Tuesday, December 12, 2017

2018 National Sew Day

National Sew Day is fast approaching!  Now is the time to spring into action and plan your event.   

    This will be a fun and exciting day as quilters from across our nation come together to sew for Quilts of Valor!   There will be prizes given out all day to registered attendees.  So, do not miss out on this fun sewing day, go to and register to be a part of this wonderful day!

Contact Saundra Chambers, Special Events Coordinator at for more information.

Sunday, November 19, 2017


As Thanksgiving draws near, please remember all of our active duty service members who are away from their families.

This short video says it all.

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Stories to Tell

There are so many stories to tell. One of the special moments for me during our 2017 Conference was hearing from the Quilt of Valor Foundation volunteers. From how they got involved with QoV to why they stay involved. People shared memories of awards that spoke to their hearts and brought tears to their eyes. Hopes, dreams, goals, and aspirations were all shared. It was a moment, many moments, that if you sat back and just soaked it in you were given a glimpse of the back of the tapestry that makes up the Quilts of Valor Foundation. It was a reminder, personal reminders, of why we are committed to this organization and its mission.

For the next several weeks I'm hoping this blog can continue in the same spirit and share our special stories. I hope you are reminded of the power and purpose of our mission in the weeks to come. That you find stories that make you laugh, stories that make you cry, and stories that give you the energy and inspiration to keep going.

Thanks Sheila Gordon for sharing the following story.

This quilt was awarded to a veteran in an area where we do not have coverage.  The only person I could find to help was the local Fire Chief. I told him I would ship the quilt with scripting and everything he needed to handle ceremony along with the quilt and some brochures.  

When I had not heard from him in about 10 days, I called to check in.  He was frantic.  Said he did not have my phone number or theirs and did not know what to do to get in touch with me... I'm thinking, have I lost my ever loving mind. I remembered putting scripts, folder, poem, brochures, cards and a note, tucked into the middle of the quilt.... 

Well the Chief called today to ask if I received the picture, then said, your gonna think I'm a goof.  When the veteran took the quilt out of the pillowcase there was all the little treasures I had tucked in the quilt.  Now, I had advised Chief these things would be in there.  But, he would not take the quilt out of the case for fear he could not get it back in...  So, he did not find any paperwork.  

Classic case of Mars and Venus.  Any woman would have pulled out the quilt to look at it, but guys..... No, evidently not....  From now on, I will have to be much more specific....   Given this fiasco, I guess the veteran did not get our regular presentation, but he looked happy!  

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Memorial Day

This weekend we commemorate Memorial Day, which started as an event to honor Union soldiers  who had died during the American Civil War.. After World War I, it was extended to include all men and women who died in any war or military action and today ceremonies often include all veterans who have recently passed away.

 I am connected to veterans in many ways, a wife, a mother, a sister, a daughter, a niece, a cousin and a friend. But I am not a veteran and I do not have the experience of  the “band of brothers or sisters” or the lifelong bonds formed on the battlefield as I have not experienced military life personally.

But I do have the experiences of being around veterans and their activities all of my life.  My first memories of Memorial Day are going with my grandma to the local five and dime store to pick up bundles of peonies that had been specially shipped to our small town.  We would then take the peonies and go to the cemeteries where her loved ones rested.  It was an all day event.  As I grew older I remember first riding on a float and then marching in the annual Memorial Day parade.  It would start at our local American Legion Post and proceed down the main street until we arrived at the cemetery.  We would jump off a flatbed truck and with our hands full of bunches of poppies we would scatter to all corners to lay them on graves.  At that age, I had not a clue what I was really doing.  A veteran didn’t have a real meaning for me.  That was about to change for me.  When I was 11 my dad, a veteran of WWII sat my brothers and myself down and told us he was going away to have an operation, he wanted us to be good for our mother and to take care of her.  Over the next few months and years we became well educated about Veterans Hospitals and who and what a veteran was.  He passed away nine years later and so today I honor him.

When I was in high school it was the height of the Vietnam war.  My brother was an Air Force medic and although he never left the states, there was always that possibility. In a day where you watched the news on the Huntley- Brinkley report it sometimes took days or weeks to hear of a casualty.  One of those casualties was the only son of a widowed farm wife and the brother of my classmate KIA in 1968.It’s hard to believe that it’s been over 50 years when 3,500 Marines arrived in DaNang in March of 1965.  And so today I honor the memory of that young man and also my cousin, a bronze star recipient, not killed in action, but died because of action.

Along with my husband, I have been privileged to visit many American cemeteries overseas. In the Philippines we visited and laid a wreath at the American cemetery in Manila. One of my distant cousins has his name engraved on a wall there.  He was lost on a B-25 in the Pacific during WW II. The staff at the cemetery made a rubbing and gave it to me.  And so today I honor his memory. From the Philippines we traveled to Corregidor where the battlements still stand.  You can see where the phosphorus landed and ate into the massive guns and you can only imagine what it did when it landed on a soldier.  A classmate of my mother, LtC Madeline Ullom was serving as an army nurse in the Malinta Tunnel when she was captured and spent 1000 days in captivity at the Santo Tomas internment camp.  And so today I honor her bravery and courage. We went on to Guam and then to Hawaii honoring those lives lost at Pearl Harbor.  When you stand on the deck overlooking the sunken battleship USS Arizona occasionally an oil ring will pop to the surface reminding us that even after 75 years there is still a strong connection to those lost that terrible day.

I am sure many of you have seen the movie, The Longest Day, in which a soldier is depicted hanging from a church steeple after his parachute is caught on it.  This is reenacted each year in the town of St Mere- Eglise where we headquartered nearby while visiting Omaha Beach, Utah Beach, LaFiere Bridge and the American cemetery    It was humbling to be walking on the beach where you could picture wave after wave of men knowing that in all likelihood they would not survive. An so today, I honor the memory of my uncles Joseph and John, US Navy. 

We continued on to Flanders Field in Belgium where much to my surprise there were no poppies except out in the ditches and newly turned fields.  It turns out that poppies grow the best in soil that is disturbed and with the artillery shots and thousands of graves there was much newly turned soil during WWI.  All of the American cemeteries we visited were in pristine condition, row upon row of white headstones.

And so you have heard of my experiences as a daughter, wife, and sister of a veteran but I think the hardest role I have had is the mother of a veteran.  Our daughter enlisted in the US Navy in the late 90’s, we were proud of her, she did well, was named Airman of the quarter and then Airman of the Year.  We knew she would deploy overseas at some point but nothing prepares you for having your daughter stationed in Japan or Qatar or Mosiah and you are least prepared for the day she calls and says she is deploying on the USS Roosevelt for an undetermined amount of time to the Mediterranean Sea.  Staying at home were her husband and one year old son.  This was, of course, the beginning of the Iraq war. I tell everyone that the only thing that kept me sane during that time was looking forward to an Iowa State Women’s basketball game.  Those games gave me a few hours to think about something else.  When the USS Roosevelt retuned to port, it was broadcast on TV and we searched the screen to see our sailor coming home safe.

We honor those who have gone before us, but more importantly, we honor those veterans who are with us today.  Thanks to all of you who work so tirelessly in supporting the mission of Quilts of Valor to cover active duty military and veterans in a comforting and healing Quilt of Valor.

Sunday, May 14, 2017

2017 Quilt of Valor Conference and After Hours with Tony

Colorado Springs, here we come! Annual Conference this year is the 5th and the 6th of June. If you haven’t committed to joining in on the fun, there’s still time! If you don’t know how to sign up, comment below and I will get back to you with all the necessary details. Besides the wonderful, informative presentations that are on the agenda and the majestic beauty of Colorado Springs, a social gathering event has also been added.

photo credit to

Tony Jacobson, a quilt designer/instructor will be joining us for an after hours event. Come meet Tony and take in his demonstrations on techniques to make your triangle squares and flying geese units without having to deal with bias edges. These techniques will help you with your accuracy and you will be able make eight triangle squares and four flying geese units at a time. You'll be able to make even more Quilts of Valor with these time-saving techniques. Tony will also have new QOV appropriate patterns and kits available for sale. Quilts of Valor will receive 20% of the sales.

Cost for After Hours with Tony is only $20 and includes pizza and soda.  Reservations can be made by contacting me,  Debra Kaldenberg at  Payment will be collected at event.

Saturday, February 4, 2017

Here is a fun game - if you have time or need a break. Give me your answers in a comment below!

Happy National Sew Day 2017

Unscramble these classic Quilt Block names.

(example…redesndaptle=Dresden plate­­­)


Friday, February 3, 2017

National Sew Day 2017

Here is the National Sew Day 2017 playlist. It's not too late to request a song be added.

Monday, January 30, 2017

There are 1500+ registered to take part in 2017 Quilt of Valor National Sew Day. I can’t begin to explain how I am looking forward to this day. A day where we are gathered together to work for a common purpose of remembering and honoring our Veterans. A day where we laugh, snack, play, make new friends and reconnect with old. A day where we dedicate ourselves to our craft. A day where we can put aside everything but for the common goal of saying ‘Thank You’!

As you all spend your day in friendship, fellowship, and frenzied activity to finish just one more; one more stitch, one more block, one more quilt, I will have the honor of saying ‘Thank You’ to those of you who are participating.

I’m really excited about some of the door prizes that will be given away throughout the day. There are quilting books, patriotic panels, fat quarters, beautiful note cards, and a Grand Prize alternative. We announced that the 2017 Grand Prize would be a free admission to the QOVF Annual Conference in Colorado Springs, an exclusive gift bag, special events and more. If you are the Grand Prize winner I hope you are able to join us in Colorado Springs. However, If you are unable to travel we are excited to announce that we have an alternative prize; a brand new Viking sewing machine.

So if your group hasn’t registered or you haven’t registered as an individual sewing at home do it now! I would love to have the opportunity to meet you over the phone!


Sunday, January 15, 2017

Music is what feelings sound like ... - Georgia Cates

There are many patriotic songs out there. I have certainly gotten caught up in listening to several over the last few days when I should have been paying attention to other tasks that needed to be completed. There are many songs I listened to that brought tears to my eyes and a heavy heart. Those emotions are not bad. They are just not emotions I want us to experience on February 4th. In this time, especially in this time, we need songs that bring feelings of joy, purpose, and laughter. Songs that motivate us as well as songs that remind us of the Veterans we are remembering with the works of our hands, hearts, and creative minds. What our feelings should sound like on February 4th is a group connecting across the miles, putting all of our differences aside, and laughing, loving, and experiencing a fellowship that binds us together in spirit. 

The playlist for National Sew Day 2017 is growing. If you have a favorite song you would like to have added please just comment on the post.

America the Beautiful
Home - Dierks Bentley
Citizen Soldier - 3 Doors Down
Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy - The Andrews Sisters
I've Been Everywhere - Johnny Cash
God Bless America (Remastered) - Madison Rising
Where Were You When the World Stopped Turning - Alan Jackson
The Stars and Stripes Forever - US Army Ceremonial Band
United States Armed Forces Medley
Welcome Home...A Soldier's Song

Saturday, January 14, 2017

It's been a busy and fun last couple of days! I've had the privilege of speaking with a few QOVF members. What a fantastic way to generate and encourage new ideas. One suggestion was to share special snack food ideas to serve during the National Sew Day. Being new to this blogging thing I didn't want to post something on this blog that could get me into trouble with another blogger or group. So, I created a new National Sew Day Pinterest board. Right now this board only includes patriotic foods for sharing on the 4th of February. However, over the next week I plan on adding pattern ideas, games, and anything else I can find that might generate excitement and fun. You can find the board at the following location:

I am looking forward to more conversations over the next couple of weeks. It is an honor to listen and to assist. It is a privilege to be of service to this group!

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

The YouTube February 4th playlist continues to grow. Music soothes, energizes, brings memories of days past, promises of days to come, and spans generations. Music can heal and remind us of what we have in common. Music can be the catalyst for change, set the tone, paint the day.

Not so different from fabric. Not so different than the variety of quilting techniques. Not so different than the many different quilt patterns.

Not so different than participating in something so much bigger than each of us individually.  

You can continue to let me select all of the music for our National Sew Day playlist or you can mix it up and recommend your favorite patriotic songs. If left to my own devices, the selections may not be as diverse as the Quilt of Valor Foundation and that would be a shame. I'm looking forward to your suggestions!

America the Beautiful
Home - Dierks Bentley
Citizen Soldier - 3 Doors Down
Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy - The Andrews Sisters
I've Been Everywhere - Johnny Cash

Sunday, January 8, 2017

I love early mornings. When I had children at home, four busy, rambunctious boys, it was my quiet time. Now that all my boys have grown I find it's still my favorite time of the day. This morning I was treated to a beautiful sunrise as I walked past my sewing room. I wish I had thought to take a picture. Maybe next time. For today the memory of what I saw will have to be enough. The beauty of the awakening of a new day started my morning reflections. I went back in time to when I first joined the US Air Force and was stationed in Alaska. What an amazing, beautiful, colorful, 5 years those were. 

Where am I going with this? The song to start us off on February 4th will be America the Beautiful. I would love to hear your stories of beauty found in our country; from state to state. Maybe these stories will help us remember to open our eyes, to be aware that right outside our windows we can see the beauty of our America!

Saturday, January 7, 2017

Four weeks and counting until our 2017 National Sew Day. As in all other life events, let's make this a day to remember. A day of laughter, friendship, quilting, sewing, memories, cutting, stories, purpose, and meaning.

I was asked to look into the possibility of putting together a CD of patriotic music for National Sew Day. This undertaking was more involved than what I was capable of accomplishing prior to February 4th. However, I thought it was a great idea; to use music to bring us together from coast to coast. 

I will be putting together a playlist that can be listened to on February 4th. It would be great to hear what your favorite patriotic songs are. Please comment to this post and include the name of a patriotic song you would like included on the YouTube playlist. 

And come back daily to the blog, from now until February 4th. Who knows what new news you will find!

May peace and contentment fill your soul and the craft you have chosen bring healing and comfort.