T-Bud Co. Quilts Ohio: August Ohio Star

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August’s Ohio Star Quilt Block

August’s Ohio Star quilt block represents my son, born this month three years ago.

To the discerning eye, these are UK colors—the blue and white of the University of Kentucky Wildcats. You’re right. My son was not born in Ohio.

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Detail of Kentucky-themed Ohio Star quilt block.

At 32 weeks pregnant, my family and I headed to Lake Cumberland in Kentucky for an annual weekend trip. On Saturday night, I went into labor, but I didn’t really know I was in the early stages of labor. My doctor (in Ohio) told me to take it easy and get some sleep. That doesn’t help when you’re in labor. Sunday morning, instead of driving back to Ohio, my husband drove me to Lake Cumberland Regional Hospital.

Delivering at 32 weeks isn’t great. It really isn’t great when you’re a 4-hour drive from home. But! We were in the best, worst-case scenario. The doctor and nurses were friendly, smart, and on the same page as us! My son came out breathing and eating on his own! There was no need to transfer him to a larger hospital with higher-level NICU over an hour away (but still in Kentucky)! We went home after about 12 days in the hospital! (That’s a long time, but a mere blip on the calendar compared to other preemies.)

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Detail of Kentucky-themed Ohio Star quilt block.

I had to include my son in my Ohio Star quilt, because my kids and husband (remember January’s block?) are the main reasons I enjoy living in Ohio. My son wasn’t born here, but besides those 12 days in Kentucky, he’s lived here his whole life. His Kentucky origin will always be a twist in his story. He’ll say he grew up in Ohio, but has a Kentucky birth certificate. I can’t wait to hear this story in his own words and the perspective he puts on it.

This block was easy to make. I followed the traditional pattern in iconic Wildcats white and royal blue.

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August’s Ohio Star Quilt Block

Welcome Blanket Quilt

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Welcome Blanket Quilt

After seeing pictures of children sleeping under foil blankets at the border, I knew I had to participate in the Welcome Blanket project. This quilt, and others made by different crafters, will eventually be distributed to refugees and other immigrants through resettlement organizations after being displayed as part of MODA’s exhibit, “Making Change: The Art and Craft of Activism.”

I know it’s not going to the children sleeping under foil blankets, but the sentiment is the same. I started to quilt because I wanted to ensure that my family members always have quilts to sleep under. As the daughter of a quilter, I have slept under nothing but handmade quilts. I think I get better sleep, plus, knowing that someone loves you enough to put that much work into a quilt for you is one of the best feelings. Refugees and immigrants deserve to feel this, as do all human beings.

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TLC Quilt Label

I labeled my quilt with “TLC” even though my middle name is “Budnik.” “Louise” is my given middle name, after my grandma who was a daughter of immigrants. I also like that “TLC” means “tender loving care.” Which, I think is the whole point of making someone a quilt.

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Crisscross Tie

The design is my own, after miscalculating how much fabric I would need and making do with the fabric I had. I wanted to play with half square triangles, and after I had them made, I arranged them until I was happy with the layout. I tied the quilt with an “X” (crisscross) on the front and the knot on the back.

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Knots on the back.

I hope that it adds a bit of warmth and happiness to someone’s American experience!

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Welcome Blanket Quilt

T-Bud Co. Quilts Ohio: July Ohio Star

July’s Ohio Star quilt block represents the dense, verdant environment of the Cincinnati, Ohio area.

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July’s Ohio Star Quilt Block

In late April of 2011, my fiancé and I moved into our house, which has woods at the back-property line. In June, we flew to Alaska to marry. When I left Ohio for our 2-week trip, I thought summer had bloomed, that the trees were at their peak—the world was lush. We returned to woods that were a dense, dark green. I’ve never forgotten the difference that a couple of weeks made.

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Woods in early June.

July is summer settling in. The bright green of spring doesn’t dull because the novelty has worn off, but rather the leaves darken with the progression of the season. I love it. I love looking for signs of the seasons. I love the surprise of the differences.

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Woods in early July.

I find it curious that I relish in the nature of southwestern Ohio so much. I grew up in Alaska, a state that for sure has vistas far more extreme and striking. I figure that I either tune into nature because Alaska taught me to or because I am filling a void created when I left the Last Frontier. You can take the girl out of Alaska, but you can’t take Alaska out of the girl: she’s going to find nature no matter what? Perhaps.

The Cincinnati area is a great place to get regular doses of nature. Cincinnatians value parks. There are many, many green spaces. When I lived in Hyde Park and Oakley, I often visited Ault Park. Now, in a northern suburb, Sharon Woods is our go-to. Not to mention Loveland has a river running right through it and boasts an extensive bike trail along with abundant parks. Neighboring Symmes Township also has a couple of parks we patronize. So, if I don’t notice the shift in color in the woods behind my house, then surely, I’ll take note elsewhere.

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Detail of summer-themed Ohio Star quilt block.

So, for July, I made my Ohio Star in three hues of green with a center of brown. It may not match the colors found in the woods behind my house, but the layering of color is reminiscent.

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July’s Ohio Star Quilt Block

T-Bud Co. Quilts Ohio: June Ohio Star

June’s Ohio Star symbolizes the tri-state geography of the Cincinnati metropolitan area, which includes part of Kentucky and Indiana in addition to Ohio.

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June’s Ohio Star Quilt Block

If you fly into Cincinnati, you’ll know that you don’t actually arrive in Ohio. Instead, you land across the river in Kentucky. If you drive the I-275 loop that defines the Greater Cincinnati area, you’ll travel through three states: Ohio, of course, Kentucky, and a smidge of Indiana. Cincinnati belongs to a tri-state area and it doesn’t go unnoticed. For my June Ohio Star, I decided to pay tribute to this geographic quirk.

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Detail of tri-state-themed Ohio Star quilt block.

I spent four and a half years working in Kentucky. That is, I drove approximately 40 miles one way, crossing the Ohio River, to a job only a few miles across the border. There, I worked with people from all three states. I tend to think of the part of Kentucky that lands in the Greater Cincinnati area as “Kentucky-Light” or maybe even “Ohio-Light.” I crossed state lines to get to work, but it didn’t feel like I was in a different state.

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Detail of tri-state-themed Ohio Star quilt block.

For the duration of my job in Kentucky, the consensus was that Kentuckians didn’t want to live in Ohio and Ohioans didn’t want to live in Kentucky. (A lot of people had river-hopped in one direction or another and had made their final choice. My 80-mile round-trip commute was hard on me and a few times my husband mused that maybe we should move to Kentucky to be closer. I always said no. Because the job would never last that long (I was right), and because I moved here to live in Ohio, not Kentucky. No offense, Kentucky. Although, I feel that way about other parts of Ohio and even Indiana. Presented with two job layoffs in my short career, and thus going through extensive job searches, nearby cities always seem to hold dream jobs: Columbus, Dayton, Indianapolis. But, when push comes to shove, I moved here to live in Cincinnati, not another city. And, if I’m going to move 2 hours away, I might as well move back to Alaska.

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Detail of tri-state-themed Ohio Star quilt block.

My block is subtle this month. I broke the 9-patch into three sections and gave each one a color. Purple for Ohio. Blue for Kentucky. Green for Indiana. I like to think of the center white block as Cincinnati itself. The points of the star are Cincinnati’s influence extending beyond the city limits and into different states and counties, beyond the I-275 loop. All of the fabrics are from my stash, and I have to say, I love the colors!

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June’s Ohio Star Quilt Block

T-Bud Co. Quilts Ohio: May Ohio Star

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May’s Ohio Star Quilt Block

May’s Ohio Star quilt block is a cardinal, Ohio’s state bird. I didn’t choose a cardinal because of that status, but because I love spotting these birds. I don’t recall seeing a cardinal until I moved to Ohio.

The males’ bright red color is hard to miss. Regardless of the season, seeing the vibrant flash of a male cardinal is a treat. Cardinals have distinct characteristics—head crest and bold orange-red beak—so it’s easy to identify the lady cardinals even though they are a dull brown-red color.

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Detail of cardinal-themed Ohio Star quilt block.

And that’s it! I like them. They’re not even special to Ohio. Six other states have designated the cardinal as their bird.

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Detail of cardinal-themed Ohio Star quilt block.

That’s what I’m learning while I reflect on my 10 years in Ohio. The things I like best about the area aren’t especially significant or symbolic or unique. In fact, a lot of them are commonplace. But, I think that’s important, because if I can enjoy every day, then I can enjoy every year.

 

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Detail of cardinal-themed Ohio Star quilt block.

This block gave me a bit of trouble during assembly. I had a minimal amount of the solid red fabric, so I had to be careful with my cutting. (If you look closely, you might spot a sliver of selvedge.) And, I couldn’t 100% follow the Ohio Star tutorial that I’ve been using. I started there, but quickly realized I needed to break out the seam ripper. I also cut some triangles before they were stitched. It worked out, though. This will probably be my most radical Ohio Star quilt block. I relied heavily on my creative license, but the 9-patch of 4 quarter square triangle blocks and 5 solid blocks is there. The only thing I would do differently is maybe angle the left most block in the middle row. The cardinal is looking a little blocky.

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May’s Ohio Star Quilt Block