Quilt of Valor: Pre-planning phase

Published Categorized as Quilting
Boho Vintage Star Quilt
Beautiful Boho Vintage Star Quilt MBS

I’ll start out by saying that I’m a sucker for all things Moda Bake Shop. But something struck me when I came across the pattern for the Boho Vintage Star Quilt when browsing through the archives a few months ago; I thought that compared to many other patterns I’d seen it looked pretty quick and achievable with such large blocks. I’ve already got two “in progress” quilts, one off at the longarmer’s and fabric for at least 2 more piling up so I didn’t need a new project so I tucked it away.

Then while laying in bed a while back feeling sorry for myself for one reason or another I snapped myself out of it and remembered I’m truly blessed with all the privileges, people and gifts in my life and feeling sorry doesn’t change anything. So I started browsing online for something I could do to give back, a charity or volunteer work.  I don’t have a lot of free time so volunteer work is tricky to fit in.  I don’t mind donating money but I prefer when there’s some sense of accomplishment, I was happy to donate $100 when my friends walked for the Jimmy Fund this September and $250 to the Boston Marathon Bombing match donations at the bar where I line dance. Then I thought about sewing for charity and one Google search away was Quilts of Valor

In order to make the quilt at a reasonable cost I wasn’t gonna be able to use Moda pre-cuts I knew this was a fat quarter or a stash buster type quilt. I spent time manipulating the pattern and measurements and sketching and mathing (yes, mathing) all over some scrap paper (see photo above).  I can’t be the only one who ends up with papers that look like this on their desks, in the handbag and god knows where else!


You know your have papers like this strewn about your desk, handbag and pinboard too!
You know your have papers like this strewn about your desk, handbag and pinboard too!

I put out some feelers with friends to see who would want to help out and drink wine while making this quilt and was pleased with the responses. It’s my usual wine drinkers and crafty wine drinking friends. Since it’s for a charity I decided not to push it off till next year and an hosting the get together with the girls the Saturday after Thanksgiving. I figure that’s the perfect time to express our thankfulness.

I’ve taken to sketching blocks and quilts more on graph paper more frequently and I have to say it really helps to visualize the end results and make better decisions ahead of time!

Color Sketch of the Quilt of Valor
Color Sketch of the Quilt of Valor

Fabric math spelled out:

To achieve the scrappy look without charm packs I’ll need 14 1/4 yards of fabric to yield 8 charms each (112 total.) Since I want to use red, white and blue for the star I’ll up that to 15 so there’s 5 different fabrics per color set. After cutting the 5″ charms from the 1/4 yd I’ll have 4″ strips of all 15 fabrics to use as an additional border or binding.

  • Focus fabrics: 15 – 1/4″ yds (5 red, 5 white, 5 blue)
  • Background: 3.5 yards (Essex Linen to make the colors & white pop)
  • Backing: 4.5 yards
  • Binding: 5/8th (or use scraps from focus fabric for scrappy look)

I’ll also have to make a presentation case but I think that’ll be an easy think to do while the quilt is at the longarm, maybe a linen reusable shopping bag using the leftover charms to applique?  I’m also planning on writing a letter to the recipient. One after I buy the fabric, one from each of us at the sewing party, requesting one from the longarm quilter and a final one after the binding is stitched on. I’m getting the warm fuzzy feeling just thinking about it!

Note: After sketching it out I now know that instead of putting the 3 3/4″ inner border I’ll want to do a 5″ strip for the inner border. It should even out to allow the outside border to be a continuous red, white, blue pattern. I’ll have to do a bit of measurement before cutting those strips (eg. construct the star, the outer border then measure 4x cut once)