Here’s a not-so-good photo of my Home of the Brave donation quilt. The Home of the Brave project has a mission to honor the memories of fallen military heroes of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. The project does this by presenting handmade commemorative quilts to their families. Quilters from every state have joined in to make quilts in this pattern which is based on an historic quilt from the Civil War era. Our local guild members have made many of these quilts which have been presented to families throughout Florida.
This quilt was plagued with problems along the way. If it could go wrong, it did go wrong. First off, I had the blocks all pieced and top assembled so I gave it to quilting friend Debra to quilt on her long-arm machine. However, I failed to reference the pattern and did not realize I had left off the framing strips around the outside of the quilt. Debra did a great job with her quilting, but when trimming it I thought it looked odd somehow. Unable to locate my pattern, I searched online for images and right away discovered where I’d gone wrong. The problem was resolved by adding quilt-as-you-go borders which you can see in the quilt back photo above.
The problem saga was not yet done though. Again while trimming, a glint in the border caught my eye. On closer examination, I found that a flower pin had gotten left inside. So I had to slice the backing open to extract the pin, and then re-sew it closed. That’s enough problems for one project I thought. But no- I’d chosen a backing fabric with a fairly tight weave and crisp finish. I could see right away that hand sewing the binding to the back was going to be way too slow a process. It was like sewing through canvas, so I had to machine sew the binding down. At last it is done, and, as you can see, Lily the cat is drawn to it. Yes, there’s a cat under there, though only her tail is visible. The quilt is washed and ready to go now.
Despite the frustrations encountered in completing this project, I kept remembering its purpose and reminded myself of the ultimate sacrifices made by the military and their families. So with gratitude and mindfulness, I’ll donate this quilt. Would that there would be no need for making any more.