Jeannie Denson sent me an email last week with a photo of a beautiful split star quilt that she was making for a Quilts of Valor project. She used the Split Star instructions here for the star blocks and added a half square triangle block as a connecting block. The connector blocks make the stars stand out even more.
This is the first quilt she made, but the QOV foundation has strict requirements for size and this was a little too small. The quilting on this one looks like stars and stripes.
Jeannie got busy and made a second split star quilt that was bigger. She did a marathon stitching session and finished the top in two days. And it is on her quilting machine already. The pattern in the fabrics in this one give it an extra sparkle don’t they?
I got an email from Maggie yesterday showing me the Quilt of Valor she made using the star machine embroidery Quilt as you Go. This is absolutely beautiful. The recipient of this quilt will be very honored to receive it. She also showed how she supported the weight of the quilt as she worked putting the rows together. This is truly a work of love and dedication.
We are so fortunate to have Margaret Pitt with a Quilt As You Go tutorial today showing how she has streamlined the process as she uses the quilted star machine embroidery set to make a Quilt of Valor. This quilted set was designed specifically for the Quilt of Valor project we did last year, so this is very dear to my heart. Maggie shows how she made these blocks in a long strip. After she finishes, these blocks are cut apart and put together with sashing. The assembly of blocks is shown here.
I am making a Quilt of Valor using Marjorie’s star quilted in the embroidery hoop. It sews out like a dream. My biggest challenge was figuring out how much fabric I needed. I used graph paper and colored pencils to figure out how many blocks I need for the back as my quilt will be 10 blocks wide by 11 blocks long. My hoop is 10 1/4 x 6 1/4. I fold the main strip in half and finger press this crease to help center the fabric in the hoop.
The backing will be in red, white and blue blocks so I used colored pencils to figure out how many of each color I needed. I chose a colored backing as I didn’t think all white would be the greatest for a quilt that gets used a lot.
I found that by cutting the main fabric and muslin stabilizer in 9 1/2 wide strips I can get 5 quilt blocks per strip. Cut the backing and batting in 8 1/2 inch strips and sub cut into 8 1/2 in squares.
Hoop your fabric and muslin together and leave just an inch over the top of your hoop, sew out your first block and when done and you remove to re hoop, first lay it face down and fold up the end from your last block and trim the backing and batting only so it is 3/4 of an inch wide. That gives you a little extra to square up your block and leave the 1/2 in seam allowance. The reason for trimming is that on the rest of the blocks when you pin the backing and batting on the back you can butt the top edge of it right up to the last trimmed backing block.
Now measure 1 1/2 inches down from the last block and place a pin in the fabric and then move your design and do a trace with your machine to be sure it isn’t higher then the pin. Sew out your second block and trim batting and backing as before. You will trim the bottom of the backing and batting on all but the last block.
After you have finished your second block, you can cut off your first block and square it up leaving a 1/2 inch seam allowance. Now lay that block on your hoop in the machine and leave 1 inch between the last block. The reason for only one inch is the block you are using already has the seam allowance. Continue this method with the rest of the blocks.This method will allow you to get 5 blocks per strip .
I shut off my thread cutter as it only takes a second to hit and when the machine stitches down my star I use the same color thread for the next stitching and that way I just hit the start button and don’t have to trim the thread tail.
I got a wonderful email over the weekend from Sue in Arizona. She’s been busy teaching AccuQuilt classes and working on Quilts of Valor. She used the Split Star pattern and created a beautiful quilt. I love the colors she used in this quilt. It really sparkles and will be a comfort to a very deserving service man or woman.
This block pattern makes a 12 inch finished block.
I’ve been doing lots of things besides quilting for the last month, but this inspires me to quilt again. After our trip to Cincinnati in late July and before my trip to visit Mother the first weekend in August, my embroidery machine jammed while stitching. I had stepped out to get something from downstairs – and when I came back everything had come to a halt and the computer screen was blank. After that it didn’t work at all. While I don’t use my embroidery machine every day, something about not having it around has left me unexcited about quilting.
So, a big thank you to Sue for getting me back on track. The machine should be back where it belongs this week. Fortunately it was under warranty and Mike at McKinney Sew & Vac in Greensboro is working on it.
The GO! for a Star Quilts of Valor Challenge is closed, and I want to thank everyone for their efforts. Our purpose with this Challenge was to raise awareness and to inspire quilters to work together to create quilts for active duty and veteran US service men and women. Besides the Quilts of Valor organization, there are also other organizations who contribute. One of those organizations is American Hero Quilts and Susan Nixon is very active with the American Hero Quilts program and at the same time she has been a strong supporter of our Quilts of Valor program. I want to share a couple of quilts she has created during the last month for The American Hero Quilts organization.
While working on the Quilts of Valor that are just completed, I also took the opportunity to make a ‘leaders and enders’ quilt for my grandson. These are squares and triangles that I kept beside the machine and are made from scraps leftover from other projects that I cut using the Accuquilt 3-1/2 inch strip cutter and the 3 inch finished half square triangle. The centers of each star are novelty prints.
The attic windows design seemed nicer than a standard sashing. This was a lot of fun to make and very quick to quilt using continuous curves in the 9 patch blocks and a single curvy line in the window frames.
And last – but not least – is the quilt label that I stitched for the Quilts of Valor. The main reason I purchased an embroidery machine was to make quilt labels – and then they never seemed to work very well. Finally, using a border from Embroidery Library and my own lettering, this is a very nice label.
This is a particularly special Memorial Day for me as we go into the last lap of the GO! for a Star Quilts of Valor Challenge. I have “met” and become aware of so many quilters who are dedicated to honoring the military service men and women who serve to protect us, our country and our way of life. The Quilts of Valor program is a wonderful way to give back to them.
And here are the quilts that I have been working on for the last few days. Every minute spent on them has been enjoyable. There is still time for any of you reading this to become a part of this Challenge and to make a single quilt block or several quilt blocks and get them in the mail to Richard and Tink Linhart by May 31. You can find more information here.
This is the quilt made with the Triangle in a Square Accuquilt die(55027). I had made 12 blocks as I worked with this die, so bordered them with the blue and did a wide sash (3 inches finished) so that the quilt would be large enough. This one still needs binding on it.
This is the split star quilt made with 12 inch blocks. It turned out beautifully and is even prettier in person.
Susan in Kansas sent photos of the quilts that she has shipped to the Linharts for the QOV Challenge. These are beautiful quilts. I love that she added stars and blocks at the top of two different patterns.The first is a Jelly Roll Race quilt. I had heard of this quilt pattern, but didn’t realize how it was actually made until I watched the Youtube video. This is an incredible way to make a nice quilt in a small amount of time. I highly recommend you watch this video. Here’s Susan’s first quilt–doesn’t it look great with those blocks at the top?
Colleen over at Colleen’s Sew Inspired sent this photo along of a quilt top that she completed for the GO! for a Star QOV Challenge. What a wonderful tribute for someone who has served our country.
This is really beautiful with the rail fence blocks and that wonderful star print just makes it sparkle. And I love the striped border. Colleen has a good eye for putting fabrics together.
All it takes to enter this Challenge is a single 12-1/2″ block. Dick and Tink have a committed group of quilters who will put all the blocks together into quilts, and they have longarm quilters who will quilt and finish the quilts. Every effort is important. If you make Quilts of Valor for your local chapter, you probably have an orphan block or two lying around. The quilts that Dick and Tink receive are given to service members throughout the US. It is so easy to put a block into an envelope and send it to them. Include your name and email address and your city and state on a piece of paper along with the block.
Richard and Tink Linhart
333 West Brown Deer Road #130
Milwaukee, WI 53217
Linda in Arizona sent me this photo yesterday. I’m in love with this quilt. It is so beautiful with the rail fence blocks and the bordered star blocks. Linda used four strips on her rail fence blocks and rotated them around the center for a design that has a lot of movement and really focuses her star blocks at the same time. She used the machine embroidery stars that I designed – this is an update – at first I thought she used them without the applique shapes, but here are photos – she used a light blue fabric and the closeups show the blocks and stitching better.
Linda also sent the EQ7 file. Each block is 16 inches square, including the borders. The rail fence blocks use 2 inch strips and you can see that part of what makes this quilt so interesting is that the outer borders on the star blocks are different widths than the borders on the rail fence blocks. If you would like to have the EQ7 file, just leave a comment and I’ll send it to you.
And, I haven’t forgotten that you want to see my progress. Will give you photos tomorrow.