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

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