A great big “Howdy” and welcome to everyone stopping by on the American Made Brand blog tour! I’m so glad you’re here, and can’t wait to show you around the spectacular state I call home.
First, here’s a little trivia to explain the spirit (some may say “ego”) of Texans. The word “Texas” comes from a Native American word meaning “friends”, which is also why our state motto is “friendship.” Aside from rush hour on the highways in Houston or Dallas, you’ll find most of us trying to live up to that motto. Texas was an independent nation before becoming a state in 1845, and Texas is the only state to join the United States by treaty. If you have ever been in Texas and wondered why sometimes the state flag is flown at the same height as the American flag, it’s because of an agreement made in that treaty.
Texas is full of amazing things to see and do. Nearest and dearest to my heart are the state parks. Before starting a family, I worked for Texas Parks and Wildlife and an urban park in Houston, so it’s small wonder the great outdoors is where I feel most at home. I’ve created a pinterest board highlighting some of my favorite parks, attractions, restaurants and recipes to try to give you a “virtual tour” of Texas. It’s a small sampling, but hopefully representative.
Follow Emily’s board Things to love about Texas on Pinterest.
Trying to capture the spirit of Texas in a single quilt block was about as easy as predicting Texas weather. I chose our flag for the background, representing Texans’ proud and independent spirit. I added a bluebonnet (0ur state flower), and coreopsis flowers as a nod to the stunning beauty of Texas highways through spring and summer. For more about wildflowers and a great biography of Lady Bird Johnson, check out this link. And finally, I embroidered the word “Texas” in a way that imitated a cattle brand. Texas produces more cattle than any other state in the nation (and the continuous brand lines are easy to backstitch!).
You can download the Texas block for free in my Craftsy shop. This is a complete pattern, including step-by-step directions and illustrations for English paper piecing, detailed block instructions, and a template page you can photocopy for the hexagons and diamonds. If you’re new to English paper piecing, this pattern is a fantastic place to start!
So, what are you planning to do with all these fun state blocks? I can’t wait to see quilts with all the blocks. However, a project of that magnitude is a bit daunting to me. So I designed a simple tote pattern to show off a single state block. Here is my “Going Places Tote Bag”, made up in luscious AMB solids.
This pattern is available at a special sale price in my Craftsy shop. If you’ve never made a quilted tote before, this is a great beginner pattern. If you can make a quilt, you can make this tote! Plus, it’s a fun project for trying out quilting designs.
All photo shoots of Texas tote bags must include a picture of the tote on a barbed wire fence. It’s just how we roll.
On to the giveaways! Clothworks will be giving a gorgeous bundle of AMB fat quarters to a commenter on this post. Have you thought about what you would do with one of these bundles? If you check out each blog on the tour, you have fifty opportunities to win! You could make a quilt and enter it in the American Made Brand Farm to Fabric challenge! If your quilt is selected, you could come see it at International Quilt Festival this fall! (Did I mention that Quilt Festival is held every November in Houston, Texas?! Another great reason to love Texas.)
For my own little giveaway, I’ve compiled a bundle of bluebonnet-inspired quilty goodness. One winner will recieve a copy of each of my Texas wildflower patterns, two packs of die cut papers from Paper Pieces (which can be used to make the first Texas wildflower pattern, or the Texas block. Less paper cutting. More quilty fun. I love paper pieces.), AMB fabrics to make all of the wildflowers in both patterns, a packet of bluebonnet seeds, and a package of my all-time favorite flavored coffee. (Did you notice the bluebonnets on the coffee package? Don’t worry. It doesn’t taste like bluebonnets. But it is a delectable blend of cinnamon and vanilla.)
To be entered in both drawings, leave a comment below and tell me what you’re planning to do with the AMB block patterns. Or you can just say “howdy”, or whatever else you’d like. I’ll randomly choose two winners on June 21 and notify the winners via e-mail and a follow-up blog post. Don’t forget to check out the rest of the states on the blog tour. And, as we say in Texas, “Y’all come back now, ya hear?!” (Translation: thanks for visiting, and I’d be glad to see you again anytime!)
Happy Stitching, and road tripping!