Happy Independence Day!
In honor of the holiday (and the charm pack below), I’d like to introduce a brand new feature on the blog – The PNQS Charm Pack challenge!
This ongoing challenge will be a weeeee bit self-serving because I have a weeeee bit of a charm pack addiction. I don’t think it’s catching, but wash your hands just in case.
Today I’m tackling Because of the Brave by Moda – timely!
It wouldn’t be much of a challenge if I just sewed charm squares together, so my goal will be to show you that with a charm pack and some imagination, you can do wonderful things! Not only will it spur your creativity (I hope!), I promise I’ll always show you if I have any charm pack fails – think of it like always having the potential for a big blooper reel. (I’ll just try not to do it with the Tula Pink. I’d cry.)
The combination of Independence Day coming up and the patriotic fabric in the charm pack made me get kind of literal here. I decided to create a table topper that had the hallmarks of a 4th of July favorite mixed with honoring our service men and women. We have so many PNQS families for whom these patriotic holidays mean something so much deeper and more current.
Since I was using a Moda charm pack, I went back to the Moda Designer Blog Hop – Spell it With Fabric (last year in February/March) for letter ideas. I used good old U, S, and A, but they’ve put together a Pinterest board with each of the letter patterns plus the how-to that you can use for any letters you like!
Their finished letters were much larger than our charm pack, so I made a few alterations (and did a little bit of winging it), but since my goal was to use as much as possible of my charm pack…and ONLY my charm pack, it was a fun challenge.
I had several different colors and styles to work from, but not many of each, so I started by spreading them all out, sorting, and deciding what would work best for the letters and the backgrounds of the letter blocks.
I ended up choosing the camo print for backgrounds and the as-close-to-solids as I have in the red, khaki, and blue to approximate the flag colors.
I set the rest aside and went to work translating Moda’s large letters into charm-pack size.
Let me tell you what I changed.
Background fabric: 2 strips 5″ x 2″, save the 1″ leftover for later
U fabric: 3 strips 5″ x 2″ (I used the remaining at the end in my scrappy patchwork sections)
I cut one of the background strips into 2″ squares and discarded the extra piece for the triangles.
After I used Moda’s instructions for assembling my U from the strips I cut, I took the 2nd charm square in the background camo pattern and cut it into 5 strips of 5″ x 1″ and added in that 1″ strip I saved from the first cuts. Those 1″ strips combined to form the sashing for the U.
The S was almost a charm pack fail! I wanted the width of the letter itself to be the same as the U, but that S took up so much more fabric! I ran out, and ended up creating a sashing with a few threads and a prayer.
4 – 2×1.5″ strips
6 – 1.5″ squares
3 – 2×5″
2 – 1.5″ squares
I assembled the S exactly according to Moda’s directions and sashed with 1/2 leftover background fabric (barely!).
I constructed the A a bit differently than Moda. For the fabric, I used:
4 – 2″ squares
4 x 2″ strips
I sewed two of the A strips together along the short end and then cut 2 2″ squares off the ends (super easy before you press that seam) so the seam stayed in the middle (it looks so much better with a centered seam at the top of your A).
This is what my A looked like before assembly – the three center squares go together, then the 3 bottom columns go together, the easy-corner triangles go on that top piece, and the top and bottom go together.
When I was done, I cut the blue camo into 1″ strips and sewed a sashing around the letter.
I didn’t have much fabric left, so I took the green and cut the squares in half to make a border around the entire USA, then played a little cut and sew to create a scrappy patchwork block on each side. I added some extra on top and bottom to even it out, hooked them on, and squared up before quilting. I took the remainder of the fabric and cut it into 1.5″ strips (so I could get 3 out of each remaining square) and sewed them together for a straight of grain binding.
Just barely made it around (are you sensing a theme here?), but I did, and my oldest kiddo who is a bit of a military buff has already commandeered it for the good of the country (or at least for the desk in his room…).
This is what I had left (scissors for scale):
And this is how it looks!
Do you use an awl when sewing?
I was presented with this wonderful tool years and years ago when I attended a Pine Needles Quilt Shop VIP event as a customer! I remember back then I was shown...
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