Sewing “To The Nines” for Quilts of Valor

Our sewing day for Quilts of Valor was a fun day of hard work by a small group of very motivated sewing enthusiasts.  We set up the night before, with the door prizes displayed, refreshment table set with nice decorations, patriotic quilts on the walls, wool batting sample gifts for participants set out, and information on our local Quilts of Valor group in case new friends wished to join.  I want to thank my wonderful husband for all his help.  He carried the heavy stuff, helped volunteers with their things, kept us on track with the hourly door prizes, took pictures, helped register participants, pinned up quilts both inside and outside, and did a lot of the cleanup.

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We begin gathering early at Beginnings Quilt Shop in Hendersonville, NC for donuts and coffee, hot chocolate, or hot tea to start the day.  We had snacks and bottled water for the afternoon too, enough to feed far more people than we had.

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Quilts of Valor were hung outside the shop to greet our volunteers.  It was so much fun to sew with both long time buddies and new friends.

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Beginnings set up a patriotic display at the front of the store, and had a special sale on all their red, white and blue fabrics that day, along with specials on charm packs, layer cakes and fat quarter rolls.

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In the classroom, Bridget O’Malley and Charlene Greenfield got to work in the “Nine Patch Sweat Shop”, as we laughingly called it.  We needed 810 squares cut, and they gave the rotary cutters a workout.

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When enough squares were cut to begin sewing, Bonnie Cunningham, Renee Charbonneau and Bridget began sewing.

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Stations were switched so others could do some cutting as volunteers got tired of standing.

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I looked outside and realized that the first three cars to arrive were red, white and blue!  What fun for our color scheme for the day.  You can see the remnants of the Friday snowfall on the roof and in the bushes.  But by Saturday, the streets were clear, even if it was still cold.

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Back inside, Beginnings Quilt Shop co-owner Kathy Neal pitched in to make some nine patch blocks too.

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In the adjoining classroom, we set up Layout Central.  All the star blocks came from readers.  We mixed them up, so the same blocks were spread over several quilt tops for variety.  Stars were placed on the design walls, and then moved around to a pleasing arrangement.  As the nine patches came over, we added them to the wall.

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Meanwhile, Lori Skinner and Sally Matheiu, who drove over from Hickory, kept plugging away at the nine patches.  We wanted 90 made today, and these ladies worked hard for several hours pumping out the blocks.

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Eve Bennett began her day by taking stacks of squares, and making sets of nine to hand off to the ladies at sewing machines.

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Sam VanSant brought her lovely Featherweight, and joined the sweat shop.

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On the design wall, quilt top #1 was taking shape.

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When we had enough for the whole top, we paused for a picture.  From the left, Charlene Greenfield, Renee Charbonneau, Jane McKay, Sam VanSant, Lori Skinner, Sally Mathieu and seated, Sandy Dublynn.

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Eve moved over to Layout Central and began assembling our first top.

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When we had top #2 arranged on the second design wall area, we again paused for a picture.  From left, Sally and Lori, Jane McKay, Sam, Bonnie Cunningham, Renee and Charlene.

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Work then began on the third quilt design, with Alice Brown helping arrange, and Sharon Tucker sewing more nine patches.

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A short time later, Eve had the first top done.  We paused to admire our work, and then got right back to work.

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We paused one more time for another picture.  From the left, Alice Brown, Cathie Shelton, Barb Boatman, Cathy Walker, Cindy Barkee, Sharon Tucker, and me.

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Top #3 was now ready to assemble, and Eve began working on its assembly.

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Alice Brown and Laura Jones begin the design process for top #4.  The stars are laid out and arranged to separate ones that looked alike, mixing in more star designs.

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With Alice helping the nine patch production, it didn’t take long to fill in the blocks.

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With Laura helping press, more nine patches were ready for quilt top #5.  Behind Laura, top #2 is in the assembly stage, with Bonnie Cunningham working on that.  Seated, Pam Kneis brought two QOV for donation that needed labels added.  She did that, then pitched in pressing nine-patch blocks.

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Alice then began assembly of this top.

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Back to the first design wall, quilt top #5 was coming together pretty fast.

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Door prizes at the event were won by Cathy Walker (Fabric Acquisition Expert Mug), Cindy Barkee (Aurifil Threads Hero Thread Set) , Charlene Greenfield (Quilt Modern Curves and Bold Stripes), Lori Skinner (Quilter’s Dream batting), Bonnie Cunningham (MadamSew Wool Press Mat), and Renee Charbonneau (Create Pouch with Goodies).  Online entries from Facebook winners were Crystal Farinella (MadamSew Ultimate Presser Foot Set) and Julie Fowler (Ombre Quilts 6 Colorful Projects).  Mailed in block winners were Brenda Ackerman (Quilter’s Humor Calendar) and Suzanne Crane (MadamSew Sew Bright sewing machine light kit).  More pictures of our day, along with prize winners at the event are on our Facebook group, Friends of From My Carolina Home.

At the end of the day, we had two tops completely assembled by Eve Bennett.  Three tops were so close, that they were taken home by Bonnie, Alice and me for completion at home.  All that is needed on all three are a couple of row seams finished.  If we hadn’t had to leave because the store was closing, we’d have finished in another half hour or so.  Enough star blocks and nine patches (or squares to make nine patches) were left to make two more tops!!  So, between this day’s work and the generosity of readers sending in star blocks, the event will net a total of 7 quilts when all the tops are finished.  It was an amazing day!

Did you sew this past weekend?

To The Nines is now available on My Patterns page.

34 thoughts on “Sewing “To The Nines” for Quilts of Valor

  1. Congratulations on a stupendously successful event!! The quilts are amazing! Love the design; the light-background stars and the medium/dark 9-patches are very satisfying to look at. And it looks like you were having so much fun, to boot. Well done!

  2. Lesley Gilbert

    What a great team of quilters and I love the ‘red-white-blue’ theme making everything come together so nicely. Well done everybody – a great job!

  3. Kim J LeMere

    I love your pattern and I have it printed, hope to make a few of the star blocks this year and then do a sit n sew with my guild on the 9 patches. I will refer to your set up and hope we can make a few tops with everyone help. This year I hosted a sit n sew using the Moda Cake Mix Recipes and we got 3 tops done. Q of V is a wonderful organization to help with. Your day was full of inspiration and beautiful quilt tops.

  4. Looks like you had a great day. I’m sorry to have missed it but I had surprise out-of-town company for my extended birthday. I had a wonderful time with my daughter, though.

  5. I’m so excited to be a winner….but the real winners are our amazing Veterans. Thank you for all of your amazing efforts to bring these quilts to our Heros. Funny story….I was telling someone that my friends quilt pattern was on the QOV website. They asked how I knew you…took me a minute to think how I did know you. Then I had to explain that we are vitural BBF’s!

  6. Great job! My guild had a QOV sewing day this weekend, also. However, I had to miss it because my grandson was playing in a basketball tournament and I went to his games instead. I will be donating the longarm quilting on a few of the tops, though!

  7. Gwynette in NW Arkansas

    Carole, you and your quilting ladies are heros!! You are doing a wonderful thing for QOV.. Loved all the photos and will share your pattern with our QOV group if that is okay? Such a fun day!!!

  8. You accomplished so much with such wonderful helpers. Those are beautiful quilts and will be so appreciated. I love your pattern and the fact that multiple star styles can be inserted.

  9. Donna

    Looks like a great group of quilters! Lots of fun but also a very productive day! I sewed by myself and got a QOV top finished too! Thank you for posting the pattern. I have added it to my QOV patterns to do in the future. I love that it is scrappy!

  10. Niki W

    I sewed for QOV at On Pins and Needles in Brighton, CO on Saturday. 6 of us sewed 9 patches, then cut some apart and reassembled as disappearing 9 patch. Also, I was thrilled that 3 quilts were presented to veterans in the afternoon. It was wonderful to see the presentation.

    Your group was very productive. Great job, and thanks for all you do.

    I hope to do more with this group. QOV is a great organization.

  11. stephzw

    Yes I sewed, way too long. I got caught up in a project and didn’t finish until 9 PM,
    I did see the last 3 minutes of the super bowl., It was what was the most important part.

  12. Cindy Beal

    CONGRATS Ladies!!!! What an accomplishment for one day! Hope you will do this again as I would like to join you for some marathon sewing! Woo-Hoo!!!!!

  13. Brenda Ackerman

    Hello Carole, Your QOV Sew Day was a fabulous success! I am delighted that you shared all the photos and details that you have. Plus, what a fantastic achievement to have put together enough blocks for 7 quilt tops! Awesome!! If you decide to do this again, I will definitely participate! Thank you for sharing this positive and special post honoring everyone involved in the QOV Sew Day. Have a fantastic day!

  14. Liz

    Great accomplishment. I have quilts cut out (Some) but not made for Quilts of Valor & comfort quilts. I just need to start.

  15. WoW! Y’all had a very productive and fun day. There were 18 of us from our QOV group – laughing and sewing all day. We each worked on our own project. I am going to recommend to our group that next year we try your method. Especially if we can meet at our larger space, I think we could get quite a few quilt tops completed. Thanks for sharing – your day and the pattern, Kay

  16. Joan Sheppard

    Yep – I’m moving down by you!!!!! It looks like you had a wonderful time as well. Everyone is still smiling. And the quilts are beautiful as usual. Love to see a Quilt No. 2 – is it a little different? Thanks for sharing this and for all the great work you ladies did.

  17. farmquilter

    Awesome, amazing day!!! So many people working so hard to create beautiful quilts!! What fun you all had!

  18. I belong to a Quilts of Valour (Canadian spelling) group in Trenton Ontario and we had a sewing bee as well. We made enough blocks for 3 tops, and had a great time.

  19. What a fantastic day! Such wonderful variety in the star blocks and so many willing quilters to come together to sew! I didn’t get a chance to sew, but was thinking about everyone all weekend. You really rocked this project! What a worthy cause too.

  20. Susan Nixon

    Congratulations to all of you for a job well done! That took a lot of planning, but it all paid off for the soldiers. Thanks to all of you for the wonderful work you did, and to the shop owner for sponsoring the activity.

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