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. Love your block–the colors and placement are just right! And really enjoyed hearing about your process too–like to learn new ways!

  3. Oh, I love how the aqua looks! So wonderful- you're gonna make me cry with the stars aned stripes- I'm very sentimental about our country!

  4. 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.

  5. 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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