Last Saturday was Quilts of Valor’s National Sew Day. I sewed together this quilt that has been stuck on my design wall since last May.
I got the first block done for my Christmas Hedgehog quilt.
I have the fabric picked out for the other three too. They are all going to have the same face with different bodies and spines. All the fabrics have a little metallic thread in them.
I also finished the quilting on this giant star quilt. It has a lot of stops and starts so I have lots of thread ends to get rid of. There is one small section in the center that needs removed and redone because the tension went wonky.
So after my husband decided to stay in the land of the living, I turned my focus to an event that we had been preparing for. There is a small town festival near here that has been turned into a huge veterans’ event because of their police department’s Facebook page. Basically, the Facebook page is crazy popular. I think it is the 3rd most popular police Facebook page in the country. The police chief decided to focus the festival on veterans and invited everyone to come to it last year. This year it is bigger.
Quilts of Valor had a booth for 4 days and did a public presentation with the police chief on Saturday.
We were supposed to present 17 quilts. I’ve been scrambling for quilts so I was glad to pick these up from the Purrfect Quilters on Wednesday night.
At our booth we had info for quilters and info for people to nominate veterans for quilts.
Here are some pictures from the presentation.
Remember that I said that this was a social-media driven event? I posted those pictures to the police Facebook page and they have gone all over the place. They’ve been shared like crazy. People have been joining the Quilts of Valor Ohio Facebook page. Over 1/3 of the page likes are now from this weekend. The album page of these pictures have been seen by over 42,000 people. The requests for quilts are starting to roll in.
During it all I managed to do some sewing. I picked up my hexagon quilt again. I haven’t done any hand sewing since I gave myself tendonitis in my hand. I sewed together the third row and my hand got a little sore but it was management by just doing a little at a time and changing the way I hold the pieces together.
My quilting this week involves binding. Lots of binding. We have a Quilts of Valor presentation this weekend and we are putting finishing touches on quilts. We had a sewing day this weekend to get a lot done. My machine quits after sewing for 4 hours. I’m not sure why. I’ll be sewing along and all of a sudden the tension goes totally loose. I haven’t changed anything and there is no fixing it. You have to shut down the machine and start again tomorrow. This isn’t a fancy machine with lots of computers to get confused either. It is just tempermental.
I think this is the scariest thing we do as quilters, especially with these red, white, and blue quilts. This one turned out ok.
The Navy anchor quilt is on its second go round in the dryer. Then I just have to do a final go over for threads.
I have 1 and a half more bindings to put on.
I picked up my hand sewing again after a few weeks off.
I have 3 more seams to sew and I have the first two rows together.
I met an amazing lady this week. This is Ruth.
Ruth is 94 years old. She’s made over 500 quilts in her life. She has Parkinson’s Disease and is prone to falling. She figured that if she had to sit a lot then she might as well sit at her sewing machine. She heard about Quilts of Valor last year and made 12 tops for a local event. Since then she’s kept sewing. She gave me 35 tops that she’s made since January.
My quilting this week has been of the boring but necessary type. I made a back for a donated top. I’m working on quilting my anchor quilt. I just decided that I need to pull out the entire center section of the quilting because of tension problems. I had the horrible realization yesterday that Memorial Day is next weekend and not in 2 weeks. The anchor quilt is part of a presentation on Memorial Day weekend. Crap. It is crunch time now!
I did have one Quilts of Valor presentation this week.
This one started out as a presentation for a Medivac helicopter pilot from the Vietnam War. Then we found out that his grandson who is currently in the Navy was going to be there. We gave quilts to both of them.
I got two rows finished and started sewing them together. I’m still trying to get the hang of working with the bulk of the quilt. I was gripping it too tight when I started and ended up straining some muscles in my thumb. Yeah, that’s me, lift weights all the time and then injure myself sewing.
I think I’m going to try paper clipping the section I’m working on together so I don’t have to hold it so much.
I’m quilting the words U S Navy into a quilt border. It is going to take forever with the technique I’ve chosen. It is going to be very subtle once the chalk marks are washed out. Hopefully it will still be noticeable.
In Quilts of Valor news, these three quilts were donated by a local guild.
I feel like all I’ve done is work on quilts this week!
I finished 2 flowers this week. I’ve only got 6 left before I start putting my top together!
I had a big, busy Quilts of Valor week!
On Friday I got representatives from as many groups in the state as possible together to go through the free fabric available to nonprofits at a fabric warehouse in our state. We all left with bags and bags of fabric to use for QOVs. It was nice to be able to put faces together with email accounts.
On Saturday we had our second northeast Ohio sewing day. We have a big, sort of spur of the moment presentation coming up and we worked on getting tops together for that.
Stars were appliqued on 6 of the striped quilts and we made triangles and started putting together the 4 hour star quilt tops. I’m loving this pattern from quiltfrog.com.
We may need to change our event name. My mom was there from Pennsylvania and one quilter brought relatives from Michigan. Her granddaughter had sewn but never quilted before but now she can make half square triangles like a champ!
When I got home from the QOV event on Friday night this was waiting for me. I knew that I had to get it to someone I would see on Saturday night so I hurried up and got it bound and had my mother make a pillowcase for it. It will be presented soon.
This quilt came from a group in the Toledo area. It is going to a veteran in central Ohio.
Our Akron group donated this top made from anniversary blocks collected last year.
I have to get a backing made for that and get it sent off to a quilter.
I got two quilts back from a quilter yesterday. She surprised me by binding them and making pillowcases for them too!
I’ve gotten my mother involved too. She brought me her version of the 4 hour quilt top.
I think I have 3 more quilts coming back from quilters this week. That should temporarily take care of the backlog of individual requests we have here. There are other states that are swamped with requests and don’t have enough quilts to get to everyone. If you would like to help out, check out Quilts of Valor’s website.
Saturday was the first National Sew Day for Quilts of Valor. I was in charge of monitoring Twitter and Instagram posts and giving out prizes. It was amazing. So many great tops were made that day and posted all over the place.
That night we had the first QOV meetup and sew day in our area. It was fun so we are going to make a habit of it.
I finished 2 long term QOV UFOs.
The first is the Swoon quilt.
Then I finished the first of the tops made with the anniversary blocks I collected. I wasn’t sure about this one all the way to the end but I really like the way it turned out.
I also loved the throne at our sewing site so I had to pose with it.
My 15 minute a day quilt is coming right along. I have it part of the way together now.
I did a Quilts of Valor presentation this weekend. It was done at a family party. The first recipient was a WWII veteran.
The others were for a Vietnam veteran and an Iraq War veteran. I made the St. Louis 16 patch on the left.
I started a new project. I decided to see what would happen if I worked on a top for only 15 minutes a day. I designed a simple top of alternating and sashed 4 patches and squares with some applique on day 1. Now it is day 8 and all the blocks are made and the first row is together.
I applied the 15 minute idea to my Swoon quilt this morning.
I got the first blocks sashed. Not bad for not really wanting to work on it but just making myself apply a few minutes to it.
This weekend is the Quilts of Valor National Sew Day. I’m running the Twitter and Instagram portion of the day. Follow the hashtag #quiltsofvalor to see what everyone is making that day! If you are sewing that day use the hashtag throughout the day so we can come visit.
On February 1 Quilts of Valor is hosting a National Sew Day. I’m helping out with the social media part. If anyone is sewing that day and you use Instagram or Twitter post with the hashtag #quiltsofvalor. If you’ve ever wanted to make a quilt for Quilts of Valor this is a great day to start. If you sign up you are eligible for drawings throughout the day. The grand prize is a mid arm machine! Details are here.
I have my own version of a Christmas miracle. I actually finished a few things! I don’t know when the last time that happened was.
I finished by St. Louis 16 Patch top. It has been mailed out to a long armer. This is going to be a Quilts of Valor quilt.
I did part of the Fandom in Stitches Doctor Who stitch along. But, I don’t know anything about classic Doctor Who so I don’t care about the early doctor blocks that I made. I work with someone whose husband is a big fan though so I made them a pillow with the first four doctors. This is my first pillow too.
The only thing I worked on this week was some hexagons.
I’m still excited to be using some of the next batch of fabrics for my Hexy MF quilt. I’ve been slowly sewing up the first batch I cut a year ago. Now I’ve finished those flowers and get to move on!
For the English Paper Piecing fans out there I’m starting a new swap on Flickr. We will be swapping sets of 1 in based hexagons. You send sets of 6 petals and one center basted onto paper but not made into flowers. That way if you use hexagons in other things than flowers you can still play and if you don’t have time to make flowers to swap you can play too. Each month of 2014 will have a color theme and you can participate in all the months or just the ones you are interested in. All the details are here!
This week I also got a lot of donated fabric for Quilts of Valor. I’m sending out grab bags of fabric for just the cost of shipping if you make a Quilt of Valor from it.
For all the details click on the icon. It should be fun. There will be prizes!
Friday I had the chance to get a bunch of free fabric donated for Quilts of Valor. I took a friend of mine with me and we went pillaging looking for fabrics that would work.
Now I have huge bags of fabric in my sewing room that needs homes.
Who’s up for a challenge?
It seems to be mostly strips that are 44 inches long by 3 – 6 inches wide. There are mostly red and blues with some neutrals and greys mixed in. There may be some other sizes or fabric too.
I will send you a grab bag of fabric if you pay for the shipping. The fabric has to be used to make a Quilt of Valor. Because deadlines help prevent procrastination, I’d like to see pictures of completed tops by April 1 and have completed quilts sent to me by July 1 at the latest. Everyone who sends a quilt to me made from this fabric will be entered in a drawing for fabulous prizes – I don’t know what they are yet so don’t ask but they will be fabulous.
I will get flat rate priority mail boxes for the shipping. You pick the size you want. The small box is 8 11/16″ x 5 7/16″ x 1 3/4″ and costs $5.80. The medium box is 11 1/4″ x 8 3/4″ x 6″ and costs $12.35. The large box is 12 1/4″ x 12 1/4″ x 6″ and costs $16.85. You send the shipping cost to me via PayPal (I’ll send you the email address when you sign up) and I’ll stuff the box full for you.
It is going to be a grab bag. I can’t promise the fabrics will match or will be enough to make a whole quilt. That’s the challenge. What can you make?
It is going to be first come first served until I run out of fabric.
I’m really enjoying this St. Louis 16 patch block. It is totally mindless piecing. It is made to be cut from fat quarters so there is minimal cutting too. I don’t like cutting. I never, ever use fat quarters because I am too cheap to buy them but I got this bundle cheap somewhere and I like it. I like it so much that this morning I looked for more online but realized that I was still too cheap to buy fat quarter bundles.
The blocks go together quickly. I made the two on the right in 20 minutes.
Quilts of Valor in Ohio had a few big Veteran’s Day events. I don’t have pictures from them yet but I did a presentation last night to a World War II veteran.
He told me that he was reluctant to sign up to get a quilt because he was pretty sure we were a scam. I’m not sure if he was more surprised that I was there or irritated that his wife was right about us not being a scam.
I was asked by a person who is having a Quilts of Valor display for Veteran’s Day if I had a banner. I said, “Yeah, no problem, I’ll get that to you.” Translation – I’ve been procrastinating on making one of those and now I’ll have to. Here’s the top.
I did two presentations this week. The first one was for a man who lives pretty close to me.
The second one was for a friend of mine. I actually made this quilt a while ago with plans of giving it to her and then it sat unbound for months. I decided that I was getting it done this weekend. Of course it didn’t take long at all and I had an actual real live finish of my own. I didn’t think I remembered how to actually complete a project. I gave it to her after our workout on Tuesday.
I’ve gone back to an old UFO. I need nine 24 inch carpenter’s star blocks for the quilt I have in mind. This will be number 3.
I’ve had a HUGE Quilts of Valor week.
Last week I presented a quilt to a woman who was a QOV volunteer while she was in Afghanistan. She was a nurse who agreed to have quilts sent to her and she oversaw distribution to wounded servicemen and women. Now she is home so we made sure she had her own quilt.
This quilt was made specifically for a woman. The center panel shows women waving flags.
I also did a group presentation at a veteran’s retreat.
I met the women in the photos when I did a talk at their quilt guild and they invited me to come to this retreat.
This flag quilt is one of my favorites. It was a hit.
And then NBC Nightly News ran a story on Quilts of Valor on Monday night. Requests for quilts and questions from potential volunteers have been pouring in. I linked to the story here. Today there is going to be another story on Fox News. I’m spending lots of time answering emails and starting to get quilts distributed to all our new requests.
On Sunday I drove to Dayton to do a talk to a quilt guild about Quilts of Valor. There were two people there whose family members had had quilts made for them. They talked about what it meant for them to receive the quilts. Sometimes I think we don’t realize how much our efforts can mean to other people.
Since I was going to be in the area, I decided to do a presentation.
This veteran is living at the Dayton VA. He was in World War II in Europe. He was shot through the leg. He showed me the scars. He was left in a turnip field and survived for 3 days by eating the turnips. Eventually he was found by two girls who got him to a train station. He was in a German prisoner of war hospital until the end of the war.
This quilt was made by members of the Connecting Threads guild in Columbus.