new project – memorial quilt


I’ve agreed to make a quilt for a seven month old baby boy, whose daddy was killed in the line of duty at Andrews Air Force Base, Maryland in February. An industrial accident that the rest of the world will never hear about, the details will be forgotten.  His daddy was an “Air Cargo Specialist” commonly refered to by his military job skills code of “2T2”.
I spent 37 years working with “2T2’s”; many of those years (26) at Dover Air Force Base in Delaware.  At Dover, we loaded airplanes full of cargo headed to Iraq & Afghanistan for the support of the US Military engaged in combat operations.  Loading and unloading cargo was a dirty, thankless job.  It was dangerous, and had to be done at all hours of the day and night, in all kinds of weather conditions.  My biggest fear while I was a Duty Officer was someone would be seriously injured during my shift.  The folks I used to work with will always remember me telling them to be “careful” and to “watch out”; and other such nagging words.  I would often tell them I “don’t want to call your mamma and tell her you are stupid and dead”.  That was such an effective way to get their attention.  Made them more aware that there was more at stake then just getting things done “on time”.

When one of my former co-workers contacted me last week, asking what I would charge to make this memorial quilt, I said “no charge”.  She is paying for materials, and I get to create.   What an honor to make something for this little boy who has lost his daddy.  What a tragedy to lose a young military man in an industrial accident.  When I was told his family was a PROUD Air Force family; I decided that I would use AIR FORCE fabric.  I found lots of choices (love EBAY).   My former co-worker and I selected all the fabric together, sharing links back and forth over facebook messages.

So, in the next few days, I will start cutting and building blocks.  I’ve decided on my pattern, limited only by the fleece (in the photo on the right) for size, as it will be the back of the quilt.

But, before I can do this, I must finish the quilt repair I am working on….

This is a vintage quilt that had borders damaged.wpid-2013-03-25_17-19-41_441.jpg

I have taken it apart (it was tied with yarn), cut off the bad border and added the new blue border around the 4 sides.   I prewashed the backing, batting, borders/binding fabric to eliminate any shrinkage, after completion. I have to say I am not a fan of that process, because the fabric all had to be starched and ironed before cutting. The cotton batting did not shrink like I expected and left me disappointed with the quality.

My big problem is the old squares are “stretched”.  I think maybe the thread has shrunken over the years, but not the fabric. The quilt has been well used and washed a lot.  I had a couple of repairs to damaged (worn) areas, that I fixed by putting fusibile interfacing underneath.   You can see some “bubbles” from the center /middle to the outer squares.  I tried starching it, but it was hopeless.  I honestly think all the white squares were bigger than the rest!  So; I am going to gently work with it.

I spray basted  & layered it last night, and am heading up to the sewing room now to see what trouble I can get into with it.  Hoping it will settle down a little for me and let me smooth it out as best as I can.

I had planned to do a diagonal quilting across each block….but not sure if that won’t emphasize the poofy squares.  I don’t want to rush it, but that Air Force Fabric is calling me!


2 thoughts on “new project – memorial quilt

  1. As I am working on the quilt tops for my grandkids, I can only imagine how this new project is calling to you. I wish I was close enough where I could even stitch one seam. What an honor to do something that will be treasured for a life time.


    • Thanks Judy ! It really is a heart tugging quilt top to make. I plan to do a square for the back with the little boys initials (JJ III) and something about his dad. I got all my pieces cut this afternoon! Want to sew right now, get the 1/2 square triangles started or some of the strip piecing, but have obligations for the evening and most of the weekend! I’m going to get at least one block “mocked up” on the wall soon.
      How are your quilt tops going??


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