Finishing the QOV and the Quilt Festival

Friday and Saturday were both a bit rainy, and I had some time to get progress made on the custom quilting I was doing on the Quilt of Valor. After putting motifs in the rest of the darker triangles and elements of the last blocks, I changed the thread color to an ecru, and went back to the light sections. Doing stippling around the little dog took up the excess fabric and helped to make the embroidery stand out.

I did the same on the eagle.

I did a three loop design in the light sections of a couple of blocks.

In this one, I did more loops in the corners and echoed the squiggles on the bars, then stabilized the raw edge of the embroidery fabric with Fray Block. I did the other blocks that had raw edge appliques as well.

I put a medallion in the center of this block in the white. Not great, it is a bit wonky.

Then the last of the triangle point-to-point motifs in this block’s light star points.

All the blocks done, then I just went off the rails. I decided to put the same over-under loop in the border as the original piecer put in the sashing. The trouble was, I didn’t allow enough clearance on the edges.

The loops go all the way to the stay stitching, which means they got cut off when I put on new binding. My corner here is terrible, as I lost the rhythm when I got to it.

I made a mess of this corner too. See how the binding cuts off the loops?

Three out of four are sloppy messes. This side of the binding really does cut off the loops.

And it gets worse. The decision I made to add another layer of batting was not good. I’ve used two layers before, but they were both thin cotton. This time, I was given a polyester batting, and I didn’t think twice about loading it on the longarm. But, that, plus the cotton already in it, plus the large amount of thread for the heavy custom quilting have made this quilt way too heavy and stiff. Something I didn’t even think about until I was taking it off the frame, and sewing the binding on.

I’m not happy with my work on this quilt either. There are too many places where the quilting lines just are not up to standard. Like this one, where the loops are inconsistent.

And here, where again I should have done some marking to be sure the swirls came out the right size for the space.

Because the sashing already had a loop design in it, I chose not to quilt over that stitching. But this leaves the sashing puffy from the excess fabric in it, and I don’t like that. But it is too late to go over it again. And I am not sure how I even could, given the stitching already there.

All that led me to contact the director and let her know that this quilt cannot be awarded to a veteran in a Quilt of Valor ceremony. It doesn’t meet the standard of our best work. It won’t go to waste, as it will be donated to a veteran’s group for use as a wall hanging, or display. But I cannot see using it as a QOV.

In other news, thank you to Vicki W who sent a photo of my Quilted Jacket Ensemble in the Mancuso Mid Atlantic Quiltfest and Wearable Art show. Looking at the winners, I am amazed that I even made it in as an exhibitor. See the posts on that quilt along from last summer with these posts – Quilted Jacket Sew Along.

Thank you to Linda M for this photo, where you can see that first place one nearby with its stunning piecework. This part of the show was apparently at the end of an aisle, so was getting a lot of attention. I only wish my blog URL had been on the placard!

Ah, well. Maybe we will have a cold snap when I get it back so at least I could wear it once this year. If it would, I’d wear it to the next guild meeting. I think my fancy blue shoes might even go with it. I’ll let you know when I get it back.

26 thoughts on “Finishing the QOV and the Quilt Festival

  1. Cindy Bauer

    I really loved the blog today. What you consider your worst quilting would be in my book as my best!!! I think it’s great and so glad you shared it with us.

  2. Mary Stori

    The competition at Mancuso’s shows for wearables is always high…..really…it’s a big accompaniment to get accepted……start thinking about your next entry!!

    1. Rheanna M

      I am sorry that the quilt didn’t turn out as you wanted it to but happy to hear it won’t go to waste. It was a valiant effort.

  3. Teri Krugman

    It’s so frustrating when you try so hard and you’re just not satisfied with your results. However, I too think it looks beautiful and anyone would be happy to receive it. Also your quilted jacket was so gorgeous, that I actually wanted to make one myself, even though living in South Florida, it really doesn’t make sense. In other words, great job!

  4. As always, Carole, we are our worst critic. I think your QOV quilt looks great, and any veteran would be happy to receive it, considering it was made with loving hands. But, I do understand your own feelings, you are certainly not alone. Sometimes what seems like a great idea just doesn’t turn out quite the way we hoped. The same has happened to me, too, as I’m sure it has to all makers in all disciplines. We all want to put our best work forward.

  5. June Neigum

    Your QOV quilt is beautiful. Remember, it’s custom quilting. The little wobbles make it special as we are only human. Only a computer makes it perfect.

  6. slmrn1

    Oh I love your quilting and admire you for it. I am certain the recipient of your quilt will be over the moon for it. I am only accomplishing stippling so far on a friend’s long arm machine. On my domestic machine I’m trying a few designs but only on small projects. Love your quilted jacket set. The fabric choices and placement are lovely. A quilted jacket is on my bucket list, and I have just purchased what I hope will be the perfect pattern.

  7. lois92346

    As Grace1927 wrote, we are our own worst critics. I’m sorry you weren’t pleased with the outcome but you must consider what it was like at the start. It will make a perfect wall hanging for a veterans group. Well done, Carole.

  8. Oh my, sorry for all your time and effort. I wonder if a washing might make some of it become unnoticeable to the untrained eye. Nice to see your jacket at the show….and the competition looks to be quite fierce, but hooray for you for trying.

    1. Julie

      I think the quilt will soften up with a few washings. But I can see that it could be difficult to award if you plan to drape it around a service member. While they may not be up to your own personal standards, all the things you mention are invisible to users. I’d rather see a real person’s handwork any day rather than factory perfection. I hope the Veteran’s group will still consider giving to someone to use.

  9. Mary

    I think your quilting looked really good. I’m a hopeless quilter and always have to hand over to a quilting person for mine. I’m afraid there is no connection between my hands and brain when it comes to quilting! You are your own worst critic and I’m sure a few missed loops are not noticeable to anyone else.
    Your ensemble looked very classy but obviously one has to accept the word of the examiner. The examiner sometimes needs an examiner!! :))

  10. Joan Sheppard

    Of course your jacket was at the front of the line! And I love the quilt! Especially the dog and eagle (animal lover here) blocks. This is going to be a very special quilt with love sent from all of us as well. Thanks

  11. Paula Hidalgo

    Beautiful work on that QOV, I thought for sure you’d get a ribbon for that fabulous outfit, well at least you’ll be a knock out when you wear it!!!

  12. Sarah

    Whew Carole! You worked some magic with that quilt for sure! I am sure a veteran’s group will be thrilled to have it. Thank you for making it come alive with your quilting.

    I enjoyed seeing your jacket and coordinating items in the show. What fun!

  13. Lynda Duncan

    I think your quilting on the Quilt of Valor has improved it so much! I know you think it is not perfect enough, but what an amazing job you have done adding to someone else’s work!
    The recipient of this quilt will treasure it. I am working on a quilt repair, using all of your teachings on the subject (I took your class), and I also am critical of my work on it- but I am holding on to how much better I am making it than it was starting out. I am giving it my best, as you have done. My friend, the owner of the quilt which was made by his mother 50 years ago, will hopefully be happy with what I have done too.

  14. I think you are being too critical of your work. Maybe it isn’t what you envisioned, but considering its start in life, it has grown up into a nice quilt. If it’s really heavy, it needs to go to a veteran in the cold, cold mountains! The weight of a warm quilt is a comfort to me.

  15. Well, I know you are a tough critic of your own work (who isn’t of their own?) but from a purely lay person standpoint, it is ever so much better and someone will love it, whether it is a valor recipient or another. I applaud you for going at it full tilt!

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