For my modern quilting lecture that debuted last week, I needed an example of alternative grid work. Since my son left for his first overseas deployment, I felt ready to hang a red star banner. This quilt killed two birds with one stone!
"The Service flag is an official banner authorized by the Department of Defense for display by families who have members serving in the Armed Forces during any period of war or hostilities the United States may be engaged in for the duration of such hostilities." You can read more about the Blue Star banner at Blue Star Mothers. Pete is in a relatively safe place, but I do miss him more than when he is in his office in North Carolina. I try really hard not to worry.
I started piecing when I was on retreat in January. My first attempts at wonky 5-pointed stars were horrible!
I turned to a crazy piecing technique that worked much better for me. It creates a positive and negative block at the same time, so I have a stack of white stars on a blue field that might become a flag someday. Only a few of the blue stars were bordered in red. I used some Kona solids and some prints.
The blocks were laid out on Peggy's bed since we didn't have a design wall.
After making a couple more stars, I had to figure out how to fill in the negative space around the blocks. I couldn't just start cutting white fabric and wing it. My brain doesn't work like that. So I drew it all out in my graph paper notebook and came up with a piecing plan. The numbers are finished sizes without seam allowances.
The quilting was done at home a few days later. I selected a star to echo quilt around. In the photo below, the red lines indicate the sections that are already done. The blue tape marks the line I'm getting ready to quilt.
This style of straight line machine quilting with a walking foot is really tedious! I was ready to quit after three sides, but I knew I had to see it through and complete all five directions.
Oh, the texture!
I had a Marine Corps print in my stash that I had to use on the back.
When I showed this quilt to the Clamshell Quilters, a lovely woman presented me with this star to send to Pete. I had read about this project before, and I wanted to cry when she gave this to me. Now I remember why I was saving my worn out flag and didn't give it to the scouts to burn.
Rather than putting his stuff in storage in NC, he brought it all home! I found his gloves in his car and the cover was on his desk. Yes, his dress blues are hanging in the closet.
Modern Blue Star Mom
28" X 39"