Wednesday, October 7, 2015

A long overdue QOV gets loaded!

Miss Betty & I have been wanting to quilt this quilt (and several others) for quite awhile now.  Finally got it loaded today!

Gold & Blue Stars Quilt of Valor just loaded onto the quilting frame
Typically, we would quilt this quilt with one of our very favorite machine quilting threads, LAVA Diamond Head.  For those who have followed our quilting journey for any length of time, you know, we've quilted more than a few Quilts of Valor with this luxurious thread.  As you can see, we're just about to run out and went to place another order BUT:

Our last thread bit of LAVA Diamond Head

Superior Threads decided, in their ALL-knowing thread wisdom, to retire this entire LAVA line.  At first, we were NOT happy to hear this.  However, after consulting w/Superior and the very nice young lady over the phone to give us a 'comparable', Fatastico was the ultimate choice:

Superior's NEW Fantastico
As a farmer's wife, I had to choose the NEW Fantastico Cornsilk #5087 and Grain Acres #5088. We're leaning towards the Cornsilk for this QOV since this thread is a tad lighter and brighter and should suit this particular Quilt of Valor, with ALL it's golds and blues quite nicely...keep your fingers crossed for us that we LOVE this new Fantastico as much as we loved LAVA...we'll keep you posted.

Hopefully, will get to start quilting soon!  Been consumed w/Fall cleaning/organizing.  The first photo shows the result of much needed re-organization but, still have LOTS to do:

Still trying to come up with a fantastic solution to handle ALL our batting pieces and chunks - we save these for charitable projects and especially youth to use for practice quilting.  IF you happen to have an amazing solution, besides 35 gal. leaf bags, Please let us know...Thanks!

And Please join me in saying a final Goodbye to one of our beloved Golden Bears/Retrievers.  We think he was hit last Wednesday morning. It was really foggy and so...

Baxter & Theo - two brothers who loved and wrestled w/each other EVERY day...
A sad farewell to our Theo - you will be missed.

He loved laying in the sun on the landing outside my quilting studio.  I will miss seeing him cuddle w/one-eyed cat and wrestling w/his brother.  His brother is really feeling his loss right now.  He howls every night at the same time of his final passing.  Hopefully soon we'll find a new playmate for him...BUT, our Theo will be very hard to replace...

Quilt ON!

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Magic 8s used to create a very special QOV

I knew as soon as I first saw Lisa's striking Quilt of Valor she created to honor her WW II Veteran Father, aptly named - Ray's All American Stars and Stripes, I just had to create my own version. Here are the three gorgeous Valor fabrics I've chosen:

Red/White/Blue Valor fabrics
After going through Lisa's detailed QOV pattern instructions, I knew I could adapt much of it to one of my very favorite methods of creating half-square triangles/HSTs, which Lisa instructs EVERYONE to do with ALL her gorgeous quilt adapt them to suit you and your favorite sewing/quilting techniques...Perfect!

ALL 10 Red/Blue squares sewn together, ready to be cut!

Sewn squares cut cross-ways AND through the centers vertically & horizontally
Eight Magic 8 HSTs - ready for the reveal?

8 HSTs ready to have those dog ears trimmed off
Just one little teensy-weensy problem.  I misread one of the instructions.  Where 2 1/2" HSTs are required, I calculated for 3 1/2" HSTs...oops!  And I didn't catch my mistake until AFTER I had cut ALL the Magic 8 squares, sewn, cut, pressed, taking photos, Hmmmm, something is amiss here. These photographed HSTs, while looking gorgeous, look very LARGE!

Indeed - they are 1" TOO LARGE!  Holy cow!! sigh, time to trim more than dog ears!

ALL 76 Red/blue 3 1/2" HSTs trimmed to proper 2 1/2" - that was sooo much FUN ;-)
 Now, they do indeed measure exactly 2 1/2":

2 1/2" Red/Blue HST trimmed and ready to be assembled
As I mentioned earlier, I am creating my own version of this gorgeous Quilt of Valor, which includes adding Red/Blue HSTs to the centers of ALL nine of the 8" stars, which added 36 HSTs to the grand total.

These are my Magic 8 calculations so far. (Originally, I cut 8" squares for the 2 1/2" HSTs, which created those 3 1/2" HSTs...UGH.)  Please use at your own risk!  I will update this blog posting w/pics and calculations as I proceed through this QOV quilt pattern...Thanks!

6" Magic 8 squares for 2 1/2" HSTs - seventy-six (76) Red/Blue, thirty-two (32) Red/White:

  • 14 Red
  • 10 Blue
  • 4 white
Magic 8 Formula used to achieve my final calculations:  Determine the FINISHED size of the HSTs.  In this case = 2" FINISHED/sewn into quilt block.  Add 1" to finished size. Multiply result by 2.  This result equals the size of the Magic 8 cut block.  In simplified terms 2" + 1" = 3" x 2 = 6"

10" Magic 8 squares for 4 1/2" HSTs - sixteen (16) Red/White and forty (40) Blue/White:
  • 2 Red
  • 5 Blue
  • 7 White
Magic 8 Forumula for 4 1/2" HSTs, 4" FINISHED so, 4" + 1" = 5" x 2 = 10" 

For additional info on the Magic 8 Formula w/pics from the 'originator', Please visit her blog:

Lisa's beautiful Quilt of Valor is now hanging in the National Quilt Museum in Paducah, KY until November, 2015, when ALL the Quilts of Valor currently being displayed, will be awarded to our very deserving Veterans and Service Members during a special Veteran's Day Tribute.  Additional info may be found by following this direct blog link: 

Lisa with her stunning Quilt of Valor at the National Quilt Museum in Paducah, KY
A BIG Thank You goes out to Lisa for generously sharing her very special Quilt of Valor pattern, Ray's All American Stars and Stripes with us...Thank YOU, Lisa!

Time to get back to the business of trimming...

Sunday, August 30, 2015

One QOV coming off the frame, another just added! w/Updates...

Thought I'd get 'the seven' loaded and quilted right away...that's what I get for thinkin' ;-)  Soooo after a loooong week of answering phones/emails/texts regarding some rather mundane issues, was FINALLY  able to get back to the FUN business of quilting.  The first one getting quilted:

#1 Vietnam Vet QOV started to get quilted
Naturally, 'Miss Betty' & I have chosen to McTavish quilt the patriotic flag borders:

McTavished patriotic flag borders/firecracker swirls in the navy blue border
And of course, two other quilting favorites - firecracker swirls in the navy blue borders and crazy 8's in the white sashings:

Borders ALL quilted out!
We chose a long-time panto friend, Random Stars by Dave Hudson, using LAVA Diamond Head, and it quilted flawlessly!

Random Stars panto w/swirls
And the back, coming off the frame:

Backs are good!

The next QOV will be quilted out very similarly, since BOTH of these Quilts of Valor will be awarded at the same time during the same QOV event.  Our East Central IL QOV Group received this request earlier this year via our QOVF Assistant Executive Director, and we were more than honored to comply:

#2 Vietnam Veteran QOV - Just starting to get 'pantoed out' in the main interior
And a quick peek at the McTavished border:

McTavishing in the stars & stripe border

Barring any further delays, should be ALL finished up quilting both of these beauties later today...Wish me Luck!

UPDATE later that same day/evening - QOV #2 coming off the frame.  ALL your wishes of Luck paid off...Thank YOU!

QOV #2 coming off the frame
It's Binding Time!  

UPDATE 9/7/2015:  ALL bound and ready to ship:

Both Vietnam Quilts of Valor labeled w/Award documents ready to be packed & shipped
just in time for their Missouri Reunion!

Additional details regarding the creation and completion of these two very special Quilts of Valor may be found by following these two blog links below:

Time to start packing...


Friday, August 21, 2015

The Strips are ON!

After cutting and sewing for what seems like FOREVER, actually it's barely been a week BUT my, how time c-r-a-w-l-s while trying to finish up what I consider 'mundane but necessary' tasks to get to the good stuff, QUILTING w/Miss Betty - I finally have something to show from all this activity...yippee!  So without further ado, border STRIPS have been successfully added to seven (7) QOV quilt tops, and bindings have also been completed for the following:

QOV quilt top #1

QOV quilt top #2

QOV quilt top #3

QOV quilt top #4

QOV quilt top #5
QOV quilt top #6

QOV quilt top #7
While I may not be fond of 'creating & attaching' the border strips, I dearly LOVE seeing each quilt, once it is ALL bordered-out.  Even I get pleasantly surprised at just how neat many of them turn out ;-)

Nothing left to say except...Time to QUILT!


Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Progress on the 'Fab Five' quilt for the DGD w/Updates...

Behind the scenes, been working on the Fab Five quilt for our super-special DGD, Jade.

Fab Five - Queen size!
The coordinating fabrics are lush and wonderful and play so nicely together!  You may remember the Dr. Who quilt we created a few years ago for same DGD.  Now that she's gotten older and wiser, ;-), time for something a little more mature.  However, I don't see the Dr. Who going anywhere anytime soon!  (After this posting was published, I was reminded by a family member that the Dr. Who quilt was just created last January, 2014 - my how time flies! ;-)

Already made the drapes from the awesome fabrics in the center of this block:

9 picture frame blocks complete
Time to finish piecing the alternating 'filler blocks':

Sewing the four-patch units
Chain piecing the 4-patch units together - only 24 left to go!

UPDATE 7/31/2015 - The Fab Five quilt top is ALL finished and heading for the quilt frame:

Fab Five quilt top completed!
We decided on the Kandinsky panto from and it is quilting out great!

Kadinsky Panto
Quilting - loooong view ;-)
We're trying something on this panto we've been experimenting with on a few quilts lately and that is...many digital pantos, the kind we use anyway, will print out in a straight line and not 'nest' without quite of bit of fiddling with prior to printing.  Since we do not enjoy that 'straight panto line look', Miss Betty & I have been going back and 'echo quilting' around the finished panto.  We are lovin' this effect.  May be looking into those NEW echo feet HQ just came out with...we'll keep you posted.

UPDATE 8/5/2015:

Echo quilting in between the 'straight rows' of the Kandinsky panto
All echoed and pantoed out ;-)
Fab Five coming off the frame!
Off the frame and ready for binding...

UPDATE 8/10/2015 - Binding:

Fab Five getting bound

UPDATE 8/13/2015 - Fab Five quilt label:

Embroidering that special quilt label for a super-special DGD!
Fab Five FINALLY Finished!

Fab Five ALL Finished and ready to be delivered ;-)
And we're off to deliver!

Time to get back to it...Later,

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Another Very Special QOV coming off the frame...

This Quilt of Valor has some very special meaning and symbolic symbolism behind it.  But first, to go back to how it all began.  My DGD & I were checking out at a local convenience store when the friendly smiling checker asked us what we were up to, since we were purchasing ALL kinds of patriotic decorations for an upcoming QOV Event.  We shared a little bit about our Quilts of Valor Mission and she immediately asked if her son, and IRAQI Veteran, would be eligible to be nominated for a Quilt of Valor and of course we answered YES!

Cross & Crown Quilt of Valor coming off the frame
We shared with Bobbie how she could nominate her Illinois Veteran son for a QOV, (and she also has another son who resides in Indiana who is also a Veteran, whom she nominated).  A few days later, I received a phone call, letting me know that she had some fabrics she'd like to donate to our Group and if there were any that could possibly be used to create a special QOV for her son.

She mentioned that even though most of the fabrics were not patriotic in nature, her son would prefer a quilt in some of the colors of her fabrics, if possible.  And, since he was becoming an ordained Minister, could we incorporate something along those lines that would correlate to his new profession.  Understandably, we get these requests from time to time.  We are here to serve, honor and cover our Service Members and Veterans with comforting and healing Quilts of Valor.

And that's what we did!  Didn't our toppers, Helen and Dorothy, do a wonderful job creating this Quilt of Valor out of Bobbie's fabrics:

Just look at those nice, sharp points!

Looks like everything is lining up nicely

We chose the Baptist Fan quilting design, which seemed to suit this special Quilt of Valor

Close-up of Baptist Fan quilting turned out great
All that's left is the binding and the labeling and this Quilt of Valor will be all ready to award.

East Central Illinois Quilts of Valor will be awarding this QOV on Monday, July 13, 2015 @ 2:00 pm (CST) at the Marshall Public Library in Marshall, IL...EVERYONE Welcome!

Once again...time to bind ;-)

Sunday, July 5, 2015

Denim & Gold Quilt of Valor coming off the frame...

Been working on this Denim & Gold Quilt of Valor for a few days now, just took it off the frame:

Denim & Gold QOV coming off the frame
This striking QOV was wonderful to quilt, especially those nice, lush borders:

Denim Gold quilting thread used to McTavish this Navy Blue border

Jamie Wallen's continuous Firecracker swirls in the Red borders, 
Angela Walters' Toothpick quilting in the Pledge of Allegiance borders, 
and of course, another of my favorites - 
McTavishing quilting w/Denim Gold thread in the Navy Blue borders

And then there's the back - always LOVE looking at those backs, don't you?

But probably the most interesting part of this patriotic Quilt of Valor and where it got its name, the main interior with its Denim & Gold displayed proudly with our American Flag:

Hope you ALL had a wonderful & safe 4th of July - time to bind!