Marine Carpenter's Star - a Finished Quilt!

So, it’s not officially official yet, but I’m the district coordinator for the SWOK region of Quilts of Valor! I’ve already started a local block drive and started reaching out to the shops and guilds in the area. But most importantly, I finally started presenting the quilts!

Marine Carpenter's Star QOV

This quilt was for a Marine (duh!) QOV typically doesn’t use branch-specific fabric, but I knew from the start who this quilt would be for, so I decided to go all-in on the theme.

I’ve wanted to make a Carpenter’s Star for ever, but as it’s a square quilt, it’s hard to make to QOV standards. (We aim for 60x80”.) However, I had an EQ drawing from Patchwork Times saved, so I wiggled the design to fit my emblem and the fabric on hand and the guidelines.

Marine Carpenter's Star QOV

I already had the emblem panel and the Marine fabric, but not quite enough to do all the background fabric in Marines. So I went with a neutral background (Stonehenge beige) in the central area and top/bottom edges. The red also changes - I used every bit of the yard I had in the center, so the top and bottom are a new red (America the Beautiful by Kaufman) - but with similar gold stars as the center emblem. The blue is Timeless Treasures.

Marine Carpenter's Star QOV

The backing is royal blue 108” wide backing, because any time I can avoid piecing backing, I will! And I ordered the nice QOVF labels from Spoonflower. (Yes, it was filled out before the presentation.) The quilting was loops and stars in a variegated red, white, and blue on the front, and blue on the back.

Marine Carpenter's Star QOV


The presentation went very well - for my first one and considering I was fighting a cold! With the help of many cough drops, I was able to present it at the local VFW’s Veterans Day luncheon. And now I just need to make 21 more to catch up on the local area!

See also: Finish It Up FridayWhoop WhoopTGIFFNeedle & Thread ThursdayFinished or Not FridayShow Off Saturday, Let’s Bee SocialMidweek Makers, Oh Scrap!

BOMs Away - QOV Stars

Hey, it’s another Quilts of Valor project! Wait, it’s almost not one. My intention on Sunday morning was to sew the remaining blocks from my Pieceful Swappettes month as queen bee. I already decided on a layout, I knew exactly how many more blocks in each size that I needed, and I jotted down the sizes to make them.


Except I jotted down the sizes for a 16” block, not a 12” block. And it never really occurred to me that this block was ending up way too big until it was done and I put it next to the 12” blocks. Sigh.

I played with the design a bit more before deciding, nope, I liked the original plan. So I made the one 12” block that I needed, and two of the four 8” blocks. I’ll make the other two and the few 4” blocks next time, and the 16” star will just have to wait for another quilt. Sometime after I finish the fifty other QOV projects I have in the works.

So did anyone else work on their BOM? Or a project broken into {slightly} more manageable monthly pieces? Link up here or at What a Hoot!

Friendship Chain - a Quilt Block Tutorial

I had a few requests, so I decided since I was writing up the instructions for my local block drive anyway, I would add them here! You can use them for your own Quilts of Valor, mail them to me (just leave a comment and I’ll email you my address), or change up the colors and do your own thing.


I am experimenting with some things - graphics instead of photos, mostly. Because let’s face it - my photography skills are just not getting any better. And it’s raining and too dark to do step-by-step photos anyway. And I’m supposed to be binding a Quilts of Valor to do my very first presentation, not making more blocks quite yet!

And I have a (free) printable PDF version available here!

Friendship Chain Quilt Block


Material Requirements

Red – (8) 2.5” squares

White/cream – (8) 2.5” squares; (2) 5” squares (use charm packs or jelly roll strips!)

Blue – (2) 5” squares; (1) 4.5” square

Step A – Four Patches

Sew the red and white 2.5” squares right sides together into pairs. Press seam to the red fabric.

Match the pairs with the middle seams facing opposite directions, butted together. Sew together with the top seam allowance toward the machine.

four patch, RW 1.png

Before pressing, clip the threads of the middle intersection and push the seam allowances in opposite directions, spinning it so each seam goes in a different direction. Press.

four patch, RW 2.png

Repeat until you have (4) four patch blocks that measure 4.5” square, unfinished.

four patch, RW.png

Step B – Half Square Triangles

Draw a diagonal line on the wrong side of the (2) 5” neutral squares. Pair each with a 5” blue square with right sides together. Stitch a quarter inch on both sides of the center line. Cut squares apart on the center line.

half square triangles, dark blue.png

Press seams toward the blue. Trim half square triangle blocks to 4.5” square. Repeat until you have (4) half square triangle blocks that measure 4.5” square, unfinished.

half square triangles, dark blue 2.png

Assembling the Block

pressing layout.png

Layout the block as shown. Sew blocks, pressing in the direction of the arrows.

final layout.png

Sew the rows together, pressing the final seams open.

Block should measure 12.5” unfinished.

BOMs Away - Another QOV Project!

I know, I know - I still have my guild BOM to finish for Quilts of Valor, and my rail fence is still chugging along as a leader/ender. And there’s a box full of leftover half square triangles that need to become…something. But…!


So I am now the Southwest Oklahoma coordinator for Quilts of Valor. And there are, literally, no other members in my area. So, after getting permission from the state coordinator (who used to be the SWOK coordinator and managed to talk me into the position), I asked the local quilt shop if I could run a block drive there. To get word out locally and maybe collect up some new members, and just to get some help even if they don’t want to join.

I wanted to have a block that was big, easy, and precut friendly, and this one fits the bill! Plus it’s a Friendship Star. Meaningful! I’m going to sash it with more red cornerstones to keep the “chain” linked together.

And anyway, I had to make a couple test blocks to make sure my measurements were right. And they were. So now I just need to type it up and drop off my basket of informational goodies! And cross my fingers and hope the blocks start rolling in.

Even if they don’t, I’m planning an official QOV Sew Day at the shop in February; I’ve already harassed the guild into dedicating one of our monthly work days to blocks; and I’m going to try to host a squadron spouse social sewing lesson/block party.

So yeah, I’ve got plans to build up this little area! Starting with these Friendship Chains.

So did anyone else work on their BOM? Or a project broken into {slightly} more manageable monthly pieces? Link up here or at What a Hoot!

BOMs Away - SWOK September

This isn’t actually September’s block! I think it’s July’s? I finally made it to the guild meeting and got all the paperwork and instructions I was missing since June.


And it’s good to be back! Just a little Shoofly block, and I made a few more alternate blocks. I think I only need one more full alternate, and then most of the partials. Between those and the two more regular blocks, I should easily be done by the end of the year.

So did anyone else work on their BOM? Or a project broken into {slightly} more manageable monthly pieces? Link up here or at What a Hoot!