Stars and Stripes: Quilt of Valor

I’m sure that by now most of you know that a Quilt of Valor (QOV) is a quilt that is presented to a combat wounded service member. Organizers are specifically trying to present these to the young men and women returning from Iraq and Afghanistan with quilts, but any combat wounded service member can be a QOV recipient.

The foundation is always looking for help. You can visit http://www.qovf.org to learn how you can help with this project.

Shown above is the quilt I just finished that I’ve been talking about for the last week or so. The original quilt that this is based on is a quilt in the Smithsonian National Collection. It was made in 1861 and is 86 by 87. It was made by Mary Rockhold Teter for her son George who served in the Union forces during the Civil War.

The quilt is found in a book called Quilts: An American Legacy written by Mimi Dietrich (in 1996). Her book includes photos of a number of quilts from the Smithsonian, and the instructions to make quilts based on the original quilts. The replicas aren’t necessarily copies, a lot of times they are adaptations. Mimi’s adaptation of the Stars and Stripes quilt was only 38 by 38 and so I adapted her adaptation in order to make a quilt large enough to be a lap quilt for a soldier. (My quilt is 62 by 65).

When I first started making quilts, I never thought I’d ever want to make the same quilt over again. : I’ve since learned that even though you might be using the same pattern, you never make the same quilt. Something is always different (at least it is for me) and I will be making this pattern again. This quilt was a bit of an experiment: I was making do with what fabric I had on hand and had to make some choices I wouldn’t make if I had had a little more fabric. If I make it again, the stripes will be longer (and a bit wider) and the border will be a bit narrower (I think it’s a little out of proportion as it is).

Actually, as I was trimming it, I discovered that the side borders are an inch wider than the top and bottom borders. Don’t have any idea how that happened.

The applique was all done on the longarm (in fact, I didn’t even fuse the pieces down first, I just plopped them down where I wanted them and then went around them twice with a wavy stitch.  In fact, the quilt is even easier than it might look:  the center blue square is not pieced, it is an appliqué over top of the striped background.

I’d better quit talking about this quilt, though, and get it in a box and on its way.  I think I can get it to Alycia before Friday, but not if I keep sitting here.

Next up:  a post about the frustrations of trying to book a trip to Florida on a low-cost airline.

TTFN-

Suzanne