Quilt ADD in therapy

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Colorado, United States
Other than my family, the passion of my life is quilting. An eclectic, I love a wide variety of styles and techniques encompassing both machine and hand work. Instagram: lyncc_quilts

Sunday, April 30, 2017

BOMs Away - Fall All Around & A Mournful Blizzard

Welcome to the link-up for BOMs Away Mondays!
Do you ever start Block-of-the-Months and then not finish them? 
Or maybe you just like doing a lot of them?
This is where you can share what you're doing on a BOM or anything you work on at given intervals. 
Show us what you accomplished in the past week or so!
(Linky at the bottom.)

Navarre cracks me up. He came and made me follow him so I could see that the doe herd of 7 was back at the house again - settled himself comfortably draped over the chair arm and burst out purring while watching them eat.

Heather and Pat's cat, Lupin, who lives with them on the walk-out basement level, didn't share the enthusiasm. An up-close encounter with Bambi, even with the glass between them, was too much for him. He hissed well and long.  hehe!

Meanwhile, I got four blocks sewn up for Fall All Around. I do enjoy some more complex piecing every now and then, particularly when the pieces are already cut out. :) So glad I did all that up front so now it's just fun to pull some baggies out of the box and sew away.

I think Astoria is my favorite. It's the top-left block. The others (moving clockwise) are Dogwood Crossing, Circle of Friends, and Knight & Day.

That makes me think of watching that movie with Cameron Diaz and Tom Cruz. . .  

It's hard to register that tomorrow is May, with a foot-deep blanket of snow everywhere. This was a perfect blizzard to get right now, though. Friday started sunny with clouds, which made a pretty backdrop for a particularly heart-wrenching funeral in our community that morning. The skies stayed that way for the family's burial time afterward, but then quickly thickened afterward. By 5:30, a white-out blizzard poured over the mountains and subdued everything with 5 inches within the first hour of the storm. It was supremely apropos, making everything slow down, and cushioning the entire world with near silence as everyone just stayed at their homes. During the night, it turned from fluffy flakes into that super-fine snow fall, and that lasted all day long for Saturday with not a single break. It felt like the whole world was engaging in the grieving process. Today the snow is beautiful in the sunshine as Spring starts to reassert itself.

So let me tip my hat to my young friend, Hunter, one last time. He was one of my pals in Taekwondo class, and had the second most awesome smile I've ever encountered in my entire life.

souls too gentle to live among the trials of this world, too broken by deep feeling to see the love of family around them or the high regard of those whose paths cross with theirs, how do we help you though the pain, how do we reassure your fears, how do we ease your load and give you back a little of the spark that you bring to us, for the world is diminished without you
Rest softly, Hunter. It was a privilege to know you, and we pray for loving arms of comfort around your family.


Have you done any BOM work lately?

Sunday, April 23, 2017

BOMs Away - Star Crazy

Welcome to the link-up for BOMs Away Mondays!
Do you ever start Block-of-the-Months and then not finish them? 
Or maybe you just like doing a lot of them?
This is where you can share what you're doing on a BOM or anything you work on at given intervals. 
Show us what you accomplished in the past week or so!
(Linky at the bottom.)

Hi there! How are your BOMs going? Today I took advantage of feeling like dealing with HST's, and I stitched up all the rest of them for my Star Crazy - something like 300 of them. 

Now I'm settling down for a nice movie session with Scott here at home while I pop the papers off. Keeps me from binge-eating too much popcorn. :) 

Oh - P.S. - We had Taekwondo testing yesterday. Scott and Marissa and I are now at the last step before Blackbelt, and Heather and Pat are Red Seniors. Lots of work put in, and hard to believe I've made it this far. I have vivid memories of being a white and yellow belt three years ago and just knowing I could never make it to this level. But. . . Whaddaya know! 


How about you? Did you do any BOM work this week? I didn't. I was busy chilling out this Easter Saturday morning and enjoying a cute visit from our friendly neighborhood Easter bunny.

Kate over at Katie Mae Quilts has joined me in hosting this meet-up,
and linking up from either end puts you on the party at both sides.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Whoopin' It Up at a Mexican Fiesta Block Party & a NETY prep

Whoop! Whoop!

I can't tell you how thrilled I am that this applique block is finally finished!! 

I absolutely love the vibrant colors and complex quilting on Kay Buckley's Fiesta Mexico, and wanted very much to work on it as a very long-term hand applique project. So I scooped it up when it made its appearance on a Block of the Month program. 

This was in April 2014. I started this block that month, placing it in my tote for evening hand work when I watch a show with Scott after dinner. It progressed super slowly since it got bumped any time a quilt needed tail-tucking or hand stitching on bindings, labels, or hanging sleeves. 

When I came back to quilting in February (post-wedding months and Lupus attack), I changed my modus operandi a little bit. I no long make evening work get bumped by quilt-finishing unless I'm super driven on a particular finish. Now I just stick with the relaxing slow-stitching of hand applique, and just about three months later, this behemoth is all stitched up! 

It is 11 x 48 inches (finished), with tons of flowers and leaves and berries. I work in the back-basting needle-turn style, which is awesome for this project. For the berries, I use those Perfect Circle templates (*love* those).


Also, I got another of my old NETYs washed, ironed, and kitted up. [Those are my Never-Even-Touched-Yet kits and sets that are in deep storage. The number of these is mind-boggling, and I aim to get one of them kitted each month so they eventually will get cleared out.]  

Santorini collection by Lila Tueller
This would have been purchased in February 2012. I remember that I walked past the quilt done up from this pattern kit, and really liked the fabrics, including the brown that was paired with the fat quarter pack. I'd taped a note on the bag, though, that I wanted to do it up in a different pattern. 

Still feeling that way about the pattern for these fabrics, I decided I really wanted to make a brick wall quilt with the prints, but then the brown from the kit just didn't float my boat anymore. 

Pulled a few pieces from my stash, and settled on the gray batik that's under the bricks I cut. (They were also really pretty with a white "mortar," but that didn't go with my theme vision.) That's now cut as well, and everything's tucked neatly in this super cool shoebox, waiting for an open Friday Play Day to whip that top together. And the brown can join my stash for another day.

Eventually, I'll use left-overs from the FQs and some water fabric from my stash to make a bricked well on a green floral background for the back. I intend to call the quilt "Secret Garden" when it grows up one day.

Linking up at 
Jennifer's Wed Wait Loss WIPs
Sarah's Whoop Whoop Fridays

Saturday, April 15, 2017

BOMs Away Monday, and H2H 2017 - Minky String Quilt for Camp Hobe

Welcome to the link-up for BOMs Away Monday!
Do you ever start Block-of-the-Months and then not finish them? 
Or maybe you just like doing a lot of them?
This is where you can share what you're doing on a BOM or anything you work on at given intervals. 
Show us what you accomplished in the past week or so!
(Linky at the bottom.)

Knowing full well that I'm not going to work on BOM stuff on Easter Sunday, and probably won't take the time away from family fun to make a post, I'm combining this week's linky with my progress report for my H2H community service quilt:

This is the minky row quilt I chose from my deep storage of untouched kits to make for Camp Hobe. Kids and cancer - who needs a super-soft, bright-and-cheery, can't-stop-petting-it quilt more than they do? 

It's 45 x 60, and all it needs is its binding. This was my first minky row quilt. Notes to self for when I make the animal minky for Scott:

  • Yep. Good thing I "listened" and got some spray basting glue to adhere the stripes down as they're sewn on, because there's no way this would work nicely without it. Coordinate the next one with a medicine day since I can't leave this strategy out.
  • While the center-out construction strategy makes for faster prep time between sewing sessions, I would prefer to start at the top and work down.
  • I'd like to control the rows a little more - chalk a line when adding them.
  • My walking foot doesn't play nice with Minky - the treads snag on it like it does on silk.
  • So, use this foot with 4.0 stitch length, foot pressure reduced to 1.0, ball-90 needle on the Sapphire.

P.S. I would also like to make a minky quilt like this one day (photo links to source):

Saw it at: Sewciety


How about you? Did you do any BOM work this week? I didn't. I was busy chilling out this Easter Saturday morning and enjoying a cute visit from our friendly neighborhood Easter bunny.

Kate over at Katie Mae Quilts has joined me in hosting this meet-up,
and linking up from either end puts you on the party at both sides.

Thursday, April 13, 2017

TGIFF is Here Today, and It's All About the Dog :)

Hi! Welcome to this week's TGIFF link-up!
Have you finished something lately that you'd like to share? Link up at the bottom of this post, and be sure to visit some of the other links to find some great eye candy and help your fellow bloggers celebrate. :D

I'm really bummed that I couldn't get this quilt completely finished in time for this post, despite tons of overtime work on it, but I'm super thrilled that the cameo portraits are not only FINISHED!!!, but that the whole process worked! So here is "Lori & Aliya" with that part all done: 

It was a long, difficult process to achieve those portraits! 

Lori sent me about 11 photo files of Aliya that she totally loved. I lifted a couple others off her Facebook page. Played around with cropping/sizing and pasted images into a 9x9 grid until the two of us both liked the images chosen and the grid placement for them. 

Here are a couple of the cameos and the photos they came from:

I needed to create Golden Threads quilting patterns for those nine chosen photos, but I am not an artist! Any drawing task is excruciatingly slow and involves a large amount of erasing.

I made them by using this tutorial to edit digital photos at the free online app, PIXLR, so that they were as close to coloring book images as possible. 

Then I sized them up in a Word document, printed them out, and traced in the lines I thought I'd like with a fine-tip Sharpie. 

Finally, with the photo file open in front of me and a sheet of the Golden Threads taped over the marked-up print-out, I traced the lines I really wanted to quilt in. That part was done in pencil, because I had to erase so often, and it was tricky to capture a good likeness that conveys the gist of her markings, but also plays nice with stitchability and with the compression/loft effect of batting. This pattern-making stage took an entire week of several hours each day to get to where I was happy with all 9 in the set.

There were a remarkable number of free-standing details to quilt it, and on the full-body images in particular, I wasn't sure that the Golden Threads method was going to pan out well with the minky backing. Minky makes everything so much more springy to work on, and I worried that the paper would get prematurely torn and back-tracking or closely-spaced lines would just get all goopy and messy. But it worked just fine!

That one up there was one of the least-messiest, tails-wise. Cleanup of the quilting to this point took just over 10 hours. Details were too close to use backstitching, so everything is secured by tying before tucking. I used a lightly-variegated gray King Tut thread in 40 weight for those. The rest of the quilting is done in 50-weight Aurifil threads to match the fabric colors.

This is a special request commission quilt from a good friend. She wanted a quilt to feature quilting with bones, paws, traditional feathers, and quilt-outs of favorite photos of her beloved German Shepherd. That was quite the creative challenge! But you can see how beautifully it's working out on this shot of the minky back:

We went with a variation of the Metro Hoops pattern to have these feather-framed cameo areas (which will get cross-hatching filler around the figures). I chalked an inner border "bumper" line inside the rings to do the feathers freehand against the ring's inner edge.

. . .and I worked up motifs for the "between" spaces that get the bones in for her. These got marked with chalk, tracing a curvy-diamond and a bone stencil that I cut out of a file folder into the area after I'd chalked in a register crisscross. The plumes just got free-handed as I went along.

The portraits will get cross-hatching between them and the feather rim, and the ring arcs will get some curly-q's down their centers to further stabilize them. The outer border will have life-size quilt-outs of Aliya's paw prints superimposed on top of traditional feathers, as you can see in this shot of my acrylic overlay sheet (this is what I lay over a quilt top to play around with quilting ideas when I can't discover a scheme right off the bat).

I'm sure I'm not the only one who can quilt things a lot prettier than I can draw them. Does that happen for you, too?   

I'll cut a file-folder stencil for Aliya's paw and put those in with a blue water-erase pencil, along with a spine line for the feathering. I'm leaning toward all of that work being done in the red thread, but might possibly do the paws in the King Tut. I'll figure that out when the fillers are in and the paws are marked.

I apologize sincerely for not being able to finish this 100% for y'all. I'm still learning to correctly gauge how long certain jobs will take, and that cameo work totally blew my estimations away.

But now it's your turn to show us what you've finished! I love the variety that comes through every week and look forward to seeing your link:

Sunday, April 9, 2017

BOMs Away - Garden Friends

Welcome to the link-up for BOMs Away Mondays!
Do you ever start Block-of-the-Months and then not finish them? 
Or maybe you just like doing a lot of them?
This is where you can share what you're doing on a BOM or anything you work on at given intervals. 
Show us what you accomplished in the past week or so!
(Linky at the bottom.)

My BOM day was not very productive this week:

Cut out the sashing and cornering pieces to assemble the center of my "Garden Friends" BOM, marked the little bit of embroidery there is on a few of the blocks, and pieced the lower half of the sunflower borders. When it came time to assemble the last of the border backgrounds and fuse on the flower heads and petals - - - I was finished. (This is not a huge quilt - that's maybe an hour's work, total.) 

But my mind is super-invested in the groove of working on my priority work, which is about halfway quilted now. If I push super hard on it, I just might get it finished by Thursday afternoon for TGIFF hosting. So I wasn't feeling it one bit for BOM work today.

Instead, I wanted brownies. So I dropped all that and made brownies with Heather.  :)

Sometimes you do what you gotta do!


P.S.  I bought a longarm yesterday. After NINE years of saving up, roadshow prices brought everything I wanted just under my cash-on-hand for it. Mid-May delivery. 

Still processing that! But man, is the circle doohickey accessory that I already brought home really tickling my fancy tonight! It's just what I need to make really short work of what I've always wanted to do on my "Quiet Rebellion on the Pond" flimsy. . . 

Sunday, April 2, 2017

BOMS Away - Down the Rabbit Hole

Welcome to the link-up for BOMs Away Mondays!
Do you ever start Block-of-the-Months and then not finish them? 
Or maybe you just like doing a lot of them?
This is where you can share what you're doing on a BOM or anything you work on at given intervals. 
Show us what you accomplished in the past week or so!
(Linky at the bottom.)

Luckily for me, April has 5 Sundays! I took advantage of that bonus BOM day to catch my Rabbit Hole up to the newest cue:

All the flowers are sewn down. The only way I could pull this into my work load this year was to go with machine applique. I finally found a monofilament thread that my machine will accept (Superior brand), so I'm using that. I'm prepping pieces with turned edges and stitching with a teeny blanket stitch. The bites are about as deep as a thread, and spaced a little shorter than 1/8" apart. I use unprinted newspaper behind it all as a stabilizer, and it comes out beautifully. 

Didn't get to the new cue, which has the leaves and the first mini border, but it's time to convert my machine to free-motion work for tomorrow's return to the priority project. I'll use my Free-play Fridays for this project since most months don't give me an extra BOM day.  :)  

Oh, yeah!! I was going to try sharing this video with y'all. We got a super pretty snowfall in the night and all through yesterday, and a doe-herd hung out for a while in our yard having a great April Fool's Day frolic. There were 3 adolescents romping around like this for a long time, while the matriarch you can see at the center calmly ate from the berry bush. We loved it.

How has your BOM work been going?

Kate over at Katie Mae Quilts has joined me in hosting this meet-up,
and linking up from either end puts you on the party at both sides.

Q2 Finish-Along Prospects

It's that time - the link-up for our Q2 lists of potential finishes is open this week.

I'm posting my list of projects that I intend to finish by the end of June, along with some extras that would be really nice to finish as well. There's not a small quilt in sight - all are large wall quilt to queen size, so it's good that several are already partly quilted!

The Big Five:

Lori's Aliya - marks are chalked in, ready to pin baste and start quilting this unique commission! 

There are times that my acrylic overlay sheet
is my favorite item in the world

Sew Spooky - it's probably half-way quilted, so high time it gets finished up. I want it on the wall this October, without fail.

Plums in November - quilting is started, just need to develop how I want to do a plummy-leafy feather treatment along the braids. . . 

Devon's Quilt - huge project, but the center is all quilted. Ready to figure out the quilting for the outer borders and get that done up.

Firehouse 1 - Flimsy state, this is a community service quilt

Icing on the Cake:

Rainbow Jane - Boy, do I want this finished after it's waited literally years for a turn. I have a quilting template developed for the spacer triangles. Lots of marking before this can be layered and basted. 

Leaded Glass - one of my favorite Flimsies, but I'm still not convinced I don't want to pull the outer edges off...

Mermaid Fantasy - needs some trapunto work, then quilting

Modernology - probably my very favorite Flimsy, and I even have a scrumptious lemonade backing for it.

String of Pearls - this is a no-brainer, even, because I want to quilt it up just like Christa did. So why wasn't it done up ages ago?

So that's my Q2 proposal list. Hopefully I'll have 6 finished quilts to enter at the end of June!

And for streamlining's sake, here is my
March Report/April Plan:

March - I am almost back into my full groove after the long wedding escapade and gigantic Lupus flare knocked me out of quilting for about 8 months. 

UFO work:  I got 2 items on my 17 for 2017 list squared away (completely finished "Scott's Air Force Retirement" and moved "You Must Be Croaking" from partially done up blocks to full Flimsy status). So that's 3 off the list so far. I made good progress on the next one, which is slated for a complete finish in the next three weeks and has the Priority slot in my work load.

BOM work: BOMs Away Monday is back up and running!!  I reacquainted myself with each of the BOMs on my rotation list and got "Fall All Around" washed, ironed, kitted, and started for the empty slot. Then, after weeks of resisting, I caved and bought a 1/2 yard bundle of the new "Sugar Pie" fabric collection and several pieces of "Grunge" to join in on Sarah Fielke's "Down the Rabbit Hole" BOM. I am almost finished sewing the month 2 portion.

Hand work: Fiesta Mexico is finally moving along! I stitch on this almost every evening during the show Scott and I watch after dinner.

NETY prep: I pulled "Big Sister, Little Sister" out of the deep storage of not-even-touched-yet old kits and got it washed and ironed. Did not get it kitted by month's end.

Community Sewing: I haven't yet gotten back into the rhythm of adding this to my personal sewing.

April - Get 2 projects off the 17 for 2017 list. Stay in my groove of Mon-Thur being dedicated to the priority project, with evening hand stitching and Free Fridays for whatever I want to do. Saturdays I'd like to get back to prioritizing community sewing, and keep Sundays rolling for BOMs and the link-up. Get caught up with the NETY work so there's one processed per month. And for cryin' out loud, finish cleaning the last of the storage room pull-out that's on the pool table. :D

Oh, yeah! - attend that APQS roadshow to figure out which longarm and what setup I want to buy later in the year.

Priority Work: "Lori's Aliya" followed by "Stepping Stones" and then "Sew Spooky"

Friday, March 31, 2017

Finish Report ~ Scott's Air Force Retirement Quilt

This is a huge finish for us, so advance warning for lots of pics and discussion!

My husband, Scott, was an active duty Air Force physician for 26 years. He was in ROTC for college until being commissioned an officer in May of 1990, and retired from that status on July 1, 2016. (So actually, he's been in the Air Force for 29 years.) He finished at the rank of Lt. Colonel after studiously avoiding being designated full-bird colonel for several years (as a doctor, that shunts you into a primarily administrative role and detrimentally impacts your skill set and eligibility for the kind of work he wanted to be able to do when he eventually entered the civilian work force). 

We've been married for one year more than that on each side of the time, so we've been through the whole Air Force journey together. Being in the Air Force completely defined our lives as individuals and a family, and profoundly affected each one of our personalities (we have three daughters). You can't deal with multiple separations, some quite lengthy and in highly dangerous situations, family moves, shifting pools of friends, and an inability to rely on stable future dates for planning vacations, reunions, large financial decisions, etc., without it shaping the person you are and your basic response mechanisms and coping strategies. I mean, you can't even go out of town for a normal weekend when you're not scheduled to work without getting leave approved and charging it from your vacation time. Being in the military is hard on your kids, who grow up learning to adapt, but also dealing with more anxiety issues than civilian kids, as they frequently deal with a missing parent that they worry about and a stressed single-parent at home for periods ranging from two weeks to over a year at a time. It also affects everyone's ability to relate to other people, and them to you. I actually had a person say to me across the conference table in a meeting of about 15 people, "Oh, you're military. I don't want to be friends with you, because you're just going to move." Mine wasn't the only jaw that dropped, but that is not the only time I've experienced such idiocy. The ironic thing is that we lived in that house, around the corner from that person, for an unusually long period of time - 14 years. On the other hand, we've had complete opposite reactions from people, such as the young-20s professional (surely struggling financially), who surprise-paid our very large sushi bill when we went out one day as a family with our German foreign-exchange student while Scott was in uniform.

1990, a new Lieutenant and his wife living in the D.C. area.

2015, a Lieutenant Colonel and his wife
facing the final months of his active duty career.

All that to say: Being in the military is HARD, so this quilt is a big deal to all of us.

As Scott's retirement approached, I couldn't figure out what I wanted to do for a quilt to celebrate that. Then, Deana posted her DOD Americana Block of the Month for the second half of 2015. 

Deana's DOD Americana
I loved the way she made the center panels connote the flag, and how the star panel felt rather Air-Forcy, like the Thunderbirds shooting off into one of their spectacular formations.

My star field on Scott's quilt

I also saw that I could personalize some of the panels to fit the occasion.

The design changes I made include a complete surround of the spinner stars for the outer borders, our own pictorial panel instead of the cute Betsy Ross flag stitchers row, dropping off the last row, and using the more acute star panel that was on Deana's original quilt instead of the more user-friendly version she made for the BOM group (the old, harder, one looked more jettish to me). 

I wanted to use fabrics from Scott's old uniforms in some places. Starting at the top, the background for the hearts and flags came from the woodland BDUs (Battle Dress Uniforms) that were used in his earlier days. 

The thickness of the material drove me to rework the construction of the hearts into a piecing/applique approach with an added heart border, as the BDU layers were unmanageable for Deana's easier way.

The first flag stripe panel is just as Deana designed.

I did personalize the embroidered lyrics, changing out "America the Beautiful" for Lee Greenwood's "God Bless the USA."  In 2001, we lived near Eglin Air Force Base, and that year the USO planned a really neat Veteran's Day Carnival for the area military folks (drawing from 3 different regional bases and all the retirees in the area). 

They had contracted with Lee Greenwood to perform as the star months ahead of time, and then disaster hit our country on 9-11. You can imagine how emotional this song was for such an audience in those early weeks after that attack on the U.S. Scott was away on a deployment at the time, so he didn't get to experience that amazing performance. But this song is special even without that experience, as it assures active duty people they are not fighting alone - people they will never meet support them emotionally, and it's as powerful to hear it as the random "Thank you for your service" that you get from strangers every once in a while. I still can't hear this song without bawling like a baby.

The Betsy Ross row became a row of pictures that I worked up to represent Scott's longest major deployments.

There were many, many shorter deployments and TDYs that are not represented here. His avatar in each area is wearing fabric from the uniform of that particular time. It's fun to see the changes in fabrics and boot colors across the decades (although there was a very short period of time when they wore bluish digitized ABU-type uniforms that isn't represented on this quilt.)

Croatia was Scott's first major deployment, in 1998, and it 
was a UN assignment. He enjoyed the times he got to train with other nationalities, such as the Germans who had fun exchanging weapons with each other to try out the different feel, and the rappelling they did there. Woodland BDUs for this one.

The next one on this panel is for a year long unaccompanied tour in South Korea, 2001. He did not like that one. No offense is meant to South Korea, which he never got to enjoy. They couldn't leave base hardly ever at all, and had to work in full chemical protective gear almost as often as in normal uniforms because of continuous threats of attack from North Korea (the chem gear is awful, awful, AWFUL to endure). Again, woodland BDUs.

The uniforms changed between those deployments and his first major Afghanistan arena deployment was in Oman, 2003, so he wore the DCUs for that one (Desert Camoflage Uniforms). Chem gear came into play again, but not as often as in Korea.They lived and worked in sand-colored air-conditioned modular tents, and the M.A.S.H.-looking medical tents were set up inside a gigantic warehouse. They did regular humanitarian work trips and allowed civilians to be treated in their facilities at times, like when they helped a local woman delivery her baby in a tricky situation.

Uniforms had changed again for his second major deployment in that arena in 2009, to an Army base somewhat near Kabul in Afghanistan. (It was named Camp Alamo - now tell me who thought THAT was a good, comforting, name to give to a base in a conflict area??) At this point in time, they wore the digitized ABUs (Airman Battle Uniforms) with tan boots. My favorite picture of all his deployments comes from this time frame, and I tried to represent the rock formation he was climbing. 

I also put in an AMRAM for him to remember, as he was tickled that his design was approved and he got to paint it on the ambulance. He was more tickled when he got to drive it, and gets all excited when he talks about the weapons they fired there. They didn't get to go off base much, as any excursion - be it a humanitarian mission, a recreational outing, or an administrative issue in Kabul like getting your license renewed - required advanced planning by Intel and an escort by a sniper/special ops unit. I'm sure I'm a much happier person not knowing the majority of what they experienced there. 

The center image with the larger avatar represents Scott's normal state of work at his home base offices. That Scott is dressed in the ABUs (Airman Battle Uniforms) with green boots that were in use at the time of his retirement, except that the doctor coat wasn't usually worn. In Scott's field, it was extremely rare for him to work in the Air Force blues (you know, the dark blue polyester pants and light blue shirts), and he probably wore them no more than two hundred times over the 26 years. He didn't like them. We didn't save any of them, and they're not on the quilt. :)  The flight uniform he wore during his time with the special ops unit is not represented on the quilt, either, but I have a patch that I may put on the back when I give this a label, or if we can find all the other patches, we might make another quilt for those in the future. (I printed tiny-size copies of typical medical posters onto quilting fabric sheets for this area.)

Letting our German exchange student see what an Air Force hospital
is like. Can't be too serious all the time!  :)

The pastoral panel below the deployments panel is largely just like Deana's design. I did trade out a cemetery at the church for a hillside with horses, since one of the highlights of our time near Eglin was having some horses for a few years on someone's property that we managed in exchange for reduced fees. 

The bottom panel is just as Deana designed, with fussy-cut pieces from the Air Force fabric that I used as the backing. Each star focuses on a different Air Force plane. Scott loves the different aircraft that have been used, and has all kinds of information about them tucked in his head. He once tongue-in-cheek nominated the "Peashooter" as the mascot for his team at one clinic. Your imagination can fill in the connection, I'm sure. ;D

Image result for air force peashooter

For the quilting, I treated the whole central flag portion as one unit.

All the fused applique images got outline quilting, and pieced images got stitch-in-ditch work with attention to details like windows, etc. For fill work, though, I made wavy lines that traversed all the rows and panels as if it were a flag on a pole in a breeze, breaking and starting again at every point where the line encountered an image or color change at row edges. I used light-weight cotton threads everywhere for both of these stages, so there was a LOT of color change involved that took several days of tail tying and tucking. Many movies got me through that task!

I'm at a loss as to why these pictures are blurry and have poor contrast -
on the phone screen and on this screen in Lightroom, they are marvelous.
I can only assume it's a compressing effect from the blog upload platform.
The hearts and flags were easy to quilt, with meandering on the BDU background, and the starbursts in the fireworks row got fun metallic silver thread - just a simple SID treatment with rays reaching out between the points to tame the background.

I made stencils for stars and feather units to use on the red and blue outer borders. I had a hard time deciding whether to use contrasting thread to let those pop, or matching thread for them since there's so much going on in this quilt. I still flip-flop between being glad I chose matching thread and wishing I'd used something that shows more obviously. 1/4" parallel lines in the spinning star backgrounds.

I was at a loss for what to use to fill in the last bit of gap between the stencils and the central area, and the background between the hearts and the flag area. I didn't want more meandering or feathers, or McTavishing. I ending up picking rope work, which is far more Navy and Marines than Air Force, but, well, there you have it. It looks good, anyway, and let me resolve the different widths of those areas.

Last of all, the binding was done with the faux-piped approach, using more of the fabric harvested from his woodland BDUs as the flange portion. LOVE how that turned out!

This is a lot of journaling for a finish, but as you can see it's not a normal quilt. We had a nice time taking it for a photo op at the Air Force Academy (his last duty station, and the area we've settled in). 

You can't beat the distinctive architecture of the Cadet Chapel for a backdrop, and the nearby plaza full of aircraft sculptures is ideal. After several stand-up shots, I asked if we'd get in trouble if we draped the quilt on one of them, and now that he's full-on retired instead of active duty, Scott impishly retorted, "What are they going to do if we're not?" and immediately took it to the P-38 sculpture. 

Looks good there, doesn't it?  Nobody complained.  :)  

Shows off the back equally well:

This is a big quilt, something like 90 x 97 after quilting and washing.

The wind and sun were a bit difficult to work with that day,

but it made the stained glass inserts look amazing on the Cadet Chapel,


and the shadow play of the new Polaris building was spectacular in its watery quality:

I think that's all my pictures for now. I'll add one of the label when I finish it. (Waiting for a second label need to print before using an expensive fabric printing sheet.) Incidentally, this is my 3rd accomplishment for the 17 in 2017 goal list.

Thank you to all the people who have stood by us through the years as friends, who have extended thanks and random acts of kindness such as buying Scott's meals at airport while en route for TDYs and deployments, who have understood when it was impossible for us to facilitate plan-making for desired events and vacations. I'm grateful for the blessings that our time as an active duty family brought us, but also breathing a lot easier now that our service is over and we can learn to be able to live a little differently. Scott sure enjoys wearing civilian clothes to work for the first time in his life, and was happy I didn't want him to get into uniform for his quilt's photo op. heh!

Enjoy your security and think about the tremendous impact on their lives and personal development that military families deal with in order for most families to live peacefully the way they want to. They have to cope with situations and feelings and child difficulties that civilians cannot begin to imagine, let alone understand. They have fears that only law enforcement and firefighter families comprehend. And for heaven's sake, if you get a military family member in a group you're a part of - be friends with her or him, even though they'll likely move soonish! Military folks are great sources of support and ideas for adapting to challenges, and especially with modern technology, friendship doesn't painfully end when they have to move. You won't regret your investment in that relationship.

Love you all!

Linking up: 

Meridithe's 17 in 2017