Scrappy Fun with Flags

I dug out another unfinished project and have been working on it this past week.  Before we moved to Italy I started making flag blocks but then they got put away in the move.

Now that I’ve visited more countries I thought it would be fun to make flags for all those countries.


So these are the flags that started it all.

Actually, I started making the flag blocks smaller and then switched to this bigger size.  This is actually an 8 1/2 X 11 inch block which is the size of American computer paper.  I thought that size would be both flag shaped and easy to make paper pieced if I needed to.

I’ve visited 20 countries now so I made a quilt layout that would be 4 flags across and 5 down.  So far, I’ve made 16.


Some have been easier than others.  And I wouldn’t recommend starting a project like this without a good supply of red fabric!

So, I don’t think I will completely finish this quilt until we leave Europe because I have plans to visit more countries.  (Of course I’ll have to visit countries in multiples of 4!)  But I think a black and white map type fabric would be nice for the sashing so I’m on the search for something like that.

I was thinking it would be nice to print or embroider the country name onto the flag and maybe the year I visited.


I was able to use my Liberty of London fabric to make the British flag which worked out well.

What didn’t work was the paper pattern I created for this flag.  It took a little trial and error.

As did my Canadian flag.  I tried to use a leaf pattern I had but it was set on point so there was a lot of math to get the flag the correct size.


The Spanish flag also gave me trouble.  I planned to make the background and then paper piece & applique the crest emblem.


I was trying to get the correct size for the crest emblem but do you see the problem with my flag?  I didn’t see it until I had already sewn it together.


I got the background flag correct but my crest emblem looks a little … well, simple.  Hopefully, in the overall quilt, it will just look like the Spanish flag.

These flag blocks have been a lot of fun and I think it will be hard to decide that the quilt is finished because there’s always more places that I want to visit.  I’ll definitely share my progress on this project.


My sewing machine is calling me…

I’m in the process of moving my sewing stuff into what used to be our spare bedroom/son’s room.  He moved his stuff out and I took my time cleaning & repainting the trim.  The room isn’t huge so I want to make the space as practical as I can.  The bad thing about moving from the basement is that now I don’t have space to lay the pieces on the floor and move things around.  I need to expand my design wall and use that space instead so everything is still a work in progress.

I keep walking past the room wishing I had some time to sew in my new space but things are busy this time of year.  I miss my sewing time.  I did have a few minutes to plan out the Flags of the World quilt and was running into some problems because I had originally planned to put white sashing around the blocks.  It just didn’t look right because a lot of flags are white or have white edges.  I couldn’t tell where the flags started and the sashing ended.

I found a flag quilt online where the maker made the flags the size of a standard sheet of computer paper which is 8 1/2 inches by 11 inches.  I think this is a brilliant idea because the flags will end up rectangle and I can always draw out & paper piece the more intricate flags – like the British flag.  The finished blocks will be 8 x 10 1/2 inches.  I like the idea of not adding sashing; to just put the flags together side by side.  If I do 5 flags wide by 7 flags long, the quilt would be 52 x 56 inches without borders.

I was able to test out a couple flags after school today and I really like this size:

flag blocks

Maybe I can use the old blocks on the back somehow if I ever get time to finish it!

Some International Sewing

I had promised myself a whole day of sewing yesterday since there was no school but after I did all the things I was behind on, it got whittled down to 2 hours.  Big frown-y face!  Two hours was still nice.  I started a new t-shirt quilt a couple weeks ago and I’m still in the cutting & ironing phases so there was nothing to sew there.  And I didn’t feel like printing and cutting templates for the Farmer’s Wife quilt so I did what any normal person with a million other projects going on would do…. I started something new.

Last weekend I went to St. Louis to visit my daughter and we decided to check out the new IKEA store.  Since it had only been open for 3 days and the people here in the middle of the country have been deprived of their IKEA, it was a bad decision on our part.  But since we were there and I was able to find a parking spot only a mile away, we fought the crowds and vowed not to buy anything bigger than we could carry for a couple miles (I was assuming I would forget where I parked my car so I added a couple miles for the return journey).

Since I am an old IKEA shopper from my years overseas, I very much enjoyed watching the newbies try to find their way out of the maze that is the IKEA shopping experience.  So much fun.  However, by the time I got to the bottom floor, I remembered how they like to crank up the heat in the maze and it wasn’t as much fun.  I grabbed a few things that I don’t even remember picking up and definitely did not need.  Well, did you know that IKEA sells fabric?  I’ve never actually bought fabric there mainly because it’s very modern and didn’t fit with anything I’ve made.  This time, however, they were selling fabric scraps and I had a moment of weakness.

IKea scraps

I can always find a use for scraps.  So when I had time for sewing yesterday, I thought I would try to make something from this pile.  I’ve been thinking of making a flags of the world quilt for my daughter since she’s studying International Relations.  This is what I came up with:

swedish flag

It’s the Swedish flag made with fabric from IKEA!  I thought 6 1/2 inches would be a good block size.  The flag will actually be 4 1/2 x 6 inches finished and I think I’ll add white sashing between the blocks.

I actually got several flags done in 2 hours:

flag blocks

I think this will be a throw or wall sized quilt and I hope she’ll like it.