Welcome back guest blogger, quilt designer, and teacher Abigail Dolinger of AbyQuilts! Aby’s Quilt of Valor pattern, Rocket’s Red Glare, is on the cover of the July/August 2016 issue of McCall’s Quilting magazine.
The inspiration for Rockets Red Glare came from a single block in a Civil War sampler quilt made by my friend Marie. After completing her quilt top, Marie sent it to me for machine quilting. I was intrigued by the simplicity of the Road to Oklahoma block:
I experimented with colors and orientation on my Electric Quilt computer program. I thought perhaps the blocks could be rotated to form a hanging diamond, but the design did not materialize as I thought it would. The half stars formed on the vertical and horizontal axes seem an odd shape to me.
Next I tried setting the blocks with the red “arrows” going in the same diagonal direction. Adding light blue sashing pleased me even more. Wouldn’t it be fun to add some yellow ribbons into the design?
I am grateful that Wilmington Prints sent me red, white, and blue strip packs to make the quilt. Using pre-cut 2 ½” wide strips certainly sped up the quilt-making process. The vibrant reds and blues show up so well against a crisp, white background; I love the fresh look of the quilt!
With this quilt, I am honored to salute military men and women in general and my husband in particular. Ran served over 29 years as a U.S. Army chaplain; I applaud his courage, sacrifices, and devotion to God and country. I challenge you to make a Quilt of Valor this year for your favorite military service member. He or she will feel so honored by your tangible gift which eloquently says, “Thank you for your service.”
I had so much fun making Rocket’s Red Glare that I purchased a Miami Vice Jewels strip pack from Wilmington Prints to make a second quilt of teal and peach colors. I wanted to show a different orientation of the patchwork blocks and also a similar yet different pieced border.
Here are four blocks set as a square (right). I would like this arrangement better if the four 2” squares in each block were the same shade of teal. Not wishing to un-sew all the blocks, I decided to sew sashing between the blocks of the quilt. An advantage for incorporating sashing would be a larger lap quilt.
The photo at left shows an experiment with the optimum color for cornerstones. I felt pure orange was too strong, distracting my eyes from the overall design, so I substituted an orange/teal print in the final arrangement:
By comparing the options of settings and borders for both Rocket’s Red Glare and the peach/teal Summer Glare, I hope you are inspired to make some Road to Oklahoma blocks and experiment until you are pleased with the appearance of your quilt.
If you’d like to make your own version of Rocket’s Red Glare and don’t yet have a copy of the July/August 2016 issue of McCall’s Quilting, you can purchase print and digital copies of the magazine here or download the pattern separately from our online shop.
The Summer Glare lap quilt pattern is a FREE web bonus – download now for your personal library!