23 April 2015

A Memorable Quilt of Valor

My Red, White and Blue Fireworks Spoonflower Fabric

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.

Let's Play Patriotic Baseball!

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!

Quilt of Valor

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.

Above the Show

Rings Around the Mountain

2002 Olympic 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...

Whoa!  That's Kind of Scary!

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.


  1. Very patriotic and like the baseball one too. Bet the event was sure something to see indeed. I never watch them on tv but live would be fun

    1. Thanks, Pat! I typically don't watch on TV either because we don't have (or want) cable. Watching in person was pretty awesome. Feels like another lifetime ago, now.

  2. The quilt you just finished is awesome! Yes, I never tire of Miracle, it's just one of those films I'll always like. I remember the 2002 torch going through Grand Junction. I only had to walk three or four blocks to see it. Kuule Beanz!

    1. Thank you, Lizard! I got to walk a few blocks to watch it go through downtown Denver, too. So funny that we both watched it, just 200 miles (and probably a couple of days) apart!

  3. Isn't it funny how our fabric tastes change with the years.... You know, I think you could cut up that huge panel and get some really interesting blocks out of the Capital dome and the Statue of Liberty. A lot of good visual texture there.

    We flew through Salt Lake City during those Olympics, on our way to California. I remember walking through the airport, looking out the windows, and wondering what was happening on the nearby mountainsides. So fun to hear your Olympic memories again (the pleasant ones I mean)!

    I wonder why you aren't supposed to stitch in the ditch for the QOV?

    1. You are so right, Sue. Our tastes do change with time. Thank heavens!!! ;)

      I'm not sure I can cut into that panel, even though I don't care for it. I kind of hope someone somewhere might like it as is, but maybe it's as... loud? to others as it is to me.

      Salt Lake was pretty awesome during the Olympics and the Paralympics. It was my introduction to the Paralympics, and I think I like them more than the Olympics now. I am so glad they are getting a bit of coverage now. I hope that continues to increase.

      I do not know why we aren't supposed to stitch a QOV in the ditch, but we also aren't supposed to allover meander, so I assume it's to make each one an individual work of art that doesn't look as if it was rushed through? Not sure.


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