1. How did you get started or find out about Quilts of Valor?
I got started in this project when my husband found the website. He sponsored a soldier and found this and thought I might enjoy doing it. At that time, I was a fairly new quilter and discovered that this was what I really enjoyed doing. When I finished my first one, it was sent to Hawaii and I sat and cried when I saw the finished quilt before I sent it out.
2.How did you recruit people to join you?
When I first got started, I mentioned it to my quilting group and nobody seemed interested. Within a few months, I had 2 or 3 girls join me in this. Now we have 8 or 9 that come on a regular basis.
3. Do you have regular sew days?
We meet on the 3rd Monday of every month and people are welcome to come and join us. Our local electric company has a community room that they let us use at no charge. When the room is booked, we meet at the quilt shop in Buena Vista.
4. Where do you present you Quilts?
Most of our quilts are presented at the VA Hospital in Denver. We take them to the PTSD Unit (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder). The patients go into the program and when they graduate, they are presented with a quilt. When the weather is good, we make the drive to Denver and present them in person. When weather is not good, Anne (one of the counselors) presents them for us. It is so rewarding to see the smiles and gratefulness.
5. How many have you presented or made?
My group has made 550 quilts to date. Not all of them have gone to Denver - we sent some to Ft. Hood, Burn Center in Texas, Hawaii, California, Ft. Drum in Upstate New York, Ft. Carson received some. Several were sent to Georgia when a large group returned home. I have sent some to the Medical Center in Landstuhl, Germany and some have even been sent directly to Afghanistan
6. What are your goals for this year?
The goal for this year is to reach the 600 mark - I think we might make it.
7. What's something that amazes you, or that you have learned from your experience?
The one thing that amazes me is the attitudes of the people receiving the quilts. The first one I ever presented at Denver VA Hospital - the young man said "we didn't think anyone cared about what we were doing." We told him that there are a lot of people out there that do care. When I send the quilts out or present them in person, there is a letter and a self-addressed stamped envelope attached to each one. The thank you letters that come back make it all worth while. I have learned to be much more patient when doing these quilts. The girls in my group make the tops and pass them on to me. I make the backs for the quilts before we send them out to be quilted. My dear husband designed a label for us and I make the labels on my embroidery machine. I think it is a very rewarding program; enjoy making the quilts and really enjoy keeping all the letters and photos we get from the recipients.
8. anything else?
I am truly happy to be a part of this wonderful organization and I want to thank everybody that is involved - quilt toppers, long arm quilters and especially the staff that works so hard to keep everything going so smoothly.
The photo is of Matt and Tracy K. who live in Parker. Matt is a paraplegic and I was contacted by someone who helps build Homes for Our Troops and we presented Matt with a quilt at the VA Hospital.
The group photo is of Linda and the Quilters!!
We have our own website - http://www.ccqov.org
Thanks Linda and crew for all your hard work! I know it is appreciated!!!