Fellow Quilter-Americans, I bet you know what’s coming up! Summer is here, and that means it’s almost time to celebrate July 4th, our nation’s Independence Day. Do you like to decorate for this holiday? While it’s generally pretty warm for a big quilt around this time of year, smaller projects like table runners, wall hangings and throw pillows are a great creative alternative, and keep your home festive for you and your family or for 4th of July party guests. I’ve compiled a selection of small, fast, fun, patriotic projects that can sew up quickly, just in time for the holiday.
First of all, the most recent issue of McCall’s Quilting has 4 specifically patriotic projects, including throws, a table runner and some place mats, along with all the other great patterns. So that’s a great place to start; the issue is available in print and digital formats from Quilt&SewShop. There’s even a free patriotic mini quilt pattern available; click this link to download the free pattern. The mini quilt measures 26.5″ x 31.5″ and is based upon the dynamic cover quilt, designed by Candy Hargrove.
Read about Candy’s design process and enter to win a one-of-a-kind salt cellar pincushion made by Candy here. Also included in this issue is a table runner, Somerdale Sparkler designed by Pam Boswell. It’s a great looking centerpiece, and the digital pattern download is available here, but it’s even available as a kit so you can make the exact project as shown in the magazine. Take a look!
It’s just that time of year when there are a lot of fast, fun, smaller projects to make. Printed panels are one of my favorite ways to give a project interest and they always sew up quickly. This Proud to Be quilt kit, designed by Whirligig Designs, features an eye-catching panel from Northcott, along with coordinating prints. Making and displaying this project is the perfect way to express your patriotic pride.
Do you ever choose projects just because they incorporate a technique that would help your skills improve? I find it a nice way to get a finished product that I know I’ll like, plus I’ll get a better understanding of whatever techniques I’ve just used to make it. For those who would like to work with applique (to improve skills or simply to enjoy the process), may I recommend the Red Rockets digital pattern, a cute, cheerful wall hanging from Margie Ullery.
If you’re into foundation piecing, or you would like to be, try this lovely table runner pattern from Thelma Forrest, Land of Liberty. It’s got a cool look, and the foundations are suitable for beginners (or anyone who likes this project!).
How about Y-seams? They can intimidate people sometimes, but they’re not hard, they just take a little extra care and attention. And they can yield such beautiful results, so mastering Y-seams is a worthwhile endeavor, in my opinion. You can make so many more lovely things, like the Patriot table topper, designed by Kelly Ashton, available as a digital pattern. The pattern walks you through the basics of Y-seams and offers lots of opportunities to perfect the technique.
The very first video I ever did for QNNtv was for a patriotic project; a bargello style flag project (Try not to judge my performance too harshly; it was my first time on camera and I was very nervous!). One of my favorite things about this project is the back—it doubles as a zippered pillowcase OR a wall hanging complete with hanging sleeve. I use this backing on a lot of my projects to this day. It’s great because you or anyone who receives one of these as a gift can decide where they’re like to display it. And then they can change their mind. On Monday it can be a pillowcase, but on Friday, it could be a wall hanging, then back to pillowcase after the weekend. Check out the preview videos below, and watch the full episodes on QNNtv with a subscription.
What are you planning to make for the holiday this year? I’m still deciding from among all these great projects, so I’m not quite sure yet but luckily most of them are pretty quick to make! Happy holiday quilting!