Wednesday, February 29, 2012

SkypeR Connects Quilts of Valor, Mother and Son

For each of us - we sew and Quilt to Honor and Comfort those service member
and veterans touched by war. As many know, when a loved one goes to war, so does the family.  The family, this Nation and the QOV family consider those that serve to protect and defend us  - our Heroes.

Marcella Pirner-Cormier, Destination Coordinator, Quilts of Valor
Foundation, handles QOV requests, both nationally and for those that are
down-range. Marcella forwarded a request from Cindi in Knoxville, TN for her
son Kyle.

Kyle, a USAF Intelligence Technician, on second deployment had an
opportunity to stand up a new Intel system.  His first child was due any
day.


Kyle knew the vital mission the system served and was torn between staying
behind or ensuring the system was deployed to meet the mission.  He told
Cindi "Mom, I will make a difference; maybe I can save some lives". Cindi
said "I believe he did".

Kyle's son arrived 7 days before he left for the war front. Cindi said of
her son Kyle, "He is my hero" and to the Quilts of Valor Foundation "Thank
you for all you do."

Cindi - From all of us at QOVF - "Thank you for your family's service and
sacrifice for all of us".

And speaking of technology - for this presentation, it was the first known
SkypeR of a QOV Presentation!

Thank you Rachael!

Honor and Comfort was served at 6:00 PM



Submitted by Jeff Thorne

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Miami Soldier Ride

Below is the YOUTUBE link to the 2012 Miami Soldier Ride video which tells
the story of the day the Gold Coast Quilt Guild and other local guild
members presented a QUILT OF VALOR to each Soldier Ride participant at the
Miami VA Hospital before they embarked on their team bike from Miami VA to
the Florida Keys (January 12, 2012).

This  video was prepared by a Gold Coast Quilt Guild member who is gifted in
combing pictures and music and without words creates awareness of the harsh
reality of the incredible sacrifices made by these young men and women for
our freedom as they bravely face new challenges in their lives that have
been changed forever.

Please share this story with your family and friends.  Make sure your sound
is on and your tissues are nearby.


Monday, February 27, 2012

Shared by Sharon


I think I need to share this experience with all of our QOVer's.  Last fall
I made a QOV for an acquaintance and member of our golf club.  He is a
Vietnam Veteran and he told me, many months ago, that he had burned all of
his medals, uniforms, etc.  He also shared that he personally had paid for
and undergone extensive psychiatric treatment.  He said he wanted nothing
to remind him of any of it.

When the quilt was ready, I called him and asked if he would accept the
quilt, made by me especially for him.  His answer was no - give it to
someone else.  He was not worthy to receive a quilt but was 100% behind the
QOV program.  I told him I respected his decision and the quilt was passed
to the next recipient.

This past Friday night my husband and I went to the club for dinner.  I ran
into my friend at the door.  He gave me a BIG hug and asked if I still had
"his" quilt.
We talked at length and I learned a very valuable lesson from this man.  He
said he had been touched when I called.  He said he had been doing a lot of
thinking and soul searching since my call.  He SAID - Quilts of Valor are
being given for "All the right reasons".  He would, he said, accept a QOV.
I shared I had a special one I had made.  His name is going on it.

In addition, he shared the "Right reasons"!   When you have been in a
position of having to take the life of another human being - you ARE NOT a
hero.  He said I had never used the term hero.  He said, hero's save lives
they do not take them.  I agree 100% with him.  I have always made it a
habit of never using the term but what I do say is the quilts are
comforting and healing.  Having been in the position of personally
presenting in the neighborhood of 500 QOV's to members of all wars, I am
very sensitive to the feelings of these men and women.

So, when you want to add "Hero" to the label or the letter, think about
what it really means to these soldiers.  We will probably never know the
horrors these soldiers faced, they have protected us from that too.

Sharon - ID Coordinator

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Spotlight Sunday

This weeks Spotlight Sunday takes us to another Linda - this Linda lives in Colorado. She and her group of quilters are quite amazing. 



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!!! 

Friday, February 24, 2012

North Idaho and Lewis Clark QOV

Feb 12, 2012 the North Idaho Quilts of Valor and the Lewis-Clark Quilts of Valor joined to present the final 210 Quilts of Valor to the 145th Idaho National Guard Support Units.  

There were two presentations.  The attached
pictures are of the first group which was the smallest.......then my camera died. Idaho quilters from Kimberly,  McCall, Lewiston, Kamiah, Coeur
D'Alene, and Moscow were joined by quilters from Oklahoma, Colorado, Florida, Washington, Arizona and many more states and individuals.  

Our total awarded quilts were 279.





The young men and women receiving their Quilts each received a "HUG" from us (There were 8 of us dishing out the love).  

I think it is imperative to impart the hug whenever possible.  It is the last physical gift of love we
can impart to each of them.  It is the healing love and genuine knowledge we care and wish them well.








We would like to thank everyone who helped us out.  We could have not reached our goal without your help.  In fact, we received a few more than
we needed for the presentation.  Fourteen quilts have been shipped via the Destination Coordinator to where they are most needed.  Idaho is continuing
our mission.  The need is great and we will continue to do our part to the best of our ability.



Submitted by Sharon L - Thank you!!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

QOV goes to Ft Riley

On Friday, Jan. 27 a total of 38 quilts were awarded to members of the HHC
from Ft Riley. Several months ago, Deborah Slager had made a quilts for her
nephew, Sgt. 1st Cl. Jason Audiss and had asked Qov - Kansas to make arrangements to
deliver the quilt to him when he returned from Afghanistan. 



Debbie sent a few other quilts, and QOV-Kansas supplied the rest. We drove to Ft Riley, set up
some quilt frames and displayed the quilts. We had enough for the soldiers to
choose a quilt that "spoke to them individually". 



Overall they were very
excited. During the presentation to Sgt Audiss we could see the rest of them
looking over the quilts - spotting the one each one wanted. 



One soldier had his wife serving in another section - he went to get her so they could choose
their quilt together! 






Another was very satisfied to get one with the Mello Yello
Nascar Car on it, because Mello Yellow is his favorite beverage! Every one
expressed how happy they were to be awarded a quilt. 



The idea that their name went on the label made it even more special.


*Submitted by Martha - regional Coordinator in Kansas

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Pattern Inspiration

Over at Persimmon Quilts there is a new Mystery Starting.  Her mystery starts on February 25th and is a scrappy mystery.... so head on over to LeAnns webpage and check it out.


http://www.persimmonquilts.com/Mystery22/Mystery22-Homepage.html

While you are there, you can check out the past mysteries as well!!!



Sunday, February 19, 2012

Spotlight Sunday

This weeks Spotlight Sunday takes us to Alaska... and Linda K .... she has a great story - are you ready?  Linda shares her time between Alaska and Oregon !!





Memories of my Grandfather actually led me to quilting. Both of my grandmothers had passed away decades before I was born. but Grandpa kept one of them "real" with his stories about a crazy quilt he kept on his spare bed. When I'd visit him overnight he'd sit on the edge of my bed and tell me stories about the various pieces in that quilt. Finally, in the early 1990's I gave in to my obsession with Grandma's quilt and learned to make my own.. I tell everyone I retired in 1998 so I'd have lots of time to quilt.
 
My quilting addiction lead me to begin making Quilts of Valor in 2005, sending all of my quilts to Balad, Iraq that year. After receiving notes from some nurses at the hospital there, I was hooked. Now nearly all of my quilting time is devoted to QOVs.
 
In May, 2011, I joined the staff of QOVF as Alaska's Regional Coordinator &  began visiting quilt shops in South Central Alaska, wrote to shops and guilds around the state and even spoke at my local guild. I have a lot more of the state to contact.
   

Alaska covers a lot of territory! I'll never get bored as I attempt to learn where to find more quilters for our mission! Some research has shown that there are more veterans per capita in Alaska than any other state of the union. There are nine military bases across Alaska, too. So as you can see, more quilts and quilters are needed in the Great North.
 
After presenting the program at Valley Quilters' Guild meeting in Palmer, Alaska last June several of the members took home blocks from Moda's "Just One Star Challenge" and began turning those blocks into very attractive quilts. Then one member asked "is there a way we can ask for a quilt for a veteran?" I learned she's a member of the Wasilla VFW Auxiliary Post and had a Viet Nam Veteran who could use some comfort. She suggested I come speak at their meeting the following week. After I explained the QOVF mission to the group they chose one of the quilts I had on hand for that special veteran. The next week they opened their hearts (and wallets) with a donation of a roll of batting and 10 yards of patriotic fabric. I was off and running! Between June and October I was able to take 50 quilts to the Warriors Transition Unit at Joint Base Elmendorf, Ft. Richardson in Anchorage, all made by members of Valley Quilters' Guild.
 


The quilt shop near my home, Sylvia's Quilt Depot, suggested we have an event, so I lead a mystery class in October, using one of LeAnn Weaver's ( www.persimmonquilts.com) designs. It was so well received I've been asked to write a mystery for presentation at the shop this next summer. 
 
The Wasilla VFW post has agreed to let us have regular Quilts of Valor Sew-Ins at their building, beginning this spring. The small group that has formed as a result of the mystery class will hopefully grow to a larger, regular group of quilters.

 
In June there will be a Returning Warriors Workshop in Anchorage. I hope to learn more about that soon and will probably be asking for quilts for that event.


Thanks Linda - for taking the time to share with us what you are up to!!

Friday, February 17, 2012

Project Progress Friday

Can you believe its Friday again!!! Hope you week has been super productive, and that you got a lot of sewing or quilting or binding in.... link up and let us see!!



Thursday, February 16, 2012

National Quilting Day 2012


National Quilting Day 2012 will be held Saturday, March 17, third annual FREE community event at the International Quilt Study Center & Museum in Lincoln, Nebraska.  Once again, visitors will enjoy free museum admission, demonstrations, lectures, and tours of the museum’s quilt exhibitions.  The museum will be open from 8am to 4pm.  There will be continuous demonstrations and lectures from 9am to 3pm on all three floors of the museum.  Attendance has exceeded 750 visitors each year, including 58 guests from 16 states, plus Germany!  The event is organized and sponsored by the Lincoln Quilters Guild and the Nebraska State Quilt Guild.  Handi Quilter and Sew Creative of Lincoln are this year’s commercial sponsors, providing demonstrations throughout the day. 
On the first floor, very popular lectures will include:
·        The making of the Nebraska State Quilt Guild Raffle Quilt by its makers (9:00 and 10:00)
·        Chris Taylor "Inspired by Fabric” (9:30 and 10:30)
·        Diane Harris of Quiltmaker Magazine (11:30 and 12:30)  
·        Dr. Julia Reed, Physical Therapist (12:00 and 1:00)

The museum's second floor will feature Surface Design Technique demonstrations given by a fiber arts group, friends and University of Nebraska Graduate students.  Visitors will have an opportunity to sign blocks and learn all about Quilts of Valor.  Handi Quilter and Sew Creative will also provide demonstrations.  Museum guests can tour the quilt exhibitions in the galleries, Jean Ray Laury: Getting It All Together, Tribute to Ardis James, and What's in a Name?  Inscribed Quilts.  We will also have an exhibition of "Modern" quilts, the first exhibit in Nebraska!

On the third floor, there will be demonstrations on hand sewing techniques and a hands-on activity, "Let's Learn How to Piece a Quilt."  Beginning adult quilters will have an opportunity to learn all the basics (cutting, machine piecing) from our volunteers.

The Lincoln Quilters Guild is "Dedicated to Promoting and Preserving the Art of Quiltmaking."  We invite you to join us for National Quilting Day 2012 at the International Quilt Study Center & Museum, 33rd & Holdrege, Lincoln, Nebraska.

Submitted by Sheila Green, National Quilting Day 2012 Chair

Updates available at:  Lincoln Quilters Guild website:   www.lincolnquiltersguild.org
Nebraska State Quilt Guild website:   www.nsqg.org

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

A Presentation in Nebraska

Our QOV Bee has a regular sew-in the first Sunday of the month at the Lincoln, NE Hancock's fabric store. Sharon M., one of our regular sewers awarded a QOV at the last sew-in to Leslie R. G. , Jr, a Navy Vietnam veteran.  



 Leslie's wife, Susan is also retired military, and it was a really nice afternoon chatting with them about their experiences and travels. Here are a couple of pictures from the event.  Sharon is wearing the peach colored top.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Pattern Inspiration


Thought you might like to see a finished quilt made from the Moda Just One Star Blocks. This was made by Harriett, and quilted by Sue S.   I think this would be a great quilt made from many different versions of stars!

Friday, February 10, 2012

Project Progress Friday

I hope all of you have been able to work on your projects this last week. I know my week was a little crazy.... but I finally got caught up on a few projects.  So let's link up and inspire us!!



______


Here is a picture of the February QOV.  Called Northern Comfort
from the Scrap Basket Sensations book by Kim Brackett. ..... from Nancy L in AZ/WA

Thursday, February 9, 2012

from Suzanne in Texas

Suzanne - a wonderful gal from Texas wrote this... and we thought you might like to read it. She is so grateful for being able to present Quilts of Valor to the injured... and so grateful for all the work that goes into a quilt.... read on:




I've been giving out QOVs to wounded warriors for 7 yrs. here in San Antonio and
have never turned away a wounded warrior who needed a quilt but, unfortunately,
that's changing. Thinking about our shortfall of QOVs each month, I'm saddened that
we have lost some quilters due to lack of response from the wounded. 

The wounded I see are those evacuated from Afghanistan (and previously from Iraq,
too.) They usually go thru Ramstein AFB in Germany before being transported on
medical flights, usually to my hospital or to Andrews AFB.  At San Antonio Military
Med. Center (SAMMC, formerly Brooke Army Med Ctr - BAMC), many have severe
injuiries, including hand and arm amputations, or hands and legs, or body burns
requiring years of medical treatements. The wounded warriors are often very young
...and not thinking of "thank you" notes, instead, concentrating on surviving and
healing. 
 
It's difficult to watch their struggles for simple daily activities, even with their
families helping. Yet their faces brighten (if not burned) and they are all amazed
and so very grateful to receive a QOV! They usually do get a quilt in Afghanistan or
Germany but sometimes medical flights arrive during super hectic times and the
warrior might not get a quilt. Or it gets lost during transport activities, so I try
to keep a quilt or 2 ready for those critically injured (burned and/or with
amputations) who I see in the Burn Center where I volunteer.  I do double duty as
the unofficial on-site QOV rep (not an official SAMMC position.) I listen and
comfort the warriors' families to support them through the critical waiting and
worrying, then cheer them all on later during rehab.

Recently, I requested some QOVs but was unable to get even one, so I understand the meaning behind the "not enough quilts" statistics. 

Living  in TX, with so many quilters makes it even more sad to think I cannot get a QOV when needed.  

Maybe sharing these stories will inspire new quilters to join in.
 
I know there are many big-hearted, busy folks who make QOVF a wonderful,  productive organization.  Thanks to all of you for the honor and  comfort your quilts bestow upon our deserving warriors.   Happy quilting!

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Inspiration from Julia in Nebraska

I've been keeping Missy HQ busy gearing up for the National Quilt Day, March
17 at International Quilt Study & Museum.  Lincoln QOV will be featured
along with Handi Quilter and a local shop Sew Creative.

The attached picture is Judy L's Square Batik, love the colors in this one.
I top stitched using flags and stars!  Judy also asked for "words" ... I've
done several QOV's with "bravery, honor, valor & courage ... which I did at
the top and bottom, but no picture of that!!






Hey Speaking of National Quilt day... does anyone have any plans???

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Pattern Inspirations from Karen

Karen - one of our fearless Quilt of Valor people sent in these great Mock ups of Quilts using stars. Thought maybe they would provide some inspiration to you...   I can see doing a block drive for the star blocks and then putting them in these different settings.


Enjoy!!




Sunday, February 5, 2012

Spotlight Sunday

This weeks Spotlight Sunday takes us out to Southern California... to ....Barbara Winkler!!! Barb is one of the forces behind http://socalQOV.org and is she a force to be reckoned with!!


This is Barb presenting one of the QOV's she has made, during a welcome home at the Sepulveda VA

This is her filling out a label - with one of the right hand quilters in the background - Helga.


So lets get to the interview!!



Tell me how you got started?  

I was searching the internet for something back in about 2005, and read about a mystery quilt…hadn’t heard of that, so checked it out.  Turned out to be for QOVF.  I had lots of fabric on hand, so thought why not give back to our Veterans.

How many people have you recruited?

  LOTS.  My main group in the greater Long Beach area has about a dozen regulars, and then we have people who either sew at home, or participate on occasion.  We have done block drives that have gotten people from all over the USA to contribute.  We have groups in San Diego, Apple Valley/Victorville and now Upland, CA.



Where do you present your quilts? 

We deliver quilts to Long Beach VA, West LA VA, Sepulveda VA.  Sometimes we are invited to attend an event to distribute quilts.  Last August,  we presented 12 quilts to brain-injured Vets.  In December,  we attended a Veterans Tribute in Victorville where the Vets were allowed to choose a Quilt of Valor from  over 100 quilts.  

We also fill requests submitted through the QOVF website.  So, recently we have sent quilts to a Marine in Iraq, a Navy Corpsman in Afghanistan, a couple of quilts in the San Diego area, and our latest quilt is for a Tuskeegee Airman to be presented on 3/4/12.



How many have you presented now?  

In 2009 we presented 366 (one a day and one for good measure), 2010 we did 460 and last year we did 510!  We number our quilts as they are assembled and we are over 1810!

When do you have sew days?   

We sew each Thurs from 1-5 at SewVac at 1762 Clark Ave, Long Beach. We also do special sew days at various fabric stores or the American Legion.  Our next workshop will be at Moore’s Sewing in Huntington Beach.  We have participated in Make a Difference Day each Oct.  And last year was our first event for Big Sunday in May.  We are working on a location for that now.  Our sew days/workshops are always open to the public.  The more, the merrier.  And, many hands make light work.  The more people who help do something on a given quilt, the more love that is in it.



Maybe tell a little about the high school kids that you have gotten involved.? 

We are authorized through the Long Beach Unified School District to give Service Learning hours.  Each school counselor has our flyers and the students can attend any of our events and learn to sew, iron, whatever needs doing.  On Sat, Jan 28, we had a sew day at Lakewood High School where we had about 50 volunteers—both students and adults.  We had pieced blocks ready for them to assemble into over 30 quilt tops.  Now our job is to prepare backs and get long-arm quilters lined up!

I think the scope of your groups is a lot bigger than many of us imagine, tell us a little about that.

  We have had Time Warner cable come do a story on us.  I was featured on CNN at the San Diego Quilt Show a couple of years ago.  Jan 2011, we had NBC feature us on Heroes at Home segment.  We have had a few articles written about us.  The most recent was on the front page of the West LA VA Newsletter—and on their Facebook page.  www.losangeles.va.gov



Are you the coordinator for Southern CA?  Self-appointed-yes

What your goals are for this year?  

To get some sponsors to cover shipping cost, printing, etc.  AND organize the fabric stash.  Need to figure out how to control the damages when we have this volume going through the studio!

What is one thing that has impressed you the most in your Quilts of Valor experience?

 I think the Vietnam Vets are the most appreciative—they were never thanked.  We had one who wrote to tell us he had held a grudge for 40 years, and now with his quilt he could let it  go.  (Waterworks and goosebumps are starting again!—how can that happen again?)


Barb!! Thank you so much for taking time to answer our questions. I know you have been super busy, and heard that you really had a great time at Road 2 CA. Thank you!!



Friday, February 3, 2012

Project Progress Friday

Its that time again - Time to link up to what you are working on!!  It you have a picture in a flicker acct or another online account you can link up to that picture.  If you have a blog post with the update.. link to that blog post... if you do not have either - you are welcome to email me the pictures and I will add them to the blog post.  I just love inspiration!!


here is some inspiration from Bridgette... this is a block that she has made for her sister -in-law. Her sister met Bridgettes brother when she got out of her first enlistment ( Navy)











Wednesday, February 1, 2012

From Michigan

This was sent in awhile ago to be put in the newsletter, and didn't make it in.... but i LOVED it and thought you might like it too!





Our mission, should we accept it: Meet at the designated location at the designated hour and put together four quilt tops for the Quilts of Valor Foundation.  

Mission accepted.

Saturday, 08:00

Preparations are put in motion.  The sewing machines are quietly assembled, bobbins of thread are checked and needle tension set.  The quilt patterns are reviewed, fabric strips delivered to each sewing machine and irons heated up.  Cups of coffee are poured, sipped at and then scowled at; this is not our Starbucks coffee. 

According to plan, a couple of agents went to the store earlier in the month to requisition the coordinating red, white and blue fabrics and to precut it into the strips required for the Rail Fence pattern.  This is a time-saver as our mission of putting together four quilt tops will take a good portion of the day to complete.  With ten people working 4 – 8 hours today, the mission should all be nearly completed by day’s end.



For some of us, this will be the first time we work on a mission such as this, while others are masters of the craft.  Regardless, we have two things in common.  One, we are all excited to come together as this local group of the Quilts of Valor Foundation for the first time, and two, we have all had someone close to us who is currently serving in or is a veteran of a war.
After bagels have been settled on, everyone takes a task.  The ladies with sewing machines naturally become the seamstresses for the quilt tops being made today though some of us novices also try our hand at sewing a straight line, a critical step in this process.  Other tasks include ironers, cutters and gophers.  In our group, everyone is willing and able to help in every way so assignments aren’t really necessary.  If someone sees something needs to be done, they ask what to do and then set to task.

Against the low hum of sewing machines, a quiet chatter begins to build. We discuss our families, how we miss our Starbucks coffee this morning, and the failures of boyfriends.  Our ages range from late teen to grandmother, but we all relate to how boyfriends innately have many faults and typically show no signs of improving.  (They often act like double-agents.)  We all agree that those very same boyfriends don’t improve as they turn into husbands. It isn’t long before we all feel like a comfortable giggling family.



Half-way into the morning, talk turns to why we all accepted this mission.  One of the ladies started our group after attending a previous mission; a quilting party at which quilt tops were being put together that day specifically for the Quilts of Valor Foundation.  After researching the Foundation, she began assembling our local group.  She recognized it would take a lot of local groups like ours in order to fulfill the goals the Quilts of Valor Foundation set for covering all combat servicemembers and veterans touched by war with a quilt.

While each and every one of us has at least one veteran among our family members, one member of our group is from a true military family.  With a brother currently serving in the Navy, and a sister-in-law and husband currently in Iraq, and a brother who did four tours flying Scout helicopters also in Iraq, plus more family in Afghanistan, and more cousins in more branches of the military, she easily wins our one-upmanship as she starts ticking off the family members using fingers on both hands.

The end of the day finds us content with the amount of work completed.  The quilt tops’ next stop will be the quilters where the inside batting and the backing will be sewn into the final quilt. Then it’s up to you.  Your mission, should you decide to accept it:  Use this quilt hand-made with love.  Do not stick it on a wall.  Do not fold it and leave it in a closet for safekeeping.  Wear it out.  



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