Free Design #3 | The Commissioning Quilt

I have shared this quilt with you before. In honor of Memorial Day, I am posting it again. It’s a quilt I made in May 2013, to thank a friend of our son. The friend had flown from Seattle to be with us for our son’s Air Force commissioning ceremony. In fact, as a retired Airman, the friend was part of the ceremony, conveying our son’s first salute.

The finished quilt measures 54″ square. The pieced border makes it look more complex than it actually is. The center consists of 4 Ohio Star blocks. Each outside border strip includes 7 hourglass blocks. If you have consistent 1/4″ seams, the borders should fit well with little adjustment.

The picture shows a narrow final border. I drew this to represent the binding. It is not included in directions below. I drew this design in EQ7 with 4 fabrics. According to the software, the yardages are as follows:
A: 1 yard white
B: 1.5 yards light blue
C: 1 yard red
D: 3/4 yard dark blue

I used yardage from my stash and did not measure this for accuracy. The methods I use for cutting may make differences in this, and your yardage may vary.

The center blocks measure 15″ square, finished. In the basic 9-patch format, each patch measures 5″ finished. Sashings are 3″ wide. The narrow border is 1.5″ wide. The outer pieced border is 6″ wide. Some people can use this and figure the rest themselves.

These directions are for the rest of you. I made the hourglass blocks in the Ohio stars and in the border using the “cut twice diagonally” method. If you have another method you prefer, perhaps using strips, feel free. The cutting instructions here use my method.

CUT
A Fabric (White)
16 5.5″ squares
4 6.25″ squares
8 7.25″ squares
With the 6.25″ squares and the 7.25″ squares, cut in half carefully and completely across the diagonal. DO NOT move the fabrics after cutting. Now, cut again across the other diagonal. You will have 4 triangles from each square.

B Fabric (Light Blue)
12 3.5 x 15.5″ strips
8 6.25″ squares
8 7.25″ squares
Cut squares twice on the diagonal, as above.

Tip: When cutting sashing strips, I cut strips along the selvage, as it is more stable and less likely to distort for size when sewing. When sewing sashing to blocks, I know the sash is the correct size, and can adjust better for the pieced block. I also pin about every 2″, using thin pins. 

C Fabric (Red)
4 2 x 39.5″ strips, cut along selvage as above; you might need to piece these for length
4 6.25″ squares
7 7.25″ squares
Cut squares twice on the diagonal, as above.

D Fabric (Dark Blue)
4 5.5″ squares for block centers
9 3.5″ squares for cornerstones
4 2″ squares for border corner blocks
7 7.25″ squares, cut twice on the diagonal, as above
2 6 7/8″ squares, cut ONCE on the diagonal

SEW:
Use a 1/4″ seam allowance for all sewing.

Sew 16 5″ finish hourglass units, for Ohio star blocks. Each hourglass unit will have 1 A triangle, 2 B triangles, and 1 C triangle. You will have 4 pieced units per block. Complete the Ohio stars as 9-patches.

Sew 28 6″ finish hourglass units, for the border. Each hourglass unit will have 1 A triangle, 1 B triangle, 1 C triangle, and 1 D triangle. You will have 7 units per border side.

Sew 4 6″ corner blocks. Each corner block will have 1 A triangle, 1 B triangle, and 1 large D triangle.

Assemble the center blocks with sashing and 3″ corner blocks.

Attach the narrow strip border with 1.5″ corner blocks.

Assemble the hourglass units in strips of 7 per border. Attach the first 2 borders on opposite sides. Attach the 6″ corner units to the last 2 borders. Attach these.

Check the post called The commissioning quilt for another variation using a different center block and different colors.

You are more than welcome to use this design. (Don’t sell the design — that would be stealing!) If you have questions about construction, do feel free to ask and I’ll help you however I can.

10 thoughts on “Free Design #3 | The Commissioning Quilt

    1. Melanie McNeil Post author

      You’re very welcome. It’s one of my favorites, too. Can look happy, elegant, somber, … depending on how it is used. Just a very lovely design.

      Reply
  1. zippyquilts

    Nice quilt. One of my guilds does Quilts of Valor, so I’ll save this design for them. Is your son still in the AF? (Both my parents were AF officers way back in WWII, so I take special interest.)

    Reply
    1. Melanie McNeil Post author

      Thanks for passing it along. Yes, he is in the AF and will be for at least 9.5 more years. He is a pilot, finishing his training in Oklahoma. Very soon (within a couple of weeks) he’ll move to another base.

      Reply
      1. zippyquilts

        So check out Quiltineering.com if you haven’t already. It’s a quilt blog by an environmental engineer (think I have her degree right) married to an Air Force pilot.

        Reply

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