Friday, June 3, 2011

Thank you's

I just wanted to say a sincere "thank you" for my QOV quilt I received in Landstuhl, Germany after having surgery to repair my tibia, which had been fractured in Afghanistan. I will keep this beautiful quilt close-by for the rest of my life. Thanks to Kay & Elaine of Highland, CA for piecing and quilting it.

Gabe

*****

Following is a note received from the daughter of a Vietnam Veteran. We presented her father with his QOV. He has recently been diagnosed with Lou Gehrig's disease.
The family had gotten together to meet with medical personnel, hospice and social workers. They had a family dinner and ask if I would present him a quilt following the dinner. I was late, thus my comment -

Sharon Ledbetter
Lewis-Clark QOV
RC3 Idaho

Sharon,

Thank you for the time you took to run right over. He was so proud and so surprised it was very heart warming to all of us.

He was not aware you were keeping him waiting at all, so please forgive yourself. As soon as I get one of the pictures I will be happy to share.

Again thank you so very much for all you do. You are truly an inspiration to all of us. He hasn't quit talking about his surprise and how proud he is.

*****

Subject : donated quilt
Message :
My son recieved one of the quilts when he was in walter reed in 2006 and was wanting to find who made it and thank them and let them know his 3 year old daughter now snuggles under it, And says this is daddys when he was hurt bad..

Save $$ to make more QOVs




Here is my latest QOV using Nancy Millers Simple Pinwheels pattern and Judy Laquidara's Quarter Square triangles.

I alternate the QST with the pinwheels but laying them so that they made a complete frame for each block and looked as if they were set on point.

But the real star of this quilt is Linda Campbell of Galion, Ohio. She was the longarm quilter and has worked on quilts with me before.

She goes out of her way to make the QOV's special. This time she quilted the Pinwheels in red and the dark blue and red QST. She quilted all the white background with white thread. You have to turn it over to see it's real beauty.

I can't say enough about how much I appreciate the longarm quilters who volunteer their time. I have always felt when I send a quilt on to it's final destination that it is as much her project as mine.

Some of the quilters have added messages such as Thank You and Freedom or Pride in open spaces. They all look beautiful.

While we are at it quilters and longarmers. We all do this for love. But we also know this can be expensive if you do many of them. Linda taught me a lesson. When she sent the top back to me to bind she sent a yellow copy of an invoice. I'm sure she kept the other half. It details how much the batting cost, her time and how many bobbins she used. After the subtotal she wrote QOV and Free for the total amount.

So that at the end of the year when she does her taxes she can pull those receipts out and receipts for postage and have a nice credit for her taxes.

Each one of us is entitled to do the same thing. That allows you to turn around and use your savings for more Quilt of Valor fabric and backings and postage to mail them. Up to now I've been very lazy about that kind of record keeping, but I've been at this for several years. I really thought the war would be over by now. Didn't you? There is still a need though and each of us should do what we can to enable us to continue to afford to sew.



Sharon Downey
Pembroke, Ky

History of Wartime Quilt

A friend who is involved here in Knoxville sent this to me. She found it in her studies of Civil War quilts...... Kate Meyers

Our Army Nurses: Interesting Sketches and Photographs of Over One Hundred of the Noble Women Who Served in Hospitals and one Battle Fields during Our Late Civil War, 1861-1865.

Compiled by Mary A. Gradner Holland, Boston, Press of Lounsbery, Nichols
& Worth, 1897 Page 369

My other Henry was from Kentucky, and was sixteen years old. He had a widowed mother and
one sister, and both were loyal to our flag. Henry obtained his mother's consent to volunteer in his country's service, promising never to desert, and that he would prove true to the last. He was in one battle and was wounded in the lung and brought to our camp with consumption; was sick a long time.

I had a quilt sent to me made of a flag, with the request that it be given to the sickest loyal soldier. Henry was that one. I spread it on his cot when he was asleep. On awakening he was so delighted! He could not express his joy in the thought of dying under the stars and stripes, saying: "Pain will be less now, and, Mrs. Brown, when I am placed in my coffin will you promise that I shall have the quilt placed over me? Cover my face and body with it. I want
my precious mother to know I remained firm to the last. Mother said if I died in the North, my body was to be brought home. When the casket is opened, she will see her boy was true to the flag!"

The dear fellow's request was granted, and the mother was proud of her son.

Stitches of love begin the healing process

May has been a special month. Three "healings" have taken place. I would like to share each with you, for it is because of our mission to cover those Touched by War, they have happened.

Nearly a year ago, a quilt was requested for a Vietnam Veteran. Made and labeled, I tried to get in touch with him. I left plenty of phone messages with no reply. In April, I informed the Veteran who made the request of the lack of response from Jim. He said Jim had been having a pretty tough time and had literally "dropped out".

May 14, I a phone message informed me Jim was at a local tavern. A call to the tavern confirmed he was still there. I grabbed the quilt and made my way across town. As I presented his Quilt of Valor, the place erupted in applause. Jim grabbed me and gave me the tightest hug I've had in a long time. There were hand shakes and good will flowing within the walls of the tavern. A call later that evening confirmed what had taken place, "Sharon, you brought him home, you brought him home!"

Well over a year ago, my friend ask that I go with her and present a quilt to a man leaving the psychiatric ward in our local hospital. She had two quilts with her. She said the chaplain's brother was a Vietnam Vet and had suffered greatly, in and out of the hospital. She asked if she could make a quilt for him. The reply back from the brother was, "NO, give it to somebody else. I won't accept anything from anybody." She gave it to the chaplain telling him she hoped Mike would reconsider. Imagine my surprise on May 24, a call from Mike thanking us profusely for the gift of his Quilt of Valor. He had a special favor to ask. Would I be able to make a special quilt for his buddy, also an infantryman in Vietnam? He had memorabilia that was special to them both and would like it incorporated into a special QOV. When he was in town next time, could he drop it off at my house. The answer, of course, is yes. When I meet him, I have a hug for him. Welcome home soldier, welcome home.

Last but not least, Lewis-Clark QOV held our Under Our Wings rally and block challenge party on May 21. We had over 85 quilt kits. These kits contain 12-12" finished blocks, sashing, borders and binding. Each kit was put in a 14" pizza box and 47 women came together to stitch as many of the tops together as we could. At the end of the day, we planned presentation of 16 Quilts of Valor to local Vietnam Veterans. I received a call informing me one of our Veterans had been hospitalized the evening before. Bob had pneumonia and some severe blood problems. Following presentation, we went to the hospital and presented Bob his quilt. He asked if we could cover him with it. An email from my friend informed us, "You scored again!" Bob was released from the hospital the next day, he spent 3 days wrapped in his quilt and is as good as new!

I have been privileged to bestow well over 250 QOV's in our local area. It is our stitches of love that begin the healing process. The hugs, the tears and the love pour forth from our Veterans. I always feel there is a little Divine intervention taking place. We DO make a difference in the lives of others.

Broomfield Verterans Memorial Museum





The Broomfield Veterans Memorial Museum in Broomfield, Colorado, is hosting an exhibit of Quilts of Valor during the month of May. We've had many WWII, Korea, and Vietnam vets stopping by to sign squares for our quilts and to even sew blocks. We hope to generate lots of interest and new volunteers.

Becky Fellows
Boulder, CO

Under our Wings In Action



Here are a couple of photos from Liz Crew's March sew day in Highlands, NC. The photo with 2 adults are Melanie Miller and Liz. Liz is in the photo with Savannah, the young girl. Liz has a son who is Marine Special Ops and also has a quilt shop in her home and sells QOV fabric for 50% off "just because she can". If anyone wants to talk with her about fabric, her e-mail address is cutnpatch@yahoo.com

Arkansas News

A combination of 22 rookies and coaches gathered to sew, press, cut, bind, and in general have a good time making quilts of valor at Briarwood Baptist Church in Cabot, Arkansas, Thursday.April 7th. That very day a thank you note came in on the churches e-mail and was read to all. It was from Ranger Ron Benton and his twin brother, Don Benton, Army helicopter pilot, both former soldiers now living in Texas.

Included was a picture of Jerermy Adams in a wheelchair with a quilt.And a picture of a quilt label, Behind Jeremy is Don and Ron's mother Mona Callaway of Cabot. His note said,
"This is my mom, Mona Callaway from Cabot. This week she visited us in San Antonio Texas where we visited wounded heroes at Brooke Army Medical Center. We met many heroes. My mom had told me about the many quilts the super dedicated ladies at the church sew." "Mom, he has a quilt like you were talking about, I exclaimed." Jeremy said that when he was put on a plane to go to Ramstein, Germany to be stabilized before going to the states, he was given this quilt. He said he loved his and still takes it everywhere and sleeps with it even months after being given it in Afghanistan. When we turned the blanket over to see if there was a label and where it came from, you guessed it, The Nimble Thimbles at the church in Cabot, Arkansas!
I took a picture of the label also. Thank you all, you wonderful ladies who sew love and kindness and support into every stitch of those quilts.The system works, this is proof. Thank y'all for doing this deed of love for our heroes. God bless our troops.

Submitted by Sharon Bailey

Hello Idaho



My name is Sharon Ledbetter and I am the new Region 3 Coordinator for Idaho. I have spent the past 4 years spreading "the word" as the coordinator for the Lewis-Clark Quilts of Valor group. I would love to share some of the lessons learned over these past 4 years.

Lewiston, Id and Clarkston, Wa are on opposite sides of the Snake River. We work together as one community. Even our Chamber of Commerce is combined into one.
Our group is now in the thick of making 2,400 blocks for a 200 quilt challenge. We come together on May 21, Armed Forces Day, to stitch the blocks together. We will end our sewing day with presentation of 16 Quilts of Valor. Each quilt is personally labeled for the recipient. We chose to honor 16 local Vietnam Veterans at this sew in. I will have an update for you with the June newsletter.

Please feel free to email me with any questions, or if I can help you get started in your own community. National service is comforting and healing. Won't you join me in the effort to cover those men and women "Touched By War"?

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! …..in 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

QOVF News from the Gulf Coast



The Gulf Coast Regional Mustang Club gave me a generous 20 ft space at their annual car show at the Pensacola Fairgrounds the end of March. It was a well-attended three day event and many people stopped to look at the quilts, read the informational posters and write short messages of appreciation that I could include in care packages I was sending to some Marines and a local National Guard MP Company. 117 letters!
On Saturday, a young man stopped to tell me that he had received a QOV while at the hospital in Germany and how much it meant to him. Those are the stories that keep us 'keepin on' with our quilting efforts!
Attached photo shows two of my QOVs (USMC and USN) on display. The waving hands belong to my 12-year old granddaughter Chrissy who was a big help keeping the display organized.

New in the QOVF Shop!

Greetings from the QOV Shop

We have a lot of new items at the shop this year that you really need to check out. There are dog tags, 2 new labels, a new t-shirt, sweatshirt, apron, license plate frames and some great Under Our Wings items for both the Coach and the Rookie!
http://www.qovf.org/shop/index.php

Also - the new labels can be ordered in quantity directly from Spoonflower.com. This is a great online fabric site where you can have your own designs printed on fabric. We have two different QOV labels available now - the same ones we have in our shop and have two more in the works. Check it out! A yard of fabric will yield about 36 labels. Another option for groups who would like to order in bulk! Use the search word "QOV"

http://www.spoonflower.com/tags/qov

Why PayPal………. Many of you have asked if I could take credit cards directly if you called and gave me the information over the phone. While I'm grateful that you feel you can trust me… as a volunteer, I really don't want to be responsible for the safeguarding of your personal information. Nor do I have the IT expertise, computer equipment and software required to do it. This is why we use PayPal - because that is their business. If you don't wish to use PayPal, then we do accept payment by check. I hope everyone understands.

Joyce Lundrigan

Canada QOV Qualification

Thank you Catherine for your article and clarification with Ellen on who receives quilts. In Canada, we are distributing to our soldiers – injured while serving our country. As the Canadian military are more often in the role of a peace keeping mission, we have taken the broader perspective from our beginning. Recently I was fortunate enough to present quilts to soldiers in a care facility for our veterans of WWII. Having spoken with our elderly it does not take long to realize the post trauma stresses these soldiers are now living with. For many years they held inside, buried deeply, what they saw and experienced. If you speak with their children and spouses, you learn that no one heard the details. Now, as their memories take them back in time – whether it be Alzheimer’s or dementia or reflection of their life, the emotions and horrors are coming back to them. The quilts were received with many reactions, but the veterans all hugged them so closely. We have received letters of thank you from their families.
Thank you Catherine, once more, for your inspiration, and encouragement in our support of our Canadian service members.

Lezley.

Lezley Zwaal, Founder, Quilts of Valour - Canada
www.QuiltsOfValour.ca
mailto:QoV@QuiltsOfValour.ca
780-983-3210