Preface: This is written by Linda K - our Alaska Coordinator. I thought it was such a great idea I asked her to write up what she was doing. Thanks Linda!!!
Earlier this year someone mentioned they'd like to participate in the Quilts of Valor mission, but just didn't have time to do that much sewing. Another mentioned that if a person made only one block a day for the year, they could complete 18 quilts! Wow! So little time; such great rewards. I decided to give it a try. Let's see how much I can accomplish in a small amount of time.
In Mid-January I began making just one block a day. First I clicked through 12" block patterns on Marcia Hohn's website, Quilter's Cache, www.quilterscache.com by going to her Quilt Blocks Galore link. I printed out a few patterns and began making just one block per day using "leftovers" that were taking up space on my cutting table. I decided to pull out two pieces from my stash to be "constants" in all the blocks; a white TOT would make a good background, I thought, and a large piece of a red TOT would tie the blocks together. Then I began making blocks.
The Dandy Quilt
A Dandy (which I did with two variations)
Morning Star 2
A few days later I had a number of blocks made so I began playing with layouts. I decided that I wanted to try one that formed a secondary design when put together with sashing, so then went in search of other blocks that would help make that happen. All blocks need to be 9-patches and have the red TOT in the corner triangles. I looked through a couple of books that have been sitting on my shelf collecting dust. What inspiration I found there and added a few blocks from the books to my other daily blocks.
After I had about 18 blocks completed, I chose 12 blocks and began arranging them, then rearranged them until I was satisfied. I found a piece of navy marble fabric in my stash that worked for the sashing. Soon a quilt top was completed. In just two weeks one quilt top was completed, taking only a few minutes a day away from other daily tasks.
Try this for yourself. Allow yourself 15 or 20 minutes a day to enjoy your "textile addiction". I think I'll do this again, but next time will decide on one or two blocks and choose a set of fabrics for a more planned quilt. This time I will cut all the pieces before starting to sew, then will be able to drop into my sewing chair for a quick few minutes of sewing at a time each day. Twelve to twenty blocks are all it takes to make a fine Quilt of Valor. That means in less than a month a quilt for one more of our warriors can be finished.