VA Hospital Quilts

At the beginning of the year I committed to making at least four quilts for donation through my local quilt guild. I especially wanted to make some for the local Veterans’ Administration hospital.

They have requested quilts that are approximately 48″ x 60″, which is a good size for a lap quilt. (Your local hospital may have different needs. If you want to make quilts to serve them, please check with yours directly.)

Recently I finished two quilts to donate. Both were completely made from stash. The first uses a very simple arrangement of 6″ 4-patches and half-square triangles. That part of the array is 48″ square. To make it longer, I added the unpieced borders on two edges.

The second uses a disappearing 9-patch block. Have you ever made one of these quilts? The usual idea is to make a BIG 9-patch, and then cut it into four equal square blocks. Each quarter has an original corner patch, as well as a portion of the original center patch.

I modified that idea by elongating the 9-patch. I cut patches as follows:
4 Corners: 6″ x 8″
1 Center: 6″ x 6″
2 Left/Right Centers: 6″ x 6″
2 Up/Down Centers: 6″ x 8″

Assemble the 9 patches into a 9-patch block. (!!) Cut it through the center in both directions to make 4 equal blocks. Each block will finish at 8″ x 10″.

I made NINE 9-patches. When each was cut into 4 pieces, I had 36 blocks. These were arrayed in a 6×6 layout to make a quilt that measure 48″ x 60″.

I used red for the center patches of the 9-patches, which gave them punch as the accent color. I used black prints for the corner patches, and gold prints for the L/R and U/D patches. The binding is from scraps of red binding I had leftover.

I like this quilt a lot. It was very easy to make and fun to arrange.

I’ll be pleased to donate these at my next guild meeting. With these and three others I’ve donated this year, I’ve met my goal.

16 thoughts on “VA Hospital Quilts

  1. Larri

    In Portland, Oregon, the Veteran’s hospital likes also the 64 X 80″ size for the hospice beds. Our quilt group (12 women) sends about 100 total of both sizes a year. We’ve noticed that some are sent from the hospital to the outlying clinics. We determined this when people have come to our group thanking us for the quilts. Thanks for breaking the disappearing-nine patch into something that can make use of more scraps (which we have a lot donated).

  2. KerryCan

    How wonderful and generous! I like the disappearing nine-patch but the explanation made my poor brain hurt. I think that has more to do with my brain than your explanation . . .

    1. Melanie McNeil Post author

      Naw, neither one, I think. For people who’ve made one before, it would probably be very simple. For those who haven’t, not as much. If I make another, I’ll blog the whole process with photos to make it more obvious.

  3. norma

    Both quilts are lovely but I’m a big fan of your 9 patch. Thanks for sharing the method.
    I’m sure the recipients will be delighted.

    1. Melanie McNeil Post author

      Hi Judy, let me know if you have any questions about their construction. Both were very simple. I’m not thrilled with how the top one turned out, mostly because the background fabric makes it very dull. But with brighter fabrics it would shine, too.

  4. katechiconi

    There’s a lot of satisfaction, isn’t there, in performing a service for those who serve us and our country? Especially if they’ve taken damage to do so. I had such a sweet letter from one of ‘my’ servicemen the other day, delighted with his Per Ardua quilt. It makes it seem very, very worthwhile.

    1. Melanie McNeil Post author

      Yes indeed. My guild supports a number of local organizations with donations. They are all important to us and our community. But since our son joined the military I’ve made a special effort to include some of my own efforts for veterans’ quilts.

    1. Melanie McNeil Post author

      Thank you, Victo. I’ve used the disappearing 9-patch before in three other quilts, I think. The thing I like about this size change is I could make a twin-bed quilt (60″ x 96″) very quickly, only making 18 9-patches. It’s lively, isn’t it?


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