Saturday, August 18, 2012

Why oh why do I get myself into these things?

Months and months ago, I decided to check out some of the challenges going on around the web.   I decided to try for two:  the Quiltcon challenge and the Pennsylvania National Quilt Extravaganza.  Intentions are wonderful things when you have creative ideas and a lot of time.  But, life sometimes gets in the way and then deadlines sneak up and hit you over the head.  Last weekend, I went the Hallowood retreat center with a fun bunch of quilting buddies.  The Quiltcon challenge was due August 15th and I went to the retreat with challenge fabrics and instructions and invited the quilters there to make a 12" square block.   On the second day, Twila began making a block.  This motivated me to throw together a block.  I mailed hers and mine on August 15th. Yeah!  Goal accomplished.  I did not take a picture of my block before I mailed it.  I'm sure it's going to be included in one of the charity quilts that will be made from left over was a last minute, get it done kind of thing.  Twila's block, however, might have a good chance of being included in the Quiltcon display quilt. 

So, all that was left was the PNQE challenge.  The theme was "Keystone".   Knowing that this year is the 200th anniversary of the War of 1812, I decided to design a quilt that reflected the event which inspired the Star-Spangled Banner.  I knew that from above, Fort McHenry contains a keystone shape.    What if I took the public domain drawing of the battle, portrayed it within the keystone shape and put the whole thing on a replica of the flag that was flown?   Fabulous idea on paper, challenging on fabric.  I left Hallowood with a half-finished quilt top and an August 18th deadline, at least that's what I thought.

Yesterday morning, I decided if I spent the whole day on the quilt, I could finish it, photograph it, and send off my application today.    I got out the application and was horrified to note that the entry must be postmarked by August 17th.  It was iffy that I would be able to get the entry to the post office by 5 p.m. but I did my best.  In truth, I had to pin the binding to take the picture...but the entry is on it's way.   Here's the original design:


And here's my attempt:
Now I just have to wait to see if it will be accepted.   If it's not.....well, I've learned a few lessons.   Twila taught me how to apply paint to fabric to lighten the color.   While I didn't have time to do that yesterday, her lesson is a tool I can use in the future.  I calligraphied the Star-Spangled banner on fabric that resembled parchment paper.  I satin stitched with metallic thread.  And, finally, I used a few of the quilting stitches I learned in Leah Day's book: 365 Free Motion Quilting Designs.  All in all, it feels good to achieve some goals and learn something along the way.


  1. Nice looking keystone. Love the idea of Fort McHenry as the 'window' for the battle scene. Charleen

    1. Thanks so much, Charleen. A day trip to Fort McHenry a few years ago was an inspiration.