Monday, January 31, 2011

UNDER OUR WINGS ~ NEW YEAR'S RESOLUTION

In case you missed it:
NEW YEAR'S RESOLUTION:
TAKE SOMEONE UNDER YOUR WING
I can't think of a more perfect day to make a resolution than January 1. Near the top of my list for this year is to serve my nation by taking 10 Rookies under my wings in the Under My Wings program.

No matter what your skills are, you can be a part of this fabulous program. The concept is simple and does two things: makes more Quilts of Valor (QOVs) for our wounded = serving our nation; and two, brings non-sewers into our quilting world using American Valor fabrics for their QOVs = supporting local quilt shops and American fabric companies.

Our team has worked very hard putting our new Under Our Wings section together. We want you to visit. We want Quilt shops to register to be an Official Under Our Wings Shop (OS); we want the rest of you to be a Rookie or Fan = serving our nation.

To see the Official Under Our Wings Quilt shops in your state, go to the “Local QOV Groups” link on the homepage. (http://www.qovf.org/localqov-list.html)

If your local shop is not registered, print out the information about Under Our Wings, and go talk to them.

Quilting to Honor & Comfort Our Wounded,
June D. Moore
Director
Quilts of Valor Foundation
www.QOVF.org
253-987-6130

Friday, January 28, 2011

Quick Action Needed

Attention all members of the QOVF community in OR, CA and NV!

Catherine Roberts and I are planning a road trip beginning February 15. I surely hope that folks register as local group or individuals so that we can contact you. There is only 1 group registered in OR.

If you want us to meet with you and or your group, or if you know of a great Quilt shop that needs to learn about "Under Our Wings", let me know ASAP because I'm working on the itinerary.

We plan to travel by car from North Bend, WA to San Diego, CA and back. (Not necessarily the same route both ways.)

I hope to hear from you very soon.
June Moore
Director
QOVF
june@QOVF.org

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

The Quilt Featured on Page 5 of QOVF Newsletter

Is Mildred Sherreitt's 114th Quilt of Valor, and a GORGEOUS one it is at that! Click on the picture to take a closer look:

Under Our Wings – BAE Systems ATC QOV Bee




A group of BAE Systems employees has been meeting at lunchtime to work on quilt tops and backs to support the QOV foundation. We work at Navy base in Southern Maryland. I’ve been making QOVs for a while and wanted to share this with friends. The number of people participating at each session has varied from 3 to 4 at a session. Since I am a newbie at directing a bee and none of the other participants were quilters, I picked Eleanor Burns Log Cabin Star pattern, making the width of the logs narrower to make the quilt more complex. The centers were fussy cut from a fabric with patriotic motifs that were perfect for a QOV. We meet once a week and I bring my sewing machine and tote with all the tools required. There are enough things to keep us busy; one person sews, while the others do the pinning, cutting, and pressing. This first quilt was done by Karen Bohn, Sheila Coon, Kelly Shields, Cathy Adams, Dawn Gatton, and Derek Tenney; Sue Selby Moats did the longarm quilting. We are almost done with our second quilt top and hope to have a picture soon. It is a nice break in the workday to help support our troops in another way.

Debbie Francisco
Saint Leonard, Maryland

Ron Olson's 1,000 Quilts made for QOV

Click on the pictures for a larger image.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Region 9 News - Sew in the Snow


"Sew in the Snow- in Delaware?"

On Saturday, January 8, 2011 we had scheduled a "sew a block for QOV" day at our local quilt shop "Serendipity" in Dagsboro, Delaware. A few days prior we had a couple of inches of snow which is somewhat unusual for this time of year in southern Delaware so we made sure to check on the weather the day before. No snow in the forecast- GOOD!! Much to our surprise, by the time we were ready to leave for the shop Saturday morning it was snowing like crazy and we wondered if we would have to cancel but we decided to brave the weather and drive to the shop. It was snow all the way but we managed to arrive safely. One quilter was already at the shop and waiting for us to get started. We had a total of 7 machines ready to go and the quilters began to arrive. A couple of them even brought their own machines and we had to bring up one more from the shop downstairs before all was said and done. We had a total of 10 machines sewing all day and made enough blocks to complete 2 string block tops (72 blocks in each) and had some left over for the next event scheduled in March. Those who had to wait to work on a machine sewed bindings and labels on other QOVs or trimmed blocks. One quilter's son had received a QOV and she said that he uses it every day and that it means more to him than words can express. I think that says it all - about why we do what we do.

A great big thank you goes out to all who braved the weather to come and share their time, expertise, and companionship to make QOV blocks. We all had a great time and accomplished a lot.

Laurel, Reg. 9 coordinator
Lenny, QOVF bookeeper

Honoring Returning Members of 278th


On November 30, a presentation was held to honor returning members of the 278th (in Knoxville, TN). 38 quilts were given to heroes.

The event was very moving and made more memorable because many quilt makers actually presented their quilts to soldiers.

-John Meyers

Region 4 News

News from Cynthia Chaffee:
Regional Coordinator Region 4 (Texas, Colorado, New Mexico, Oklahoma)
Proudly sewing for Quilts of Valor

Hats off to Jody Holt Bracken

Since July of 2010, Jody has organized a group of volunteers to support returning veterans with PTSD through the VAMC in Muskogee, OK. Her group, QOV from the Heartland, presented 43 quilts to veterans in December.

Thirty-two additional quilts are in stages of near-completion. Jody set a goal of 24 quilts to begin with. If my math is correct, it appears that Jody has almost doubled her goal to provide a fabric hug to the deserving veterans with PTSD.

The Oklahoma Veteran newspaper covered the story with pictures of many grateful recipients.

When Jody, a quilter and longarmer, contacted me about her desire to volunteer for Quilts of Valor, she mentioned that she got lots of interest when expressing a desire to organize a group in her rural area, but most said, "Let me know when you start!" So, she put out the word that she was "starting" and waited to see if people would come. Volunteers came; Jody spoke to a number of groups and more people came on board to support the warriors. Even one of the VA physicians came on board and encouraged the volunteers to write a journal. The QOV from the Heartland group are supported by spouses, a church, several quilt guilds, a newspaper, service organizations, and VA staff.

I can't wait to share Jody's next success story with the QOV community!

Hoo-ah!

Seaport Quilter Guild QOV Presentation


Attached is a picture of Mike B., a Vietnam Veteran, from Clarkston, WA. I had the pleasure of making and presenting Mike with this Quilt of Valor at our local Seaport Quilters Guild Quilt Show in April 2010.

I was asked to do a QOV presentation on the two days of the show. The first day we presented 4 of our local National Guard members with their QOV's. The second day was reserved for three of our first Vietnam Veteran's and 1 Korean War Veteran. Mike wept openly at the presentation, accepting the quilt on behalf of all who served in Vietnam, those who returned and those who did not.

Imagine my surprise, when a few weeks later, Mike emailed me this picture of him holding his quilt in front of "The Wall". This picture is as cherished by me as his quilt is cherished by him. His comment was "We can finally begin to heal!"

A letter was recently published in the Lewiston Morning Tribune by Jack Cluff, a Vietnam Vet. He thanked the Lewis-Clark QOV program for "your hard work to give something back to our troops" who are and have served this country. "The horror of combat at such a young age will be with us for the rest of our lives, but thanks to Americans like yourself, we are becoming proud American veterans again."

Sharon Ledbetter
coordinator
Lewis-Clark QOV

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Quilts needed March 11, 2011

There has been a request for 75-100 quilts for a presentation March 11-13
Returning Warrior Event in Portland, OR. Several groups from the Pacific North
West provided quilts last year and the request for support has been made again.
If you have quilts to send please contact Lena Tanguay. (info listed below.

LS1 Lena M. B. Tanguay
LOGISTICS LPO/Staff CCC
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Navy Region Northwest RCC
BLDG 2102
2000 West Marine Veiw DR
Everett WA 98207
Comm: 425 304-3812
DSN: 727-3812
Fax: 425 304-4814
Email: lena.tanguay@navy.mil

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Auld Lang Syne

Happy New Year to all....

I had some time on my hands today and so I visited the QOVF website
www.QOVF.org. I was clicking around looking at the wealth of information
available there. I was checking out the links for the "Under Our Wings" program,
the fabric lines, the many options to join this wonderful mission.

Then I clicked on the link for the newsletter. Just for fun I went back, back to
the very beginning and I read the newsletters from that first year. Have you
ever heard the expression the more things change the more they stay the same?
That is sort of what it felt like reading. It was a history lesson of the grass
roots movement to cover our wounded.

I had to chuckle when I read about people getting their panties in a bunch
and un-subscribing because "presentation cases" were requested/required for each
quilt. (Something we do now with out a second thought) There was discussion of
fabric quality, fabric color choices, batting, age appropriate fabric and
pattern choices, meeting size requirements. (Catherine would not wavier on the
quality issue, she wanted only the very best for those who would lay down their
lives for our freedom. Sound familiar?) Interestingly enough, every time there
was some sort of policy change their was some grumbling, a few bumps in the
road, a few gripes and then we sewed on.

It was interesting to read about the growth and maturity of the Foundation. At
first there were just a small number of volunteer toppers and quilters, a few
hospitals and VA facilities. Then each month more volunteers, more quilts, more
facilities. Pretty soon QOVs were available on the battle field.

What a miracle this organization is. From idea to action this is solid proof
that if we work together anything is possible. Our numbers have grown in leaps
and bounds thanks to your dedication and steadfast loyalty to this Mission.

Yes, we have had disagreements and bumps in the road, and occasional bunched
panties! But with open minds and open discussion look at where we started and
where we are today.

I am so proud to be in the company of such focus and tenacity, this Quilts of
Valor Community.

I hope we all make that new years resolution to take a new quilter "Under Our
Wings".

Best regards

Lori Kutch
Wenatchee, WA
lorilovesred@yahoo.com
lori@qovf.org

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Happy New Year!

Babies come in all shapes and sizes. As a retired nurse-midwife, the baby our QOVF team delivered today is different from any other I have delivered. The baby I am talking about is our new program named "Under Our Wings (UOW)".

NEW YEAR'S RESOLUTION:
TAKE SOMEONE UNDER YOUR WING
Uncle Sam Honor Roll
I can't think of a more perfect day to make a resolution than January 1. Near the top of my list for this year is to serve my nation by taking 10 Rookies under my wings in the Under My Wings program.

No matter what your skills are, you can be a part of this fabulous program. The concept is simple and does two things: makes more Quilts of Valor (QOVs) for our wounded = serving our nation; and two, brings non-sewers into our quilting world using American Valor fabrics for their QOVs = supporting local quilt shops and American fabric companies.

Our team has worked very hard putting our new Under Our Wings section together. We want you to visit. We want Quilt shops to register to be an Official Under Our Wings Shop (OS); we want the rest of you to be a Rookie or Fan = serving our nation.

Join us and make a new year's resolution to serve our nation.

We here at the QOV Foundation wish you all a very happy New Year. May peace and joy fill your lives.

Quilting to Honor & Comfort our Wounded,

Catherine Roberts
Founder, Executive Director QOV Foundation
cath@QOVF.org; (202) 525-7683
QOVF=nonprofit 501(c)(3)

We don't always get a personal Thank you...

Here is a recent reply from Ellen to a topper who was concerned that she didn’t get thank you notes or anything except an acknowledgment email that the quilt had be received by the POC:

Please be assured that most of our quilters only receive some type of form letter noting that their quilt has been received. Every now and then a quilter will hear directly from the recipient. It is very special when that happens of course, but since it isn't common I think that we need to remember that a lot of the recipients just can't write thank you notes either because of physical impairments or psychological ones and therefore we just need to "know" that the quilt is welcomed and useful. Hopefully one day when the warrior is "in a better place" a note may be written.

The journal that we request is so the recipient will know that they are thought of and appreciated. The self-addressed postcard is so the point of contact (POC) that you are actually sending your quilt can easily let you know it has arrived. Since you are getting email confirmations, as many do, you may choose to forego the postcard if you are sending a note with your email address. Many of the POCs find it just as easy to send you the notices via email and then you also have a record in case you are planning on using it as a deduction on your taxes.

I do not think that you need to be worried that the quilts are not getting to those in need. I know they are! Our POCs constantly tell me that they can use so many more than they receive from us. Please continue to make QOVs as we are still a nation at war and therefore we still have many warriors that are in need.

Thank you,
Ellen Patton
Destination Coordinator
Quilts of Valor Foundation

A Very Welcomed Call

On June 18, 2007 I visited the Mologne House at Walter Reed Hospital in Washington DC on a trip facilitated by my then Congressman, Mike Ferguson, to give quilts to our wounded soldiers. I presented 6 quilts that I had made and 13 quilts made by members of the Courthouse Quilters Guild of Hunterdon County NJ.

Although all the quilt makers included a personal letter wishing the recipient well, only one quilt maker got a response -- until last night. Last night, December 23rd, out of the blue, I got a telephone call from Mark M___ of Florida who had received one of my quilts on that
day. We had a wonderful conversation for at least a half hour.

Three months before our visit to Walter Reed, on March 2, 2007, the bottom of both of his feet were blown off, to the bone. 58 surgeries later, having refused amputation, he walks with barely a limp! The story of his recovery is inspirational. He promises that he will send a jpg of himself with "my" quilt. I can't wait!

I am equally proud of the country that could and did provide the incredible medical care he received that made the resumption of his life possible.

You can read his story here:
http://woundedwarriorfishing.com.

I am rejoicing with the memory of Mark's call, and the confirmation that the quilt gave the comfort it was intended to give. Merry Christmas indeed!

Judy Grow

Veteran's History Project

By Susan C. Slaninka

I attended a Veteran’s Day event this week which is always very inspiring to me. This year’s special recognition was given to the women in the military. There were well over twenty five women who had served from WWII on through today’s war in Afghanistan. Each woman was recognized with a certificate of appreciation for their service. One of the Navy women, who had served in Vietnam, was the featured speaker and she gave a wonderful history on the journey that women have had to take as they have wanted to serve our country. She was given a standing ovation by those attending.

Because we all have an interest in the veteran population, I thought you might be interested in another important effort, the Veteran’s History Project sponsored by the Library of Congress. The mission of the Veteran’s History Project is to collect and archive the personal recollections of veterans as a way to honor their service and share their stories with current and future generations. The Project also collects stories from homefront civilians who worked in support of our armed forces. I just completed the training to be an interviewer for this project and would encourage you to explore this worthwhile project at www.loc.gov/vets. In addition, if you know any veterans and I know that many of you do, please encourage them to be interviewed as part of this effort.