From My Carolina Home

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Eagle Panel Quilt of Valor

Continuing on with the Quilts of Valor for the Grand Strand Quilters, the next one is a panel with an eagle in the center surrounded with borders. The backing provided was a dark blue.

Quilt of Valor Eagle Panel

Once again, the borders are a bit full, and I suspect that they were not measured. The cornerstone blocks are not straight.

Quilt of Valor Eagle Panel

There is fullness in the middle too.

Quilt of Valor Eagle Panel

Folding it up from the bottom, you can see how the middle of the quilt is smaller than the edges, indicating too much fabric in the borders.

Quilt of Valor Eagle Panel

I removed it from the frame and steam pressed the entire quilt with the 50/50 solution I make of Best Press and water. I do use a spritz bottle, never put this solution in the iron itself. After some pulling and pressing, I was able to get the quilt a bit more squared up, with only a couple of problem areas left.

Quilt of Valor Eagle Panel

Next is auditioning thread. The important consideration with thread this time was not only the color of the backing, but the thickness of the thread. In order to minimize the impact of the quilting on the eagle, I needed a thin thread that would not obscure the eagle’s face.  The blue Aurifil thread was perfect, and matched the backing.  Yes, I often quilt with Aurifil, both the top thread and the bobbin.

Quilt of Valor Eagle Panel

I decided on the gentle swirl of this pantograph, as it was suggestive of clouds like on the panel.  Here is one of the many puckers that appeared on the side.

Quilt of Valor Eagle Panel

You can see some puckering of the fabric due to the excess of border fabric at the bottom of this picture. I really didn’t like this, but I didn’t want to rip it out.

Quilt of Valor Eagle Panel

I think the quilting looks good on the background sky of the panel.

Quilt of Valor Eagle Panel

Some of the excess fabric on the border edges created fullness in the middle as I tried to keep the border seam lines straight.

Quilt of Valor Eagle Panel

Once again, as I got to the bottom, the fullness and wonky corner became apparent.

Quilt of Valor Eagle Panel

It seemed to be worse on the bottom blue border, as this much fullness was too much to work in.

Quilt of Valor Eagle Panel

So, I made a pleat with the excess and stitched it down. I ended up doing four of these, one on each side and two on the bottom.

Quilt of Valor Eagle Panel

Even so, there is still puckering in the bottom border.

Quilt of Valor Eagle Panel

I know I harp on this a lot, but you can see what your longarmer has to go through when the borders are put on with the slap and sew method. I just wish I could get this message out to everyone. If you haven’t seen my tutorial on properly applied borders, click HERE to understand the difference between measuring and not measuring.

Puckers at the top of the picture too. Yes, these will be minimized with washing, but I don’t think these quilts are laundered prior to presentation.

Quilt of Valor Eagle Panel

All done, I am not happy with the sides, but I did the best I could.

Quilt of Valor Eagle Panel

I was pleased with the Aurifil thread for quilting, as it is thin and doesn’t detract from the eagle.

Quilt of Valor Eagle Panel

Ready for binding, it was sent back to Myrtle Beach.

Quilt of Valor Eagle Panel

What are you working on today?



Main Crush Monday

Foodie Friday and Everything Else


Quilt of Valor- Stars and Bars

When I visited the Grand Strand Quilters in Myrtle Beach, I agreed to be a part of their drive to get their backlog of 150 QOV quilts quilted and delivered.  I came home with 10 to do, and pulled out the first bundle. I like what they have done here, each quilt is tied with the top, backing and batting, ready to go. It has a label on it saying who the piecer was, and who quilted it. There is more information here too, and I think it is great to have a way to track where quilts have gone.  This quilt is 68×88, and I think they all are close to that in size.

Quilt of Valor at From My Carolina Home

Opening it up and laying it over the longarm, the piecing has nice stars and bars, with a gold fabric (shown on the left) for backing. I was thrilled to see a nice quality, wide backing with no seams, lovely!

Quilt of Valor at From My Carolina Home

So I got to work and loaded it. It has just a bit of fullness here and there that I could see at the beginning.  I believe this is Warm and Natural batting.

Quilt of Valor at From My Carolina Home

I auditioned several thread colors and settled on the golden beige polyester thread that has a bit of sheen. It went great with the metallic golden stars on the fabric.  Bottom Line was in the bobbin.

Quilt of Valor at From My Carolina Home

I think it did well on the solid blue and solid red, as well as the prints.  I used a pantograph that has mostly curves to soften the hard edges and angles of the stars and bars in the piecing.  The pantograph is called Fascination by Lorien Quilting for Willow Leaf Studios, designed by Hermione Agee.

Quilt of Valor at From My Carolina Home

Quilt of Valor at From My Carolina Home

As the quilting progressed, there were a couple of pieces that had more fullness than the others, and a bit of wrinkling showed up. This becomes more apparent as I was trying to keep the seams straight.

Quilt of Valor at From My Carolina Home

Quilt of Valor at From My Carolina Home

So, out comes my new iron. It doesn’t do the shot of steam nearly as well as the old iron, but it will stay on for 30 minutes before shutting itself off.

Quilt of Valor at From My Carolina Home

This is the same gold section after steaming with the solution of 50% Best Press and 50% water, and smoothing.

Quilt of Valor at From My Carolina Home

Then after quilting.

Quilt of Valor at From My Carolina Home

Quilt of Valor at From My Carolina Home

Here is a blue section after steaming….

Quilt of Valor at From My Carolina Home

then quilted. This works many times when there isn’t a lot of fullness, and the fabric is nice quality cotton.  It doesn’t work on batiks.

Quilt of Valor at From My Carolina Home

The borders seem to be applied correctly, and quilted easily.

Quilt of Valor at From My Carolina Home

Checking the back, no problems, whew!!

Quilt of Valor at From My Carolina Home

Trimmed and ready for pickup.

Quilt of Valor at From My Carolina Home

The pattern looks nice in either direction.

Quilt of Valor at From My Carolina Home

I rolled it up again with the bits of trimmed backing that could possibly be used for binding, added my name to the ‘quilted by’ line, and attached the paper to the quilt. So, one down, nine to go!

Are you doing any charity quilting?



Main Crush Monday

Love Laugh Quilt

Freemotion by the River

Finished or Not Friday

Thank Goodness It’s Finished Friday



Quilting on the Grand Strand, part 2

Picking up from yesterday, the Grand Strand Quilters meeting was so much fun. I really enjoyed making new quilter friends, but had no idea what would happen next. One of the charities the Grand Strand Quilters support is the Quilts of Valor program. I didn’t get this quilter’s name (with the microphone) before the end of the meeting, and her quilt would be very nice for the veterans, but I don’t remember if she said who it was for.

Grand Strand Quilters 13

Batting is cut at each meeting for finished tops, here an Anita’s Arrowhead with patriotic borders.

Grand Strand Quilters 1

After the meeting, while I was chatting with members, Joan came up to me explaining that she was the QOV coordinator for the group as well as part of the national organization. She wondered if I would be willing to quilt some tops for them. She said they have a backlog of 150 quilt tops ready to be quilted, but a serious lack of longarmers willing to help. I hesitated a moment, knowing that there would be some logistics involved, and I just couldn’t do them by mail. But she already had a plan. It seems that about a third of their members are snowbirds, spending the winter in Myrtle Beach and the summers up north. Some go through my area twice a year. So, if I took some quilts to do, then in six months or so, someone would be coming through to pick them up. Well, then, sure!! Knowing I had a bit of stuff from shopping, I agreed to take 10. Joan ran home, cut batting for 10 quilts, packed them up in 5 large bags, and met me at my hotel (with her charming husband, Jim) to hand them off.  They completely filled the back seat of our rented Jeep. I think this will become a regular thing for us!  So, I think I may have become an honorary member of the Grand Strand Quilters, at least I’d like to think so.  Yes, I’ll share them with all of you as I put them on the frame for quilting around my other projects.

Grand Strand Quilters QOV

There are two really wonderful quilt stores in the area, and I visited both, along with a Crafter’s mall where one of the vendors had lots of fun fabrics and notions. On Tuesday, I drove to Murrells Inlet to Accent Sewing. What a wonderful store!! There were fun fabrics, lots of notions and thread, classroom space and machines.

Accent Sewing 3

I chatted only a little with their longarmer who was busy with a quilt right then, so I didn’t want to bother her too much. All the ladies were so friendly and helpful. Diane helped me find a pebble fabric for my Be My Neighbor quilt to use as the streets.  The owner, Sheryl, was so nice and helpful too. It is a bright and colorful store to visit, I wish I could do their mini quilt of the month quilt along, the samples were just joyful!

Accent Sewing 2

Then on Wednesday, I visited Quilting on the Beach, where again I met Barb and Anna, two lovely, friendly ladies willing to chat a bit. I spent the most time with Maureen, their longarm quilter as she worked on this beautiful quilt.  The piecer, Anne, was there too, getting a lesson in what a longarmer needs.  Just look at how perfect all her points are on those triangles!  As usual, I picked up a new-to-me, stupidly simple, brilliant idea for dealing with quilt backings that are too small. She uses long straight pins to secure a piece of fabric to the edge, allowing the longarm more space so it doesn’t bump into the clips. As she rolls the quilt, she moves the bit of extra fabric.  Why didn’t I ever think of this?

Quilting at the Beach 2

Pretty store, lots of fabrics!! When I mentioned the Be My Neighbor quilt, Barb found another pebble fabric in lighter colors, so I got some of that too. I’ll show you those tomorrow.

Quilting at the Beach 4

Then, down the road a bit was Homespun Crafter’s Mall, with new crafted items and vintage treasures. The fabric vendor had a lot of choices too. I understand this is a relatively new expansion for the vendor.  This dealer mall satisfied both my quilter self and my vintage side.

Homespun Crafter's Mall 3

So, that was my quilting adventure in Myrtle Beach.   If you missed part one of Quilting on the Grand Strand, click HERE.

Do you look for quilting fun when you take a trip?

More adventures in Myrtle Beach posts –

Myrtle Beach Ocean and Gardens

Visiting Brookgreen Gardens

Myrtle Beach Foodie

Thrifting Myrtle Beach

Sharing with these link parties…

Whoop Whoop Friday

Finish It Up Friday

Main Crush Monday

Freemotion on the River



WIP Wednesday October 29

I went to five wonderful longarm classes at the AQS Show in Charlotte this past summer.  I have done a little practice of what I learned on the muslin pieces provided to us, but up to now I haven’t had a suitable quilt top to play with.  At the last meeting of the quilt club, the charity quilt chairperson gave me a Quilt of Valor to quilt.  This one looks like it is just made for a custom job, and I get to practice some of my new techniques.


Loaded on the frame, now I have to decide what to put in each block.



I started by doing some SID (stitch in the ditch) around the blocks, sashing, and border.  Then, I warmed up with two motifs I have done before – piano keys in the outer border, and ribbon candy in the narrow sashing.

QOV Custom 4

OK, deep breath, and get over my fear of marking! I am just terrified that the water soluable pen won’t come out. I have new chalk markers too, and I am a little less afraid of them. But, here goes, marked the curved lines using Jamie Wallen’s Quilter’s Apothecary curved ruler and went for it.


Yikes, lots of wobbles!!  I do need more practice, but you have to start somewhere! I’ll be working on this one for a few weeks around my day job.

What are you working on this week?


WIPWed   be6b3-linkybees


QOV Finishes

It was a rainy weekend, so I used the time to finish up the quilting on two quilts of valor.  I used pantographs on both quilts.  The star quilt got a simple swirl.  It is a great panto because it can go two passes without having to advance the quilt.  This makes the quilting go nice and quick.

Qstar2 Qstar1 Qstar4 QOVfinish3

There was a hiccup in the middle of quilting, one of the sides of this star was completely loose and I caught the foot and needle under it, surprised me because I was going along so well!


I had to back up and carefully go over the open edge.  It looks bad because of the thread hiccup, but that’s the way it goes.  I should have frogged it out, but that would have been just as messy with dark thread on a light background, so I just left it.  Later I hand whipped the loose edge back down.

The backing is a wide 108″ navy blue mottled print.  I quilted with navy thread.  When the first one was done, I advanced the quilt and loaded the second one right next to the first.  You can see the edge of the first quilt in red just under the take up bar.  I used the same thread, so saved some time there too.


New panto was put on, one called Tiger Swirl.  It looks a little more masculine, and kind of reminds me of fireworks.

Qvalor3 Qvalor2 Qvalor1-1 QOVfinish6

I finished the binding on the star quilt on Sunday.

QOVfinish1 QOVfinish4 QOVfinish2

The spool quilt binding will be done this week.

QOVfinish7 QOVfinish5

Happy Quilting!!

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QOV Works in Progress

Wednesday was spent working on Quilts of Valor.  I had one group of stars that I put together at a work party with dark blue sashing, and I decided to add a red border.  The quilt was square, so I made the end borders just a smidgen bigger than the sides so it would work for a wheelchair lap quilt.

Valor11 Valor1

Then, remember this square from the ‘how to square up a block’ post?  I had 16 of these, so I added some solid blue blocks and arranged the pieced ones in an hourglass design.

Valor4 Valor2

Sewing them together went really fast with chain piecing.

Valor3 Valor5

Then I set them into rows of two big four-patch blocks.  The two left over will be a pillow.  I measured for the border of red.  Look how straight it is on the right side!  Then measured again for the other two borders.

Valor6 Valor8

If this is new to you, see the border tutorial at the top of the page.  I put on the remaining two borders and ironed the seams.

Valor7 Valor9

On the frame now is a wide navy blue backing so I can do both quilts.  I added the batting, and set the first one in place.


I’ll quilt it, then just roll down and float the second top next to it.  That will be this weekend’s project.

Happy Quilting!!