Quilts of Valor are made for our veterans, and I decided this year that I would make one from one of my UFOs: leftover pieces for Hopkins Square blocks. Other projects keep getting in the way, but now I'm motivated to finish them up and I think with all the extra blocks from Hive 7 I'll have enough to make a quilt top.
The Hopkins Square block appears in "501 Rotary-Cut Blocks" book by Judy Hopkins, but we're going to deviate slightly from those instructions.
My colors are gold and crimson. The gold doesn't have to be metallic, as long as it reads gold (not yellow, please). If you absolutely don't have gold, I'll take cream. For the red, I don't want anything too bright. Batiks, solids, and prints are all fine. Here are some fabric selections I'm working with:
One 3.5" gold square
One 3.5" red square
Two 3.5" by 6.5" gold rectangles
Two 3.5" by 6.5" red rectangles
Pieces for two 3.5" finished HSTs and one 6.5" finished HST (see below)
For the HSTs, "501 Rotary-Cut Blocks" tells you to cut triangles, but I did that the first time I made these blocks and my HSTs came out too small. Instead, I recommend that you use whatever method is most comfortable for you. I used two 4.25" red squares and two 4.25" gold squares, which I then squared up to two 3.5" HSTs. The third HST should finish to 6.5" square. (If you finish up with extra HSTs or other pieces and you don't want them, feel free to send them along and I'll add them to my blocks.) Please press toward the red fabric.
Once you have your finished HSTs, sew the 3.5" HSTs to your red and gold 3.5" squares like the picture below to make a four-patch. (Note that in all your HSTs the red half will be bottom left.)
Sew one gold rectangle to one red rectangle lengthwise, then do the same with the remaining pair. (I'm not concerned about directionality, but if you're a stickler about that then in the horizontal set the red will be on the bottom and in the vertical set the red will be on the left.)
Take your four-patch and sew it to one of the rectangle pairs. Sew the other rectangle pair to your 6.5" HST.
Lastly, sew the whole block together.
Here are my pieces laid out before I started sewing everything together:
Here are some of the finished blocks. They look good, right? I've made 16 blocks so far.
I'm not picky about how the seams are pressed, but if you want everything to nest then do the following:
- Press the 3.5" square-HST pairs toward the HSTs. When you sew the four-patch together, press that seam toward the top. This way they'll nest with the seams of the rectangle pairs.
- Sew the four-patch to one set of rectangles and the other set of rectangles to the 6.5" HST, following the picture below, and press in opposite directions so the seams match when you sew the two halves together.
Please be careful following the layout. That's more important to me than how the seams are pressed. Thanks!
We get to ask everyone a question. I actually have two questions: What is your favorite quilt or quilted thing that you've made for yourself? What is your favorite quilt/quilting thing that you've made for someone else?
For me, the first one is easy. (I've only ever made two quilts for myself.) A couple of years ago I made myself a twin-sized all-polka dot Drunkard's Path quilt for my bed and I LOVE it.
The second question is harder. Most of the quilts I make are wedding, baby, or special occasion quilts for friends and family. I love almost all of them, and it's hard to choose. One of my favorites is a quilt I made for my grandmother using photo fabric. It's in yellow and orange, her favorite colors, and it's full of pictures of our family. After she passed away I got the quilt back and it makes me happy every time I look at it. Another favorite is a quilt I made for my fiance last year. It's an American flag quilt and I hand quilted the stripes with patriotic quotes and song lyrics that I knew would have resonance with him. I spent about 115 hours working on that quilt. I put so much love and effort into it, and knowing how much he loves it makes it all worthwhile. I guess I'm cheating in answering my own question, but the truth is I just want to send you to my finished quits page and tell you that I love all of them! They're all meaningful to me because I made them for such special people in my life, for dear friends and their children, and for my family.