Buzzings from a quilter who bumbles her way through life!

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Oh Beautiful for Heroes Proved...

I've started a quilt top to put on a quilting frame at my sister's upcoming Independence Day picnic. This will be a huge event and she will have lots of activities for all ages. I suggested a quilt on a quilting frame that people can hand quilt.   I haven't appliqued the stars on yet and I am still embroidering a verse from "America, the Beautiful" around the border. (You might notice that I always line the area to be embroidered with batting. I like the definition it gives the embroidery and it keeps the threads from showing through. I baste the batting to the seams at the top and bottom to keep it in place!)This quilt will be donated to Quilts of Honor when finished and will go to a wounded veteran. If you are from the United States, you probably know the first verse to the song, but have you ever heard the third? 

"Oh beautiful for heroes proved in liberating strife.
Who more than self their country loved and
mercy more than life!
America! America! May God thy gold refine!
Till all success be nobleness 
And every gain divine!"
by Katherine Bates, 1913

I'll show you the entire quilt later when more finished, but I have a couple of tips that you may find helpful. 

First of all, I had to deal with stripes in my border. I decided to miter them for a more pleasant look and I wanted the stripes to meet up as much as I could arrange. These are not uniform stripes, so it was not possible to match them perfectly!

I turned the corner of the border back as shown and matched up the stripes as best I could.  Adjust the end of your border strip until you find the best match. Pin it in place and sew the border on from the previous seamline down.

If you have to piece your border strip to make miter both corners,  it is easier to piece the border somewhere else in the strip and make it look right than it will be at the corner, as you can see below. I "fudged" it a little and found a spot where the seam would be inconspicuous.

When you open and press your border, pin it in place at the corner. You can either turn it back and machine sew it here or sew it by hand (my choice!).  

Trim off the excess.

The other tip is concerning applique. I am appliqueing white stars over a dark blue! As you can see, the background would show through...

so I line the pieces with polyester fleece (the type that is not super stretchy)! It will not "ball up" in the wash. Use a glue stick to keep it in place while you applique. I like to catch the edges in my stitches in a few places to insure it will stay in place.

It will also give a little definition to the stars. I have been doing this for years now and haven't had any problems with it.
Have a wonderful weekend!


  1. This quilt will be awesome and putting it on the frame for others to see and stitch is an honor.
    Super idea.

  2. What a great project for your picnic! Love the striped border and the extra work to make it blend.

  3. Thanks for the tips. Love the red, white and blue.

  4. What a great idea!! Super tips, too. Thanks

  5. My kind of picnic activity! It's a beautiful quilt which will be much appreciated by whomever receives it, just as we all appreciate our warriors! Great tips, too!

  6. Oh Linda,
    Such a lovely quilt, and the patriotic colors. Perfect for a picnic quilt! and I love the verse from "America" I love every verse and always thought it should be our national anthem..
    I am always inspired by your work, and I sew enjoy your blog.
    Happy Summer Solstice!

  7. Good tips; thank you. This will be a beautiful quilt.

  8. Fun idea Linda. I bet that the guests will enjoy getting to work on it!! Also, wonderful idea about lining the stars. Cant wait to see the finished quilt!!!

  9. great tips! I'm sure the quilt will be a great hit at the picnic - hope you can get a photo or 2 of people working on it!


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