Tuesday, August 27, 2013

New Executive Director

New Executive Director

Over the past several months, the board of directors has been searching for Quilts of Valor Foundation's next Executive Director. The response to our request for candidates was outstanding.

It is our pleasure to announce that Susan Gordon, previously Destination Coordinator and State Coordinator for Georgia & North Carolina, has accepted the position and, over the course of the next few weeks, will be transitioning in as our new Executive Director.

Susan started sewing Quilts of Valor because of Carlie Nichols, who has headed up the QOV program in western North Carolina for some time. A few years ago, Catherine invited QOVF volunteers nationwide to make Autograph Star blocks and send them or bring them to Washington for a sewing weekend. Washington was too far to go for Susan, so she asked some of her quilting friends in NE Georgia if they'd be interested in making some of the blocks. They went to work.

Susan graduated from Florida Atlantic University with a degree in English education and from the University of Tennessee with a master's degree in adult learning. After graduation, she worked in the University of Tennessee's Department of Continuing Education, creating non-credit programs and events as well as recruiting teachers.

Before retiring in 2005, Susan was an international trainer in leadership development and strategic planning for corporations. She has enjoyed using some of the skills she learned in that role in planning QOV retreats, helping groups get organized, and creating better networking.

Susan and her husband Bud live in Georgia. They have one son who is currently finishing a graduate program in school counseling.

Thank you to everyone for believing in Quilts of Valor Foundation and for giving so much every day to cover all service members touched by war, and especially to June Moore for her leadership during the past two years.

Now, please join us in congratulating and welcoming Susan to her new role. Susan can be contacted at

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

The Presentation of the Quilts

While the setting was impressive (Marriott West), the food wonderful - including a chocolate ganache cake that was to die for, it was the presentations of the quilts that took the spotlight.

 Each facilitator took a stack of quilts to their table and gave one to each spouse or family member. They were told to hold it for a moment. then they were instructed to drape it over the shoulders of their warrior. The emotion was almost overwhelming as we saw all those red/white/blue "capes".

And the sight of all those wrapped in "our love" brought tears to my eyes (like that's something new!).

Afterwards they were invited to get them signed by Rita or myself. Many included the spouse on the label. All were so thankful including one really tall sailor who told me how much it meant as his grandma quilted and he knew all the love and work that went into it. He had tears in his eyes as he thanked me over and over.

Then there was the Navy nurse who served downrange at a hospital (can't remember where). She told of the storage room that held the QOV's waiting to be presented and covering the wounded. She said it was a "holy place" and never imagined that she would be presented with such a special quilt. So if you ever thought that these were "just blankets", be assured that they are not treated that way by the military.

The Land of Lincoln Quilters did an outstanding job on the quilts - check out their blog! Before the start of the program several people came up to gush, really gush, over the quilts Rita had brought.

The evening starts out with the what they used to call the "gauntlet". When some of these men and women get their orders to go home, they catch the first means of getting there. Some come home without the fanfare, so the facilitators and "brass" line up and applaud them when they enter the room.

After they are seated, they have the MIA tribute. It's a very solemn, with much meaning, event. Dinner follows. After a very delicious meal, they give awards to the significant other and then the warrior. Then there are speeches---one given by the Admiral.

It is after that, when the facilitators go and get the quilts, present to the significant other and then when the quilts are all handed out, they have the wrapping!!!

We've had personnel visit at our sew-ins where they have mingled and sat and sewn with us. We miss that. But that evening they were talking about when they can return. Well, so many were showing an interest, I told them we will bring our machines to them.

Rita Pennington 
Region 6 Coordinator
Quilts of Valor Foundation

You Should Honor the VETS

Friday, August 16, 2013

If You Build It, They Will Come...

And I believe it is true!

As we were leaving the conference and traveling through Illinois, I spotted a quilt shop sign and suggested to Doyleen that we take a break and visit the shop.  When we found it, there was a sign outside the shop advertising fabric at two dollars a yard.  We both commented that it must be cheap low quality fabrics.  What we found, however, was that every bolt in the store was that price.  Fabric that was marked eight, nine, and ten dollars a yard was going at the sale price.  The only "catch" -- we had to buy what was left on the bolt.  If there were more than 15 yards, the price was $1.50 per yard.  The store was going out of business and it was the last week.  They wanted to sell!

Well, I went berserk and ended up buying almost two hundred yards.  Doyleen finally had to stop me.  Most of this is very nice fabric and the colors will work for most QOV's.  we can now provide backs for more than 40 quilts.


Just last Friday a woman called Doyleen asking her if she would accept some fabric.  She had three boxes she wanted to donate to a worthy cause.  When they delivered the fabric, we had a chance to tell about the mission of QOVF.  Her husband was impressed about the work we were doing.  He said he worked at the county mayors office and he was going to set up a meeting with the mayor and the county veterans affairs officer.  Apparently they have many contacts, and access to many facilities county-wide where volunteers can sew, and veterans can be honored.  They are also looking for projects like ours to highlight on local television and newspapers.  We will meet with them this week.


About a month ago, two ladies contacted me about setting up a QOVF booth at the Tennessee Valley Fair.  The fair is a big deal in East Tennessee and lasts for ten days.  Thousands of people come every year.  They will not charge me for the space.  I will have the opportunity to recruit new piecers and long armers, promote the mission of QOVF and hopefully raise some funds.  And there is a special surprise -- the fair organizer is an Afghanistan veteran.  He doesn't know it, but he will be receiving his QOV during the closing ceremony when local heroes are honored.

There must be a reason so many things are coming together all at once.  The only thing I can come up with for an explanation is "if you will build it, they will come."  In other words, I believe that if we put our heart and soul into a project, and work hard, opportunities will find us.

Just wanted to share.

Dennis Taylor
Coordinator for Tennessee

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Lancaster County Super Fair - A Super Hit

From Lincoln, Nebraska

Quilt of Valor was present at the Lancaster County Super Fair, August 1-10, 2013. Under the supervision of Laura L. a table with a number of completed quilts was on display. At another table the Lincoln group had sewn signature blocks and fair goers were encouraged to sign a block for a vet.  Both tables were informative as to the mission of Quilts of Valor and were well received by the public. Over two hundred blocks were signed and these will be made into several Quilts of Valor.

First Lady, Sally Ganem-Heineman & Jamesena Moore

Stopping by the QOV table was the Governor's wife, First Lady of Nebraska, Sally Ganem-Heineman, and her assistant Jamesena Moore. They both signed signature blocks for us. 

Ms. Moore

Ms. Moore's husband is an Air Force (retired) MSgt. so we awarded one of our quilts to his wife to present to him.

A dozen quilts were awarded to veterans who stopped by our table and shared their stories with us. Sadly, we ran out of quilts before we ran out of vets. Each time a quilt was presented, it was an emotional moment for all.

Shown is a VietNam vet and a Desert Storm vet.

Monday, August 12, 2013


I have a quick little story to share with you all, about how small of a world that we live in today. A couple of weeks ago I met a lady at a quilt show named Dora, and she took one of my business cards & brochures and went along with the rest of the show. So, I got a surprising phone call two days ago, Mrs. Dora invited me to talk to her quilting group. I was super excited and said absolutely, that I would do it!!!! I told her that I needed the directions. As she was telling me where this church was & when she began to describe it I began to feel like I'd been there before. I asked Dora if a long time ago she use to have a function called "the tasters tea" there? She stopped and said yes we did. When I was a small girl, tea time was so special because me and my grandma got to have bonding time, it was just a girl thing.So we kept talking and she asked me, "well, who is your grandma?" I said,  "Pauline Knapp"...... I heard her almost drop the phone. She said your kidding me? I said no, I am serious she is my grandmother. Dora began to tell me that her and my grandmother are very good friends. They are in the red hat society and garden club together and they had taught at the same elementary school for years. 
So today I went to speak at her church group. I was talking & showing examples along with different patterns the ladies could choose to do. When to my surprise my grandmother popped in. It was Surprise Sherra day because, I had no idea she was going to be there. Dora had made a special phone call invited her to surprise me and that is just what she did.
The ladies where so overwhelmed with what our Foundation does to support those touched by combat. They unanimously decided to help me with QOV's. We laughed and cried together telling stories about our Military families and some that had been lost. I wanted to share this with you all because you never know if the next person you talk to might that special QOV Volunteer.

Sherra Bailey
West Virginia Regional Coordinator for Quilts Of Valor Foundation

Monday, August 5, 2013

4H Boys & GIrls of York County

The 4H boys and girls of York County, NE, ranging in ages from 10 to teens, spent part of their summer creating quilts for wounded veterans.  

Shown in the photos are just some of twenty-three quilts that were completed.

The quilts will be displayed at the York County Fair, August 1-4,  and Nebraska State Fair, August 23-September 2, in Grand Island, NE, before being awarded to the Quilt of Valor representatives.

The web site for the York 4H is: