QOV #2 for 2015 – Letters Home

I love this QOV quilt. Normally the QOV tops are sent to me by our awesome coordinator, but this time I was able to pick them out and take them home during our long arm guild meeting. They were all ready to take home in large zip top bags, so I couldn’t really see the pattern. But I did try to pick out ones that looked like they had lots of negative space so I could play.

This one was quite a surprise when I got it home and opened up the bag. Each block was designed to look like an open envelope with a letter home in it. How AWESOME is that?!

Letters home

The only problem was I was STUMPED as to how I should quilt it. I really wanted to show off the envelopes. So I didn’t want to create a secondary pattern. Which meant thinking INSIDE the box block.

For the sashing I considered writing different words. But not having been in the military myself, I was worried that I might pick words that either weren’t meaningful, or worse actually caused offense. So I put that idea aside.

But these are letters right? And letters have to go thru the post right? So they get post marked! I could make a post mark shape in the sashing! That would keep with the spirit of the quilt! Awesome!


Now, what to do in those darn blocks. I really didn’t want to do anything elaborate in the envelopes. 1) I didn’t want to do a bunch of color changes and 2) I really wanted them to stand out as envelopes.

I could just do a fill in the white space. But that would be sooooo plain.


I could do different fills. But there were 63 blocks on the quilt. No way I wanted to come up with 63 different fills.

Now what?! Dang it.

Well, there were nine blocks per row. 9 different fills are totally doable. Then I could just do those fills randomly on each row. I liked that idea. It would give me good pratice on different fills. I wouldn’t get bored. AND it would give good variation to the quilt. Yea, that’s the ticket!

1. Radiating linesradiating lines

2. McTavishingMcTavish

3. Pebblespebbles

4. Clam shellclamshell

5. Paisleypaisley

6. Swirlsswirls

7. Diagonal linesdiagonal lines

8. Stipplestipple

9. Lineslines

only one problem. I have issues with random. Um, well, you see, I am an engineer by training. Mechanical Engineer specifically. We like things in order, very precise order. Random? Ug, gives me the shudders!

Why? Well what happens if I am randomly picking my designs and two adjacent blocks end up with the same pattern?! ARGGGGGGG! The horror! Disaster! (Well at least in my head).

So what did I do, the same thing I always do when I am working on a “random” quilt. I plan the randomness! That’s right. Hey, I have to cope with my issues somehow!

So I made a mini layout. And planned out what fill would go in each block. I put this on the top of the quilt as I was quilting and used it as my guide. As I finished each row I would cross it out so I wouldn’t forget which row I was on. It worked like a dream! And kept my  in check. Yea, yea I know I don’t have to do this. But really it keeps me from being all wierded out, and the 5 minutes it took to do this was worth not fighting in my head the whole time.

layout sheet

I am pretty happy with how it turned out. Its rained for the last 3 days, so I couldn’t lay the quilt out on the grass, or anywhere in the yard for that matter. But, hey, what about on Hubs military jeep? HA! Sure.

Letters home


About NotYourNormalSteam

I love to make things, food, paper, fabric, the medium doesn’t really matter. I am also an obsessive planner. The day after Christmas I am already working out plans for the next year.
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5 Responses to QOV #2 for 2015 – Letters Home

  1. treadlemusic says:

    “Random” is my worst(almost) nightmare!!!!! I won’t/don’t/can’t do random and I’m not an engineer of any sort (well, maybe a “domestic engineer”!!!!) but I AM enough left brained to flip out when faced with that term. Your solution would have been mine…..I totally get it!!!!! Love what you did–especially the sashings!!!!!!

    • Oh I am so glad you like the sashings. Would you have “gotten it” if I hadn’t explained? I hope the recipient “gets it.” And I am glad I am not the only one with random phobia!

      • treadlemusic says:

        LOL! I believe I would have gotten it!!!! The circle w/ wavy lines really “nailed” it!!!!!!! Funny(?) how that ‘r’ word came up cuz I was just thinking about it when a jelly-roll came that I had ordered (to make a simple strip quilt) and there are many who simply throw all the strips in a grocery bag and grab them out and stitch them together for their “random” placement…………that canNOT happen in my (our) world!!!! hmmmmm????

  2. Joy says:

    What a great pattern for a Quilt of Valour. I’m planning a memory quilt made from blocks that have special meaning for our family and a “letter home” is already on my list. To see a whole quilt of letters home is so sentimental. My mum left me Dad’s airmail letters he wrote to her while he was serving overseas. There must be over one hundred, and to see this quilt, with all these letters hits a soft spot for me. You have done this quilt well.

    • Wow! What a treasure those letters must be for you. Thank you for the kind words. I put so much of myself into these quilts as I feel its small thanks for the sacrafice out service members have made.

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