There are specific guidelines for construction of your Quilt of Valor that are specified by the Quilts of Valor Foundation (www.qovf.org). Remember, we want to honor our service members with quality work. Here is a summary of them:
Finished size: no smaller than 55x65 and no larger than 72x90
Fabric and Batting
1. Use good quality 100% cotton fabric with a high thread count (quilt shop fabric). It should be new and not previously used.
2. Backing fabric also 100% cotton and at least 3 inches larger than the top on all sides. Check with the longarmer for their preference.
3. Use good quality cotton batting.
Use good quality 100% soft cotton thread. Use machine quilting thread rather than the stiffer hand quilting variety. The weight of the thread should be 50. Please, do not use machine embroidery thread (40 weight rayon or polyester) to piece the top.
Pattern / Motif
Your pattern choice should be attractive and suitable for an adult. It can be simple or more intricate. It may be a patriotic theme and patriotic colors or not. Whatever suits you is fine. And, don't forget the women - they may prefer more girly styles. The group avatar quilt, Quilts of Valor Split Star, is available on www.thangles.com.
The QOV MUST have a label with QOVF-specified information. It may be hand-written, embroidered, printed, or purchased (the QOVF website has pre-printed labels for sale).
Include the following:
1. The words "Quilt of Valor". This is required. Without "Quilt of Valor", it is not a quilt of valor.
2. Place(s) where the quilt was made. If the top-maker and longarmer live in different locations, put both.
3. Name of the quilt. Include the name of the designer if known.
4. Name, age, city/state of the top-maker and longarmer
5. The words "Presented To:" followed by a blank space. The name of the recipient can then be inserted later.
6. Dedication. This can be just one dedication, or one from each of the QOV makers.
7. I also suggest including fiber content and washing instructions.
Your quilt will be very special to the recipient. He/she will want to know something about the real people who poured their love into the quilt. So, think about what you would like to include in a journal that will accompany the quilt. Keep notes, take pictures, write a letter or a poem, share your heart, talk about your family, review the quilting process - whatever you want to share. The journal can be a single sheet of paper or several. You could use a pocket folder, small binder, scrap book, or whatever suits you. Make this a super-special part of your donation.
Each QOV and the journal are presented to the recipient at a ceremony. Make a fabric presentation case that will hold the quilt and the journal. Most of the presentation cases are simple pillow cases. If you choose to make a tote or something else, that's okay but not required at all. There is a video demonstration on the QOVF website that shows how to make quick work of the pillow case.
The top will take as long as the top will take, but please try to complete it in a timely fashion. Once the long arm quilter has the top and backing, every effort should be made to comple the quilting within 30 days.
QOVF has resources and coordinators who can help with issues or concerns about the QOVF guidelines. They are wonderful folks and are willing to help. Of course, you can always count on your fellow group members for information and support.
Jul 02 2010, 11:53 AM