BOMs Away - Quilts of Valor April

April was a great month for my Quilts of Valor work! I got to do a presentation, got ten donated tops and quilts (yay other people!), and received my Bee blocks from most of the group.

Quilts of Valor Squares 2.jpg

First up, the presentation! I finished Rail Squares and presented it to a 93-year-old veteran who served in WWII, Korea, and Vietnam. Which was just amazing to get to do! There’s more pictures from the presentation on our Facebook page.

I’d show you my awesome Bee blocks, but I can’t find where I put some of them. Sigh. I just finished the princess quilts, so my goal this week is to put my sewing room back in order and file away all the pink and purple that’s been dominating the scene. So that RWB can dominate, as usual!

I also made my monthly blocks for the almost-local quilt shop. I’m just kind of randomly pulling scraps for these, so they’re an interesting mix. Hopefully I’ll have some setting in the end that ties it all together!

In May, I have a presentation on Memorial Day, and I’m trying to arrange one on Armed Forces Day, so expect to see a lot more finished quilts next month! And as donations start coming in from the district guilds, I should be able to check a bunch of veterans off my list this summer.

And so… Did anyone else work on (or start) a BOM? Or a project broken into {slightly} more manageable monthly pieces? Or a few blocks for someone else’s charity project? Link up here or at What a Hoot!

(So - ugh - we are having this problem every time the month changes while the link party is open. So the first link-up closed, but will remain so you can still visit those peeps! And then the second link-up is now active for the rest of you. Sorry!)

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter

Rail Squares - A Quilts of Valor Finish

This week was quite a momentous occasion for me - I got to present a Quilt of Valor to a WWII veteran! I haven’t had a chance to do that before, and I honestly didn’t think I would, just based on timing. (Let’s face it, WWII was well over seventy years ago.) Not only that, my veteran served in the Korean and Vietnam Wars! Quite deserving of this honor.

Rail Squares for Quilts of Valor by Katie Mae Quilts

I started this quilt as an experiment during Sarah’s Rockin’ Rectangles Quilt Along - and, eh. I learned things, how about that? For one thing, this is much harder with three colors for the rails (red, light blue, and dark blue) - there was a lot of twisting and turning to make sure each square had the right sides.

Rail Squares for Quilts of Valor by Katie Mae Quilts

Also, some of the fabrics are just a bit too busy to read as one color. (Mostly the dark blues.) However, when you take a step back in the end, it turned out very nice. It just could have been easier if I only used the reds and light blues!

Rail Squares for Quilts of Valor by Katie Mae Quilts

The fabric is Wilmington Land of Liberty junior jelly rolls and yardage - I bought them on clearance. I think I used about 1.5 of the jelly rolls (I used bits and pieces from all three), and I cut the solid squares from the length of the yardage instead of the width, so I don’t know how much that was, either. Very helpful info, right?

Why did I cut the yardage length wise? I actually have a plan! I’m going to make this Rockin’ Rectangles quilt with the leftover strips - I had about 4” leftover from each rail fence strip set, so I already sewed all those together. And then I sewed the rest of the strips into a big long piece, so all that’s left is cutting the yardage and inserting it. And boom - two quilts from three junior jelly rolls and three yards.

Rail Squares for Quilts of Valor by Katie Mae Quilts

The quilting is loops and stars. Hey - it works! Every time, every QOV.

Rail Squares for Quilts of Valor by Katie Mae Quilts

The backing is wide back, and was sent by a friend’s mother. She sent me two 6-yard bolts of wide back! Six yards is my favorite - I can cut it into 2-yard sections for three quilt backs, then the cut offs from the bottoms is enough for a fourth pieced back. And then there’s usually enough off the sides for a binding or borders for yet another quilt.

Rail Squares for Quilts of Valor by Katie Mae Quilts

See - I do fill out labels! And then I have to redact them! The binding is a blue/cream stars from my QOV stash.

Rail Squares for Quilts of Valor by Katie Mae Quilts

60x78”

For more pictures from the ceremony, see our Facebook page!

See also: Whoop WhoopTGIFFNeedle & Thread ThursdayFinished or Not FridayShow Off Saturday

BOMs Away - Quilts of Valor March

No presentations this month, but after February - that’s okay! I reached out to a couple guilds and set up some tentative meeting dates, printed some new postcards with the Friendship Chain blocks to drop off at my local quilt shops, and did a bit of piecing.

Quilts of Valor Panel by Katie Mae Quilts

I finished a top, but totally forgot to take pictures of it! I also pieced these border blocks for a panel. It’ll get a red border first to bring it to the proper size for this border. And then I need to decide what to do in the corners - a plain half square triangle, or a simplified birds in the air block?

Friendship Chain by Katie Mae Quilts

I worked on Friendship Chain using a layer cake, and while I think it’s quite nice, it’s a little too complicated for a pattern. There’s a bit too much “if your layer cake doesn’t have 21 neutral squares, you need X yards to replace every four missing squares...” I’ll still finish this one as an example and eventually a QOV donation.

Quilts of Valor Sampler by Katie Mae Quilts

And finally - or firstly, I suppose! I made three more blocks for my almost-local shop’s monthly sampler. We did indeed get a $15 coupon in February, so I dove into the RWB stash and came up with these…uh…random bits. Whatever - there’s going to be nine months of 6” blocks, they’ll all come together in the end, right?

My goals for the next month are to get two tops finished, quilted, and donated! And keep on working on growing the area.

And so… Did anyone else work on (or start) a BOM? Or a project broken into {slightly} more manageable monthly pieces? Or a few blocks for someone else’s charity project? Link up here or at What a Hoot!

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter

BOMs Away - Quilts of Valor February

Ooooooooh we had quite the February here in Kate’s Quilts of Valor Land. To the point that I’m a little tired of red/white/blue fabrics. First up was National Sew Day - I had a few people come to the local quilt shop to learn how to make my little Friendship Chain block. In all, they made ten blocks, and several of them will be in this post!

Quilts of Valor by Katie Mae Quilts

After Sew Day, I quilted and bound and pieced and quilted and bound… (Can you tell I got that red star and blue star backing on sale?) We held a ceremony on February 23, and handed out sixteen Quilts of Valor! So, without further adieu, meet the ten I contributed.

Quilts of Valor by Katie Mae Quilts

This top was made by the QOV Colorado group, and sent to me by Alycia Quilts. I quilted it with loops and stars, and bound it in the Kanvas All American from my SWOKQG Sampler.

Quilts of Valor by Katie Mae Quilts

This quilt was made by one of my guild mates, Sally.

Quilts of Valor by Katie Mae Quilts

This top was sent by an Instagram friend, Bethanie. And y’all - her border is pattern matched perfectly AND mitered corners! I quilted it in a stipple (loops and stars somehow felt too modern) and bound it in Downton Abbey fabric.

Quilts of Valor by Katie Mae Quilts

This one is secretly my favorite of this batch - ssh, don’t tell my own quilts that! Especially the Friendship Stars! The blocks came from an Instagram friend, and I pondered the layout for a couple days. They weren’t really string blocks, but they also weren’t really HSTs. I finally settled on this abstract star HST layout and I think it looks amazing - I adore the “notches” left by the blocks.

I added the red dotted border to bring it up to size, quilted in loops and stars, and bound it in the same border fabric.

Quilts of Valor by Katie Mae Quilts

Another one from Sally! A fun, simple design!

Quilts of Valor by Katie Mae Quilts

A second top donated by Alycia Quilts’ group! I quilted it in loops and stars and bound it in Bonnie and Camille’s bias stripe from April Showers. Yay for bias stripe without the bias work!

Quilts of Valor by Katie Mae Quilts

Sally’s third quilt! Which - a disappearing nine patch with a layer cake would make a great QOV, if you’re looking for ideas. Sew nine patches with reds in the middle, slice it up, reassemble it in one of the myriad of disappearing patchy ways, throw on a border, and voila!

Quilts of Valor by Katie Mae Quilts

My guild sampler from 2018! I posted about it on Friday, since it’s the only finish that was 100% me from beginning to end.

Quilts of Valor by Katie Mae Quilts

And finally! My beautiful babies! And yours, too! I assembled my first two Friendship Chain quilts, made with blocks from my Instagram friends and local people! This one was the scrappier stars.

Fun story time - at Sew Day, two spouses from the base came and sewed their very first quilt blocks. One of them is in this quilt, and they came to the ceremony and took pictures with “their” veteran and his quilt. They were so proud of their work! I promised the second block would go in a local quilt and they could come to that ceremony, too.

Quilts of Valor by Katie Mae Quilts

And the second Friendship Chain was made with stars that had the same fabric. Still pretty scrappy since the blocks came from everywhere!

Whew - that’s it!

Quilts of Valor by Katie Mae Quilts

Now that the presentation is over, I’m working on writing a pattern for the full Friendship Chain, cutting from a layer cake OR fat quarters OR, of course, scraps. The block pattern will always remain free, but if you want instructions for cutting and assembling a full quilt, that will be available…shortly… (And - spoiler alert - the fat quarter version ISN’T going to be red, white, and blue! So you can imagine it in different colors for once!)

So that’s my Quilts of Valor wrap-up for the month! I’m the queen of my mini-bee this quarter, and I requested 16” sawtooth stars. Those should be rolling in during March, and I have a couple of panels and jelly roll quilts planned. And guild visits! Lots to look forward to!

So… Did anyone else work on (or start) a BOM? Or a project broken into {slightly} more manageable monthly pieces? Or a few blocks for someone else’s charity project? Link up here or at What a Hoot!

SWOKQG Sampler - a Finished Quilt

Well, that doesn’t sound like a very exciting title, does it? Luckily this one doesn’t need a name on the label, so I can be as boring as I want. Or uncreative. Or, well - it’s my quilt guild’s block of the month from 2018. What more of a name do you need?

SWOK Quilt Guild BOM by Katie Mae Quilts

So the quilt! Obviously, block of the month. One of the members gave out instructions for a 12” block, with a couple using the Tri-Recs rulers. I love my Tri-Recs and I try to be involved in guild things, even though I hate samplers. So I made my blocks in red/white/blue, knowing it would be donated to Quilts of Valor. Win-win!

SWOK Quilt Guild BOM by Katie Mae Quilts

This is the block I added, since my layout needed a lucky number 13. See the Tri-Recs? I adore it and I want to build a pattern around it. You know, if I can figure out how to make templates. And come up with a pattern. And have time to make it.

SWOK Quilt Guild BOM by Katie Mae Quilts

My other favorite block is the churn dash, of course. And I like my alternate blocks and the layout - but it doesn’t fully work in this quilt. I think it’s a little weird on the blocks that touch the edges (unlike the churn dash.) It works much better on the blocks that float (like the churn dash.) So, something to keep in mind for the future!

SWOK Quilt Guild BOM by Katie Mae Quilts

My two favorite things from Quilts of Valor! The label is from Spoonflower - and yes, it will be completely filled out before it’s presented. But I’m not putting all that info out there online. And the star on the block is from a flag that was imperfect, so the manufacturer won’t use it. They send us the stars, we stitch them onto the quilts. It’s a neat little detail.

SWOK Quilt Guild BOM by Katie Mae Quilts

The background fabric is the supremely shiny Maywood Pearl Essence, the alternate block and binding fabric is Kanvas All American, and the backing is Timeless Treasures Spin Dot. It’s actually the same backing as Honor, Courage, Commitment - I had to order 5 yards minimum. So there will be some borders of that red in the future, and perhaps some binding. It’s the backing that keeps on giving!

The blocks are obviously scraps - some of my favorite RWB that are starting to dwindle. It’s nice to give them one more place to shine. The quilting is loops and stars. So many loops and stars in the past week!

SWOK Quilt Guild BOM by Katie Mae Quilts

76x76”

And wait till the next BOMs Away! You can see all the other quilts I prepped for the Quilts of Valor ceremony this weekend.

See also: Let’s Bee SocialWiP on WednesdaysMidweek MakersFinish It Up FridayWhoop WhoopTGIFFNeedle & Thread ThursdayFinished or Not FridayShow Off Saturday