Friday, June 3, 2011

News from Malakoff, TX

As quilters we are accustomed to judging a color and determining its value in our quilt designs. In a broader sense it is our choice of personal values that determines the worth and beauty in each of our lives. Aren’t we fortunate and proud that we have chosen Quilts Of Valor as one of our values!!

However, supporting a value brings demands …lots of time! … quilting, in organization, in recruiting help, and providing resources for materials, shipping costs and all the incidentals. But the final product …the fruits of our labors, the steps in our mission gives back to each of us so much more value than all of the demands.

Let me share with you some recent work of our group Chatty Stitchers. We are all members of either the Tyler or Corsicana, TX quilt guilds, and those with very understanding husbands are members of both. We met on Thursday March 17 at my home and spent a day cutting fabric and preparing kits for our “Work Day” event to be held on March 21.

We are fortunate that Dale and Judy Groom are our strong supporters and own the GreenBriar Creative Retreat Center in nearby Eustace, TX. They provide their facilities along with financial help for our workdays. In addition another great supporter and volunteer is Beverly Stringer who owns the Needle Niche in Athens, Texas. There is no end to her generosity and her interest as she both donates and discounts materials for our work. At the end of the day, Beverly opens her shop in the evenings for our use and restocking needs.

On the 21st we had 21 ladies who came for the day during which they completed several tops and pillowcases. One group hand sewed bindings and attached the labels to complete quilts to be mailed. We had some women unable to attend but they had others take them 9 quilts to bind and label along with kits containing materials for completing squares.

We had a most productive workday, but we had lots of fun also. …with great food provided by some of us while Judy and Beverly handled serving and the kitchen chores. It was a wonderful day.

However, our goal is for more wonderful days for Quilts of Valor, and to do that takes more work and more planning and more funding. Beverly will be holding classes this summer “Under Our Wings“ in which some of us will assist her with girls and younger women who wish to learn quilting. We will focus on squares and projects that can be incorporated into Quilts of Valor. Recently the East Texas Quilt Guild allowed me to set up a booth at our show in Tyler, TX to assist in raising money and recruiting women to help with squares for our use.

It was two days of continuous promotion of our work and our needs, but it takes that commitment to have those wonderful workdays and ultimately accomplish our mission.
During the Memorial Day weekend, I have been invited by the Classic Chevrolet Club of Dallas to bring the Quilts of Valor to their Lone Star Nationals Convention where I will set up my booth. Quilts of Valor brochures will be included as part of the show registration packet. The theme will focus on veterans, and I am excited about the possibilities of taking Quilts of Valor to what, I feel, will be a most receptive organization.

Are values selfish? I wonder sometimes if the enthusiasm and zeal that I observe in our group and find in myself are selfish. But I think not; I feel that the vision of making a better day for an injured man or woman is the value on which we focus. …. and that vision is a wonderful day indeed.

Nancy Kemp: QOV Volunteer

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