Fabric & Pattern
Use Quality Cotton Fabric
Choose fabrics that are:
- 100% cotton (preferably quilt shop fabric)
- High thread count
- Of good quality
- Not previously used
The Most Important Part of your QOV is the Fabric you use to piece the top and the Fabric used as the backing!
Here's a simple test to see if your fabric is suitable.
Close your eyes and feel it.
- Is it coarse or rough feeling?
- Is the weave loose?
- Can you see through it?
- Does it feel "hard" or scratchy and not soft to the touch?
If you answered 'yes' to any of these answers, the fabric is absolutely NOT suitable for a Quilt of Valor.
Think of it this way... in simple terms, would you want a wounded warrior or veteran to have coarse, hard or scratchy fabric near a wound or on his/her skin? Your QOV is being made to provide comfort and healing.
What you would want to snuggle up with - a quilt that's soft? Absolutely! And that is why you are asked to use good quality 100% cotton fabric. Your QOV is not being made for a charity case. It is for a soldier who serves to protect our country and our freedom. Don't they deserve the good quality fabric?
For any quilt, it all starts with the fabric. If the fabric is not good quality, no matter how pretty it is, how well you piece it, how well it is quilted or how great your label is, it will not last through the years or survive multiple washings. Not only does your QOV provide comfort today - it should be made to last for many years in the future.
You can get good fabric without breaking your bank account. Here are some ideas to obtain quilt shop quality fabric:
- Shop the sales at your local quilt shop. Look on the local groups page for "Under Our Wings" quilt shops in your state. Also, many quilt shop owners will give you a discount if you tell them that you are making a Quilt of Valor for a soldier.
- Shop online. There are hundreds of stores online and there is always a sale of some kind going on. Try searching www.quiltshops.com and type in "patriotic fabric" or "patriotic sale" (no quotes). Using the Thumbnail search is best.
- Use a Google search for "quilt store" and you will get many results.
- Ask for funds from your community, service clubs like Lion and Rotary Clubs and VFW's. Check for some tips on fundraising under Basic Information.
As far as pre-washing fabric, it depends on you.
Lastly, a mention about the thread you use to piece your top. Good quality 50 wt thread is the best. Do not use machine embroidery thread (40 weight rayon or polyester) to piece your top. It will not hold up in the long run.
The most popular colors are Red, White and Blue. Patriotic themes are loved and most often requested. Although 10% of our military are women, when given a choice, most of them choose patriotic colors or designs as well. BUT...be advised that not all recipients want Red, White, Blue, patriotic.
What NONE of the recipients want are fabrics which are inappropriate...such as juvenile fabrics intended for children. What will happen if you choose to go this way is that your quilt may sit on a shelf gathering dust.