Quilting a Quilt of Valor

Our local Quilts of Valor chapter has been quieter than usual this past year. There have only been a few presentations in private ceremonies, and a couple of outdoor ones for just three or four veterans. Because the group was unable to do the large ceremony for military nurses we planned for last November, we have a bit of a stockpile of quilts. So it has been a while since I was asked to do one. When I got this one, I was delighted to be able to contribute again. This was pieced by a friend, and she does nice work. I swear, though, every time I look at this, the pattern that stands out to me is a series of white and red squares with white diamond shapes, not the churn dash navy and red blocks she intended. Which do you see first?

I loaded it up and started in.

I did my fold-up trick to check the borders. For those who haven’t seen this before, you fold up your quilt matching the border seams at the top on a flat surface. I use my longarm, but a bed or countertop will work too. If your borders are put on correctly the fold will be straight. If it bows up in the center, you’ve got borders too big for the center section. This one is good.

I didn’t have a good patriotic pantograph, so I found one online when the last sale was on. This one is called Blue Star from Urban Elementz. I liked the large motifs with the stars and curled ribbons.

I chose navy blue Glide thread for the top, with navy Bottom Line in the bobbin.

Quilting went along fine for a few passes, and the thread color does well with the borders.

Then, for no good reason, this. In the middle of the quilt, I began getting multiple thread breaks on a row, with bad laddering. The bobbin thread was jumping out of the tension on the bobbin. I checked and rechecked the tension with my Towa.

Underneath, as I was pulling bad stitching out, I noticed the white dots from previous stitches. These aren’t holes in the fabric, they are spots where the needle has flaked the printing off the fabric. Unfortunately, this is a mark of poorly printed fabric. I think it may have contributed to the bobbin thread jumping the tension. The only cure was to slow down, and not move the machine as fast.

So, I did that, sewing much slower than usual. The final two rows went fine.

All done, it is ready for pickup.

The QOV organization will have their National Sew Day online this year, and I have registered already. There are some fun prizes up for grabs, and lots of online speakers. Click on the link below to sign up, it’s free!!

I’ll be having another Zoom Virtual retreat next Tuesday, January 19th. Sign up HERE if you are interested. I hope to do a Saturday retreat soon, I just have to find a day that I am certain to be home.

What are you sewing this week?

Check out Fat Quarter Shop’s 20% Off  Art Gallery solids fabric bundles, the Basic of the Month, plus 30% Off Annie’s Notions the Notion of the Month, and specials on the Book of the Month and Precuts of the Week.  Check out the Daily Flash Sale – something new at clearance pricing every day!

See new Best Sellers on sale at MadamSew!

New books have arrived at C&T Publishing.

There is a 25% off sale at Impression Obsession for stamps and dies with a heart theme.

25 thoughts on “Quilting a Quilt of Valor

  1. Claire Warner

    You’re right Carole – I don’t see the churn dash — until it is on the quilting frame. Then it is there — until you take it off!!!! Strange !!
    Many Thanks 😊 for helping to honor the Vets!!

  2. Julie

    I think a churn dash stands out better when it’s set with sashing. Nevertheless, no matter how you put it together, there’s nothing prettier than a red, white, & blue quilt.

    1. I didn’t see the churn dash either. Beautiful quilt! Check out My Creative Stitches. They have some great patriotic patterns I use all the time. I usually catch them on their $5 specials they run.

  3. Patricia Evans

    The churn dashes are quite evident when viewed from the back side but only on the outer edge from the front. That’s a great quilting motif for the QOL. You’ll be using that a lot in the future, I bet.

  4. Carolyn Walberg

    I saw the churn dash first. Today I’m machine quilting a sampler wall quilt to hang in my sewing room. Also admiring a recently acquired jelly roll I don’t know what to do with; seeking inspiration!

  5. Susan Nixon

    I’m trying again on Tuesday~if that isn’t the day I have the dentist appointment. I’m waiting for them to call and remind me. LOL I think it’s Wednesday, though.

  6. June Neigum

    To me the block pattern is beside the point. It is still a pretty quilt. Just another way to put together a block.

  7. Isn’t it funny the way a pattern will look when it is vertical? I didn’t see the churn dashes until I looked at the part lying flat. I love the design you chose to use. Perfect for a QOV.

  8. AJ

    It’s interesting from the wrong side, it looks like Churn Dash but from the front it’s white squares. For me the blue and reds blend together, while the wrong side has greater contrast between these colors. Regardless this is a beautiful quilt.
    I love reading your blog because you include little hints and reminders to help improve our quilting experience. The fold test to me is obvious once you describe it but I have never done it! The cause for the “holes in the fabric” is interesting. And another reason to carefully choose our fabric in our quilts.

    1. PamH

      I agree with A J. Didn’t see the churn dash until the reverse was visible. Great example of a QOV from traditional blocks. Sometimes people are discouraged from making them if eight point stars or too many small pieces are expected. It is going to be well loved.

  9. vivian383

    I didn’t see the churn dash either till you mentioned them. It is a lovely quilt. Thanks for the tip about the printed fabric causing the skipping stitches and breaking threads! I’m currently quilting a Giant Dahlia top that I finished way back 10 years ago from a class I took. My now ex husband didn’t like it (too girly!) so I tucked it away . I ran across it the other day. It’s going to be my favorite bed quilt when finished, I hope.

  10. Joan Sheppard

    Lots of info – thanks. I often have the loop de loop so I wanted to know it the Towa was right for me. I looked it up and I found an anime character?!? Could you point me in the right direction please?
    I love patterns that morph from one pattern to another! Sometimes I see the churn and sometimes the Starry Sky. Just ripped out an entire row as I put it in UPSIDE DOWN. But even my quilts that go to the dog rescue deserve the best I can do. That for sharing the beautiful quilting too.

  11. That is a beautiful quilt, and I love the quilting design you chose! I, too, did not see the churn dashes until you said they were there. Funny how that happens. I just signed up for your Zoom sew day on Tuesday. Hopefully no emergencies with my mom will interfere! 🙂

  12. I missed the churn dash until you mentioned it! I’m glad the ripping was very small this round, but still it must have been frustrating. I am hoping to finish AJ this weekend, I am playing fabric chicken with the last border.

  13. Very nice quilting pattern for this special quilt. I read your words before looking at the photo so saw what you wrote – but then then a second glance and I saw the churn dashes. Sort of a variation of seeing the man in the moon or the lady! Fabric looked pretty – too bad it wasn’t the best quality. I’m learning and saving my ‘bad’ fabric for Goodwill. They told me they would take old bits and pieces of fabric. Forgot to ask them what they would be doing with it, but that doesn’t really matter I guess.

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