Thursday, June 2, 2016

Back to Playing Catch-Up!

May has been soooo busy, BUSY!  Yard work came early w/wonderful gardening weather - which gave 'Miss Betty' a much-needed break-ey break.  Now that I'm almost caught up on my part of the yard work ;-) time for some quilting!

'Miss Betty' quilting out patriotic star panto

This Quilt of Valor has been in our quilt queue for quite awhile and just now came up.  I like to keep Red/White/Blue patriotic QOVs on hand for 'emergencies', and I created this one with that in mind several months ago.

We knew exactly how we wanted to quilt it with our trademark panto in the center, custom quilting in the borders - complete with our 'flavor' of McTavishing:

Close-up of Becker's Shooting Star panto quilting

McTavish quilting in the borders w/Rainbows Patriotic in the needle

Should be able to finish up quilting later today.

Also got some long-awaited QOV quilt blocks finished and ready to ship:

Dandy Stars - created extra for the QOV Stars Facebook Group
And lastly, finished cutting ALL the 'bars' for a Stars and Bars QOV:

Basket of strips for the Stars & Bars QOV, along w/high-tech cutting list -
a recycled junk mail envelope complete w/patriotic color theme ;-)
And - the sewing of the strips for our QOV signature quilt is complete, just need to press/trim/sew the stars and we're Golden:

East Central IL QOV Signature Quilt - in progress

Got the inspiration from one of my favorite Quilt Ladies, Jenny of Missouri Star Quilt Company:

Made in Red/White/Blue, the central 'white' strip can be used as a Signature block and ultimately Signature QOV quilt!  We have TONS of the red/white/blue sig blocks waiting to be signed and turned into QOVs.  Thought I'd sew the first one as a model for those to come.  I'll post pics of our progress in upcoming blog posts...

Time to get back to it!


Friday, May 27, 2016

A Creative Memorial Day Tribute to Honor our Fallen Heroes

For those Who gave the Ultimate Sacrifice - a Tribute to Honor These Fallen Heroes:

Thank YOU for the Freedoms we enjoy today and Everyday because of their sacrifice for me and my family.

My Best to You and Yours,

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

QOV Quilting Toss-up! w/Updates

Time to change up the quilting a bit.  Taking a page out of Miss Katy's quilting playbook, over at, specifically this blog link: where she utilizes more than one quilting technique w/panto in different sections of a quilt...neat!

So here we go w/latest Quilt of Valor created by our Doris and I - we make a pretty good QOV Team, don't you think? ;-)

Another of Doris's 'Row Quilt' QOVs coming off the frame
While choosing the border quilting design first - since Miss Betty & I LOVE quilting borders, we decided to treat ALL three borders as one, which would allow us to quilt them w/larger panto.  I chose this one:

Starstruck panto chosen for the 3 Red/White/Blue borders
It was a great choice and quilted out perfectly, with just enough room for echoing...what FUN!

Starstruck panto w/echo quilting
For the interior, we chose Becker's Shooting Star from, which also was a wonderful choice, along with one of our long-time thread favs - Rainbows Patriotic:

Starstruck and Becker's Shooting Star pantos combined in one Quilt of Valor!
We enjoyed quilting out Becker's Shooting Star panto so much, we're giving serious consideration to also quilting out this QOV with it:

Alycia's Stars A-Waving Quilt of Valor ALL loaded and ready to quilt!

Loaded this most recent Quilt of Valor onto Miss Betty right before the latest round of thunderstorms hit.  Once they pass, we'll be ALL ready to start quilting again!

UPDATE later that same day:  managed to squeeze in a little panto quilting in between storms - isn't this star quilting turning out neat?!

Close-up of star quilting

UPDATE 4/29/2016 - look what just came off the Miss Betty quilting frame prior to the NEXT thunderstorm hitting:

Alycia's Stars A Wavin' coming off the frame!

This wonderful Stars A Wavin Quilt of Valor Alycia designed for us ALL to enjoy creating and ultimately awarding to a very deserving Service Member or Veteran, will be on display at our local library in Marshall throughout the month of May beginning May 3, 2016, along with additional QOVs. East Central IL QOV has been invited to create a display sharing the Good News about the Quilts of Valor Foundation, and how EVERYONE may join in helping to create and award beautiful Quilts of Valor for those touched by war.

Another storm is moving through...time for binding!


Thursday, April 7, 2016

It's Time for some Quilting! w/Updates

Miss Betty & I have spent considerable time apart of late, while yours truly readied several/many quilt tops, including quite a few Quilts of Valor, for quilting.  Now has come the time to start quilting them!

First in the quilting line-up, a quilt top created by 'our Doris', bordered out and ready for quilting. Once we got our thread options chosen - one of our long-time favorites, you'll remember this one:

Superior's Rainbows Patriotic machine quilting thread - one of our favs!
...along with one of our favorite bobbin thread choices:

Maxi-lock for bobbin thread and Revive for press-F R E E/wrinkle F R E E backings...
what a perfect quilting combo!  (Additional info here:
When we got the quilt sandwich loaded, time to attach the side tensioners for stress-F R E E quilting:

Side Tensioner
Here's a close-up:

Customized 'Betty Boop' side tensioners - got this neat idea from
Professional Quilt Artist/Instructor, Sharon great!
ALL the links to the Sharon Schamber tutorial videos may be found under our Favorite Tutorials page here:

After the quilt top/backing/batting is loaded, bobbins are wound, machine threaded, side tensioners attached, favorite House episode of Season #3 picked out and ready to watch/listen to, time to start quilting! That is until a storm blew in and the power went out...UGH!

Alrighty then - 2 hours later, after the storm passed and the power returned, it was NOW time to quilt, and quilt we did!

This was FUN!!

Quilting the Stars and Swirls panto
This is also one of our tried and true pantos, you should remember this one, too ;-)

Dave Hudson's Random Stars panto
We haven't quite quilted 100 Quilts of Valor with this favorite panto but, we're getting close!

And no QOV of ours would be considered complete without a little McTavishing, and here we go:

McTavishing the top border w/LOTS of swirls to mimic a waving flag
This side border came out really nice, we think:

McTavished side border w/Rainbows Patriotic...neat!
As soon as ALL the panto quilting and our version of McTavishing is complete, we'll go back and add the continuous firecracker swirls we're so fond of in the white picture frame perimeter borders, and this very special Quilt of Valor will be ready for binding and labeling.  We'll update this post w/pics as we progress.

IF we hadn't lost our power for those 2 hours, might've been able to finish!  Oh well, there's ALWAYS tomorrow, tomorrow...

It's Tomorrow!  UPDATE 4/07/2016: just finished quilting and coming off the frame:

Doris's QOV coming off the frame
Some close-ups:

Star panto quilting w/Firecracker swirls and McTavishing quilting in the borders

The back shows the quilting a little better ;-)

ALL quilted and ready for binding and labeling!
Time to make some binding!

UPDATE 4/21/2016:  ALL finished and ready to be awarded to Doris's Vietnam Vet.  You may read ALL about it by following this direct weblink to our East Central IL QOV blog posting:


Friday, March 25, 2016

Good Friday Finishes

Squeezing in a few more Quilt of Valor finishes prior to Easter weekend on this Good Friday.  The latest is from our Doris - picked up 3 more QOV quilt tops from her earlier this week, all ready for borders!  This first one is one of my favorites, definitely has a 'nautical feel':

A 'Doris Original' QOV w/nautical look
This is typically how we receive many of our QOV quilt tops prior to bordering out:

QOV quilt top prior to adding borders
Borders are added to ensure each Quilt of Valor meets the Standards of Excellence set forth by

Adding the first border to this Quilt of Valor quilt top
Additional 'Before & After':




...After ;-)

Creating ALL these very special Quilts of Valor is certainly a TEAM effort, and none would ever be complete without ALL our incredible QOVF Volunteers and their unending efforts...Thank YOU!

And a special QOV request from our Doris, while she goes for shoulder replacement surgery.  Seems our Doris has been keeping a little secret - she has a dear BIL who has served in the military most of his life and she would like to have just one of her finished Quilts of Valor awarded to him, once she recovers.  I think we can accommodate that, don't you?  And here's that very special Quilt of Valor, bordered out and ALL ready for quilting:

Doris's special QOV request, one of her beloved Quilts of Valor quilt tops,
bordered out and ready to be quilted!

UPDATE 3/25/2016 - Another one makes 5:

One more completed QOV!

UPDATE 3/26/2016:  Two more complete just in time for Easter!

#6 QOV bordered out

#7 All complete, ready for quilting!

UPDATE 4/01/2016:  Just heard back from our Doris - she's starting to recover from her should surgery, been catching up on her reading, including the reading of our blogs ;-), and she's decided that completed QOV #7 would be a better choice for her Dear BIL.  NO worries, we can accommodate that choice for our very special Doris!  Quilting will soon to be posted in an upcoming blog posting.

Please join us in wishing our Doris a very speedy recovery.

Linking up w/Miss Katy over at KatyQuilts - her most recent creative quilt adventure is stunning! Definitely worth a 'look-see':

Happy Easter EVERYONE!

PS...more recent Quilt of Valor quilt tops bordered out, getting ready for quilting:

Monday, February 29, 2016

Some Leap Day Finishes!

Thank goodness for this extra Leap Day to bring some much needed closure to several UFOs!

First in this finish line-up, another of our Doris's Quilt of Valor quilt top ALL bordered out:

One of our Doris's QOVs w/borders, ready to quilt!
Borders cut, sewn together and just pressed - enough to border out five (5) more QOV quilt tops:

Hanging borders, cooling off from just being pressed

Pressed border ready to be attached to 5 QOVs
Clues from #3 & #4 of our Quilt of Valor Mystery finished up, ready and waiting for Clue #5:

Quilt of Valor Mystery Clues
For now, there's come 'cool' borders ready to be attached ;-)

Happy Leap Day, EVERYONE!

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Bordering out the New Year!

Miss Betty & I have taken a bit of a snooze for the beginning of this New Year as far as quilting goes BUT, that is about to change!  We've actually been super-busy trying to get a whole bunch of Quilts of Valor quilt tops finished up, bordered out and ready for quilting.  Here are a few we started out with.  You may recognize the first one - it's one of our Doris's from our December, 2015 East Central IL QOV meeting:

Doris's Camo Flag QOV quilt top - turned out really special, we think!
We knew as soon as we saw this QOV quilt top - designed and created by Doris herself, that it should be finished out w/matching fabrics in the borders:

Some of Moda's "Land of the Free Because of the Brave" fabrics
Sewing on those gorgeous border fabrics:

Adding the first RED marbled border to Doris's Camo Flag QOV
Next is a Quilt of Valor top created by another one of our Valued QOVF Volunteers, Patti.  We came up 11/2 yards short of the same color RED for the outside perimeter border and binding.  I've spent the better part of the past 6 months searching online/offline fabric shops trying to find this RED.

Last week while doing some New Year's sorting/cleaning of my personal fabric stash, I came across more than enough to finish!

Newly found RED to finish out this QOV of Patti's
And it turned out stunning, if I say so myself - just perfect!:

Patti's stunning bordered out Quilt of Valor top - all ready to be quilted!
The final one in this first group is one of my own creation.  Anyone who's followed my blog for ANY length of time knows I adore RED/White/Blue quilts and this one fits that bill nicely...including another fav, a touch of denim ;-)

Denim Stars & Stripes borders
And the finish of this neat Quilt of Valor top:

Denim Stars & Stripes QOV quilt top - soon to be quilted!
Finished up the QOV Mystery Quilt just last Friday:

Stars A Waving Mystery Quilt of Valor
And of course we're STILL working on the Allietare Mystery, one of which you'll remember will be used as one of our 2016 East Central IL QOV fundraisers:

48+ Gold Star Allietare blocks - just a few more to go!

These are just the first of MANY Quilt of Valor quilt tops that will be getting finished/bordered out and ALL ready to quilt over the next few weeks!

UPDATE 2/11/2016:  another NEAT finish of one of our Doris's Quilt of Valor quilt top:

Adding those borders!
Really like how this QOV turned out!
Another of our Doris's original pattern design for this Quilt of Valor ALL bordered out - turned out so ALL the wonderful patriotic fabrics in this one:

Patriotic fabrics in this 'Doris Original' Quilt of Valor

For now, time to get back to it...

Btw - Happy Belated NEW Year!