Sunday, November 12, 2017

11 Special Quilts

I've recently been posting some Quilt of Valor quilts on which I've been working and now that they are presented, I can share more pictures, including individual quilt pictures.

In Friday's post, I briefly shared information about the Veterans Day program at Monroeville High School. (I thought about trying to get this post ready for posting yesterday, but since I was hosting an early 80th birthday party for my husband, I knew that it wasn't going to happen so I didn't stress out about it. I figured a Sunday post would work too. 😊

Here are the quilts ready for presentation.  

While the students were making their way to the assembly, a number of elementary kids were quite intrigued with the quilts and wanted to come up and see them. They had to wait, but I promised them that they would get a close up look after the presentation.

These quilts are a true labor of love for me. Whenever I'm working on one, I think of may Dad, Frank Schwab, a WWII Navy Veteran. Because he died before the QOV project started, Dad did not receive one of these quilts, but every one I make is made in his honor. (Back in 2011, I made 15 Honor Flight Quilts in honor of Mom and Day and you can see pictures of those HERE.) I think of Mom and Dad while I cut and piece all of these quilts together, and I am not ashamed to admit that there are often a few tears shed during the process. I miss them bother very much!

I also work on these to honor my many nieces and nephews who are veterans. I can't thank you enough for your sacrifices and dedication to preserving our freedom. Thank you Lisa, Scott, Sarah, Jeramy, Alex, Brad, Nick M., Paul, Christian, and Nick R.!    

This year's recipients included two spouses of staff members and local WWII and Korean War Veterans. To be able to honor the WWII veterans was especially meaningful to me. I know I shared this picture yesterday, but I'm doing so again because I've added names. Plus, I just really like this picture!

Seated in the front row, left to right:  Mary C. (WWII Army Nurse), Jim H. (Army, 1952-1954), Bill S. (Army, 1951-1953), Paul S. (Army, 1954-1956), Back row, left to right:  Emmanuel H. (Marines, 2005-2009), Nathan W. (Army Reserves 2001-2003, Active Duty 2004-2008), Richard A. (Ohio National Guard and Army, 1952-1954), Bob S. (Army, 1951-1953), Richard R. (1951-1954) Not pictures: Ervin M. (Navy, 1945-1946) and Mel M. (Army, 1944-1945)

I had a wonderful time talking to all these veterans over the past few weeks while gathering information about them and their service, so I could say something about them during the presentation. Every single on of these veterans initially told me that they didn't really deserve a quilt. They each gave a variety of reasons why such as: "I was just doing my job." "There are so many others who did more and they deserve a quilt, not me." "I didn't go overseas, so I don't really deserve one." 

I've heard all of this before and I've finally come up with what I think is a pretty good response. I tell them all that,  "Yes, you do deserve a quilt. You many not have left the country or fought in any major battles, but you would have done so, if you have been asked to. You left your home and family and made many sacrifices during your service time. You faced unimaginable freezing temperatures or excruciating heat in unfamiliar places. You were away from your family for many holidays, birthdays, and anniversaries. You did whatever you were asked to do, and you did it without hesitation or questions. For that, I say that yes, you DO deserve a Quilt of Valor." 

Fortunately, my little speech has worked so far and all of the veterans agree to receive a quilt. It also helps that I have a few young ladies helping with the project and presentations. I think it makes the veterans feel good to know that young people are respectful and thankful for their service; and it gives them hope for the future. This is another one of my favorite pictures from the presentation. In the back row on the right side, you can see my helpers.

Thank you Tana S. (Freshman, helping for the first year), Allie S. (Junior, helping for the second year), and Kaleigh S. (Freshman, helping for the first year). We have big plans to continue these presentations over the next few years and I know that these young ladies will do their part BIG TIME!

One of my friends commented to me that she was very happy to see that I've included young people in this ministry. I never really thought of it that way, but I think she's right. This really is a ministry and I'm thrilled that I can include young people. The girls and I are tossing around a plan to have a "sew day" in which other students can join us to help make quilts for next year. I've already been picking patterns that will be pretty easy construction for them and I'm rounding up adult helpers, fabrics, etc. I'm pretty darned psyched about this. 

As promised, I have individual pictures of the quilts. Because of crappy weather recently and the fact that I've been gone, I did not get good pictures at home so I took some at the school, before the program.

I had a mission to include at least one piece of the American Honor fabric line from Blank Quilting in each quilt and I am thrilled to say that I was successful. Yay!  I made each of these quilts from start to finish with the exception of one (Richard A.'s quilt). I was given a couple of blocks already made and the fabric to make more, so I finished making that quilt and was able to use the tonal blue fabric for the binding. I was a bit worried that I wouldn't be able to use any of the American Honor fabric, but it worked perfectly. Yay!!

And finally, here are the quilts.

Emmanuel H's quilt

Nathan W's quilt

Bill S's quilt

Bob S's quilt

Jim H's quilt

Mary C's quilt

Paul S's quilt

Richard A's quilt

Richard R's quilt

Ervin M's quilt

Mel M's quilt

Since we'll be honoring Vietnam War veterans next year and I think we'll have a pretty large number to make, I better get busy pulling fabrics and making pattern decisions. 

Thank you Veterans!
It's an honor to do this for you.

Saturday, November 11, 2017

Veterans Day

Thank you for your service Veterans!

I was honored to present nine veterans with Quilts of Honor yesterday and will present the final two later this weekend. This was a wonderful part of the school program and one that I always find amazing and emotional.

Ignore the first picture. That is not from this program.

Here's another Norwalk Reflector link that includes a few more pictures 

 Below are a few pictures, but there will be more to come soon, including individual pictures of all eleven quilts. 

The quilts are ready to be presented in front of the entire school district and a number of community members.

The recipients and their quilts. Quilts were presented to spouses of two staff members, one WWII Army nurse, and six Korean War Veterans. The two who will receive theirs later are WWII Veterans. 

 The recipients and the three young ladies who help me with these presentations. I love this pictures!

It is such an honor to do this.

Thank you Veterans.

Monday, November 6, 2017

Quilts of Valor Update

I've got all ten Quilts of Valor done and am working on the binding for the last few. Yay! I am very happy with how they've all turned out and look forward to the presentation Friday.

Here's a picture (I know, a pretty bad picture) of five of the quilts ready to go. They've been washed and are ready to be put in their pillowcases.

Two others are in the washer right now and another one is ready to go in this afternoon. I should the bindings on the final two later tonight and will get them washed tomorrow.

I'm happy these are done and look forward to starting my next batch. 

This week is a busy one again. I have to finish up these, have a few classes to teach, have the QOV presentation Friday, and Jack's early 80th birthday party Saturday. I don't mind the busy schedule though. It'll keep my out of the bars.  😁   lol

I'll post pictures of the quilts when they are complete. Maybe by them the raining weather will be over and I can get some pictures outside with the quilts open so you can see them.

What are you working on today?


Thursday, October 26, 2017

Strip It Down

I've been gone a lot lately for classes and know enough about myself to recognize that when I returned home I really need to sit at my sewing machine, fondle some fabric, and produce a quilt. This travel time was no different!

Before I left, I got out my Strip It Down pattern by Stephanie Palmer for Quilt Theory, pulled fabric, and was all set to work on it at a moment's notice.

I got home, spent time catching up with Jack, and then headed to the sewing room. Here's what I created. I adjusted the pattern a bit to accommodate the Quilt of Valor size needed, and I like how it looks. All of these fabrics are from the American Honor line by Blank Quilting.

Here's Stephanie's original quilt. I love the simplicity and boldness of these fabrics. I'm going to pull some fat quarters and make this again using some really fun fabrics. 

Oh gee! Did I forget to mention that this quilt is fat quarter friendly? Six fat quarters plus background (grey) and accent fabric (white) is all that's needed to make this 48" x 60" quilt. Love it!! 

Stay posted because I'm going to traveling again over the next few weeks for classes and this project is just what I'll need to spend some quality time with my sewing machine when I return home.

Monday, October 23, 2017

Design Wall Monday

I've been away from home so my quilting time has been greatly limited. I do however, have a few quilts on which I'm working. I've got to finish a couple more Quilts of Valor before the presentation November 10, so that's what I've been trying to get done.

Here's a modified Trip Around the World. I'm auditioning borders that will be added to the top and bottom only so I can have it the correct size.

I generally do not make two of the same quilts that will be presented on the same day. I really want to be sure that each recipient gets something unique. With that being said, we will be presenting 12 quilt this year and I knew that my schedule would make it challenging for me to get all the quilts made. So, I decided to make two disappearing nine patches because I know from experience how different they can look based on fabric choices and turning of the blocks. 

Here's one that is ready the have the blocks sewn together. I used a variety of blues in this quilt, including some left overs that I had from the American Honor challenge. 

This one is ready for quilting. The layout is identical to the quilt above. I simply swapped the light and blue fabrics. What do you think? Do you agree with me that they look different enough to present on the same day?  

What are you working on today?

Check out the quilting eye candy at


Monday, October 2, 2017

Design Wall Monday

I have finally gotten the backing fabric for the table runner and placemats that I was working on last week and will hopefully get to quilting them tomorrow night. In the mean time, I've got these three wall hangings on the design wall.

The pattern is Faith Hope Love by J. Michelle Watts. Instructions are provided for making this as one single wall hanging or three separates ones. As you can see, I prefer the three separate ones. This is the fourth set I've made and I have one more set to make. Here is the second set I made back in March.

I need to applique the pieces down and then do the quilting and binding. It really shouldn't take long, as they are all pretty small and I just free motion quilt them. My goal is to have the first set complete tonight. 

It seems appropriate on which to be working today, considering the horrific events in Las Vegas last night. I am so saddened by this, and wonder when it will end. I'm struggling with wrapping my brain around what's happened and what may happen next.

I want to retreat into my own world of happiness and peace. I want to block out events like this, along with hurricanes, floods, earthquakes, and other natural disasters. I know that I can't turn a blind eye to these events, but I really want to.

I need to step back and evaluate how I can help. I know I can't stop the natural disasters or the actions of other people. Instead, perhaps I can help in the aftermath of these event. I've got a bunch of pillowcases ready to send out to Sarah over at Confessions of a Fabric Addict, and I'm already somewhat involved in helping Scott Fortunoff, President of A.E. Nathan Co., Blank Quilting, StudioE, and Vice-President of Henry Glass Fabric give away free sewing machines. (I have a bunch of used machines that are being given away.) If you haven't heard about this, check out his original blog post HERE.

Scott's blog today says he has more machines to give away; so take a minute, think about who could benefit from this, and send Scott an e-mail.

What are you working on today?

Check out the eye candy at


Beth's Monday Making 

Monday, September 25, 2017

Design Wall Monday

I spent some time yesterday working on the BQ Goes Mini table runner and placemats and I'm loving how the fabrics are working together. Check out yesterday's post to read about the P & B Textile fabrics (Norman Wyatt's Earthtones 2 and Bear Essentials) I'm using. 

The pattern is pretty straight forward and since I had decided that I was making all four placemats and the small table runner, I knew exactly how many blocks I needed so I chain pieced everything. This went pretty darn fast!

The sub-cutting was fast, but the pieces are all pretty darn small.

Once I had all the small pieces, it was time to construct the blocks. Easy Peasy!

Sewing the final seam for the blocks. Woo Hoo!

All the blocks are sewn!

The pattern provided a variety of layout options for the placemats. I knew I wanted to make one of each layout, so I just followed the pattern and laid them all out and started sewing away.

Oops! I got so excited that I forgot to take pictures of the last two layouts before sewing them!

Here's all four placemats sewn together. I like the variety, but think the top left layout is my favorite. 

I've got the table runner laid out and ready to sew.

I had to stop sewing and could not finish this yesterday. I'll get back to it this afternoon and then I'll be ready to choose my backing and get these babies quilted. Yay!

What are you working on today?

For some quilting eye candy, check out


Sunday, September 24, 2017

Time to Play with Fabric!

I received this bundle of fabric from P & B Textiles recently, and love it!

The top two fabrics are from the Norman Wyatt Signature Earthtones 2 and I fell in love with them the first time I saw them at M&E Quilt Shoppe. I was thrilled when they were included in the bundle! The other fabrics are Bear Essentials 3 fabrics, and since all of the Bear Essential lines have been a favorite of mine, I'm happy they were included too. 

I've been mulling ideas around in my head for what to make with the fabrics and finally decided that the first project is going to be four placemats and a table runner using the BQ Goes Mini pattern from Maple Island Quilts. I'm going to make one of each of the four placemat designs and the smaller table runner,  which will measure 18" x 45". The placemats will measure 18" x 13 1/2".

Here are the fabrics I've pulled for that.

I already have a couple of the Norman Wyatt fabrics in my stash and decided to include them for the project. And, I just bought a little more since there was an End of Summer Sale at M&E this past weekend. Lucky me!  πŸ‘ 

The gold will be the background and I'm thinking about the stripe for binding.

I'm also using to use this bundle to participate in Quilting Jetgirl's Wayward Transparency Quilt Along. Here's what I've pulled for that. Yes, I've pulled two of the same fabrics for this project. (The brown is different.) I really like these two fabrics and since I already had some in my stash, I decided to use them. 

I've got some thinking to do for the remaining fabrics, but I'm sure it won't take long to figure out how to use them.  😊

Check back tomorrow to see how far I've gotten. 

What are you working on this beautiful Sunday?

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Challenge Recap

In my last post, I introduced the Going Up Challenge that Annie, Jerry, Kare, Connie, Jeffry, and I were doing and I've finally got some updates and a recap and this mostly presented in pictures. 

We had a really fun time, and I think everyone is happy with the results. (A couple of the quilts are not completed, but they will be soon.)

I still find it amazing how different the projects look; and the differences are not only a result of very different fabric choices, but also the variety of "design spins" and decisions made by each one of us.

The 2 1/2" pre-cut strips that Connie brought needed some extra attention before Kare could begin. They were beautiful strips, but they were a bit wonky and not cut straight in some cases. Kare actually put together one unit (5 strips) and then decided that she needed to take that apart and trim EVERY strip. That took a lot of time, but she was not going to be happy giving a wonky quilt to Connie. 

Once the strips were cut, the real planning began. Some of us just laid them out and just "went with it", while others took pictures or sketched our layout ideas.


There was a lot of work time, which resulted in a bit of quiet time as well. That's very unusual for us. I guess we were concentrating!

Kare used her Featherweight for the first time! Yay!!

Even though he wasn't sewing, Jack spent time in the room with us.

If you look at the bottom of this picture, you'll notice a stack of fabric. The bolt has the Kaffe fabric Jerry brought and periodically throughout Saturday, I randomly pulled fabrics and laid them on top of that fabric to see what Jerry's reaction was. I already knew what I was going to do, but thought it would be fun to see his reaction to fabrics that obviously did NOT belong next to that floral. Yes, it was mean; but it was fun! 😈

Our friend Eileen had a couple of quilting questions, so I told her to come on over, but be sure to bring something on which to work. She is doing hexagon handwork. Kare's sister Gail also stopped over for a while, but I didn't get a picture of her. Darn it!

We were good and did remember to take some time for hydration and nourishment! 

Saturday was very productive, fun and loud. But, it was very quiet early Sunday morning before anyone else woke up. I think this could be considered the calm before the storm.

Jerry's low bobbin indicator was not working so he thought he might investigate. It was quickly decided that cleaning one's machine is very important! From this picture, it looks like a mouse had started making a nest in Jerry's machine. 😜 

And to not be left out of the fun, Kare gave us a good laugh when she looked at her phone and wondered how it could only be charged 19% when she had it plugged in overnight. Fortunately someone had a compatible charger to hers and when Jerry plugged in her phone, he noticed that it was actually charged to 99%. Further investigation showed that Kare was looking at a snapshot that her sister had sent her and the 19% was in the picture, and not Kare's phone. Kare was a bit disgusted with herself, but laughed with us!

Jack returned and entertained us with some light reading. (I guess it helps that he has hearing aids and can remove them when it gets too loud.)

And there was a little mischief too. Jeffry stepped out of the room just long enough for me to take this picture and send to him.

Nothing was moved, but it was fun to pretend! 

It was also fun when the quilts were being put up on the design wall!

The missing section of the quilt is the section that Kare decided to rip apart, trim and re-sew. (I'll be sure to get a picture when the quilt top is complete and before it gets sent to Connie.)

It wasn't long before we started seeing finished quilt tops!

Connie decided to forego the sashing and borders altogether to create a quilt that fit the Edison Chargers School theme Kare was going for. She added an extra section to make it longer. I think it looks awesome and love the lightening bolt look to this. 

Annie finished Jeffry's top and I love how this looks. She purposely arranged the yellow and orange fabrics so they were showcased because they are Jeffry's favorite colors. 

I think Jerry had the biggest challenge because he did not love the fabrics he had to work with. (Ok, secretly I hoped Jerry got my fabrics because I threw in a bunch of strips and fabrics that were left over from another project and I didn't absolutely love them either. I knew that if anyone could make them work together, it would be him.) I love how he reversed the fabrics and put the dark as the background. He opted for the four light horizontal sashings only and no borders. I like how this turned out! 

Jerry's an over-achiever who had extra time and fabric so he made scrappy binding and a strip quilt. I think I may add some borders to this and use it as the backing for the other quilt. 

Jeffry has borders to add to Annie's quilt, but I love how bright and cheery this is! Do you notice how he swapped out the background fabrics in the center section in order to make the strips pop? Awesome! 

Here's what I made with Jerry's fabrics. I placed his black and white batiks in a way to alternate lights and darks both vertically and horizontally. It wasn't always easy because many of these read as mediums. Instead of using the solid black and white fabrics he brought, I use a purple Peppered Cotton from my stash. (I really must love my brother because I love this fabric and am very selective of when I use it.) I love how it works with the batiks.

I then pieced the four horizontal sashings with the Kaffe floral and some orange fabric that I had in my stash. And finally, I asked Jerry what he would like for the outer border or if he even wanted one. I was thrilled that he and I were in agreement that the solid black batik was THE perfect choice. 

Overall, we had a fun and productive weekend and have already started the discussion about another challenge.