Do you buy cheater blocks on a whim, and then just not know what to do with them? I sure do. I seem to collect them up for awhile and then try to figure out a fun, unique way to use them. That is how Freedom quilt came about.
I am very patriotic and tend to collect patriotic items and fabrics. When I pieced this quilt back in 1996 for my “AF brat” son, I decided the time had come to make something out of the patriotic cheater blocks.
It would also give me an excuse to utilize some of the blue and reds that were stacked in my sewing area.
There is no pattern to do a quilt like this, so you get to be super creative, and use a few of those rusty math skills.
The first thing I did for this quilt (after gathering the fabric together) was to decide which cheater block to use for the center. In this case, I wanted to use the flag. It had some smaller patriotic blocks on the same panel that I cut off. I knew I needed a twin size quilt.
I figured that 3 rounds of 4″ wide fabric borders around the flag would make a nice center.
The next cheater block I wanted to use was 4 blocks of flags with a border around them. I cut that panel of 4 in half. Now there were 2 sections of 2 flags each. I cut those sections apart and added the navy fabric with white stars.
The final step for piecing was to add more 4″ wide strips to the sides of the 2 flags sections. Trimmed off the strips to the correct length.
The Freedom Quilt has 3 distinct sections when looked at. The top and bottom sections are 2 small flag cheater blocks and red/blue strips. The strips are sewn vertically.
The center section is distinct with the flag panel in the center and 3 rounds of strips around it.
Great the top was done. It got ironed and hung up with other tops that needed machine quilted. It would be a few years before I did any more with it.
This quilt was machine quilted by MG in 1999 in an all over “cloud” design. It was done in time to be a Christmas gift for the son.
Finished size was 66″ x 88″.
I entered this quilt in the local county fair in 2001 and it won a blue ribbon. Not a big deal in the scheme of life, but fun and confidence building.
Please don’t be afraid to mix and match various items together to make the quilt you want. It is not about whether the “quilt police” like your quilt. You are making the quilt to suit a need you have.
It is just fine to make a quilt from an idea with no real pattern. Those patterns we use regularly started out as an idea. No better or worse than ours. The difference being that some patterns are for sale, while others are done simply for enjoyment.
Other ideas for patriotic quilts: