Starting a Quilt of Valor

Piddling around with elements at the retreat last February, I wanted to use some patriotic layer cake fabrics and some jelly roll strips for a Quilt of Valor.  I showed this last March after the retreat, and they have been put away since then as I was just too involved with the Hurricane Quilt Project to finish it.  Plus, due to my vacation trip and secret sewing for Autumn Jubilee, I can’t show you what I am working on right now.  There is also a block drive I want to tell you about for QOV, so I hope you don’t mind this recap of my UFO, with an update.  I began with jelly roll strips, sewing reds and blues to beige lights, then crosscut all the two-strip units, and sewed a red unit to a blue one to make four-patches. I made 48, enough for 12 blocks with four to a block.

Quilt Retreat at

I had some layer cake fabrics, and I used the Moda Cake Mix papers set #3 to make some HSTs. Actually a lot of HSTs in just a short time!!

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Sewing goes fast and these make 18 per page.

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So in under 2 hours, I had 144 sewed and cut.

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Papers were removed, and the seams pressed to the dark side.

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I placed the half square triangles into flying geese, with a red and blue on each one.

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Next, the flying geese were turned into square in a square elements for the center of the block.

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Using some 4-1/2-inch red squares, I arranged the blocks orienting the dark blue on the four-patch units to the center.

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I did it the opposite way for the blue patches, orienting the red on the four-patch units to the center.

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I now have 12 blocks done, but the blocks alone are not big enough to meet the minimum size for a QOV.  I like to make mine 60×80 or thereabouts to cover almost anyone.  So sashing is in order, and I found some star print that will work.  The sashing strips are cut, but I’m not going to sew them right now.  I’ll be taking these to a retreat in October to assemble.  The tiny flag print on the left will be a border.

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I also have these two jelly rolls to take, maybe a second QOV top will come from these.  I don’t care for the jelly roll race or simple strips tops, so I’ll need to do a bit of research for a nice pattern to use these up.  If I can’t think of anything else, I can always just do nine-patches and pair those with some larger squares.

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Speaking of nine-patches, a simple one is the block of choice for the National QOV Block Drive. Pulling out some red, white and blue, I got busy making two blocks to send.  The squares are cut at 4-1/2-inches to make a 12-1/2-inch block to send.

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Mere minutes later and they are ready to go in the mail.

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Now, here is an opportunity for you to get involved with Quilts of Valor.  The national office of Quilts of Valor is doing a block drive.  Blocks are simple nine patches with either a red-white color combination or a blue-white color combination.  It doesn’t matter if you do color or white in the corners as they can use both.   All the details are in this pdf – QOV Block drive 2020 –  including instructions to mail to your state’s coordinator, so all your efforts will go to your local veterans.  It is a bit of a pain, you have to email your state coordinator to get the correct address for your state, but if that doesn’t work, you can send them to the national office.  That address is on the download.  So, go to your stash and make up two today to send.  Share your blocks in our Facebook Sharing Group and you just might get a surprise.

One last note, next Tuesday I’ll be at the Electric City Quilters in Anderson SC to present my Decisions, Decisions program.  Looking forward to meeting more quilters!!

What are you sewing today?

19 thoughts on “Starting a Quilt of Valor

  1. Thank you for supporting Quilts of Valor. As the Utah State Coordinator and wife of a veteran, I love this organization. Anything we can do to support and honor our military, both active and Veterans, is a blessing. The new block drive is super easy and fun. I sew lots of red, white, and blue!

  2. The blocks look great. I agree that the papers make for “fast HST” when you need a lot. You are going to have a fantastic quilt when you are done. Our DE State Coordinators for QOV are part of my quilt guild. One told me on Monday that there are some states that can not keep up, with so few sewing QOV. She just shipped a QOV to the Missouri coordinator as there are many waiting. Lucky that we have a lot of “sewers” in our small state.

  3. Melanie Greenway

    Great post. North Carolina has backlog of 426 requests. Most of our groups are from the West to the central part of the state. We have one OOV group in Elizabeth City and one in Onslow County. North Carolina could use some help, please send blocks to the address below. Thanks Carole!
    Melanie Greenway
    North Carolina State Coordinator
    597 N. Washington Street
    Rutherfordton, NC 28139

    1. thedarlingdogwood

      Melanie, I live in Charlotte and have a completed QOV that I’m ready to donate but I’ve had a hard time figuring out how to do that via the website. (I’m a first-time QOV donator.) My preference for a completed quilt would be to drop it off rather than mail it. Are there drop-off points throughout the state?

    2. Rebecca

      I took your info down, Melanie & will try to get some blocks headed your way during the coming year. You have requests for 426 QOVs right now? Wow! So you accept them, too?

  4. Nanc

    Hello Carole! Once again you’re sharing such valuable information! I wasn’t aware of the QOV drive but plan to get several blocks made and donated. My husband quilts and I’m positive he will contribute also. Thank you for sharing!

  5. Mary Stori

    What a nifty way to make blocks quickly and accurately……I love the look of triangles but always disliked making them!!

  6. Hi Carole! This is a wonderful post, and I will check out the link and send some blocks this weekend. I’ll also share the info on my blog early next week and link back to you. I have been wanting to get involved with QOV and this is just the push I needed. Thank you! ~smile~ Roseanne

  7. Kathy Inozarks

    wow I didn’t know about those hst papers-those would make my quilting life easier haha I just never was good and making those accurate-thanks

  8. thedarlingdogwood

    Looks great, Carole! And thanks for sharing about the QOV block drive. I do find the process of donating to them cumbersome. I made a QOV over the summer and still haven’t donated it because I think I have to mail it? I find it very confusing. Mailing blocks isn’t hard, though!

    If you are looking for Jelly Roll ideas, I really like the book Scrap Basket Beauties by Kim Bracket. You can’t tell from the title, but it’s all about 2 1/2″ strips. She gives instructions for Jelly Roll and cutting from scrap. Many designs are star-based which would be great for a QOV. I used one of the patterns in the book for my recent (August) Island Batik challenge. My local library has the book.

    1. Rebecca

      Nope… you don’t have to mail it. Find a vet in your area & award it to him/her! A good place to look is assisted living &/or nursing homes. My experience has been they always appreciate getting them.

      1. Please don’t do this on your own, go through your state’s chapter and find the coordinator nearest you. The ceremony designed by the QOV Foundation is quite moving, and every veteran should have it. If you know of veterans in your area, nominate them for a quilt on the national website.

  9. dezertsuz

    I used Triangles on a Roll and Thangles for YEARS, but I got tired of snapping papers off. I can do it just about as quickly doing two by two and no paper these days. That’s a great pattern, though, and nice for QOV to do a block drive.

  10. Rebecca

    I can’t wait to see this all done! I love making QOVs & am always looking for new ideas. THANK YOU also for sharing the 2020 QOV block info. Yay… 9-Patches! Since they’re BIG & not due for over a year, I can get a ton made (tho I shouldn’t jinx myself by saying that… LOL!).

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