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

Friday, October 31, 2014

Flags Quilt: October Blocks


Hi, guys! Good news, I finished ALL my Flag blocks again this month. As you may know I have a near pathological dread of falling behind, not keeping up, missing a deadline. LOL! So that was good, right?

This is October's blocks:

Looks like I'll have enough cutaways to make a sweet tiny patriotic postage stamp quilt! That's so fun!

Here the blocks are individually.
The biggest challenge--- "Don't Tread on Me" AKA Snakey. He is soooo cute. This is the original US Navy Jack, not the coiled snake Gadsden flag. (It's kind of too bad the Gadsden flag wasn't used too, as it is a striking bright chrome yellow flag.] In 2002 this flag was ordered to be used by the US Navy during the Global War on Terrorism*, which makes it very special. And the motto is as timely today as it was almost 250 years ago. *[p.20 Flags of the American Revolution]

First Flag of the American colonies [not yet called the United States, of course], like my dad always made. This is the Betsy Ross flag we learned about in grade school.

76 Flag / Bennington Flag:

Guilford Courthouse  flag. Looking at the photos here, this block looks okay. In person it doesn't seem quite right and may be a redo. I think the fabrics, much as I love the star prints, are too harsh looking?

Plain stripes: Sons of Liberty:

Now about those many, many stars. Some folks have said they don't care for buttons and I am seeing some really creative ways that stars have been created with fabric---fussy cut cottons or wool. But I LOVE buttons [and hate sewing stars]. The pattern is extremely vague. Jan Patek could have at least given us a hint about the size? The resource she suggests no longer makes star buttons.
Time to get creative? My dad hand cut each and every perfect star, on his wooden flags, out of white enamelled aluminum siding from the Dump! So I was inspired....

A search on eBay shows many possibilities: search star buttons like these buttons for the large tan fielded flag (Guilford flag). Buttons are often sold in sets of 12 or a dozen, but these are inexpensive.

Etsy offers handmade artisan stars, ceramic. ($$$ when we need 39 stars!). here
[be sure to look at all her wonderful star buttons!].
If you order online watch the sizes! Often in millemeters and photos are misleading.
Or....hmmm. I could make my own w/ Fimo clay and a handmade cooky cutter, if my giant collection of cutters doesn't produce a set of tiny stars forms.

Or how about these hand carved, exquisite, antique mother of pearl stars from my button collection? So perfect! Too bad I only have five and could look for the rest of my life before I find 34 more.

I have lots of time to ponder the dilemma. The buttons cannot be sewed on until after the quilt is finished and back from the machine quilter. Just for fun I set out the star patterns using simple round MOP or old metal buttons. And you know what? I like them a lot. This is a prim quilt, after all. The old round buttons can stand in for stars.We know what they mean, don't we? And the price is very right.

Just a peek! Some of my friends are pitching in and helping me sew my blocks because of my painful hand problem. I love that they are willing to do this and it will add a wonderful ''friendship'' quilt dimension to this project, which is in memory of my dad who made such awesome things---including flags.

Be sure to check out Lori's blog for photos and links to other makers' blocks and blogs:
Humble Quilts Flags Quiltalong



gone to the beach



  1. Very pretty. I love buttons. And what a fun way to use them. I hope you're having a great day.


  2. Blocks really can look different in photos. I like that mix of buttons you tried out for the buckle effect. What a wonderful friendship-style quilt, incorporating the embroidered names too. Lovely!

  3. I decided to use wool for my stars. The buttons can add up in price quickly if you even can find the size you want.

  4. I like the buttons too.

    What lovely friends you have to help with the sewing. They're good eggs.

    Hope your Halloween was fun!


  5. Your blocks turned out great and I love what you did with the buttons! Your quilt will have special meaning with the help from your friends......very nice

  6. Hi Lizzy,
    loved reading your post and was smiling all the way through it.
    Your blocks look great and your ideas about the buttons are inspiring.

  7. Your blocks look wonderful! The "prim" buttons made me smile. Great idea!

  8. Great blocks. I like the Guilford Courthouse flag block. It brightens things up. I didn’t think I liked buttons but seeing them on everyones blocks has made me change my mind.

  9. I'm sold on the regular buttons! I think it looks completely adorable! I've seen a few online and it is hard to tel if the size will be right and the cost is outrageous. Great job on the flags.

  10. "Snakey" looks great, I can't believe you did that with your poor hurt hand!

    That one block doesn't look too harsh in the picture. It's up to you about re-dos - I wouldn't want to redo!

    LOL, "L's" embroidery is better than mine - I'm rusty!

    I like the MOP buttons, but in case you change your mind I'm e-mailing you some options for stars. Always good to have choices!

    That last photo, is that the dunes? They're looking really good! It's only 44F here today, kind of chilly! Hope you have a good weekend!

  11. They look wonderful! There is just something great about the American Flag. :) Kit

  12. Great job on the blocks and getting them done! I also always feel like I'm behind!
    Thanks for sharing your button search results. I really like how you've used a mish-mash of buttons on the Guilford flag! Also, really like the buttons you found for this flag that have the penny in the picture!


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