Always I Fought On - a Finished Memory Quilt

  A finish that's a nice reminder that not all memory quilts need to be t-shirt quilts - my sister sent me a few of my brother-in-law's military uniforms and asked me to make a medallion quilt from them. Since a medallion quilt has been on my bucket list for a while, I jumped at the opportunity.


A wee bit of a slow jump, though - it was supposed to be a Christmas present. A friend of hers was supposed to send the green BDUs to me, but by the time we decided that wasn't going to happen in time, a Christmas finish wasn't going to happen. And then I was sick for most of January, and had trouble tracking down a set of green BDUs locally, and...well, it's there now. Only two months late.


It contains his blue wool Virginia Military Institute uniform {same college my husband went to!}, his current Army uniform, and the old one. Plus some random bits of Army fabric in that border.


The centerpiece is an Army Star, which I searched foreeeeeeever for a pattern with no luck, then someone posted a comment on this blog post and boosted it back into Google's notice. Thank goodness! Pat very generously shared the pattern with me, I blew it up about 300%, and voila!


Each section is quilted individually - stipple in the star, loops in the white borders, orange peel in the uniform blocks, wiggly through the flying geese - but my favorite is the outermost border. I spent the entire time saying, "oval, oval oval, out" - I'm sure driving everyone else nuts at the rental longarm place! But it turned out perfectly, and the corners {which I forgot to take a picture of} flow so nicely, and I'm very happy with the whole thing.


A detail so small I had to circle it - at my sister's request, I added the initials of a friend of his who was killed in Afghanistan.


The back is the same Army fabric that's in the blocks. And yes, it was snowing when I took the pictures. I was already late, I couldn't wait for a sunny day! We don't seem to have lots of those!


And proof that I do actually fill out the labels before mailing them! Oh, and I did remove all the uniform buttons before quilting it, then sewed them all back on. That was a lot of fun. //sarcasm font//


One reason I'm glad I still go to the longarm rental - I wasn't sure where to start quilting {I guessed the outer borders}. But the experienced quilters showed me how to baste across several parts of the top {the black lines to the left and right of CC} to hold it in place as I rolled, and told me to always start in the middle. So now I know! And also, I can't put it on the floor to remove basting stitches without CC being a photogenic brat.