Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Quilt of Honor---Free Pattern

I started this quilt last Monday, in honor of Veterans Day, and just finally finished the top today.  I wanted to show my appreciation, even in a small way, to our service men and women for their dedication to our country.
I come from a military family--Army, Air Force, Navy, Coast Guard, Marines.  I was born in Ft. Knox, KY while my father was in Air Force basic training  in Texas, and my mother was staying with her parents.  My granddad was an army sergeant. 
Today's soldiers deserve everything a grateful country can provide for them, especially respect for their service and sacrifices.
For my quilt, I knew I wanted to use scraps for at least part of it, and of course the color scheme was set--red, white and blue.
If you'd like to make a quilt like this, I'll give you the directions as I go along.  You'll need some basic knowledge of piecing and cutting.
First, I made 20 nine patch blocks.  Each block was made of 4 light print squares (all the same, usually), 4 blue squares (ditto) and 1 red square for the center.  The squares were cut 3.5 in., so the blocks finished at 9 in. square.  You could strip piece these, but I didn't.
These were fun and easy to make, but a little blah.
So I added star sashing in red.
That's better!
The sashings are 3.5 in. wide (cut).  Connector corners are used to make the star points.  These are made from 2 in. (cut) squares.  You need a total of 31 sashes cut 3.5 in x 9.5 in.  Of these, 14 will have star points on only one end.  (Check out the top row and the ones on the sides.)  These will need 28 red 2 in. (cut) squares.  There will be 17 sashes with star points on both ends.  These will need 68 red 2 in. (cut) squares.
To make the connector corners, crease a red square in half on the diagonal.  Lay it on one corner of the sashing piece with the crease going from the center of the sashing to the outside.  Sew on the crease, or just inside it.  Trim and press.  Instead of a crease, you could use a marked line.
Marcia Hohn of Quilters Cache has a good tutorial on making these, which she calls Morning Star sashing:
You will also need 12 red squares for the star centers.  These are cut 3.5 in. square.
Got all those pesky sashes done?  Now lay it all out and assemble the rows.
I added 2 borders, partly because I think most quilts look better with borders, and partly because I wanted to make the quilt a little bigger.  The inner border is cut 2 in. wide.  The outer blue star border is cut 3.5 in. wide.  This is a lap-sized quilt, finishing at 54 in. x 66 in.
I will be sending this top off soon to be quilted by a volunteer long arm quilter, and then given to a veteran.
This is my first Quilt of Honor, but it won't be my last.  One of the benefits of doing this has been finding good fabrics for quilt of honor quilts in my stash.
Here I have them sorted and folded in a basket, ready for the next quilt.  I will probably mix in some other fabrics from my stash or my scraps, but these are definitely patriotic and will be a good start.

I used up some more of my 3.5 in scraps in this quilt, even though I only used red, white, and blue.  After dumping everything out on the table, I was able to put in back in neatly, like this:
I don't think I'll ever really use up my scraps completely, but they're great to work with, especially when they're organized.  Thanks, Bonnie Hunter, for the inspiration.
If you'd like to make a Quilt of Honor, here's the web site with the instructions/rules, etc.
Quilt of Honor Quilters

May God bless all our veterans.

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