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CraftHer
March 10th, 2015, 06:13 PM
A friend of mine was asked to be part of a presentation of 4 Quilts of Valor (QOV). He was so impressed with the organization and the quality of the quilts. This sounded fabulous to me, so I looked them up. I am a little intimidated by the requirements and don't think I'm good enough to make a quilt to donate to this organization, but it's something to work towards.

I have 2 questions to throw out to you all. In the QOV requirements, it said Don't stitch in the ditch on a domestic machine. Why? I think sometimes SITD really makes the pattern pop and I was wondering why this was "bad".

Secondly, it said Don't fold over backing to use as a binding. I've done this on several of my first quilts. Why is this "bad"? Is it just a sign of a novice? Or is there a quilting reason?

Another thing it said is to write a letter or keep a journal about the quilt. I really like the journal idea for a quilt that you're making for someone. Perhaps write a few lines after each time you're working on the quilt to give it a history or story. Does anyone do this?

K. McEuen
March 10th, 2015, 06:30 PM
SITD is often very minimal in terms of the amount of quilting. It is also "basic" which doesn't seem to fall into the guidelines that QOV require.

Folding the backing over to bind is/was often used on household quilts, but it does not wear as well as a double fold binding. Again, I think it falls into the "basic" category and QOV doesn't seem to want basic.

I have made a few blocks toward a QOV as a group effort but won't make an entire quilt as I feel there are too many rules involved.

ldnanny3
March 10th, 2015, 06:37 PM
I have made some QOV and have 5 now that are going to the longarm quilter this week-end, I enjoy is tremendously and strive to do my best with each one, I do abide by all guidelines and do present them each in a pillow case to match also label each one. I am also currently working on a mystery QOV. I don't have any idea as to why you cannot STID and why the binding has to be done a certain way other than maybe to steer away from issues, you know how we are if we aren't given some good guidelines, this keeps them all on a more uniform level. You should give it a try, it very rewarding to see the individuals when they are presented most are very touched by the act. I am presenting on to a WWII veteran who was also a POW so that one is going to be very rewarding to present. The quilt group I am in also participates each year with Fons and Porter QOV sew day which was in February. Linda

KathyCrofoot
March 10th, 2015, 07:54 PM
I'm very active with the local Quilts of Valor chapter, having made many quilts and recently had the honor of Awarding 3 Quilts of Valor, one of which I made. If you are interested in making Quilts of Valor, contact your state coordinator. You can find him/her on the list here:
Regional Coordinator Overall View (http://www.qovf.org/content/regional-coordinator-overall-view.html). Ask if there's a group local to you, find out if they hold regular sewing days. Join the FaceBook page, if you're on FaceBook. (Search Quilts of Valor) - they are so active and there are so many beautiful quilts.

Wherever you are in your quilting journey - you ARE good enough to make a Quilt of Valor!!!! It's not about perfection, it's about the love and care that goes into making one.

To answer your questions from my personal perspective:
Stitch in the Ditch is not bad or wrong. It's more like what Karen said, it's seen as plain, utilitarian, basic. Yes it can make the design pop, but have you ever seen what a professional long-arm quilter can do to a quilt? When you request a longarmer, you are paired up with a professional who volunteers their time as their contribution to the Mission. They can make these quilts sing! You only pay for the postage for it to get to the longarmer.

Folding over the backing to make the binding is not as crisp, and not as sturdy as the double fold kind of binding that is suggested.

The journal is not mandatory. I usually write a letter to the recipient, if I know their name I will use it. Often times, I have to leave that part blank. I tell them about the quilt, the name of the pattern that was used and the name I gave the quilt, how it was constructed. I also tell the story of the others who may have contributed to the quilt, the quilter who did the top-stitching, the person who bound it, if the details are known. Finally, I talk about why I make Quilts of Valor, my families' military history, and my wish that they find comfort in its folds. Finally I talk about how I make quilts with many different fabrics, and in each quilt is a piece of fabric from another Quilt of Valor that connects this quilt to all the other quilts I've made, showing the strength and unity among all the armed forces across all generations.

I've made Quilts of Valor for WWII Veterans, Vietnam Veterans and Iraq/Afghanistan Veterans. Many of whom are not known to me, but I feel very strongly about the Mission, and the contribution they have made to my life.

I, too, used to be intimidated about all the requirements. I started out making blocks for block drives. I made and dropped off so many blocks the local coordinator, Karen, said I should be making my own quilts, that I had dropped off at least enough for 3 or 4 quilts, and I haven't looked back since. We meet once a month or so at the local quilt shop to work on projects. Last month I cut kits for a retreat this weekend for a workshop and group quilt project. If everyone makes 2, we'll have 2 completed quilt tops. If they take the patterns and make their own later, that's at least 19 or 20 more quilts.

Quilts of Valor Foundation has covered over 114,000 veterans and service members with quilts the last time I looked. The waiting list in some states is in the hundreds. In South Carolina, the waiting list was over 400 a year ago when my friend told me her 93 year old father had been on the waiting list for more than 2 years. He was awarded his quilt last August because I made one for him.

Sorry to take up so much space. As you can tell, I'm very passionate about this cause. If you want to hear more about it, please PM me.

Sonic
March 10th, 2015, 08:45 PM
Thank You Kathy for writing all that up.
I have plans to make a QOV after I get a little better as I just started quilting late last fall.
The requirements were initially imtimidating when I first read them, but I understood why they were in place. So I'm hoping to continue to hone my skills and perhaps tackle it later this year by doing a patriotic Hunter's Sar.
And I really like the fact that we can send them to a LA'er since my machine is tiny and hard to quilt on.

CraftHer
March 11th, 2015, 12:21 AM
Thanks so much for your replies. I keep reading the requirements and they seem less intimidating. I like the idea of participating in a block drive. That would be a good place to start.

Doreen of Iowa
March 11th, 2015, 01:24 AM
Dear Crafther,
I too am a volunteer quilter for QOV. I have only been quilting for two years and once I found out about QOV I started making quilts to award to our Veterans. Last year I made 8 quilts that were awarded during QOV ceremonies. I can't tell you how much they were appreciated by the Veterans. Some of the Veterans cried when they received the quilt, some gave hugs to the person giving them the quilt, and some could not stop saying thank you. All were so proud to be given one, no matter what pattern was used each Veteran thought their quilt was the best one. So far all of my quilts were awarded to WWII and Korean Veterans. All said they had never been thanked for serving. Many were still haunted by PTSD due to the horrors of war. I cannot tell you how emotional a QOV ceremony can be. I personally felt such pride and honor to thank them for their service to our country.
So far this year, I am on my third quilt to be presented to some Viet Nam Veterans this May. Too bad you do not live closer to Iowa so you could see a ceremony in person. Perhaps you can go to one in your area. Please try. You will not regret your time spent

Leah53
March 11th, 2015, 12:26 PM
In South Carolina, the waiting list was over 400 a year ago when my friend told me her 93 year old father had been on the waiting list for more than 2 years.

I'm glad I didn't go thru them for a quilt for my brother, I made it myself and presented it myself.