Red, White and Blue Mismatched Star and Stripes
Mismatched Stars and Stripes is a modern quilt pattern I created in honor of Independence day for the US. This pattern combines the traditional sawtooth star with an off beat stripe. When I designed the pattern I didn't want a traditional stripe, and I love the variety of a stripe that doesn't quite match up. I wanted to make a version of this quilt using the colors of my home country, the USA. Enter the quilt below:
I had a whole nice stack of fabrics, which I thought were red and blue, set aside for this quilt. They weren't the traditional vibrant reds and blues people usually use to make something patriotic. But traditional isn't really my style. When I pulled them out and showed my mom she just shook her head, no. I still think they they could have worked for a patriotic version of this quilt. But she convinced me to go with more traditional red and blue fabrics.
So, we went down to the local quilt shop, the Stitchin' Post, and pulled what we could find to match some fabrics from my stash. I was going to choose a basic white fabric as the background color, but my mom said I needed to spice things up a bit. I still think white is more my style, but I listened to her just this once. Don't get used to it mom.
This quilt took me a long time to finish, like really long. I finished the quilt top and started quilting it on my large machine when I started having problems with the gauge of stitching changing part way through the quilt. I had been having this problem for a long time and had tried to get it fixed to no avail. To make a long story short, the hook on the back of my walking foot would occasionally pop off the back of the machine without me knowing it. This caused the stitch length and gauge of stitching to change part way through the quilt. I was thinking it was an electrical glitch but it turned out to be something simple. I finally had an excellent shop help me figure out exactly what was happening.
I had already started quilting the quilt and about half way through the machine changed gauges. So my quilt sat in the corner for 5 months while I tried to figure out what was happening. I eventually decided to rip out all the quilting (I was using the snake looking stitch) and requilt it using my small Janome with a straight stitch. Thankfully, I found something out about my little machine... it is a power house! I requilted the whole thing without even using a walking foot. It isn't as fast as my large Memory Craft Janome, but it totally did the job.
Because I had already half quilted this quilt and taken out many of the safety pins, and I hate, like really hate, basting quilts, I didn't want to re baste. So I first started by quilting in between each row I had previously quilted. Then, I took out the old rows and re quilted those with the straight stitch. I didn't draw lines for most of the quilting, just eye balled it between the rows. The stitching isn't perfectly straight, but it still looks nice. Next time I would probably use a Hera Marker to draw lines, but at this point I was so done with this quilt I had thought of throwing it out. During a moment of intense frustration my son said, "Mom, this might just be the quilt that got away." LOL
I am happy to have this quilt off the floor and finished. It's going as a gift to a family member. Thanks to my mom for the help with the fabric choices. And thanks to my son for always having my back and making me laugh.
Here's to hoping your current project goes better than mine.