Saturday, December 22, 2007

Local Quilts of Valor

We are making steady progress on finding a location for our local group. We have a couple of possibilities for a meeting place. Everyone is so busy this time of the year that we will just wait for a week of so to contact these people again. I would love to have our first meeting in January but it may wait until February.

I found a group on the internet that knits sock for soldiers. I love knitting almost as much as quilting and am good at socks. This will give me a sit down project for the evenings when my husband and I watch TV.

I have Monday and Tuesday off so that means 4 days. I will try to get a couple of my tops finished as they are not really big. I am going to take a little break on the QOV tops to finish some UFO's.

The picture on this post was sent to me by a co worker. I think it is quite amazing. We have lots of these Ospreys around here.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

The Letter that motivitated me

Here is a copy of the letter I received after making my first Quilt Of Valor. This has pushed me into getting a local group started here in St. Marys County, Maryland. I am also trying to get on Oprah, Dr Phil or something like that. It matters not whether you support the War, the President or is about supporting our men and women in the military.

Dear Eileen,

I am writing to express my gratitude to you and your friend, Betty ------, for the beautiful, patriotic quilt you sent to the 332 EMDG (Expeditionary Medical Group) in Iraq. I want you to know how much those quilts mean to us. Yesterday evening six of our Nation's very finest soldiers were flown in by chopper after a suicide bomber attacked their foot patrol. I cared for one of those young men last night. (I'll call him Sgt C.). Sgt C is a young American soldier from Utah with a wife and two small children at home. He is one of the lucky ones. His burns and bruises will heal. His ruptured eardrum will heal. Yesterday he earned his second Purple Heart.

As is customary, the Chaplain or his assistant bring the injured troops a quilt and we cover them with it, either in the ER or on the ward. If they are alert we read them the cards from wonderful Americans like you and tell them that someone from home made that quilt for them. We save them for very special days, like yesterday; for an occasion when a touch of kindness and love from home is exactly what is needed. As I write these words my eyes fill with tears. I have watched many young soldiers receive their quilts of valor and I want you to know that it touches them deeply. It touches all of us deeply. I couldn't read your card out loud to Sgt C because I was crying as I read it. Trying to hold back tears, I held it for him and he read it himself. I can tell you that a strong soldier fought valiantly to hold back his own tears. I don't know if he will ever write to thank you, though he says he plans to, but I wanted you to know how much your kindness means to these young troops, and to those of us who care for them. This is no exaggeration…everyone who passed by Sgt C's litter last night commented on how beautiful your quilt was. It was truly one of the most beautiful quilts we've seen.

I firmly believe that the Lord puts us where he needs us. Right now I am needed in Iraq, caring for those in harms way. I was placed with Sgt C last night to tend his wounds and was blessed to read your message and admire your quilt with him. Of all the quilts that were given last night I was especially touched by yours. You see, I have left behind a husband and four beautiful children in Damascus, MD. As I read the inscription on your quilt I was even more moved by the fact that it was from one of my Maryland neighbors. I told Sgt C that I was planning to write to you and when I return I hope that we can meet for tea and chat. I will share my pictures of Sgt C and his quilt, adorned with his Purple Heart.

Thank you, again, for your kindness and patriotism. I guarantee you truly touched the lives of many last night….through one beautiful quilt of valor. I know that Sgt C is anxious to return home and show that quilt to his family. It will always serve as a reminder to him of his victory last night and of the love we share as Americans. God bless you and God bless America!




Here is another top I just finished and will be mailing off to my wonderful long arm quilter. That will be 2 more to send. I am keeping the one I quilted so I have one to show when I can finally get some speaking opportunities. They will surely come.

So a journey starts with the first steps. I have a former quilting student helping me start our local group. Our first order of business is to find a location and a consistent monthly meeting time. I hope to be up and running for January. I started a Knitting Guild when I first moved here and it is not that hard. It may start small but then grows. Then we will become official and can get a checking account and link to the National organization.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Perfect Pattern

I think I have found a really good pattern to use with the QOV quilts. I want something that retains the WOW factor but can be done in an efficient manner. Most of the pieces are made from a 4 1/2 inch strip and then cut with my Tri Recs ruler combo. Here is the quilt I just finished using this pattern. The corner blocks are easily made using 2 squares.

I have been unsuccessful with getting any media coverage for this wonderful group. But I will continue trying. I am going to start a local group in January. I need to start fund raising to help cover the expenses of making a quilt. I also want to involve other quilt makers in the area.

Tomorrow I will post the letter that I received after making my first quilt. It is just wonderful

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Finished is better than perfect

Yesterday and today I decided to quilt my next Quilt Of Valor myself. I have done some about this size.....about the size of a twin. I had fusible batting and wanted to use that. UGH! I got it to stick to the top but not the backing. Then I flipped it over to iron on the backing. I have used this for smaller projects quite successfully.

I ended up with a couple of small tucks on the back. They were not bad enough to rip out and a non quilter would probably not even notice them. The whole quilt looks quite nice after I washed and dried it. I will stick with sending these to a long arm quilter from now on. They do a lovely job and I really love the piecing more than the quilting.

I will take a picture of it quilted another day.

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Back in the saddle

Wow..I cannot believe how long it has been since I posted. My husband was hospitalized with a bad pneumonia which turned into Empyema and required surgery. He will be out of work for quite some time. But he made it through and for that I am very grateful.

I have become very involved with Quilts For Valor. This is making quilts for our wounded soldiers. I got a wonderful letter back which I will post another day. I just wanted to share some photos of the tops I have made so far.

I set this quilt off to a long arm quilter and she did a lovely job. I did not take a picture when I got it back. But this is the top that generated the letter I received.

I will write more tomorrow as I have lots of things to get done today.