First day of June! I am in Summer mode already and the colors in my quilt studio have changed from pastels to brights. Which brights? This Red white and blue one day quilt says it all!
“Add Fireworks” is my quilt featured in the July 2020 issue of the American Quilter magazine, published by the American Quilter’s Society. It measures 42″ x 42″ and the blocks finish at 12″ and 5″. It showcases fabrics from the Tonga Freedom collection by Timeless Treasures. Yes, they are batiks and have fantastic patriotic textures.
I designed Add Fireworks with EQ8, the software I use to design all my quilt patterns. I spent some fun time carefully placing the beautiful batiks on the blocks until I found a combination and contrast that screamed: “Make Me”!
The blocks are very easy and fast to make: paper piece the hearts using strips of fabric, and make the border stars with regular machine piecing. For the paper piecing, I usually work with tracing paper but printer paper will work just as well. If you are new to paper piecing, check out this photo tutorial or this video tutorial and you will be all set to go!
The patches are large enough on both blocks to display the gorgeous prints I chose. Here is a peek at them:
It is fun to complement the design with fabrics to convey one single message, whatever your message is. I know we have many red white and blue fabrics to choose from, yet I think these worked so well, don’t you think?
Of course, you could make this as a scrappy quilt using other prints, solids, and novelty fabrics. The stars might feature different red and blue fabrics, and each of the hearts can have a different pair of reds (make sure there is high contrast!).
The quilting, reminiscent of a flag waving in the wind, turned out pretty cool, right? It was Melissa’s idea (Sew Shabby Quilting). So, in one quilt I have hearts full of love, a starry sky, the movement of a flag, fireworks… I am ready to party!
If you prefer to quilt it yourself, use the walking foot or free-motion foot on your machine and add the wavy lines to the quilt top. Another option would be to trace a grid and work with the walking foot on the straight lines. At 42″ x 42″, this project is very manageable with a domestic machine.
For over a dozen years, I quilted all my projects on my Bernina, regardless of the size. Only recently has Melissa been quilting them for me, as my quilt design business got very busy and my hands needed some ‘repair’ (ai, ai, ai.). You might try it! You can mark your quilt (here is a tutorial using quilting paper), use your machine’s walking foot, or free motion quilt it.
I always use 80/20 batting on my quilts. I have tried bamboo and wool, also. I do notice a difference when hand quilting with wool batting as the quilt sandwich is softer and the quilting needle travels through it easily. If you decide to hand quilt it, try doing it with longer stitches for a modern look.
Add Fireworks looks great as a wall hanging or a lap quilt. It would be a great gift as a quilt of valor, or the perfect accessory to add an Americana vibe to your indoor or outdoor decor. Add Fireworks, the 1-Day red white and blue quilt you can make now comes with detailed instructions in the July 2020 issue of American Quilter magazine, and can be pieced and quilted way before the fourth of July celebrations!
What an honor to have Add Fireworks on the cover of this issue of the American Quilter magazine! They always feature amazing artworks on the cover and I never thought one of my designs would grace it one day.
The magazine will be available soon at quilt and craft stores. You can also download the digital version. Of course, if you are a member of the American Quilter’s Society as I am, you will receive it in your mailbox soon.
I think it is time to audition those red white and blue fabrics! Happy sewing…