Sunday, August 2, 2020

Tony Ray

I have a new finish - Tony Ray.

A new finish!!!

The purpose was to utilize 4-patch blocks and make a Mercyful Quilt.
The inspiration is Anthony Ray Hinton.

Fabric Pull

Star Legs

The framework

One by One

Building up
Anthony Ray Hinton spent almost 30 years of his life on death row for a crime that he did not commit. After his release, he was asked in an interview - "I don't sense any bitterness. Why is that?" Anthony Ray Hinton replied, "Bitterness kills the soul. They took away my thirties, my forties and my fifties but they cannot take away my joy."

And so it comes together...

Finished Flimsy

The bright interlocking stars are a nod to Anthony Ray Hinton's joy that his thirty gray years behind bars could not diminish. I chose the name Tony Ray to signify the indomitable spirit of a man who was condemned but who refused to be bitter.


Finished 64" by 80"
Pieced Backing

Bryan Stevenson is the lawyer whose relentless efforts over several years led to Anthony Ray Hinton's exoneration. Bryan Stevenson's book "Just Mercy - A Story of Justice and Redemption" won the 2015 Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Nonfiction and the 2015 Dayton Literary Peace Prize for Nonfiction. The book was adapted into a movie starring Michael B. Jordan and Jamie Foxx.

Starry Star

Blue & Yellow

One Gray - Many Blues

Contrast is Everything


Tony Ray is headed west to Bernie as a Mercyful Quilt.  The quilt measures about 64" by 80".

Although the Supreme Court unanimously overturned Hinton's conviction in 2015, the state of Alabama has yet to honor his claim of compensation. The fact that the US justice system failed Anthony Ray Hinton and continues to do so is a stark reminder that much work needs to be done for racial justice in America.


Red Hot Binding

Bryan Stevenson is dedicated to fighting racial injustice through his Equal Justice Initiative.
Sharing Anthony Ray Hinton's story and dedicating a Mercyful Quilt in his name is my way of supporting their work.

The picture below shows the Reston Town Center. This used to be crowded pre-Covid and now it is the perfect spot for quilt photshoots.  So I took a few more pictures of Tony Ray, the quilt.
The popsicle cutouts hanging from above matched perfectly with the blues and yellows in the quilt.

Covid Times

So Inviting

Add a book and a drink for bliss

A perfect spot

Paul: That blue chair is the perfect place to drape that quilt...
Me: I am thrilled that I did not have to jostle with a 100 people to take pictures.
Paul: The upside of Covid, I guess.
Me: Will you be my quilt model?
Paul: Sure
Me: I just need one vertical picture of the quilt.
Paul: Where do you want me to stand?
Me: In the middle of the road
Paul: With my back to the traffic???
Me: Just for a minute.

You may think I am obsessed with matching the colors of the quilt with the surrounding objects. Dunno. I try. Sometimes I get lucky :-)

It is just coincidence that the gray background of the quilt is echoed in the asphalt of the road and the red fire hydrant stands ready to douse the red hot binding.

Cloudy Skies - Fiery Binding

And one last I say goodbye

The gray fabric (which I absolutely love) came from Connecting Threads.  I used it as a backing for Eric's Quilt. The remainder was used in Tony Ray.  Don't worry, I have already replenished my stash. I had to.

If you wish to make this quilt, please use the Neel Quilt Tutorial.

I am linking with all my favorite linky parties. See full list on the sidebar.
As usual I look forward to your thoughts.


Angela announced the RSC color for August - Purple.

Here are my fabric picks for Picket Star Quilt Blocks.

Purples for August 2020

 Be safe and stay cool.


  1. Beautiful quilt and a story with a happy ending! Thanks for sharing the tutorial link, too.

  2. That is a wonderful quilt, Preeti! I love the way the star points overlap and make a secondary pattern. I just got that book from the library the other day - preparing to read and learn!

  3. Another thoughtful and beautiful quilt, Preeti. Well done. :-)

  4. I love how you make Paul stand in the middle of the road with his back to oncoming traffic to get that perfect photo -- another reason to be grateful to COVID, for fewer cars on the road! I think you did a great job of conveying the hopelessness of 30 years' wrongful imprisonment, yet what grabs your attention is the hope and joy, just like you get from Hinton himself. His strength of spirit is bigger and brighter than the despair, just like your quilt.

    Coincidentally, I just listened to an NPR Fresh Air interview on podcast last night, an interview with the founder of another group that works to overturn wrongful convictions for death row inmates. You can read the transcript or listen to it here:

  5. You make the most beautiful quilts and tell the most moving stories! I think your heart shows in your quilts and your heart is so big.! Thank you for showing us!

  6. I have to get some of that Gray background too. It is fantastic!

    Amazing quilt. And thanks so much for sharing the story behind it. We can all take a role in making a change.

    Thanks for linking up with Oh Scrap!

  7. Your are inspiring Preeti with your quilting and the stories that go with them. This is a stunning quilt.

  8. I like this quilt and the story behind it. I can only imagine 30 years for a crime he didn't commit. I like the grey background perfect for this quilt.

  9. What lovely eye candy for my tired eyes this morning! I really love the photo against the popsicles.
    Your purples look great. When I saw that purple was the color of the month, I immediately wished for a warm yellow or orange, but your pulls have reminded me there can be "warmth" in purples too.

  10. Oh wow. Lovely with lots of surprises.

  11. I love the stories that come along with your beautiful quilts. Your backdrops are perfect for this quilt! Is the Reston Town center in Northern Virginia?

  12. I love the secondary pattern that pops in the quilt. I saw the gray pinwheels before I did the stars.


  13. Beautiful and I love all of your photos.

  14. What a beautiful quilt and an amazing inspiration. When I read about him - i thought - he is really one that could see the stars thru the walls... so this was a perfect way to honor him. It will be loved

  15. Preeti- as always the tale you told with your quilt is so inspiring. Love the pattern and the colors. Thank you so much for donating this to Mercy Hospital. I look forward to seeing it. ��❤️

  16. Oh my what a wonderful tribute to this man. Thank you for sharing him and this lovely quilt.

  17. You mixed the 16-patches and the stars beautifully. Great fabric choices. And what fun to have the perfect place for a photo shoot! You are kindness itself to donate this striking quilt. Congratulations.

  18. I love the wonky stars and the interconnectedness of them. I love how the gray fabric forms flowers. I really enjoy reading the stories of our quilts and photos. Keep up the great work!

  19. Another fabulous quilt Preeti! With another important backstory. I din't even see the stars at first, saw the grey flowers and blue 16-patches. Love that red binding pop too!

  20. What a sad injustice. Amazing how he kept his chin up through that ordeal. Great photos with the popsicles, and the log cabin photo, too! Thanks for making this quilt, Preeti!

  21. Wonderful quilt for a great cause. Thanks for sharing the story. And thanks for sharing the design process -- I would have a hard time figuring it out on my own.

  22. Love your quilt with the hanging popsicles--perfect color compliments! And the blue chair. I watched Just Mercy recently; how great to make a quilt honoring the brightness of Anthony Ray.

  23. Another great quilt, and with another great story. I'm sure this will bring comfort to another family. Wonderful pictures, too. Paul should feel lucky you didn't make him stand in a busier road! 😁

  24. Such a warm, happy, quilt! I can't imagine the strength of character that would keep someone bright after thirty years of wrongful incarceration, but you have certainly captured some of it in this lovely quilt. Thanks for sharing his story, and your terrific pictures. You must have had lots of fun taking them; Paul, perhaps, not so much.

  25. What a heartbreaking story! And what a contrast the joyful quilt is. I hope it will be like his name and give lots of joy to the recipient. PS: Love the red binding. Gorgeous pop :) xo

  26. So pretty. I love the blue, yellow and red with the gray. And those blue chairs show off your quilt so well.

  27. Hi Preeti! God bless Anthony Ray. Indeed, they cannot take away your joy. Thank you for sharing this beautiful quilt and his story. I hadn't heard anything about this in the news, I'm sorry to say. The gray in the asphalt really does highlight all the fabrics, and your quilt holder is doing a fabulous job. Someone will really love being covered and snuggling in all the love you've sewn into it. ~smile~ Roseanne

  28. A great quilt, with a story I did not know. Thank you for sharing that and your exchange with Paul about holding. I get such silly responses from my husband concerning holding the quilts, but he does it! So glad it is going to Mercyful Quilts....such a great charity.

  29. Thank goodness there are many people who are on the frontline for exonerations. I get very angry at the system where it takes little time to convict, yet it takes years and years to exonerate and release proven innocent people.

    Your quilts always have a captivating story. Thoughtful, powerful and always fun to learn and read!

  30. A wonderful tribute quilt to an inspirational story/man!

  31. Amazing quilt and a wonderful story - ready for more happy endings for Tony and racial justice.

  32. I love that you always include a story about your quilts. When I first looked at the picture, I missed the stars. My eyes focused on the grey and I saw whirligigs tuning in the breeze. On my second look, I saw the stars. It's a wonderful quilt. We watched the movie and were overwhelmed by the story. I'm glad you found a way to express what so many of us feel.

  33. Great quilt and story to go with it!

  34. I agree it's an amazing quilt with a great tribute. I read the book Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson and saw the movie. Of course, the book was better than the movie and I highly recommend the book.

  35. I like the way the stars and the secondary pattern that looks like flowers fade in and out. What a wonderful comfort quilt!

  36. I love the quilt and the story. Pretty stars, and great shots! Paul is so brave 😉

  37. Congrats on another beautiful finish! We've a long way to go to address the racial divides in this country, thank you for keeping the conversation alive.

  38. Fabulous quilt. I love how the gold stars pop and mingle. Thanks for sharing the story behind it.