Always I Fought On – a Finished Memory Quilt


A finish that’s a nice reminder that not all memory quilts need to be t-shirt quilts – my sister sent me a few of my brother-in-law’s military uniforms and asked me to make a medallion quilt from them. Since a medallion quilt has been on my bucket list for a while, I jumped at the opportunity.

A wee bit of a slow jump, though – it was supposed to be a Christmas present. A friend of hers was supposed to send the green BDUs to me, but by the time we decided that wasn’t going to happen in time, a Christmas finish wasn’t going to happen. And then I was sick for most of January, and had trouble tracking down a set of green BDUs locally, and…well, it’s there now. Only two months late.

It contains his blue wool Virginia Military Institute uniform {same college my husband went to!}, his current Army uniform, and the old one. Plus some random bits of Army fabric in that border.

The centerpiece is an Army Star, which I searched foreeeeeeever for a pattern with no luck, then someone posted a comment on this blog post and boosted it back into Google’s notice. Thank goodness! Pat very generously shared the pattern with me, I blew it up about 300%, and voila!

Each section is quilted individually – stipple in the star, loops in the white borders, orange peel in the uniform blocks, wiggly through the flying geese – but my favorite is the outermost border. I spent the entire time saying, “oval, oval oval, out” – I’m sure driving everyone else nuts at the rental longarm place! But it turned out perfectly, and the corners {which I forgot to take a picture of} flow so nicely, and I’m very happy with the whole thing.

A detail so small I had to circle it – at my sister’s request, I added the initials of a friend of his who was killed in Afghanistan.

The back is the same Army fabric that’s in the blocks. And yes, it was snowing when I took the pictures. I was already late, I couldn’t wait for a sunny day! We don’t seem to have lots of those!

And proof that I do actually fill out the labels before mailing them! Oh, and I did remove all the uniform buttons before quilting it, then sewed them all back on. That was a lot of fun. //sarcasm font//

One reason I’m glad I still go to the longarm rental – I wasn’t sure where to start quilting {I guessed the outer borders}. But the experienced quilters showed me how to baste across several parts of the top {the black lines to the left and right of CC} to hold it in place as I rolled, and told me to always start in the middle. So now I know! And also, I can’t put it on the floor to remove basting stitches without CC being a photogenic brat.

76″ square

See also: Finish It Up Friday, Whoop WhoopTGIFF, Needle & Thread ThursdayMonday Making, Main Crush MondayFabric Tuesday, Scraptastic Tuesday, Tips and Tutorials TuesdayOh Scrap!, One Monthly GoalFinish Along {list}

5 thoughts on “Always I Fought On – a Finished Memory Quilt”


Wow! This is fantastic. You did great with the piecing and the quilting.


What a great way to showcase the old uniforms. You did a brilliant job laying out the fabrics and with the quilting. Congrats on a very fun finish!

Jenny Benton

What a wonderful job. Your BIL will be thrilled!!!


This is very cool. Thanks for linking up with Elm Street Quilts One Monthly Goal and congrats on your finish.

Lynette Caulkins

This is super awesome! I love the initials, too, for his friend.

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