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