Keep Calm and Sew On

I have a love/hate relationship with Pinterest. I can get so many ideas to inspire my free motion quilting (and more!) but it can be a huge time sucking vortex!

But I love the different encouraging memes that are out there. (A meme is usually a picture with a message layered over it-- some funny, some encouraging, and some more opinionated.)

I made my own adaptation of a Keep Calm and Carry On poster. Did you know the originals were printed by the British government in 1936 in reference to the build up to World War II?

Free Motion quilted Keep Calm poster

Fusible raw-edge applique stitched down with a free motion quilting outline, done in the same thread as the background, no stops and starts except for the interiors of some letters. The letters were made using MS Word on my computer, printed out and traced onto Wonder Under.

A friend asked if I had the Accuquilt letter die set when she saw this. I don't, but it wasn't hard to do these letters. But if I do more of these, I just might get it.  I use their dies whenever I can for some fast applique projects. There are a whole bunch of new dies at Accuquilt too and they are having a sale. See the link on the right.

Can you see where I started quilting the 'A'?

Various cotton scraps for the letters. I took way too long trying to make them go together without being too matchy-matchy.

I also tried something new. Since this was to hang on the wall, I thought I'd try stretching it over wooden stretcher bars (for artist canvas), and stapling it on the back. No binding needed! So it can't be washed, but do you wash your posters? (It can be dusted or lightly vacuumed, of course.)

Keep Calm and Sew On quilted version

Turns out that actual artist's canvases are cheaper than buying individual stretcher bars! So I picked up a 16x20 canvas for $8.44 at AC Moore's (on sale, but very frequently on sale according to clerk). Also turns out I should have made note of common sizes before making my project. I nearly didn't have enough fabric to go to the back! I think that shows how much a piece can shrink up once quilted, since I thought I had left plenty of room.

I ran out of staples and also decided I need my very own staple gun. The hubby's was a bit more than I could handle and it was a bit too grubby for my liking. When I get one, I'll show more pics of the back and how it's stapled down.

No binding, no hanging sleeve......I'll be using this method again for similar projects!

This will hang in the shop where I work part-time, to encourage those who are bringing in their machines for service or repair.

If you like quilty goodness on Pinterest, you might want to see some of my Pin boards. Do you use a timer like I do when indulging in Pinterest? (My son just read part of this post over my shoulder and wanted to know why 'quilty' was underlined by the spell checker. I explained that spell check doesn't consider it a word and he said,"That's silly, of course it's a word!")


  1. Nice! I love fabric projects stretched over canvas. I have one hanging over my TV right now (an embroidered Nintendo). I did try taking off the canvas and found that while it can be done, it seems to be just fine to leave it.

    Awesome project!

  2. Just beautiful! I so love your quilting on this project!

  3. I just used the phrase "quilty friends" to my co-worker and she laughed. However, it just so describes my friends. Beautiful wall hanging. Love the phrase, love the different fabrics, love the quilting! I'm making a wall hanging too, (of flowers) and using a swirling quilting design. Maybe next time I'll use a canvas frame.

  4. Thanks for the great idea! This is really snazzy.

  5. LOVE IT!!! I know what you are saying about Pinterest.........:-/

  6. Very cute. I've stayed away from Pinterest for exactly the reason you mention.

  7. Very cute project and now I know the meaning behind the original meme! I like to hang my smaller wall quilts using command picture hangers and yard sticks!