I wiped away the weeds & foam. / I fetched my sea-born treasures home... Ralph Waldo Emerson

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Flag Quilt: "I dun my Best!"

"I dun my best!"---supposedly the motto from an 18th century schoolgirl's [less than perfect] sampler.

Hi! Maybe the quote is just a folk myth (I don't think the phrase 'urban legend' can apply?), but I know how the little girl felt. I'm just happy I got all four of the pine tree blocks finished. They were our September assignment.

This guy went well! Flag of George Washington's first naval vessel.

I didn't want the embroidered saying Stairway (Appeal) to Heaven [how Led Zeppelin] on my quilt. The story in the book says this was also shown with grass instead of words, so I subbed the sawtooth strip.
But then. My hand injury/ arthritis thing started. Oh wow. Painful, not just to sew but to use scissors. I pushed on though, no pain-no gain.

This is a version of the Bunker Hill flag / jack :

Pine Tree flag:

Representative of all New England states, a symbol of strength.
I was so happy to find this dark green star fabric in my stash. It is a vintage Jan Patek print maybe 15 years old? I saved the selvedge with her name on it, to sew somewhere on my quilt acknowledging the designer.

Another Bunker Hill flag:

It was the last I worked on and the little tree is so crooked.

I expect I'll redo it, and so I machine stitched the tan square. I sewed this block on Sunday at the beach, a beautiful day but a gale blowing hard. Windy days knot the thread and toss tiny bits about. My hand hurt so bad! Like our anonymous school girl, I done my best.

Today I laid the blocks out with the central eagle. When I showed our project to a friend who is not a quilter but is a quilt collector, she had said the design is rather ''potchka'' which in Yiddish means a bit busy---scattered or messy or without plan. (I explained that that was the charm of primitive quilts.)Yet now as I am cutting the blocks I see an underlying pattern of rectangles and squares. Perhaps I will set my blocks in a more orderly way? It's an option.

Because heaven forbid my quilt is potchka. LOL.

Come see everyone's blocks on Lori's Linky on her blog! Humble Quilts

by Jan Patek



gone to the beach....




  1. That darned hand anyway! Sorry it was hurting so bad. Your blocks look great and even the crooked little tree will look wonderfully primitive when the quilt is all together,.

  2. Well, I think you dun great! I would have thrown in the towel long ago. It speaks well of you that you kept on with it. I like it!


    1. Thanks for the encouragement, Kel. It s amazing and sad how little I can do---no Fall etsy treasures?!?--with only one hand. [whine, whine]

    2. OH NO! No fun Fall Etsy treasures!! What will I do? Kidding, sort of :)


  3. Sorry about your hand;(. What a thoughtful idea about using the Jan Patek selvage in the quilt.

  4. I think your cute little crooked tree just adds character! I do hope your hand gets better soon as I know it hampers you doing a lot of your favorite things. But your blocks look really good so far. Take it easy on your hand and we'll all hope it gets better soon.

    1. The hand is BAD. I am thinking of seeing the hand orthopedist, and you know how I feel about doctors.

  5. Ouch! You got everything done even with a hand that does not feel good.

  6. I love the folksy look to this particular pattern. So fun to see it come to life.:)

  7. Great blocks. Love your fabric choices and ouch how do you manage to stitch at all.?

  8. Well, I think you did pretty darn good with your hand ordeal and all. Occasionally I have little thumb issues. It's a mystery. This issue comes and goes with no rhyme nor reason!
    I'll be anxious to see how you finish yours up. You may be the "rebel" in the bunch! Ha! That was my nickname in high school.
    I got a late start on mine, but am gaining on getting caught up!


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