Patriotic Star Quilt

I got the quilt in a pillow case and marked the case with my name address and the quilt name and sent it off. Then on September 11th 2001 I woke with swollen feet and decided to go into the office a little late. I turned on the television to see an airplane flying into one of the twin towers in New York. I live near an airport and to this day when the airplanes go overhead and are slowing down to prepare for landing I hear the same sound I did as I watched the aircraft crash into the building. It was horrific. After days of being in shock and the quilt show coming up quickly. A quick cry went out to get as many patriotic quilts as possible hanging in the lobby of the building where the show was held. A true show of support for our country. My patriotic quilt was already hanging in the main room along with one other patriotic row by row and all the other quilts of the Tuesday quilt group. The show was a tremendous success. I attended swollen feet and all. My due date wasn’t until November 6th. On Tuesday Sept 18th the quilters met at my house. We sit around and chat, work on our own individual projects, help someone with binding, look through quilt mags that members have brought along, do a little knitting or cross-stitch and have something to drink and dessert. Well that night I had one piece of pecan pie along with two pieces of apple pie!

Needless to say I woke in the night with a stomach ache. I drank a glass of warm water. Went back to bed. Tossed and turned. Got up again drank another glass of warm water. Back to bed. Up again. This time I had to take some antacid. I had a doctors appt at 8a and said “I bet I am going to end up in the hospital”. I got to the doctors and they took my blood pressure, put me on my side and took it again. They called my doctor who was at the hospital already delivering a baby and she told them to have me come to the hospital. I got to the hospital and the doctor came out of surgery to look at my chart. They took blood work and she looked at me and said they were taking the baby in the next 20 minutes. I was going into a coma from HELLP Syndrome. Hemolysis Elevated Liver and Low Platletts. I had become allergic to the fetus. I had to call Daddy (who had just left) to turn around and come back. Within seconds I was signing forms and was being wheeled down the hall as Daddy ran out the elevator and followed the doctor into surgery. I remember the oxygen being put on my face and the big bright light behind the mask. I had a 3 lb premie who was sent to NICU. They wheeled my surgery bed into the room and moved all the incubators aside so I could get to the back of the room and see my little boy. It turns out he was the healthiest little premie in the room. He was little. Littler than he should have been. But as the doctor said, I was a lot sicker than I looked. I probably had been toxic for a while. My little guy had a 13 year old bigger brother that was anxiously waiting for him. We had tried 10 years to have a baby and then after turning 40 years old…a few years later I had a colposcopy and 3 weeks later we were pregnant. Daddy had lost his mother to breast cancer, 4 years later his sister to colon cancer, and a year after that his brother to a blood clot to his lungs. When we found out two months after the last death we were pregnant Daddy said, “I guess Mom, Sharon and Steve got together in heaven and decided it was time something good happened”.

You can see some of the patriotic green. The fabric had stars on it. One of the parameters of my quilt was the block had to either be a star or made of star fabric. It opened up more options for people and I think the final results are really nice. I sewed the label into the binding of the quilt and then appliqued it to the back. I should say I started the applique process. I was getting pretty pregnant by the time the quilt show was coming around. I lightly quilted in the ditch here and there around the entire quilt. Enough to hold the piece together. I then sewed the binding on and hand stitched the other side down. I got the label half on and decided I was done. The quilt needed to get to the show. This was around the end of the first week of September 2001.

36 different miniature squares surround the perimeter of the row by row. This is a mosaic of the different squares. I was pregnant at the time and wanted to put the quilt in a quilt show. It was one way I thought I could set a goal for myself to finish the quilt.

Cropped pics of the border so you can see all the miniature centers I did in patriotic fabrics.

Until I reached the center of the bottom row. I had to adjust the row until it laid flat. I had to either make the seam allowances smaller…a lot smaller or join the blocks together.

Life isn't always planned. You have to adapt.

The quilt wasn’t wide enough to drape over the sides of the bed so I decided on making a border around 3 sides of the quilt. I searched magazines, books and the internet for patriotic designs I enjoyed. Many of them I had to draft into a 2 1/2 inch block. It was nice that I didn’t have to follow a pattern. This was the perfect project for me because I could create as i went along.

We meet every other Tuesday. We would bring the project with for “Show And Tell”. The person who owned the quilt would have to leave the room. We rotate and meet in each others homes. We all knew the person could hear us talk as we oooohhhh’d and aaaahhhhh’d over the newly completed row. We would laugh and giggle and have so much fun.

At our final meeting when all the rows were finished we then got to see all the rows and lay them out. We discussed amongst each other which row would be best on the top…which on the bottom….what rows looked good next to each other…which were too busy to be next to each other….etc…

Then we took the rows home and got to decide the final layout.

The next person to receive the box could come up with their own design for a row as long as it followed the theme the owner of the quilt had selected. The owner decided if they wanted a consistent background and would put enough background fabric in the box for the entire quilt. I chose a scrappy look. The scrappier the better as far as I am concerned. The blocks could be any size. In the case of the flag row I ended up putting a spacer between the blocks to make the rows the same length.

This is a group project from my Tuesday quilt group. We have been meeting every other Tuesday since I would say about 1995. This is a row by row quilt. It was a really fun project. We had a pizza box and placed in it a journal, fabric in selected color scheme, and one completed row. I did the first row and then passed the box on to the next person. Each one of us could come up with our own theme. I chose a Patriotic Star theme. We could have specific requests and mine was that the quilt would not be just Red, White and Blue. I wanted yellows and greens in the quilt as well. I have always liked the crispness of the white background. It seemed like everyone was doing quilts in the tans.

Row by Row
Row by Row
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5 Responses to “Patriotic Star Quilt”

  1. Free Piecing in Brights/Quilt List « Quiltedthrifted’s Weblog Says:

    […] Patriotic Star Row by Row (Twin Size) Was in a quilt show with other Row By Row quilts…. my first quilt in a show WOW […]

  2. sewplay Says:

    It’s quite stunning

  3. A Tribute « Quiltedthrifted’s Weblog Says:

    […] this row by row Jan made the pinwheel […]

  4. isathreadsoflife Says:

    A most beautiful quilt and very moving story. Thank you for sharing it.

  5. quiltedthrifted Says:

    Thanks isathreadsoflife for the very nice comment. I can’t believe I wrote this almost a year ago. It is fun to go back and read. Every pregnant woman has a story! I am so blessed mine turned out so positive. This is still one of my only finished quilts and of course I could still to do more detailed quilting on it!

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