My red, white and blue fireworks Spoonflower fabric was the perfect reason to go digging through my patriotic stash. It was so much fun to revisit fabrics that caught my eye over the years! Dig that Daisy Kingdom baseball print!!! I didn't even remember buying it, much less it existing.
After an attempt to artistically break up the fireworks with black Kona strips, I decided an assortment of 3-inch strips from the stash would bring the overall size big enough to qualify for a Quilt of Valor.
Two days later, I finished the top for my very first Quilt of Valor donation!
While piecing this (the weekend before the Boston Marathon, when patriotism in the office where I work was soaring because one of my co-workers regularly qualifies and participates in the race), The Lizard decided to get into the patriotic mood, too, and watched "Miracle" for about the 10th time. We never tire of that movie. He watched the medal round of the 1980 Olympic hockey team on TV as it happened; I had no TV but was working for a newspaper and relished in the victory while scanning the AP wire, sort of like visually listening to a (slow and delayed) police scanner for play-by-play.
I was in Salt Lake (but outside the stadium to shoot the fireworks and the mountainside Olympic rings of light put up by my uncle's then employer) during the Opening Ceremonies of the 2002 Olympics when the 1980 hockey team lit the gorgeous Rice-Eccles cauldron.
One month later, due to a February 8, 2002, personal tragedy (yes, the very same night as the Opening Ceremonies), and thanks to the most generous bosses in the world, I was ten rows up from the field as Eric Weihenmeyer, the first blind man to reach the summit of Mount Everest, carried the torch inside Rice-Eccles Olympic Stadium for the Paralympics.
No hockey team, but the event, especially the Parade of Nations, still lives on in my memory as one of the most beautiful things I have ever witnessed. Well, that along with the center ice proposal by Boston-born (how's that for a Boston Marathon blog post tie-in???) sledge hockey star Joseph "Momo" Howard to girlfriend Carol Tribuna following Team USA's win over Estonia. Yes, my Utah family, my adopted daughter and I were there, on the glass. Team USA passed team lapel pins through the glass openings to my daughter and my then very young cousins before the game began.
Those, ladies and gentlemen, are my Olympic moments.
I've long admired the QOV posts at Alicia Quilts, but the spark to my kindling happened near the end of the 2013 Ride the Rockies in Canon City, when The Lizard and I visited a local quilt shop just in time to see volunteers binding donated Quilts of Valor prior to a group presentation. Colorado's Quilts of Valor serves many different organizations.
While perusing Alicia's blog once again to find out more about quilt requirements, I was thrilled to discover many of the same fabrics I've been stashing for many, many years have been used in previous Quilts of Valor!
Here are the basic requirements for a donation quilt.
I'm considering cutting some of the stash that didn't make it into the quilt top to piece the backing. I had planned to stitch in the ditch along the strips and get a little more creative with the fireworks, but I see in the requirements that stitch-in-the-ditch is a no-no. I may actually send this off to be quilted for the recipient, since my skills are still budding and I want the finished product to be something a service member can be proud of for life.
I still need to make a coordinating pillow case for the presentation. The finished quilt is placed inside the pillow case for the actual presentation to the recipient. I didn't know about that when I first started this project, but I think it's such a great idea!
One of the scary things about going through stash skeletons of the past is finding things you don't remember buying and wishing you hadn't...
Not only did I find ONE panel, but there was a second, too. I must have been planning to make matching quillows for my two adopted kids. Back then, working full time and single parenting, I didn't have much time for piecing, so I did buy and use panels. And my kids LOVED quillows. Each of them had a stash of quillows I'd made every year for Christmas. They often took their favorites with us on vacation. They liked their quillows better than sleeping bags.
I'm really not sure what I'm going to do with these two panels. There is enough coordinating backing fabric for both to be made into quillows, or just lap quilts with matching pillows. I cut the backing for one panel and sandwiched it, so it's ready to be quilted now. But I don't want it!
Boy, hopefully this is the last scary surprise in my stash!!!
Linking up with Confessions of a Fabric Addict and Crazy Mom Quilts.