Valor Quilt Bee is an online, ongoing, EASY-GOING quilting bee to coordinate far-flung individual contributions of blocks for Quilts of Valor tops. These quilts are presented to U.S. servicemembers who have been injured/afflicted on deployment. It is open to everyone who wants to participate. Join the FUN! (To be added to the group, just leave a comment on any posting if your email is turned on in blog land, otherwise send email to: )

November 6, 2011

A November addition

I've been wanting to try this block out for a while now, so while I was making one for a swap, I ran an extra through for the Valor collection. Loved it!

October 20, 2011

More Blocks :D

Guess what? I won the BOM drawing at our guild meeting, so now we have 9 more blocks to add to our growing collection!

This adds several blocks each for both a white-base selection and repro-base selection.

October 16, 2011

My October block

I made an extra BOM for our guild's monthly drawing. The block is "Burgoyne Surrounded"

October 9, 2011

Gorgeous Block from BamaBee

BamaBee sent THE MOST gorgeous block this week. I'm going to make sure it gets partnered with things that really showcase it.  :D

June 12, 2011

Late May Fourth Week

In May I was overwhelmed with graduation events for daughter #2, moving daughter #1 back home for the summer, and finishing my own semester's crazy writing work. My service sewing was all taken up with sewing quilts and totes for Bama Bound Quilts. (Please check them out - this is an incredible grassroots organization that is helping some of the children who lost EVERYTHING in the terrible tornadoes that they had a few weeks ago.

I did finally make this block to add to our collection in the name of May's Fourth Week. It should make a happy friend for another block in similar fabrics.

April 29, 2011

April Fourth Week

Hope y'all don't mind, but this month's "Fourth Week" got hi-jacked.

It's my finals week, and I only have so much sewing time available. In response to a call for relief to tornado-torn Alabama, I dedicated sewing time to this other charity project. (Sure would be great if you could pass the word along on your own blog for the Bama Bound project.)

~*~*~ Straight from my personal blog ~*~*~

Bama Bound Quilts has asked for baby/children's quilts for tornado relief in Alabama. (Can you pass the link along on your blog?)

My brain was on overload, anyway, so I put my books down and went to my long-term UFO pile, where I saw a promising cheerful piece peeking out. . .

Pulled it out and found that it's almost queen-sized, but just a boring 12" checkerboard (albeit with a really cute purple floral fabric). 

Hmm, but these scraps of brights coordinate well (although the colors are all off thru the camara's eye). . . 

Frogged it and rearranged a couple pieces to yield two baby quilts and a cuddle blankie size.

Got my daughter to trace out flowers on fusible web, while I cut and fused. . . And now she's very sweetly pin-basting all three for me:

I'm going to do the quilting simultaneously with stitching the flowers down. Due to time, I'm just going to do a simple straight stitching about a 1/8th inch in since the edges are fused on. Think I'll use white shiny thread and do spirals in the big centers. Will do a meander on the rest of the quilt. 

Not sure if I'll have issues at the machine. I didn't have backing fabrics to go with this, no time to go to JoAnn's (an hour away), but I did have pretty purple fleece (which I think kids would find comforting, anyway) and a piece of pre-quilted pink flannel. I've never worked with these with quilting before, so I'm hoping the machine doesn't care.  :D   Wish me luck!

P.S. This camera really has issues these days  :/     It just can't read colors properly anymore.

April 23, 2011

Just Made It!

Whew! ::wiping forehead::

I just put together block 3 and block 4 for my answer to Michelle's Lent challenge to make four different blocks for the Valor Quilt Bee.

I don't do Lent - it's not part of my religion - but I respect what folks around me do for it, and Michelle's challenge was a worthy one. Little did I know how very challenging it would be! I mean, I regularly do quilt work, so how hard could it be to make 4 blocks instead of 1 in 6 weeks' time?

Well, Life exploded for our family, and I do have my master's coursework, so finding the time for even just three extra blocks really has been a bear. I really considered asking to be excused - almost all my other BOMs got shelved for April - but I set the books down this morning and did these two beauties up.  :)  Feels good.

April 14, 2011

4th Week March Makeup, a Lent-challenge block, and donations

I didn't abandon you guys!!  Last month was blasted away for our family between 3 different spring break weeks and a serious medical event. I apologize for not being able to do March's 4th Week on time, but that is fixed today. 

I wanted something simple but cute, and this fun blue with the heart roosters lent itself well to an easy block. 

I got eight 6" blocks from 3 sets of strips. These blocks are PERFECT for beginners or quilters pressed for time. Just cut 1 1/2" strips the width of the fabric, sew three strips together side-to-side, cut them into sections every 3 1/2", and sew those patches together like this:

They can easily be adapted to other sizes, and you can sandwich fabrics like I did or use three different ones altogether.

I also hadn't been able to work on Michelle's 4-block Lent challenge until today, so I'm happy I was able to get another block done, too. This one is a 12-incher. The design would be a lot more apparent if one of my fabrics had been less busy, but we'll find a place for it in a grouping that has more subtle, water-colory, gardenish blocks.

The other fun thing to share is that we got some donations today from my local quilt guild!  Betty brought me a sack filled with what we're now calling Scraps of Valor:

And Ginger brought me odd-ball blocks from the guild's Quilts of Valor program to use at 
Valor Quilt Bee. The guild's program is set up to use only 12" blocks or a full-top pattern, so these would be more difficult for her to incorporate. They're perfect for us, though! 
Check them out:

March 24, 2011

Stars and Stripes Sampler Book

I just got my Stars and Stripes Sampler Book in the mail this week. I am always looking for patriotic quilt blocks for the valor bee. I was not disappointed! It is full of different blocks and techniques perfect for QOV.
The only thing about these blocks is that they will have to be manipulated to meet the size requirements for the bee.
But for a wealth of ideas, patterns and on sale to boot... I think it was a great investment. Check it out at

March 17, 2011

BOM: March 2011

March 2011 Block of the Month:
Origami Bow Tie Block

Click on the post title or on the link for a tutorial.

Sneak peek of April 2011 Block of the Month: Star of Valor

March 16, 2011

Quilting with a Purpose: QOV BOM

The online quilting bee is buzzing right along. For those quilters looking for a service project, why not try making QOV a block of the month project. A block and tutorial will be posted each month for those interested.

BOM not your thing? If you are making your own QOVF top, make an extra square for the online bee. If you only have a little time, take an hour here and there to make a simple block and send it in. Any and all submissions are greatly appreciated.

March 11, 2011

Making a Button for our Bee Blog :)

You know, people are so sharing on the Web! Found a nice blog tutorial on making buttons, so I've fixed one up for this Bee. Won't you be kind enough to post it on your own blog?

You'll find the HTML right over there on the side bar. ~~~>
Just go into your blog's designer, choose to add a gadget (aka "widget"), select HTML/Javascript, and paste that HTML code into that gadget. Save, and - Voila! Your blog sucks our button image onto your page and links to the Valor Quilt Bee!  Pretty darn cool. Always wondered how people got those nifty buttons on their blogs. . .

March 9, 2011

4 in 40 Challenge

Today is the first day of Lent. Lent is a time for fasting, prayer, contemplation and service. I have a challenge for you in the service area. I challenge the readers and followers of this blog to complete 4 different blocks for the online valor bee during the 40 days of Lent. For more information, check out my blog at

March 5, 2011

URL updated

This blog bee's URL was changed to coordinate with the name, which has undoubtedly created a few glitches. I'll be working on those ASAP when they show up.

Do apologize for the inconvenience, but decided after some comments that the inconvenience of the change would be worth the removal of some confusion. It is certainly easier to take care of it now than it would be later with many more followers. 

Hope you're enjoying your weekend!

March 3, 2011

Star of Valor Block

Hey, y'all. BamaBee here.

Check out this block. I call it a "Star of Valor." I designed this 12 inch block using a pattern I modified from one that I saw on Fons and Porter's Love of Quilting. The star is a 12 inch lone star. The star is surrounded by squares and quarter-square triangles to finish the block. If you would like to know how to piece a block like this, check out the 1400 series of LOQ.

I chose red, white and blue fabric. The white fabric appears solid, but it actually has a tiny triangle pattern.

I hope to make this block this weekend. I will take photos and write down the directions as I go. I will post them along with a photo of the finished block.

Happy Quilting!

February 27, 2011

Utoh!! Vital Contact Info

I've just discovered that I can't respond to folks who post comments anonymously. (Connie, I'd love to add you, but I can't contact you - hopefully you'll see this and we'll get the block resolved.)

So. . . I just made a coordinator's email addy to post publicly here on the blog page. That'll keep my own email from getting slammed with spam and viciousness, but provide you guys with an easy communication point!

To contact the Valor Quilt Bee coordinator, send email to this addy:

February 24, 2011

Fourth Week, February 2011

So, here it is, the first "Fourth Week" of this Valor Quilt Bee's existence. Hasn't been organized long enough to get a lot of word out, let alone gather in any blocks, so there's nothing for Devon and I to coordinate yet.

So, I whipped up eight 6" red-and-white bow-tie blocks, just waiting for some friends to sidle up with and form a cool quilt top!

(The blue and white rectangles are actually for our local guild's project, but they looked so cute with these, I let them hang out.)

February 23, 2011

Origami BowTie Blocks Tutorial

I want to share a short-cut technique that was demonstrated at the last meeting of my local quilt guild. I'm giving you dimensions to make a 9" finished-size block since that works wonderfully for our Valor quilts. And, of course, you can use any color combination, but I'm writing for the block pictured.

Rating: Moderately experienced quilters will find this easy and fast when you learn the trick. It makes a fun challenge for beginners who are adventurous.

How do you get this without having to sew ANY biases, and with EASY PEASY SUPERFAST cutting?

Step 1: Cut several blocks out Speed Racer style

Stack your print red in double layers, then add your solid red in double layers, then add one layer of the white.

(I staggered them so you could see what's going on, then put them back in line with each other after the pic was snapped.)

Square up your end and cut however many 5" rows you want.  If you're working with 42" fabric, you'll get about 4 blocks out of each row.

Now take one row, square up the selvage end, and cut every 5 inches. Each resulting stack of squares makes 1 block.

(Yes - mine are cut at 3 1/2" to make a 6" block, but for your first time through, it will probably be easier to handle a larger size.)

That's it! You're finished with all the cutting for this project.

Step 2: Sew the Funky Unit

Take the white square and fold it in half WRONG SIDES TOGETHER.

Lay one PRINT RED face up.

Layer the folded white piece with the raw edges lined up at the top of the print square.

Lay one SOLID RED square on top, face down.

Pin the LEFT SIDE.
This is where you will stitch, NOT THE TOP.


Sew the line and open the unit out.

Now lay the remaining SOLID RED square face up.

Layer the folded white piece on it much like the first time, with the sewn-on pieces hanging off on the left.

Lay the remainig PRINT RED square on top, face down.


Sew that seam so that you will have this unit when you open the right side out as well:

(Notice that each side has opposite red types.) 

Step 3: Sew the cross seam to form the finished block

This is where you get to be all manipulative. There's a trick, though, to avoiding unwanted pleats in the corners of your centerpiece: Go With the F.   :)

Pick up the unit so all the raw edges are at the top. Open each red end out so you get an I shape.  Now you can match opposite partners to each other. Pin one top red corner together as shown below.

Open out the white edges:

Then match and pin the center seams. (I make the seams lay down in opposite directions so they'll lock with each other, while making sure the bottom seam will point away from the feed dogs while sewing.)

Make a good pocket in the white portion, at least 1/3" deep:

Then pinch the folded edge. (Watch that the diagonal pull below doesn't ride into the 1/4" seam allowance area.)   Carefully line up the raw edges of the red with the white edges, and pin so that the 1/4" seam allowance is protected.
Now you get to flip it around and repeat this process for the other side. And here's where the key comes in: GO WITH THE FLOW - LET IT BEND!  :D

Because the white is straining against the diagonal, you cannot get the red cross seam to line up straight across while it's all folded right sides together. Don't sweat it: go with the flow and it'll work out just fine. I promise!

After you get a good pinch pocket established and ready to pin, BRING THE RED RAW EDGES DOWN AROUND THE BEND TO THE WHITE EDGES. Don't try bringing the white up to the red. (It really helps to have the end pinned first.) Now pin that point so that its 1/4" seam allowance is protected also.

This is how pronounced that bend wants to be:

But it's no prob for us quilters!  We're quite good at pivoting, you know! Simply sew to the midpoint, make sure your needle is down, lift the foot. . .  

. . . spin the unit straight for the second half, put the foot back down,
 and finish the seam.  

You'll end up with this funny-looking thing, which will make you think,
"Oh man, how could this possibly come out right?"

But it does!  That funny-looking unit opens up to this pretty origami bowtie block and presses up very nicely so that it looks just like it does at the top of this tutorial! 

Voila! You just made a Bowtie block in only 3 stitched seams instead of 7. And I love the pockets around the center diamond. Think of the possibilities - you could tuck the funnest little things in there, peeping out so cute. . . Or you could just leave them. . . Or if you're particular about such things, you could stitch them down before or during quilting.

Cutting for different sizes  What is your desired finished block size?

Take that number and divide it in half. Add 1/2 inch to this number. That's the size to cut out the 5 squares!

February 14, 2011

Let's Get Online for Valor!

It occurred to me that there may be many quilters out there who would like to be a part of the Quilts for Valor program in a social way, but don't have a local guild that participates in the program. And so, I thought I'd organize an online bee that is focused on making Quilts of Valor tops.

Thus: We have the Online for Valor group!So. . . If you would like to contribute to one of these wonderful quilts that bring great comfort and emotional support to U.S. servicememers who have been injured or afflicted in the line of duty, we can make that happen in a fun and easy way.

Simply make a 6", 9", or 12" block and send it by mail to the central location. (That's the "finished" size, so you'd send blocks that are 6 1/2", 9 1/2", or 12 1/2".) Make as many blocks as you want and send them as often as you feel like doing them! May we suggest you give yourself time-frame goals, such as at least one block sent by the end of each month? Or every other month? Or even just once?

These can be any block design you like - modern or traditional, beginner or advanced, hand or machine stitched. Just stick to the ol' Red, Whitish, and Blue color theme, and it'll work. (Gold looks nice in the mix as well) :D

During the fourth week of each month, I and anyone in the local area will coordinate and assemble these blocks - if enough have accumulated - or work on more blocks.

We'll post pictures of blocks as they come in, tops as they emerge, and anything related that tickles our fancy, such as pics of people receiving a Quilt of Valor, pattern ideas, and techniques we may have tried out while making a block. And please, please post pics of your block(s) when you make them and let the group know what's going in the mail!

This will be fun!Whenever a top is completed, it will be turned in to the Quilt of Valor Foundation to be quilted by one of their longarm contacts, and we will keep track of where our quilts go!!

So. . .

How 'bout it, Kitty Cat?

Are you online for valor?

Are you ready to do something easy and fun for your fellow Planet Earth riders?

If so, post a comment saying you'd like to join the group and we'll get you set up as a member so you can post pics of your blocks and add to the storyline as life rolls along.

P.S. Here is a link so you can see what all this hooplah is about! ;D