Stars and Stripes

VIBees block for Meghan - Patriotic theme

I finished this bee block just in the nick of time…one day before the month was up. Meghan sent us red, white and blue fabrics and requested a 16.5″ patriotic theme block. Her husband is in the army, so she wants to make a quilt for him that nods to that.

Well, there are lots of great patriotic ideas for quilt blocks. But of course I couldn’t do anything I had already done or seen done. Lynne came close to an idea I was thinking about with her block, but in the end my block looks very different from hers….I was trying not to copy her. 😉 But it’s hard when the blocks she makes are so lovely.

I actually planned on doing something a little different that how this turned out, but I may like this even better. Plus this is what worked with the fabric that I had. I was planning on showing you all how to make the block I intended to make, but instead I have pictures of the block that I did make. Hopefully you’ll still find them interesting.

First thing I did was search internet for a paper pieced 5 pointed star pattern. The one that I found actually was more complicated than I made this one…they did all kinds of variations in the star itself. But I just wanted a solid white star. The border is a little scrappy because well…that’s the fabric I had. So I made it work. 😉

VIBees block for Meghan - Patriotic theme

I originally intended to turn the star piece into a circle and piece it into the background fabric. But then I realized that my original pattern for the star didn’t give me the radius that I needed all the way around the star and I didn’t love the idea of adding more scrappy turquoise fabrics. So it stayed a square center. Then I set to work on the background.

I was being kind of random as I made this I’ll admit. Partly because I knew I had a big block to make and I didn’t want to waste any of the white fabric. I had a fat quarter of it to start and I used almost every little bit of that! I cut the remaining white fabric in half and sewed a skinny red stripe between the two pieces.

Creating a stripe

I cut down the white on both sides, and then sewed some turquoise to each side. I now had one long strip of stripes!

making the stripes

Then it was all kind of improvy from here. I always intended to have the horizontal stripes, so I added those first. But I was left with some bits of pretty stripes that were begging to be used and I didn’t quite have enough white fabric to make that big block….so I needed to get creative.

VIBees block for Meghan - Patriotic theme

Soon I was faced with the reality that even with the added vertical stripes I still did not have enough white fabric for the block…so I started auditioning other options.

VIBees block for Meghan - Patriotic theme

It took a bit but I finally decided what I wanted to do. As usual for me, less is more. With some careful planning, I was able to use up all of that white fabric and a couple scrappy polka dots. And in the end, I had a pretty star block!

Here you can see it with my little inspiration picture.

VIBees block for Meghan - Patriotic theme

It seems very appropriate to post this right near the fourth of July. I suppose if I were really clever I would have waited until then. But just consider this getting all of you US folks ready for the weekend.

Oh and stick around for tomorrow…it’s a special day. At least my parents always told me it is. 😉 We’ll be doing a little celebrating!

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15 thoughts on “Stars and Stripes

  1. That is a great block! It's interesting to see how you come up with these things. I think I'd just end up stuck and would be tempted to buy more white! Your way worked much better though!

  2. Great job!!! I love it. My fabric finally arrived yesterday so I can get busy tomorrow on my block for Meghan's husband…ooo, what to do?

    Happy special day for tomorrow.

  3. Thank you so much!!! I love it so! Next time I will remember to send more white out to everyone…but I adore the red scrappy squares at the bottom!!! Thank you again so much for all your time you invested in my block!

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