From a table in the corner at the Pratt Area Quilt Guild “Block Party” last weekend, a small group of women explained their mission to anyone who was interested. Quite simply, Quilts of Valor’s goal is to cover all combat service members and veterans touched by war with comforting and healing quilts.
More than 600 heirloom quality quilts were presented recently to the 44th Cavalry Brigade at Fort Riley. To do this, the Kansas Bees put out a call to other states, and piecers and quilters in 17 states responded.
The quilts are tangible evidence that somebody cares, Martha Smith, regional coordinator, said.
She explained that veterans — recent, and those from the past — come home from military service with the intent of getting on with their lives. They may not realize until later how much their experiences have impacted their lives. In the same way, those who receive quilts may not realize their importance until later.
Catherine Roberts began the Quilts of Valor Foundation (QOVF) from her sewing room in Seaford, Del. Her son Nathanael’s year-long deployment to Iraq provided the initial inspiration, and her desire to see that returning warriors were welcomed home with the love and gratitude they deserved, provided the rest. To date, more than 65,000 quilts have been awarded.
The first Kansas Bee was established in 2005 in Wichita. Quilts of Valor Foundation also sponsors a program called Under Our Wings to teach others to sew quilts.
The quilts are to be made of good quality 100 percent cotton quilting fabrics, meet size requirements, and be appropriately machine-quilted. A label, a note and a coordinating pillowcase or presentation bag complete the gift.
For information, contact Smith at firstname.lastname@example.org or 316-831-9649, write to Kansas Bee, P.O. Box 771452, Wichita, KS 67277-1452 or visit www.qovkansas.org, which also links to the national website.