Finished Quilt of Valor

qov-quilt-smallThe quilt I made for the Quilts of Valor program is finished! As you may recall, back in March, I pledged that 2016 was the year I was going to make a quilt for this program. Seven months later, it has come to pass—not too shabby!

When last I posted about this quilt, the top was complete. Since then, I made a back for the quilt with a blue and white stripe fabric and a red and white polka dot. I knew I wanted the quilting to be more intricate than I usually do for my quilts, so I asked Holly Seever from the Cincinnati Modern Quilt Guild if she’d be willing to take on the job.

Holly has long been wowing the guild with the quilting she does on her domestic machine, but she recently purchased a longarm machine and began taking on projects for other quilters. I wanted to keep the star theme going in the quilting and suggested maybe adding some red thread, too. Other than that, I left the quilting design up to Holly.

I couldn’t have been more pleased with what she did.

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Each of the star blocks had this same quilting pattern. I love the swirls and pebbles in the corners. And it looks even more amazing on the blocks with the blue backgrounds.

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The blue fabric looks completely different with the quilting, which I think is pretty cool.

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And she quilted the same star design in the plain white squares using that red thread we talked about. I think that adds just the right amount of color.

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And the quilting looks super cool on the back of the quilt, too.

With the quilt expertly quilted, I added the binding—a red solid to go with that red thread.

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Next, the quilt needed a label. The Quilts of Valor program requires that each quilt have a label that includes all of the following: the name of the person who made the quilt, the name of the person who quilted it, the name of the program, and space to write in the name of the recipient and the date it was received. The great thing is, QoV provided a link to Modern Yardage, where they sell labels for just this purpose. There were several to choose from, and even with shipping, the cost was less than $2. I really appreciated this convenience.

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I’m not thrilled that the backing fabric shows through the label, but I tried to line up the label information spaces with the stripes of the fabric so it looks kind of intentional.

Finally, each Quilt of Valor needs a presentation case. Many of these are simply pillowcases made in coordinating fabric, which was easy enough to do. I used a star fabric that didn’t make it into the quilt for the body of the case and used leftover fabric from the quilt for the trim and cuff. I followed the burrito (or sausage) method for making the pillowcase using a tutorial from The Seasoned Homemaker.

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The tutorial was very easy to follow. And it even included fancy French seams (no raw edges) on the interior!

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With the quilt finished and labeled and with the presentation case made, I requested a destination for my quilt from Quilts for Valor. Within a day, I received a note asking me to send the quilt to the Warrior Transition program at Fort Campbell, Kentucky. Here, soldiers who are med boarded out (meaning they don’t return to their previous duties due to medical issues) are shown several quilts, and they can choose one to take home with them. The director of the program said, “I never see a Soldier leave my office with one that doesn’t have a tear in their eye.”

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So I shipped the quilt there on Monday. I know it will find a good home soon.

Latest Charity Quilt

Each year I try to make a few quilts to give to charities. I’ve made quilts for Ronald McDonald House, Project Linus, and Children’s Home of Northern Kentucky. If you’ve noticed, there’s a bit of theme there: I make quilts for kids. These quilts normally aren’t huge, and I can use my stash of brightly colored fabrics.

But 2016 is the year I’m going to make a quilt for Quilts of Valor. This organization gives quilts to veterans and service men and women around the country. The quilts need to be about 60″ x 80″, appropriate for an adult, and preferably in a patriot theme. To me, that translates to large, not girly, and includes reds. You can see why I have been dragging my heels.

Last week, my green, orange, and gray quilt hit a roadblock as I waited for an online fabric order to arrive. So I started going through my stash for fabrics appropriate for Quilts of Valor.

Somewhere along the way, I purchased several yards of this star fabric, especially for this purpose.

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And I bought a few yards of this navy and white checked fabric, too.

QofV navy block

I looked around online, and found this quilt from Cluck Cluck Sew. She used a simple star pattern, and I really liked the way she mixed up her fabrics.

I pulled some blues and grays from my stash, removed the flowery ones, and made a few blocks.

QofV blocks

So far, I really like where it’s going. I do think it needs a little red to punch it up, but I haven’t decided how I’m going to do that yet. And I have all that star fabric that I might decide to use in big pieces around the blocks. We’ll see . . .