A Patriotic Quilt Full of Comfort
The Forest Acres Quilting Club was honored to award another Quilt of Valor at the Gage County Board of Supervisors meeting on February 1, 2017. The board recognizes a veteran from Gage County at each of their bi-monthly meetings. I was excited to learn of this possibility as it gave our club yet another venue in which to award a Quilt of Valor and spread the word about the QOV Foundation. One of the board members is Myron Dorn of Adams whose brother Leon is a good friend of our family. Leon is the one who initially alerted me to this opportunity.
Our fourth Quilt of Valor was awarded to Alvin Weber, a member of the Adams VFW. Alvin enlisted in the United States Army in October 1949. His unit was the 35th Infantry and they served in the Korean War where Alvin earned the Korean Service Medal. He was discharged from duty in 1951. Alvin’s wife, Eileen, was also in attendance at the presentation.
If you are looking for a pattern to make a Quilt of Valor, check out the Fons and Porter's Love of Quilting magazines. There is always at least one pattern in the magazine and sometimes two ranging from easy to challenging. The quilt that we made for Alvin was from a pattern in the July/August 2016 edition of the magazine entitled Red, White & Gratitude. What a perfect name for a Quilt of Valor!
We were drawn to this particular pattern first of all because it indicated that it was easy to construct. It also just looked really cool primarily because it had several secondary patterns that appeared when the top was completed. I love quilts in which you can see a little something different each time you look at it.
As we were working on this quilt, however, we discovered that it wasn't quite as "easy" as we were hoping. As we pieced the blocks and rows together, we noticed a distinct "wave" in the top that we were unable to press out. You might think that a patriotic quilt would look nice if it was rather flag-like. Wrong!! I knew that it would be impossible to quilt such a wavy top and that we would not be happy with the end result if I tried. So we began the process of ripping. I even made a special trip to Joann Fabrics to buy more seam rippers so that everyone could join in the fun!
We learned several things from our ripping experience: 1) consistent 1/4" seams are very important, especially when you have more than one person sewing, 2) the length of sashing strips may need to be adjusted from what was indicated in the pattern to fit the block, and 3) ripping is not nearly as much fun as sewing!! But we were pleased with our finished quilt and knew that it had been worth it to take the time to make it right. In the script for the QOV award ceremony, one of our quilting club members stated “when you feel the need for the warmth of a grateful hug, try wrapping your quilt around you so it can provide the comfort we have sewn into every seam.” I can certainly attest to the fact that there is a lot of comfort in the quilt that we awarded yesterday!