Wednesday, May 17, 2017


I use flannel as batting. It is easy to find (thrifted) or old odds and ends at home. The texture also seems to help it "cling" to the quilt top, even with lots of transporting as with all my hand stitched projects. I still pin the layers, but minimally really. I do a lot of my hand stitching on just two layers, top and flannel. Then, I add the back layer and machine quilt the three layers together, hiding my hand stitching thread ends between them.

I am going to try multiple flannel layers in some areas on this project, to add a bit more relief to the positive spaces. I have cut away the negative space flannel and now the back has a interesting look on its own, a bit of raw edge appliqué. I will add another layer of flannel, so positive areas will have two layers of the flannel rather than just one.

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Go and see the flags...

I am still stitching stars. These above are hand-embroidered on a pieced field of blue fabrics I inherited from my grandmothers as well as bits of clothing that my boys have outgrown. 

I have been wanting to share a wonderful source of information I’ve found while researching flags and hand-sewn stars. When I started working on my current projects, I did an online search for “hand embroidered stars on flag”. The top result was a link to, a site which provides information and photos on a portion of Anthony Iasso’s collection of the historic American flag. I find something new and fascinating every time I visit. Many thanks to Anthony for sharing his wonderful collection and knowledge on the history of the American flag.

Anthony says, “Many people are both surprised and amazed when they discover that the American flag that they’ve known for most of their lives has such a varied and storied past. The American flag is a treasured icon, woven through our nation's history. Our national flag, in its many forms, has been present during all of our nation’s wars, national triumphs, national tragedies, and in our every day lives. Flags have been manufactured in factories and sewn in our homes. The number of stars has changed as the nation grew from the original 13 states to our modern union of 50 and the number of designs and patterns found on flags over our nation’s 235 year history are almost limitless.”

Please go and have a look over there - Anthony welcomes comments in the Rare Flags guest book or contact him by email with any questions about your own rare flags.

A few of my favorites on Anthony Iasso’s site are listed and linked below (though please don’t limit your visit to just these pages!). 

Methods of Creating Stars

Updating the Flag with Stars

The Suffrage Flag

"Grand Luminary" and "Great Star" Patterns

The detail photos of these flags and the techniques used to make them are wonderful. I am finding the connection between national history and the history of handmade textiles so very inspiring.