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.

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.

Poppy Pocketbook for a Marine Mom

From the halls of Montezuma,
To the shores of Tripoli…
This is a new design called the Poppy.  It is a rounded purse with a shorter strap.  This Poppy was commissioned by a very proud mom of a new Marine.  She liked bright peacock colors for the coordinating fabric.  The side with the US Marine tape actually has the marine emblem embroidered on the pocket.   The pockets were sewn on the diagonal on the uniform but straight on the Poppy so the symbol is now tilted.
The other side of course was appliqued with the surname nametape.
The Poppy shape was a challenge and it definitely made me think outside of the box.  I like to push the boundaries so I am glad I had the opportunity to do so.

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!

Because love grows where my Rosemary goes And nobody knows like me
Garden: The Bee Buddy who did this row pieced a profusion of brightly colored flowers embellished with fun buttons.

But there’s booze in the blender, And soon it will render That frozen concoction that helps me hang on
Food:  This lady (who also is a delightful neighbor) appliqued a beautiful bowl of fruit in her row.  She also added margarita glasses with wedges of citrus and umbrellas to complete the scene.  Oh so thirst-wuenching! 🙂

Our house, was our castle and our keep. Our house, in the middle of our street
Home:  In all the row-by-rows that I have done, the final row is always called home and hearth.  Obviously not much hearth time is needed in the summer but the cottage is too cute for words.  The 4 heart flowers represent what our family was doing at the time.  We were active-duty Army, sewing away at kids’ sporting events…

Straight out of Cape Cod, We’re keeping it real
Finally the rows all put together.  I had done several row quilts and wanted to come up with a different layout.  The Pentagon shape is an obvious homage to what brought us to the District in the first place.  The background is a hot pink background with many,many appliqued alligators.  I was trying to go with a somewhat preppy theme as summer and the pink& green combo go hand in hand for me.  I embroidered white diagonal lines and then hand-quilted it with kelly green thread to allude to an argyle theme.

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

Basil Backpack III

MBaird Punishment 006 2

This Basil Backpack was made for the client’s son.  Her little guy loves sneakers and sports so the coordinating  fabric choice was easy.   The Basil is made from bottom of the uniform leg.

BDUs had a drawstring built right into the hem of the pants so that the leg would remain bloused when tucked in the boot.  A Basil is an upside down section of the leg so that the cuff of the pants is now the top of the backpack. The ACU pants that the client gave me does not have that drawstring .  So sticking with the military theme,  I used 550 cord instead.

The girl who is modeling the backpack is an average-sized 5 1/2 year old. Hopefully that gives a good idea of how this would fit on your little one.