"Americana Stars" top

I'd been wanting to  make something "Americana" since I have a shelf of fabric that is about half full of these kinds of fabrics.  Most of the time, however, things don't appeal to me enough to make something so specialized. Plus, since we live here in Poland, it's not something I would display in my home, probably - well, maybe, but probably not.

When my kids were home, I did show a little patriotic spirit, just to help them feel a little bit less like a TCK (Third Culture Kid) and a little more like an American, since that is what they were - Americans. I'm pretty sure it didn't work, BTW - they still are very aware of their TCK upbringing. For those of you who don't realize it, kids who are raised in a different country other than their passport country, often feel displaced - not really fitting in either in their current country or their passport country and are usually not all that patriotic.

Sometimes I watch videos while I'm sewing - usually quilting videos on you tube  (or baseball games)  While I have to admit that I mostly enjoy watching MSQC (Missouri Star Quilting Company) and Jenny because she is so fun and the videos are so well edited, I also enjoy some others.

One of the other well done video channels is Fons and Porter's channel. While I admit to getting frustrated when they don't tell you enough to actually make the quilt without buying the pattern, I understand that they are using it for promotional purposes. However, after MSQC, I 'm spoiled for complete instructions. One day a couple of weeks ago I saw this video - Americana Stars and it intrigued me.  

Well, actually, I wasn't paying much attention as it was on, and then I was - I stopped what I was doing and gave it my full attention, and marked it as something I'd like to try. I wasn't "in the market" for it right then as I was fully engaged in other projects. 

However, I recently cleared the projects somewhat and decided to try it.

I didn't need to buy their pattern as they gave enough instructions in the video to make the star.  All I did was take a pencil and paper to my computer and draw myself a diagram as I watched the video full screen size, starting and stopping the video as necessary -  putting the major steps in order.  

Like this.

Before anyone criticizes me for that, I am giving them a shout out here (not that they will ever know) and they get advertising $ from you tube.

I originally followed the instructions after watching the video two times, and watched one more time when I thought I was doing something wrong while making the first set. After I made the first 2, I started making them in sets of 6 - even though they tell you not to--as long as you are using different fabrics with each set of stars, you won't get confused and it goes faster to make them in multiple sets.

They show making a table runner/topper - but I'm not into table runners/toppers.  Why? Well, I'm constantly using my table and having a table runner on it just isn't practical. When I'm not using my dining room table for dining, I use it for cutting, or spreading a quilt out to dry on, or taking pictures, etc. You get the idea. Table runners, at least for my dining room table at this point in my life, aren't "my cup of tea."

I made 42 of these stars which makes a nice Quilt of Valor size - after adding the borders, it ended up being about 71"x83" or so. The stars are actually fun to make and I love the final product!

Laying them out in position is another story, however,  It was something to watch colors and the position and direction of the stars. At some point, you have to just call a halt and go ahead and put them together.

 This was before the final layout. I was trying to mix up reds, and then the busy backgrounds, spread the blues around, change the direction of the stars. I had help with a student who was at our house for dinner - he moved some around as well.

This was before the final layout. I was trying to mix up reds, and then the busy backgrounds, spread the blues around, change the direction of the stars. I had help with a student who was at our house for dinner - he moved some around as well.

My next problem was the sashing. I really wanted a golden type of brown. However, I didn't have enough of even one of those fabrics in my extensive collection of fabrics! (I've used them up!) So, I made myself like the "taupe" I ended up using - which is a second-hand duvet cover. And I like it just fine now. The fabric is wonderful to the touch.

I wanted to take this moment to thank all of you who may be reading this who have served in the military or have immediate family members who have. You wives who have military husbands - you are probably the most unappreciated 'members of the military' that exist!

Your sacrifice has helped keep our freedom in tact. Thank you!

While you are here, feel free to browse the fabrics! My sister is ready to serve you!