Sunday, June 25, 2017

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.

Saturday, April 8, 2017

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!