On brave old Army team, on to the fray. Fight onto victory, for that’s the fearless Army way

This is a project from nearly 2 decades ago.  We were stationed at the United States Military Academy at West Point, NY.  The colonel was retiring so the officers’ wives got together and made his spouse a memory quilt of different cross-stitch West Point scenes.This quilt was entirely hand-pieced and hand-quilted.

The majority of the designs were from a cross-stitch sampler sold by the Association of Graduates.  Trophy Point, the 3 chapels, a full-dress cadet, the Army mule, the parade hat (otherwise known as a tar bucket), Washington Hall and the cannon were all designed by the sampler artist. We also supplemented the quilt squares with the USMA crest and designs specific to the family.  The crest was from a book entitled Needlepoint Insignia of the Armed Forces, t and the DMI and Rho Chi graphs I believe were found on the internet.

The department that this colonel ran for 6 years was the Department of Military Instruction.  DMI faculty taught tactics, leadership, ran the summer training and much more. Their offices and classrooms were in Washington Hall.. If you haven’t guessed, the West Point colors are black grey, and gold.  These colors represent the 3 components of gunpowder: charcoal, saltpeter, and sulfur. We used an attic windows block to keep each design separate and distinct.  The sashing for the attic windows came from the black shirts cadets wear to class and the grey pants.  The braided border incorporated the same fabrics plus the white full-dress pants worn for parades and balls.  I think the DMI lettering, the NY quilt block, and the Rho Chi designs came from internet searches.  The remaining images were designed by yours truly.

The colonel’s family was a lovely group.  The oldest child babysat for my kids. She was quite an athlete (still is) so she was depicted in a soccer uniform. Her brothers were also athletes so they are shown wearing football and basketball uniforms.  The oldest boy ended up at USAFA and is now a fighter pilot flying F-16s. Ironically, the baby of the family is the tallest of all and played on the University of Virginia National Championship Mens Lacrosse team. Dad is in his dress blues and Mom is in a Valkyrie dress complete with a Viking helmet as DMI was well known for the annual Viking fest tailgate.  Black Lab Bud lived to a ripe old age but he is now gone.

Like many of the officers’ wives on base, both Mrs. DMI and I were West Point tour guides.  We provided historical information and interesting trivia to many USMA visitors. I was going to dress her in the tour guide uniform but thought the Viking outfit was more fitting.

They lived in a beautiful set of Old English South quarters that overlooked the Hudson River.  This was a complicated image to design and complete but I managed.  Here is a much more realistic image from the USMA Housing Office.

Carmen, Carmen, Carmen, Carmen, Carmen, chameleon, You come and go, you come and go.

This ABU Thyme totebag was made for an Air Force officer’s baby gear.   The bag was designed to have bright accent colors to please Mom, yet not too feminine so Dad could lug it around and not be embarrassed.

These bags hold up really well as DOD battle uniform fabric is tough and this one is no exception.  The rank was removed from the collar and appliqued at the base of the handle straps. The various tags, awards, and buttons, remained as originally placed.  The pockets are still fully functional.
On the inside of the front of the bag, a huge fully lined quadruple pocket was added.  The military uniform pockets come from the bottom of the front of the ABU. On the narrow side, a small pocket was added to fit a cell phone.
The interior was lined with 4 different fabrics.  The front and back interiors were made from denim and and a bright home-decorator weight print.
The side panels were made from quilting fabrics.  The patch panel had a vertical strip of the same floral to add some color.  The Dad’s unit patch was appliqued on the top. Mom works at a university so we added the school mascot (repurposed from a drink koozie) to the bottom.

 

The other side panel was all about the Mom.  She is a PhD candidate in the field of Biology so we designed the panel to look somewhat like a DNA strand.

This couple will be awesome parents and their future baby will be in great hands!

Came out rapping when I was born Mom said rock it ’til the break of dawn

This Thyme Tote was made for a woman who just gave birth to her first child last night. Her colors for the nursery were orange and blue so I tried to coordinate the bag with that color scheme.

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acu taylor  acu taylor back

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The majority of the exterior of the bag is made from the recipient’s husband’s Air Force ACU shirt. The side panels are a modern print and the handles have a crazy orange motif from Hoffman. I added the rank to the base of the handles.

acu taylor inside

 

The fabric is a vintage 70’s print so it may be older than the proud parents. The interior of the bag is very roomy and will be able to hold all the baby accessories that these little ones require. The large pocket is actually a triple pocket (one big one and 2 ACU ones side by side). The smaller pocket is a double pocket made from the ACU pen holder from the sleeve of the uniform and can fit a cell phone so it doesn’t sink to the bottom. This bag is definitely not too feminine for Dad to carry.

Lex Vegas Love

 
This quilt was made for a Washington and Lee General who married a Keydet from the Virginia Military Institute.  VMI and W&L are both located in Lexington and happen to share a wall between the two campuses.  VMI graduated 2 weeks before Washington and Lee so they were married during the in-between week.
 
 
For the fabric selection, I was very excited to find some leftover Christmas Angel fabric in my stash as well as a dark carnation print with maroon background and the allover big pinkish carnation motif. Because the girl is a W&L Pi Phi, the wine fabric with the strands of pearls is very apropos. Some of those female Generals wear pearls even when they are working out. The print with the tiny hearts worked for a wedding quilt without making it cloyingly sweet.
 
The design is an arrow designthat I found at Quilters’s Cache. Pi Beta Phi’s colors are wine and silver blue so I used 16 different dark reds and 16 different greys and blues. For the fabric selection, I was very excited to find some leftover Christmas Angel fabric as well as a dark carnation print with maroon background and the allover big pinkish carnation motif. Because the girl is a W&L Pi Phi, the wine fabric with the strands of pearls is very apropos. Some of those female Generals wear pearls even when they are working out. The print with the tiny hearts worked for a wedding quilt without making it cloyingly sweet.In the big silver blue open spaces I quilted the W&L trident

and the VMI Spider.  Every other area was heavily stippled.
How many Virginia college students does it take to change a light bulb?VMI students: One Rat to actually change the bulb, one upperclassman toy yell at him for not doing it fast enough, one to yell at him for not using the proper wattage, and one to send him up to the Rat DisciplinaryCommittee for letting the bulb burn out in the first place.

Washington and Lee students: Four, one to change the bulb, and three to write up a complaint to the board of directors stating that they couldhave gone to a better school if they had wanted to.

 
 

I’ve got billions and billions of rhymes to flex ‘Cause I’ve got more rhymes than Carl Richards got turtlenecks

This quilt was made for the retiring Regional Director of Webster University-National Capital Region.  Dr. Richards worked for Webster for nearly 20 years, expanding the one campus at then-Bolling AFB to four locations in the National Capital Region.  Webster-NCR is composed of four campuses to include the regional hub at Joint Base Anacostia-Bolling, Fort Belvoir, the Bureau of Naval Medicine and Surgery, and Joint Base Andrews.  

The 3 branches of service are memorialized by the nautical signal flags that spell out CARL RICHARDS, the airplane fabric used in two flag blocks, and the Army BDU fabric used as sashing.  The BDU fabric is part of a uniform from an employee’s spouse.  The digital ACUs are from a former coordinator  who also serves in the National Guard. Carl is an avid skier, so snowflake motifs are utilized as well. The R fabric was chosen as it is the first letter of his surname. These can be seen in the H block at the bottom of the complete quilt.


 

The yellow with the light blue scrolls is the same fabric as used in the window treatments at the Fort Belvoir office.  Dr. Richards is a known coffee aficionado and an oenophile, so 2 coffee designs and a wine print were incorporated as well.   



Webster’s main campus is in St. Louis, so Cardinals fabric was incorporated. Additionally, Baltimore Oriole fabric was used to represent Maryland, Dr. Richards’ home. The cherry blossoms represent the District of Columbia, and the gold coin motif was chosen as a symbol of the financial success of Webster-NCR under Dr. Richard’s reign. The bright blue fabric with large lettering is repurposed from Webster tote bags as is the central square.The center of the quilt depicts the Webster Gorlock, mascot of the University. I hand-tinted the image before quilting it.
   
 We will miss Carl greatly as he steps away from Webster World and embarks on his new ventures.  Best of luck to him.

Live Well, Laugh Often, Love Always

This quilt was commissioned for yet another Webster employee who was departing for greener pastures.  Actually she was going to Georgia which was just fine with her as it was closer to her extended family.  Once again, the Webster Gorlock is front and center.  The recipient loves the color purple so I made sure that was incorporated in the border.  She also is a big fan of angels so luckily I just happened to have some angel-motif fabric in my stash and said fabric also had touches of purple.

The quilt was machine-pieced and machine-quilted.  The recipient lives by the quote in the title of this post.  She has it on memo pads, a framed calligraphy, a quilted messenger bag (haha, guess who designed THAT! 🙂 ).

I had a chance to share an office with the recipient (an SC State alumna!) for awhile.   She was a lovely, lovely lady, a true pleasure to work with (yes, I know that is a dangling participle at the end of the sentence).  Her husband was always so polite when he dropped by or called and her little guy was darling as could be. I will always remember that she specifically got a flu shot when my immune system was compromised due to the chemo and radiation.    I didn’t ask her to do so.  She just always went above and beyond in caring for others, whether it was a student, a young soldier’s wife,  or even her crazy co-worker.

Hey Adam, this is Manisha. Hey Mike, this is Manisha. Hey Adam, this is Manisha….

This quilt was made for a wonderful PA in the NNMC Plastic Surgery Department to celebrate the birth of her new little girl.  Manisha Patel did my fipple tattoos and in general has been an excellent support in this very long reconstruction process. PA Patel is apparently named after the Hindu goddess of the mind, a very apt name for someone who works in medicine.

The quilt is a basic 9-patch with sashing.  The pink squares are from a juvenile-print flannel with little boy and girl figures.  The yellow sashing is from a 30’s fabric.  The graph-paper fabric has lots of lovely creatures including purple worms (as close as I could find to leeches).  The turquise sashing has brightly colored alphabet letters shown in a puffy font.

So kick off your shoes and put on your swim fins Cause when it comes to quarries I’m known to swim

This totebag was made for a coach of the Cottontail Cobias, one of the many teams in the Northern Virginia Swim League. Like I do with all my bags, I appliqued pockets on the inside for a cell phone and other accoutrements.
I used a Cobia t-shirt and a fish-themed batik print for the exterior. Yellow and blue fabrics were coordinated for the interior.  The Cobia shirt was reverse-appliqued into the batik.  The entire bag was machine-quilted.

Factoid of the day:  The Cobia is also known as Rachycentron canadum. 

So don’t see a doctor or see a nurse. Just listen to the music, first things first. First of all get off the wall. It’s time to party so have a ball.

This quilt is for one of my favorite physicians at NNMC.  Dr. Stanley Okoro was my plastic surgeon of choice for several procedures I had over the last 12 months, a DIEP, a LAT flap, and fipples (he insists on calling them real).  It’s been a long road to recovery but I am almost fully back to normal. Dr. Okoro recently resigned his Navy commission and has opened up a private practice in Atlanta, GA.  Unlike many surgeons, he was very responsive not just to me, but to my family members as well.

The quilt was designed to reflect Stanley’s Navy career as well as the new practice upon which he is about to set forth.  The center block is a commercial large-scale print of the crest of the Department of the Navy.  The middle borders are simple rectangles of patriotic red, white, and blue fabrics.  The exterior border of blocks actually spell DR STANLEY OKORO MD in signal flags. Several of the fabrics have motifs that I considered to be very relevant.  As I mentioned, there is the Navy square.  I also used Atlanta Braves fabric (new home of the Okoros), gold coins ( to wish him a lucrative, successful civilian practice), scissors fabric (they look like hemostats).

I took a couple of motifs from the Georgia Plastic logo to use as quilting designs.

I quilted the 12-petal circular design around the Department of the Navy logo.

Since Atlanta is somewhat landlocked and not every Georgian recognizes the maritime alphabet, I quilted the corresponding letter into the respective signal flag blocks.  Instead of quilting the matching font of the letter O, I used the Georgia Plastic motif of the arched women.

Because my recovery was so wrought with crazy complications and I had to come back to Plastics again and again, Dr.Okoro and I were able to develop a flippant cameraderie beyond the normal patient-doctor paradigm.  He knew I was a quilter as he found me sewing binding or applique while I was waiting in the examining room. We teased each other about whose stitches were more uniform and invisible (uh, that would be me! 🙂 ).  Although I know he will never show this to his colleagues let alone prospective patients, I inked a fairly detailed label that highlights the quilt and its symbolism as well as my complications and radical treatments..

The blurb is just the explanation of fabric and quilting motif choices. The design on the right depicts a vat of leeches; each of whom are holding a flag or pennant of Stanley Okoro’s various affiliations.

This is longer than my usual entries so it is time to sign off!

Semper Paratus

This combined set of the Parsley, Wasabi, and Chive was custom-made for a US Coast Guard wife.  The client wanted a nautical theme for her items so a sailboat fabric was incorporated as the primary coordinate.  One side panel of her Parsley was customized with her initials in signal flags.  The Wasabi had a Reef Knot appliqued to the outside of the wallet