felt pretty incredible to see the flag finally emerge.


Flag on Ironing Board


And emerge she did.


Full Flag


Gorgeous, right? (if I do say so myself)

But here’s the thing.

This is really just the beginning of this flag. It’s not even close to its final form.

Remember, the client asked for “a modern interpretation of a 13-star American flag” which this most certainly is not. No way no how.

So Phase Two, here we go.




In my original sketch, I drew out appliquéd patches that would function as the quilting on this flag. The client had admired my appliqué work and it’s a technique I love to do, so why not leverage that, I thought.

Once the flag was finished and up on the design wall, I started placing squares and rectangles on it, overlapping the colors - red squares pushing onto white stripes, white squares encroaching on red. Blue on white, white on blue.

Place a square, step away. Squint. Place another square. Step away, squint.

Move to the other side of the house and look through the hallway.


Pixel Quilt



I loved it!  I really, really, really loved it.

It’s getting pixelated with the addition of the little appliquéd bits. And what could be more modern than pixels?

Now here’s hoping the client loves it just as much. Photos are out for review and I’m holding my breath.

And that solid blue square? Oh, I’ve got some big plans for that. And my kids even offered up a new twist which I’m loving and dying to audition. Their suggestion really takes it to a new level of modern.

I’ll keep you posted!

In case you missed the previous installments of this series:

Week One

Week Two

Week Three

Week Four

Week Five

Week Six


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