Monday, September 19, 2016

Camo Rag Quilt #4 (Military Memory Quilt)

So after my last quilt I wanted to find out exactly how long it takes me to make one of these quilts.
I hunted down some retired service members and asked them to donate a few uniforms to help me with my task and in return they would receive a quilt.

This quilt turned out to be fun as it contained three different uniforms combined into one quilt.

 I experimented with different techniques to make construction more efficient and came up with a few good ideas. #1 Use adhesive spray to attach name, rank and unit badges before stitching them onto the quilt. I got a more precise placement as well as saved a few of my expensive quilting pins from being bend beyond repair.
 #2 Recycle children's chop sticks to hold the badges so your fingers don't wind up sticky!!!
This was great for applying the adhesive as well as applying the badge to the quilt!
 I used all three uniforms and put them in a stair step pattern, using pockets, patches, buttons and seams to add character to the quilt.
 Blizzard fleece was added to the back for warm and batting all in one!!!

 #3 Because I do not have an agitating washer and military uniforms are designed to resists fraying I tried another new technique, a wire brush. I brushed each seam to break it down into a delightful fuzzy softness. Only one problem.... my fingers were not delightful and soft after using the wire brush and needing to remove the fuzz from the brush. So that prompted #4 (not pictured) leather gloves.
(I am not sure every quilter has leather gloves and a wire brush in their quilting supplies but leave it to me to add them.) Also I want you to know I did apologize to the wire brush when I purchased it and explained that I was buying it solely for the purpose of quilting, but that I would not ask for it's man card as there are plenty of male quilters in this world. (Sorry, yes I know I have a weird sense of humor!!!)
So this is the final result.....Both the retired military member and the spouse were very pleased with the quilt. I learned that I put about 30 to 40 hours into the deconstruction, cutting, designing, assembling, brushing and finishing of the quilt. I can't wait to get started on my next one!!!

Monday, September 12, 2016

Camo Rag Quilt #3 (Military Memory Quilt)

Another fun adventure in my new hobby, military memory quilts. This one has a great back story.
So a few years ago one of my neighbors who has been retired from the military for a decade or so decided it was time to clean out all his old military stuff from the shed (with a little prodding from his wife ;) ). It just so happened that all of the kiddos on the street were outside having an airsoft gun war. Like Santa emerging from his workshop he came out of his back yard laden with fun items for all the kiddos to enjoy.

Every kiddo got a lot of fun items and they all ran home and put them on and continued the epic airsoft gun war in style. The following weeks our street looked as though it was participating in tactical exercises with all the kiddos dressed in camo running around with airsoft guns.

 Fast forward a few years. My kiddo has outgrown the uniform he was given and brought it to me to donate. That is when inspiration hit!!! To repay his generosity and kindness toward all the neighborhood kiddos and to say thank you for all his years of service I decided to make him a military memory quilt for Christmas. Only one problem..... I only had one shirt and one pair of pants, I knew that this would not be enough to make a quilt. Luckily (or unluckily) Mr. Crafty Camper had just put a hole in a olive drab pair of dress pants!!!! I upcycled the dress pants and uniforms into a great quilt.
After a quick wash to fluff the seams I wrapped it up in a Christmas bow and delivered it to my unsuspecting neighbor. The look of shock, surprise and gratitude were so overwhelming that there were tears all around. He absolutely loved it as did his wife. He later took the quilt to a family holiday party, it was a huge hit. His father loved it so much he almost did not get it back!
A few days later I received a hand written note from him expressing his gratitude and  how much he loved the quilt. I have cherished that hand written note for many months now and will never forget the joy one simple quilt has brought to all our lives.