Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Urgent need for Quilts of Valor

I just received this message from the Destination Coordinator for Quilts of Valor:

Just a heads up that the fighting in Afghanistan is very fierce right now leading to a substantial increase in the number of wounded. As such,  the number of quilts requested by the standing weekly destinations has increased from 65 to 105 EVERY WEEK in just the last month. The increase by 40 quilts a week includes the addition of the ICU unit at Landstahl in Germany (15 quilts a week), the addition of the medical unit at  FOB Shank-East in Afghanistan (20 quilts a week) and doubling the number of quilts going to the multinational medical unit at Kandahar Air Field in Afghanistan (to 10 a week). These quilts all go to front line wounded service members. There is no concern about whether they have already received a QOV or not.
Sadly, we will fall far short of meeting this need since the 65 quilts a week wasn’t even being fulfilled. These destinations request patriotic/RWB only. 
Won't you please consider making a Quilt of Valor to be donated today? If you live in the Metropolitan DC area please join us for our sewing day July 21st! I would love to be able to help cover some of these good people with quilts not mention help fulfill the numerous individual requests that come in everyday!

Thanks for stopping by and supporting Quilts of Valor! 

First Sewing Day!

I'm so pleased to announce the first sewing date for the Virginia Chapter of Quilts of Valor! As a member of two guilds in Virginia and one sewing group in Maryland I have to admit I love getting together with other quilters!

The details:

  • We will be meeting at the West Springfield Government Center on July 21st from 1-5pm. The address is 6140 Rolling Road Springfield, VA 22152. We will using the community room that day. 
  • I'll bring with me two ironing boards (one regular size and one tabletop), an iron and a cutting mat. I think since this is our first meeting that we will be a small group, so that should be enough for us to share. However, if you are coming and would like to bring your own cutting supplies that would be great!
  • Please bring with you your sewing machine and your current Quilt of Valor project if you have one in the works. Never fear if you don't have a quilt top in progress, I will be making signature blocks that day and would love some help!
  • I ask that if you are interested in attending (and I hope you are) please RSVP by email to melanieb@qovf.org or by leaving a comment on this blog post.
Now for the fun parts! Sadly, we are not allowed to have food or drinks (other than bottled water) in the room, but I promise I will have treats for everyone to take home with you that day! Also as an added incentive I will have door prizes that everyone who attends will be eligible to win. (Fabric, Fabric, Fabric)

Please consider joining us on a hot summer's day to make quilts for our nation's brave heroes! They have given and continue to give their all for us, let's give them a tangible symbol of our appreciation back!

To see guidelines for how Quilts of Valor should be made and also to learn more details of the foundation go to the Quilts of Valor website. 

For those of you are might be concerned about meeting a complete stranger in a Springfield Government Center please let me assure you that I am who I am claiming to be! I'm a wife and mother that lives in Alexandria who loves to quilt. Please go to my personal blog to see more details about my life and also a picture of me so you will know what I look like. Hopefully soon, my bio and picture will be on the Quilt of Valor website, but as I am very new to the organization I haven't been added quite yet.

I look forward to meeting you in July! If you can't attend, but are interested in joining us at a later date please consider following this blog. I will post future sewing dates here as they are scheduled!

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

How to Make a Quilt of Valor

I thought it would be a good idea to give a short explanation of the process involved in creating a Quilt of Valor. The first step is to create the quilt top. To see some good examples of quilts see the Flickr group. While planning the quilt top keep these factors in mind:

 Buy the best 100% quilting weight cotton you can.
 Do not use sheets, thin muslin, or polar fleece as backing.
 Choose fabrics appropriate for adults.
 Choose an interesting pattern.  (No Rag quilts)
 Sources: QOVF website; quilting books; quilting magazines; quilting websites; quilt shops;
fabric company websites for free patterns
 Your best work.
 Accurate cutting.
 Uniform seam width (no gaps or holes).
 Blocks squared up to same size, or compensating strips added to make them the same size
so they fit together.
 Cut to fit center measurement. (Not a length of fabric sewn to the side of a quilt and
whacked off)
 Opposite borders cut same length. (The opposite sides or ends of your top should not differ
by more than ½ inch if you have pieced carefully)
 Borders pinned and sewn with longer edge underneath so the feed dogs can ease it if
 Color and fabric design appropriate and related to top.
 Ends cut square. Size specified by longarmer.
 If seamed, selvedges trimmed from seam.
 See quilting books, magazines or About Quilting website (www.quilting.about.com) for how
to cut and seam backing.

Once the quilt top is completed it is sent to a volunteer longarmer who will do the quilting for you. Before the quilt top is sent off to them, it should be neatly pressed, free of any animal hair or line, and free of any odors (such a cigarette smoke or laundry detergents)

Once it is returned to you for binding the following guidelines should be used:

 Straight cut diagonally seamed (unless edge of quilt is scalloped requiring bias binding)
double fold binding.
 Not just the backing folded over.
 Corners mitered.
 Neatly applied by hand and/or machine.  (Not zigzagged)

When being shipped to the recipient, the quilt should be have a Quilt of Valor label and should be placed in a presentation case. These can either be drawstring bags or a pillowcase. Instructions can be found on the national website.

Along with the quilt, a letter of appreciation or a journal of the quilt making process should be included. The service members want to know who you are, why you wanted to make them a quilt and often how to contact you. Of course since this quilt is a tangible item of thanks to them for their service, a thank you should never be expected, but there is a greater chance of receiving one if you give your contact information.

If you have more questions or concerns, I encourage you to go to QOVF.org. Not only will it answer your questions, but it is filled with photos of beautiful quilts, lots of helpful videos and it is so inspiring! I found the foundation after doing a simple Google search and I've been hooked ever since!

Have a wonderful day and keep sewing! As always, if you have any questions or concerns please feel free to leave me a comment below or send me an email @ Melanieb@qovf.org

Monday, June 4, 2012


Hi! My name is Melanie Burnett and I am the new (as in less than 24 hours) Regional Coordinator for the Commonwealth of Virginia. I would like to use this blog as a way to communicate with everyone involved in the Virginia Quilts of Valor community and to show off our work.

I'll start by telling you a little about myself. I live in Alexandria, right outside of Washington, DC. I'm married and have two sweet little boys. My roommate in college taught me how to quilt and I have been quilting ever since. I have been involved with the Quilts of Valor Foundation for almost 2 years and I love it! This cause is personal for me because of my father. He served in the Army as a Staff Sergeant during the Vietnam War. I have heard the horror stories of how he and others were treated when they came back from their tours and I want to do my part to ensure that the warriors of my generation feel appreciated.

If you live in Virginia and would like to get involved please don't hesitate to contact me. My email address is melanie.burnett@qovf.org. Please come back to keep up to date with what's going on in the state. I will update the blog with events, sewing groups, and more as the information becomes available to me.

Just for fun because no one wants to read a blog post with no pictures, here is my latest QOV project:

Here's the pattern in case you're interested! Gotta love Bonnie Hunter!

Have a great day!