This July 4th, Michael and I have teamed together again to present both quilt and words that honor our defenders of freedom……

We often think of the 4th of July in terms of freedom, and rightly so – our Country’s freedom from oppression, from control by a distant, foreign power intent on exploitation. What we don’t as often remind ourselves of is the cost in lost freedom, lost health, lost lives of men and women who served our country from the 18th Century until now. This quilt of valor reflects the sacrifices from love – represented by the staggered heart blocks – by our service men and women who chose to lose their freedom and go where needed to protect each of us, and their Country. This quilt reminds us of those who returned and those who did not. We wish for no more conflicts, but know that until that Day when peace reigns, there will continue to be those special individuals who place others above themselves by moving into, not out of, danger.

Michael Arnold
Photo by Clément M. on Unsplash

A change in design

Yesterday, I posted about the start of a scrappy Quilt of Valor and left you with this design plan…..

I began auditioning fabric strips and quickly came up with this arrangement…..

Next I sewed each of the strips together so that the new strip set equaled the size of one of the blocks.

As I sewed, I started thinking…..and that always causes problems!!

Instead of having the blocks hover at the left side of the quilt, why not space them out across the quilt? GOOD IDEA FRANCES!!!

Once the strip sets were sewn, I trimmed them to the shortest length….

….and measured to see how much fabric I had to work with….

Now it was time to do the math!! My first pass ended up with different widths of fabric on each side of the outside squares…..

That won’t do!!! Let’s split the difference…..

That will work!!

After a little bit of trimming to make the sides perfect, I added borders…..

….and called it done!!

Now, because I like to learn something from each project, I can look at this quilt top and say that I wish I had put less fabric on the outside of the blocks and, instead, spaced them out better!!

Linda….please make more blocks that I can play with!!!!

Quilt of Valor Finished!!

Despite the rocky start where my math skills were concerned (read about it here), I am happy with the way the Quilt of Valor finished up.

Where I left you on Tuesday, it was not big enough to fit the QOV requirements, so I needed to make it bigger!! Because the panel was so skinny, more needed to be added to the sides than to the top and bottom.

My solution was to add a column of gold and cream checkerboard blocks…..

Adding a few borders finished the quilt top perfectly!!!

I am pleased with the result and, as with any QOV, I hope that it will be used to warm and comfort someone who chose to serve so that I could also be warm and comforted!!!

I’m good at math….I promise!!!

…..although some of my recent work didn’t prove it!!

I was working on a Quilt of Valor using a panel and fabric pack that had been provided by my guild’s Charity Bee……

The first problem was that the panel wasn’t printed straight and no matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t get it to be completely straight……

I finally just picked a point and trimmed the excess fabric off…..

This is when the math wheels fell off!!!!

I had decided to add a 2-inch checkerboard border around the panel so the center panel height and width needed to end up being even numbers. I measured, calculated, re-calculated, cut, and sewed the borders on. Then I measured again……NOOOOOOO!!

When I had planned the vertical border, I failed to include the 1/2 inch needed for seam allowances!!! Instead of unpicking those long seams, I opted to just trim the seam allowance off…..

I now re-cut the borders being sure to add the additional 1/2 inch. What I DIDN’T account for was the 1/2 inch that I trimmed off…..AAARRRRGGGGHHHHH! Fortunately, I figured this out before I sewed them back on again.

At this point, I had run out of the fabric that I was using for the border!! So I trimmed off the bottom and top seam allowance and started over again with a different fabric!!! You can be sure that I added a bit more than I thought I needed. It was a tense moment as I measured the piece to see if I had given myself enough room…..


Now I could move on to making four the four patches and, fortunately, things went better from there. At the end of the day, this was where it stood……

So tomorrow I will take a few math classes and then keep working to grow this piece to an acceptable size!!!

First Finish in the New Studio…..

This past weekend I spent a fair portion of my time in my studio and had a marvelous time working on a Quilt-of-Valor top.

Using Bonnie Hunter’s Essential Triangle Tool, I ended up with an almost perfectly pieced top……

Quilt of Valor

I am super excited about this first creative work in my newly recreated studio!!!

Now to pass it along to the long-arm quilter’s to get it finished up.

What will I do next…….a VERY good question!!