Tuesday, September 27, 2011

11th Welcome Home Initiative retreat for Veterans - Greenwich NY

Welcome Home........

Here in the beautiful countryside of Greenwich NY we are preparing for the 11th Welcome Home Initiative retreat for Veterans (13th if you count the ones we held in Colorado and Ohio ) to be held at Christ the King, Spiritual Life Center.
At this retreat we will award every Veteran with a Quilt of Valor, as we have done at all the other retreats in the past and this gift from those of you who care so much about our Heroes will play a huge part in the healing process of the wounded hearts,minds and spirits of those attending, all of whom have suffered great trauma in combat. Thank you to everyone who have provided all the wonderful quilts we award....covering our Heroes with love and letting them know they are welcomed home and their service yo us and to our Nation is appreciated..
If you know a past or present member of the Military who would like to attend one of our retreats please contact us.....
Meryl Dawes

Monday, September 12, 2011

Article From September's Newsletter - Reg. 3 Thank You's


Region 3 Reminds us why we make QOV’s
Whether you receive an actual Thank You note or not, your QOV makes a difference! These thank you’s were collected and shared by Sheila Gaub, Region 3, Wyoming/Montana.

Just four short years ago we “jumped on the wagon” to help cover our warriors with the comfort of quilts. We have been able to cover 201 from the state of Montana, and word has just been received that a group of quilters from Wyoming just finished 38 quilts - they are really stitching up a storm.

I would like to share some of the “thank you” notes we have received:

From a mother who was privileged to deliver a QOV to her son: “I was able to hand deliver the quilt. He was very appreciative of it. He and his wife were amazed at all the detail there is. It was fun to be there to give it to him and to spend time with him and his family. Thanks again.” E. A.

“Hello, my name is J. M. I was wounded by a half dozen grenades in Afghanistan on Sept. 29th (2010). During the course of my movement back to the states I received a quilt made by your chapter. This quilt didn’t get framed or displayed on a wall. Your quilt kept me warm. Your quilt was used. Since I have returned home, your quilt is kept in a cabinet with other blankets where my family uses it nearly every night . . . for snuggling. Thank you for such a warm addition to my home and my heart. J, B & P M.”

“Dear Quilts of Valor: I’m sending back this post card to tell you how much I appreciate the things you do. I was recently injured in Iraq and medevac’d to Germany where I received your quilt. Having the ramp drop off the plane, and being introduced to Germany’s 50 degree cold and rainy mornings, I was freezing. A lot different than the 130 degrees I’ve been used to. Your quilt gave me warmth and comfort in an extremely cold and stressful time in my life. Thank you? Love, J. B.”

“Thank you for your dedication to assisting others in matters large and small. We all serve in many ways and by a variety of means, applying our own insights to the needs of others. Thank you for the love and care that you and your team put into the Quilts of Valor. Yesterday, I received the quilt you sent and it’s beautiful. It reminds me of many things – but most of all the sense of support by people that care. Thank you! Warmest Regards – Dave”

From Landstuhl Regional Medical Center:

“To all those who have been sending gifts to our wounded warriors:

I am writing to thank you for supporting America’s sons and daughters who are making hard sacrifices for our precious freedom. Your donations provide both comfort and encouragement for the Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines, and their family members that come to Landstuhl Regional Medical Center and Ramstein Air Force Base. Your generosity makes it possible for us to assist these wounded warriors and their families...and your gifts enhance the holistic healthcare we provide for all those who proudly perform their sacred duty.

What you have given blesses these precious men and women. I want to thank you for your caring and compassionate service to all those who serve their country so well.

Blessings and peace, Chaplain M., Wounded Warrior Ministry Center”

Email message from CPT B.:

“I work in Germany at Landstuhl ICU. Chaplain G. was so kind to donate some beautiful quilts to our wounded soldiers from your organization and I just wanted to say thank you and to all the wonderful people supporting our troops!! I am the QOV representative for the Intensive Care Unit. This is such a wonderful thing that you and the organization do and all of the soldiers are so appreciative and feel such gratitude. God Bless you and yours for what you do.”

“It is with my most sincere feelings of gratitude that I thank you and the members of the Quilts of Valor – Montana Chapter for the beautiful quilt. This gift is such a blessing and I will never forget what you have done for me. I pray that God will bless you abundantly and I hope I will have the opportunity to thank you face to face. Take care and God bless. Sincerely, MH”

“Just wanted to let you know the quilts are coming in. They are so beautiful, and the care & love that goes into each one is evident to any who see them.” (Message from a Chaplain’s Assistant at Landstuhl Regional Medical Center in Germany)

“Hey! I just wanted to say thank you for the quilt. It is very pretty & comfortable. I appreciate everything.” Sincerely – Stephanie

Via email: “Hello, my name is James and I am a Senior Chief Petty Officer Navy SEAL who was injured. On the night of July 9th I was shot in a gunfight with Taliban forces in Afghanistan. During my medevac, I received a quilt made by the Sheridan, MT Chapter of your organization. Last night I arrived home after 9 surgeries and a few weeks at the National Naval Medical Center Bethesda. I sleep with that quilt every night. I love it. The hands that made that quilt must be magic. Thanks to your organization and to the hands that put my quilt together for me. Here is a photo of me and my quilt. Again, thank you!”

“Thank you for the beautiful quilt. I will cherish it forever. Your gifts and card do mean a lot to all of us soldiers. I enjoy travel so who knows when I will come through Montana.” – PFC

“Our son was injured in Afghanistan on June 24th from an IED blast. He was flown to the military hospital in Germany and then transferred to Bethesda. He had lost both legs and suffered severe abdominal injuries and on July 10th he died from a very aggressive infection. We were able to be with him in Germany and in Maryland. While we were in Germany, Matt was given a beautiful quilt that was made by your group. We want to thank you for the beautiful quilt which we will treasure.” Sincerely – Matt’s parents

“Thank you for the quilt. It is very nice. I went to the Germany Hospital and picked it up. I am in the Army but I am a former Marine. So I really enjoy it. It is on my bed and use it every night. Thank you for supporting the troops. Thank you! 1SG A. D.”

“Thank you for the beautiful Quilt. It’s very comfortable. I appreciate what you are doing for me and the other wounded soldiers out there. It is nice to see there are people like you out supporting our Soldiers.”

“Thank you for the wonderful things you do!! I used your blanket when I was medevac’d to Germany. -- SGT S.”

“I would like to say thank you. Our Special Forces team had six Green Berets injured in an attack and we were given these quilts. They mean a whole lot to us and we appreciate it a whole lot. Thank you for thinking about us. Thank you so much. – A.

“Dear Quilters: We are medics here at Ramstein AFB in Germany and see many patients with your quilts on a daily basis. They look forward to heading home and sharing your loving gift. It means so much to know that they are receiving a gift of warmth from someone they’ve never met. Many thank from us, our troops and their families. – SSGT K. V. and SSGT E. T.”

Yes, Quilters, this is the reason we are still stitching. Keep up the wonderful work!

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Catherine Across America

I am just outside Atlanta Georgia.

Arrived yesterday after spending a day in Franklin North Carolina. There I was able to meet many fellow qovers at a luncheon that was hosted by Susan Gordon, Peggy James and Carlie Nichols. and sponsored by A Stitch In Time (Maxine Ramey's shop), Bri-Mat Creations (Peggy James' on-line quilt shop), Rana Rinata (caterer, owned by Lisa Thordarson), and SewFree Quilt Retreats (run by Susan Gordon). In the morning we met with Maxine from a Stitch in Time, and talked about the integration of Under Our Wings with her quilt shop which has the distinction of being one of the 10 best in the nation. As I toured it, I saw why. Then I interviewed three QOV recipients–one from WWii, Vietnam and Afghanistan. All had moving stories. After the interview, we had our catered lunch and talks from Carlie and Peggy.

Our veterans spoke from their hearts about what their QOVs meant to them. Nat, who was a POW in Vietnam for seven years presented me with a picture of him as he was being escorted by VNCs shortly after his capture.

I got to talk to the group and tell them I wanted to listen. I told them that at the national level we will be short 1,000 QOVs by the end of the year. I emphasized that we are a team and need to look after each other-both at national and local levels. Then they brought up one of the major challenges of getting QOVs from one point to another. Shipping costs.

Joan Gilliland of Liberty Lane Quilters in Robbinsville, NC from the audience suggested that perhaps what we needed were QUILT MULES! She said that she sends her quilts to Pensacola and the AFB by way of "quilt mules" to save on shipping costs.

We all loved this image. Then the ideas started flying around the room of how we could transport quilts from here to Alaska, from here to west/east coast. As particular people suggested ideas, I asked if they would take that idea and do the research getting back to Susan Gordon when done. I think we have a viable, workable concept.

Can you see it? Any graphic artists out there who can help translate this into an image for us?

From Franklin we headed to Georgia and two more quilt shops where we talked about UOW and how it works.

Today I have a full schedule and will report on it later...maybe from Alabama.

The South is intriguing for this Pacific Northwestern person. I love hearing the southern drawl.

Quilting to Honor & Comfort our Wounded,
Executive Director/Founder Quilts of Valor Foundation
(202) 525-7683

You can see more pictures of Catherine's trip on our facebook page!

Save the Date for Make a Difference Day October 22, 2011

Make a Difference Day (MADD) is the most encompassing national day of helping others -- a celebration of neighbors helping neighbors. Everyone can participate! Created by USA WEEKEND Magazine, Make a Difference Day is an annual event that takes place on the fourth Saturday of every October.

Millions have participated. In 2009, 3 million people cared enough about their communities to volunteer on that day, accomplishing thousands of projects in hundreds of towns. What a a wonderful opportunity for you and the Quilts of Valor Foundation to make a difference in the lives of those service members who have been touched by war.

Here are some ideas of the events that you can organize for this year’s MADD (October 22, 2011):
Sew days, long arming events, block drives, Under Our Wings events, educational programs/displays, QOV presentations and/or new volunteer recruiting events.

So save the date, begin planning, and be on the lookout for email notifications of downloadable flyers, and block/quilt instructions to support your Make a Difference Day events. Please contact us with any questions you may have, and let us know how we can support your Make A Difference Day efforts!

On August 3, 2011 a group of quilters from NE Oregon gathered at the open studio time of J. Marie Norris in her home. Six ladies who have been working as a group in the area of Ukiah, OR, about 60 miles south of Pendleton where Marie lives, came to meet with some of the Blue Mountain Piecemakers and share QOV's and information. Karyn Hinkley is their fiesty leader and they brought nine quilts to add to those we have been gathering for the helicopter unit which just returned in July from being deployed for their second time. The pictures I share here show the group showing off their quilts and we all learned from each other.

Marie demonstrated how a quilt is put on a long arm machine which many said helped them to understand the time involved by our dedicated LA's. Thank-you to all of you who take your precious time to do this.

We here with the Blue Mountain Piecemakers will be Celebrating the Life tomorrow of one of our members who has made many QOV's over the past 5 years. Kathi Thompson passed on Aug 9, 2011. Her special spirit will be sadly missed.

We have almost made our goal of 68 QOV's for our helicopter unit. Several are still in the process and we hope to award them by the end of October.

We hope and pray for all of you out there making quilts to be proud of what you are doing and always remember our military members and their families. They are why we are free and can enjoy the lives we do.

J. Marie Norris
Oregon regional coordinator.
Under our Wings at Country Traditions, Fremont, NE. We completed 8 of 12 quilts to the binding stage, tops were provided by Lincoln QOV. Country Traditions also had rookie piecers with experienced coaches sewing for 2 1/2 days, 2 new quilting rookies finished their tops, those will be presented to family members who are now deployed. Other piecers were sewing flag blocks for CT's block drive. It was a very successful event and Country Traditions might do it again. Accquilt provided a Go! Baby for a door prize and it was won by a 3rd generation quilter, her grandmother was her coach.

Julia Schroeder
Co-Regional Coordinator
Region 5--Nebraska

August 11 - 15 brought "The Vietnam Moving Memorial Wall" to Lewiston Idaho. We were asked to present QOV's to 2 local men, the Master of Ceremonies, Maj Kay Kalbfleisch and Ray Rooper, a Purple Heart and the man in charge of the many volunteers. These quilts were quietly presented away from the memorial.

You may remember Mike Beckley, the Vietnam Veteran, who sent me a picture holding his quilt in front of the Wall a couple of years back. He shared with me HIS story and asked if we might be able to present a quilt to his buddy, now living in Texas. Mike was the man responsible for getting the Wall to Lewiston and asked his buddy to come during its time here. These two men were the sole survivors of an attack........Mikes QOV was the beginning of his healing, this Wall was the final link. He wanted the same for his friend. Tues, Aug 9, Pat arrived from Texas. The picture attached shows the three of us at his presentation. On the left is Mike, on the right is Pat and I am in the middle. (Just a footnote about Mikes hair. It was cut - Tues morning. He lets it grow for 2 years, has it cut and given to Locks of Love.) Oh, and yes, it was the start of Pat's journey.

The Idaho National Guard unit will be returning home mid Sept from Iraq. The Unit's members from Riggins, Id north to the Canadian Border will be gathering in Dec for the 3rd of their required Yellow Ribbon gatherings. We are working hard to amass 279 QOV's to be presented to these fine men and women. We would be much appreciative to anyone willing to help us meet our goal, especially QOVer's from Idaho. You may contact me at for more information.

Sharon Ledbetter

Linda Springfield of The Cabot Nimble Thimbles Quilter's Guild, is
awarded a certificate of appreciation from Sharon Bailey Region 7
Coordinator on behalf of the QOV Foundation. The Cabot Nimble Thimbes
have sent nearly 900 quilts to our wounded warriors.

Submitted by Sharon Bailey

40 Quilts of Valor quilts made by 4-H members in Nebraska

40 Quilts of Valor quilts given to the National Quilts of Valor Foundation on September 3, 2011 in a formal presentation at the Nebraska State Fair. This is the first year of a two year Nebraska 4-H Quilts of Valor Challenge where youth are being challenged to make quilts for U.S. soldiers who have been “touched by war.”

Stuart Shepherd, Director of the Nebraska 4-H Foundation hosted the event. Jana Kruger, Chair of the Nebraska State Fair Board welcomed the group to the State Fair presentation.
Approximately 20 4-H youth were present for the event and were acknowledged as their quilts were shown to the audience who gathered in the 4-H/FFA Exhibit building.

QOVF Regional Coordinators, Sara Kenny and Julia Schroeder accepted the quilts and stated that the 4-H quilts would be given to the Nebraska National Guard. Sara said, “I would like to tell you that we don't need 40 quilts for wounded soldiers, but we do.”

This 4-H Challenge allowed 4-Hers to give back to their country by donating quilts. Many 4-Hers wrote stories to be included with the quilt. Leon says;”I am 11 years old and made this quilt when I found out it would be given to a soldier. I decided that it was only fair that I could do something so small after they gave so much for us.” Arleigh says, “In honor of your serving our country, I would like to share this quilt with you. There is No Thanks required – it „s thanks enough to make it for a person with such courage and bravery.”

4-H volunteer Carol says “I didn‟t know if inexperienced sewers could do this project ...I was astounded by what a small, young group could do! We should all be inspired by the people around us whether it is a 4-H group or a person who has given up so much for their country and the people in it. We pray that this quilt and the hands that have touched it will bring you warmth, comfort and peace! Thank you for keeping us free and safe. May God bless you and keep you always.”

4-Hers received all kinds of support for their community service effort. The Nebraska State Quilt Guild and the Nebraska Independent Fabric Stores helped to
spread the word about the 4-H Quilts of Valor Challenge. People and organizations in local communities donated fabric, money, long-arm quilting and volunteering time to help youngsters make quilts.

Six national fabric manufacturers have each “adopted 11 Nebraska counties” by donating 4 yards of fabric to make a quilt top, resulting in 44 yards of fabric donated by each company. This will help 4-Hers who may not be able to afford the fabric (which averages $10.00 a yard) still be able to make a Quilt of Valor. Most of the free fabric will be sewn into quilts in 2012 and donated at next year‟s State Fair.

In October 2011, Nebraska Extension staff will promote this state-wide Challenge to other Extension staff across the nation at the National Association of 4-H Extension Agents Conference in Omaha. The Nebraska 4-H Foundation, QOV Foundation Regional Coordinators and UNL Extension Educators will be at the Omaha Conference to build enthusiasm for this project.

3rd Annual Retreat for Women Veterans

August 2011, When our staff got to Wiawaka, Lake George, NY. ( for our 3rd Annual Retreat for Women Veterans) we set up the evening meeting space with chairs in a huge circle and put a GORGEOUS quilt on the back of every chair. Really they were so beautiful, every one of them and you should have heard us exclaiming over them. That evening when everyone came into the room, we told them to sit wherever they wanted without explaining anything. My hope was that each would gravitate to the quilt which spoke to them. Once we were all there, I told them about about Quilts of Valor and told them the quilt they were sitting on was theirs. Well. You should have seen their faces and heard them! They jumped up, opened up the quilts, exclaimed some more and some wrapped the quilts around them. One woman (who earlier had designed her name tag with a picture of fireworks because of something meaningful going on in her life right now) found when she opened her quilt that it had fireworks on it! Amazing.

~Meryl Dawes

Feel Free to Use this Sign at your next QOV event

Regarding the "Please Touch These Quilts" sign, please use this in your Quilt of Valor shows. It has such special meaning and people do respond by sending a wish or a prayer. Our Weekend of Valor was a very special day for the people of Huntley. Thank you for asking.

Janet M

Hunt the Good Stuff

Classification: UNCLASSIFIED
Caveats: FOUO

To Whom This May Concern,

My name is Master Sergeant Anthony G.

Recently, I was at Ft. Jackson, South Carolina, staying at the Hampton, Inn. It was 21 Jun 2011, during breakfast, when I meet one of your volunteers, Elaine Z., South Florida, and she thanked me for my service. We had a conversation and then she proceeded to share with me what she and 23 other ladies were doing from South Florida. I was totally humbled and thanked for her “Gratitude” towards our service members.

The next day in my 2 week class I shared it with everyone. It is called, “Hunt the Good Stuff.” We are to look for the positive things that happen to us on a daily basis.

I just wanted to say, “Thank You.” Thank you for your organization and taking care of Wounded Soldiers. Meeting Ms. Zahn was truly a blessing that day for I had never heard of “Quilts for Valor.” I am not sure if you are able to relay my thanks to her but please relay to her again my thanks to her and all she does to support us Soldiers.


MSG Anthony G.

Pennsylvania QOV'ers

Local Quilters Piece and Donate a Quilt of Valor to a Local Veterans

During the month of May, six local quilters met at Super Stitch of Warren to create their first Quilt of Valor. The Quilt of Valor expresses gratitude for the most honorable and selfless actions of serving our county in the armed forces. The Quilts of Valor Foundation was started by Catherine Roberts of Seaford, Delaware. Roberts was inspired to start a program that honors veterans after her son was deployed for a year-long mission in Iraq. Over 37,000 quilts have been awarded by Chaplains to wounded veterans at the VA, individual service men and women returning home from service, or to entire units as they return from combat deployments. Pieced in the shape of our American flag, the beautiful top incorporates various patterns and shades of our faithful red, white, and blue and is quilted by a longarm quilter.

On May 19th, Lynn Rossey, Sue Papalia, Cheryl Frye, Priscilla Powley, Carol Songer, and Sharon Graham met to piece together the quilt-tops. The fabric used to create the quilts was donated by Super Stitch. Sue Papalia, professional longarm quilter, Gammill sales rep., and owner of Zany Kreations, donated her time and talents on her longarm quilting machine. Her intricate designs personalized the quilt, making each one unique. Lynn Rossey worked with Warren's Veteran Association to select recipients for their quilts. They were presented to Veteran Ed Collins, who served in the United States Navy, and Veteran Nathaniel Williams, who served in the United States Marines Corp. The presentation took place at the Rouse Suites on Wednesday, June 15, 2011. Everyone involved enjoyed creating the Quilts of Valor and look forward piecing another quilt to present to another deserving veteran.

Thank Yous

I asked my sister to send me what she is doing with her quilting. She belongs to a group that call themselves – Quilt of Valor Foundation. My sister name is Suzanne and she has been retired for a few years and now lives in CA. She moved from the East coast for her retirement and started up her second group using her quilting skills. If you have time check it out below. There is a short note from Brigadier General Richard Simcock II . This is an example of some of the quilts they make for our armed forces.

The "Wall South"

Veterans Memorial Park located in Pensacola, Florida, is the site of the only known replica of the National Vietnam Memorial which is called "Wall South." For the past 12 years Memorial Park directors hold its annual observance of Memorial Day. Over the years many dignataries have participated in these ceremonies honoring our great Nation's fallen sons and daughters. This year we were honored with the presence of Sergeant Major Robert Patterson, U.S. Army, retired, recipient of the Medal of Honor, our Nation's highest award for bravery against North Vietnamese forces.

This year's observance included representatives of a local chapter of "Quilts of Valor". Ms. Roberta Speh presented this quilt to Sergeant Major Patterson in honor of his sacrifices and services to our nation. The presentation was quite emotional as the detail pictured in this outstanding quilt was eminent.

Mr. John E. Pritchard, current president of Veterans Memorial Park, stated, "This presentation was a great gift to a great American and was received by Sergeant Major Patterson with a deep sense of humility and appreciation."

92 year old QOV Recipient

Beth G. Culp with her father, Jack Harvey Garrison, when she presented him with his very own QOV. Mr. Garrison is a WWII veteran and was wounded in the hand (and is now left handed instead of right handed) and his hearing is very diminished. He is 92 years old and lives in an assisted living facility. He was so excited to receive a QOV. He said that everyone at "his place" was going to want one.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Opportunity Knocks in Alaska

I took one of the quilts I recently finished for show and tell at our local guild meeting tonight. At the break a lady who came as a guest came up and said, "I was just admiring the quilt you showed tonight and wonder if there's a website where I might go to request a quilt like that. My husband is being deployed for the 3rd time to Afghanistan in November, and I know he'd love to have a little bit of 'home' to take with him." I told her yes, I could give her information, but I could also offer her that particular quilt if she'd like it. After all, a soldier heading out on his third deployment certainly deserved it. I showed her the label and said she could add his name and the date to it when she got home, and told her what kind of pen to use. After the meeting she came up again and asked if she could bring the quilt back to the meeting next month for me to sign because she'd like to have his name written in my handwriting, just as I'd written the
makers names. I quickly found someone with a Pigma pen and quickly added his name and the date. Then, after we chatted a bit about her family, I asked her to do one favor for me.......would she take a picture of her husband with the quilt......and include the whole family if they'd like to join in. She said she definitely would. "I won't let him take his uniform off tomorrow until I have that picture for you." She said that each deployment gets harder and harder. "He can use this on his bed and know that there are people back here at home that care." Yes.......this is what QOVF is all about! Opportunity knocked tonight and I was so happy I could answer! The longarmer, Nancy Rowland, was there, too, so she was also able to talk to the wife after the meeting. I think the conversation with this soldier's wife made the whole evening more meaningful for us. The beautiful lady was *so* appreciative it was a joy to hand that quilt to her.

Linda Kau, Alaska Regional Coordinator
Quilts of Valor,

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Gold Coast Quilters present QOVs

Delaware Senator helps recognize mortuary personnel

6/10/2011 - Col. Thomas C. Joyce, (left) Air Force Mortuary Affairs Operations commander, presents Senior Airman Dayra Rodriguez Rodriguez, a Quilt of Valor June 10, 2011 with the help of Sen. Chris Coons of Delaware and Chief Master Sgt. David Fish, AFMAO chief enlisted manager. Airman Rodriguez Rodriguez is an X-ray technician deployed to the Charles C. Carson Center for Mortuary Affairs from Lackland Air Force Base, Texas. She is completing a 6-month rotation. The senator paid a visit to the mortuary to thank the men and women for the work they do in honoring America's fallen heroes. He compared the symbolism of the quilts pieced together to the team at the mortuary, explaining how although they may vary in age, ethnicity, branch of service and may come from different parts of the country, they all work together professionally to provide dignity to those who have made the ultimate sacrifice. Quilts have been long-standing American tradition during times of war. The quilts are made from volunteers for the Quilts of Valor Foundation whose mission is to provide quilts to individuals who have been wounded or touched by war. (U.S. Air Force photo/Tech. Sgt. Michael Stewart)