The newly established North Faulkner County EHC, an extension of the University of Arkansas, has elected to honor U.S. Armed Services veterans with their first community service project: “Quilts of Valor.”
Why or what are Quilts of Valor?
Blue Star mom 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.
She hit upon the idea that linking quilt-toppers with machine quilters in a national effort could achieve her goal of cover all returning service men and women touched by war. These wartime quilts, called Quilts of Valor would be a tangible reminder of an American’s appreciation and gratitude. Since 2003, QOVF has become a national grassroots community service effort, connecting the home-front with our wounded combat warriors and veterans.
QOV’s are stitched with love, prayers and healing thoughts. Combat troops who have been wounded or touched by war are awarded this tangible token of appreciation that unequivocally says, “Thank you for your service, sacrifice and valor.”
A Quilt of Valor is a generous lap-sized quilt (minimum of 55” x 65”) made by a quilt topper (the Piecer) of quality fabrics and beautifully quilted by a longarmer. After it has been bound, washed, labeled and wrapped in a presentation case, it is ready to be awarded. Quilts are awarded at many different levels; they may go to military hospitals where Chaplains award them to the Service members; there may be presentations of QOV’s to entire service units returning from combat deployments; they may be awarded at VA’s or presented individually. But no matter how a Quilt of Valor is given, the impact it delivers is unequivocal. As one recipient said, “My quilt isn’t another military medal to be placed in a box and sit on my shelf. I was moved to tears.” As of May, there have been more than 65,000 quilts awarded to service members/veterans.
Quilts of Valor is a form of national service and anyone can do it! National service starts at home.
The North Faulkner County Extension Homemakers Club invites everyone who would like to be a part of this project to join them. Quilting or sewing experience is not required. There are various ways you may be a part of it. The group will have monthly workshops and work days with some people measuring and cutting fabrics, others will be pressing fabric, etc. Donations of quality 100 percent cotton or money will be accepted. Assistance in maintaining he group’s website, Facebook and Twitter accounts is also needed. For more information, contact the project chair, Gerri Johnson at 501-679-2945 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.