February 21, 2023

"Let Every Instrument Be Tuned For Praise"

The music minister at our church retired last year. Billy Orton served for 23 years as Minister of Music and Worship at First Baptist Church of Huntsville, Alabama; I was privileged to serve under his direction in both choir and orchestra for that entire time. To honor his service and retirement, I made a quilt for Billy and his wife Jane.

The quilt uses the church's logo appliqued on a linen background.

In the lower right of the quilt, I quilted a silhouette based on a photo I took during choir rehearsal a few years ago.

This is the photo I used for the silhouette; this image also appears on the quilt label.

The backing and binding are from a Tim Holtz print which has colors similar to both colors of the church logo. There are music notes incorporated in this print as well. I used fussy cuts from this fabric for some of the applique pieces too, in both colors.

I generally avoid photographing quilts in bright sun, especially at noon, but for this quilt midday sun worked best to highlight the quilting.

This photo, taken in morning shade, has more even lighting but the quilting does not show as well. 

I've pieced smaller versions of this logo into mini quilts before (see here and at the end of this post), but applique seemed easier at this scale. I had the logo printed on 36"x48" paper at a local office supply store and cut the pattern from that. I used raw edge applique and added a minimum of quilting inside the shapes.

For the background quilting, I divided the space to mimic stained glass, as in the logo.

I titled the quilt "Let Every Instrument Be Tuned For Praise," using a phrase from the hymn "When In Our Music God Is Glorified."

A glamour shot with a glimpse of the back combined with the front:

My wife and I met up with Billy and Jane recently to deliver the quilt and catch up with each other. I believe they were genuinely thrilled with the quilt.


  1. Ben, this is absolutely beautiful! I enjoyed reading about the details in the quilt. I'm sure he will enjoy this quilt for many years to come. What a thoughtful gift! Again, I'm very impressed.