The honor our quilts give never ends. God bless our quilts of honor family who continue to honor our veterans.
The honor our quilts give never ends. God bless our quilts of honor family who continue to honor our veterans.
We have had 28 days of “non-stop,” On February 15th we had our Quilt of Honor ceremony at the Turlock Quilt Show. The Color Guard of young cadets made us all proud as they marched through the aisles of the quilts carrying our American Flag. Marsha Borelli Silvia sang the national anthem. Each veteran was called up front to receive their quilts – 19 in all. Marsha sang America, that she had written just for veterans. It was a very overwhelming experience for many. One that sticks in my mind was George who didn’t make the ceremony. We awarded him his quilt later with just a few people around to see. George is a WWII veteran and he had no idea what we were about to give him. I handed him his quilt in the case and his face lit up. I told him to pull it out from the center and out came the quilt. His eyes started to water and he said, “I will never forget this – I am so honored.” His wife kept saying, “oh George, it’s so beautiful.” George told me he was here by the grace of God. He had landed on Normandy twice and made it home. That says so much! There were some pretty happy veterans that left Turlock that day.
On February 20th, Barbara, Flo, Marilee and I headed back to Turlock to attend the Women’s Veterans event in Stanislaus County. It was their first women’s veterans’ event. That was quite a day. The event started with me paying ‘colors’ for the all female honor guard from Ripon Junior ROTC. There was patriotic songs by Marsha Borelli Silvia and tons of speakers. Then came our turn. Our first veteran honored was my sister from the Women’s Army Corps Band and yes, I made her cry. Then came Ricky, a wounded warrior who told us we made her day and year with her Quilt of Honor. Last but not lease was Eli Painted Crow. We saluted each other and then her Tribe jumped up out of their chairs and wrapped her in her quilt – part of their tradition. It was so cool to see. The quilt was so meant for her. It was a great day!
The month ended with our QOH Workshop on the 26th. Now that was exciting. We had our first block exchange with Ursula directing us all around the table. Our Gustine veterans drove up to Valley Springs to thank us for their quilts with pies from Marie Calendars. I think they bought the place out. We had banana cream, chocolate cream, coconut cream, pecan, berry, cherry, and peach. We were all like kids trying them all. Thank you Bill and George for supporting us. We went home happy quilters with full stomachs.
This weekend we are in Manteca at their Quilt Show so we haven’t stopped. We have been telling every quilter we see at the show what we’re about and they look at us and say, “we know you.” I guess Quilts of Honor is getting known.Stay tuned – we will be leaving for DC on Saturday the 8th and I will keep you updated. We hope the weather God is with us as DC is still buried in snow.
God bless all who continue to support us. Keep quilting.
Greetings from Texas,
Recently we had a wonderful workshop and quilt presentation event at the Baptist Church in Natalia, TX. We had at least 40 quilt kits to be made. There were 29 women sewing on the kits for two to three hours, then we presented quilts to nine veterans scanning the periods from World War II to Afghanistan. Each quilt was presented by a different member of our group. Afterwards, the Church’s Minister said a blessing and we had a covered dish social with the awardees and their families.
It was a rewarding, pleasant day and by the end, all the kits were gone. A very productive day! Quilts of Honor has been a blessing to both of us and to many of our women helpers.
Debbie and Fred
Bexar County Quilts of Honor
I haven’t sent you any stories lately because we have been trying to catch up on our backlog of over 50 quilt requests and I’m proud to say we did it.
Now we are preparing for a QOH ceremony at the Turlock Quilt Show on February 15th where we will present 18 quilts if it doesn’t grow anymore before Saturday. We will have a booth for 2 days and hope to raise some money. Then, on February 20th, we will be part of a Women’s Veterans Day event at Stanislaus University where we will award some quilts and have a small booth. After that, we will have a few days to restock for a quilt show in Manteca, CA on March 1st and 2nd and have a booth.
So, as you can see, here we go again. You know how doors always seem to open for us? I got a call from my 1st Sgt. and she said the Women’s Army Corps Band is being honored on Capitol Hill along with some others – so DC, here we come again. The honorees are all Army veterans – one a Silver Star recipient. So, with quilts in tow, we will go to Capitol Hill on March 11th. We hope to have a meeting with our Mount Vernon contacts to see if we can do a quilt ceremony later this year.
On March 15th we will award quilts at the Alameda Women Veterans event and also have a booth. We have also been asked again to provide quilts for Angels on the Battlefield in DC on March 26th. Then, on March 29th we will have our Bunco Fundraiser. So, I would say March will be very interesting.
We have received great news from Fred and Debbie in Texas – they have been going like gang busters and loving every minute. If you have any stories your group would like to share, send them to Jan (email@example.com) so she can post them to the Blog and everyone can share in what you’re doing.
It takes all of us to share in these blessings we give so I will close with a story from Super Bowl Sunday:
On Super Bowl Sunday, I received a call from a Board member asking if we had ever given a Quilt of Honor to someone who was terminally ill. When I asked why, she replied that one of our QOH member’s father-in-law, a WWII veteran, was very ill in the hospital. Our member had wanted to make him a quilt but was a new quilter and hadn’t made it so when he got sick she felt so bad. I told the board member that I couldn’t make it down the hill that day because I had a house full. She said she had a quilt at her house that we had sent home with her to bind and if she could use that one she would take it to the hospital. So, off she went 25 minutes to the hospital. When she walked into the room it was full of family. Our QOH member introduced her and our Board member went to his bedside, took his hand and he asked, why are you giving me this? She said for your service and sacrifice and he smiled as she laid it out on the bed. The family ooed and awed – as she left all the family had tears in their eyes and thanked her. She drove the 25 minutes home, walked in the house and the phone rang. It was our QOH member calling to say the veteran had passed. She said they covered him in his Quilt of Honor. The family was very honored for what QOH did for their loved one. It always amazes me what our quilts can do. In so many ways this was a blessing to all involved and one to be remembered–on Super Bowl Sunday, Quilts of Honor made a touchdown.
God bless all who continue to help us with our mission,
We began 2014 by honoring a Vietnam veteran. Bob and his wife from Oregon, were visiting here in Valley Springs. His wife had come to the Shop to buy material and was asking me questions about qualifications for a Quilt of Honor. She told us Bob had been in the Navy and had three tours in Vietnam. He ran boats down the rivers and had been exposed to Agent Orange. That did it for me. I asked her when she wanted to give him a quilt and she got big tears in her eyes. We set it up for them to come the next day as a surprise. On January 2nd, Bob and his wife and their friends arrived at the Shop. Bob had no idea he was there to receive a quilt. We gave him the ‘5 cent tour’ and as he was taking it all in I turned to him and awarded him his quilt. He kept saying, “wow, this is for me.” He said it meant so much to him and just kept looking at the quilt. I told him that Carl, a retired Army Sergeant, had pieced it and I had quilted it so he had a veteran made quilt. He thought that was cool. So, our year has begun.
I then drove to Jackson and played taps for a WWII veteran with the Valley Springs American Legion.
We are off and running again and are still trying to catch up on quilt requests. It seems as if we are always at least 20 behind.
We have completed our statistics for 2013. The stats are listed by each group and show the information reported to us on the QOH labels:
Bexar County, Texas 58 quilts
Queen B’s, California 15 quilts
School House Quilters, Wisconsin 97 quilts
Patchwork Patriots, Wisconsin 3 quilts
KellyAnn’s, Virginia 12 quilts
Contra Costa, California 7 quilts
Valley Springs Group, California 401 quilts
Total for 2013 592 quilts
We are all volunteers and give of ourselves. I am very proud of what we have accomplished.
Bless every one of you who have given so much to continue our mission.
We had a great evening and probably our last ceremony of 2013. It was one to be remembered. Debbie was my crew for QOH and we drove 2 ½ hours to Los Altos, CA to attend the Orange Brotherhood Christmas Party. We sat with some friends of Debbie’s and blended in so no one knew we were there to present quilts. Right behind us sat a plate of reindeer poop which drew my attention and, of course, I had to taste it. Now that was a surprise – it was chocolate fudge with peppermint – so good! I asked Bill who had made it and that I would come back next year just to get reindeer poop.
We have worked with the Orange Brotherhood group before awarding quilts in August 2013 and throughout the year whenever one of their group needs a quilt. Most of the veterans in this group have been affected by Agent Orange and sometimes the outcome isn’t good. These quilts, to them, mean so much – it’s a lifeline for them – it’s a thank you they have never received. Their pain is so intense and some are still fighting for their benefits.
The first quilt we awarded was to Jack, a 27 year Marine. His first words were, “this is the grandest gift I have ever gotten – it’s even better than the Navy Cross. I will always treasure this the rest of my life and will remember this occasion forever.”
Next came Joe. He walked up and tears were already in his eyes. He looks at Phil, the Master of Ceremonies, and said, “why me.” They asked him to speak and he couldn’t.
Then Fred – he took my hand and just held it tight, then he crossed his hand to his heart, a jester of love, with tears in his eyes.
Then Fred number 2 – he wasn’t on our list but thank goodness Barbara had included another quilt just in case so we played it off – didn’t even skip a beat. His grin was as big as Texas.
Everyone of the recipients were so overwhelmed. For the last ceremony of the year, it was definitely very emotional.
The group took up a collection for us and told everyone in the room just how important Quilts of Honor’s work is to all veterans and to please help Quilts of Honor so they can continue their work. The ladies and men came up to us and were shaking our hands and thanking us – it was so cool.
During the week, Phil, along with 4 of their members of the group went to Palo Alto VA to award an OEF veteran who almost died from an accident. Last week they gave him no chances to live or walk or talk. His Dad, a veteran and part or the Orange Brotherhood, got him transferred to the VA Hospital and he greeted the guys sitting up in bed. All four guys told me there were many tears shed when he was given his Quilt of Honor.
We were honored to be a part of this great evening. This group gets what we are about and they know how it can help their veterans. We are looking forward to working with them in 2014.
Thank you all for your support. I’m thankful every day that we can bring some smiles and healing to these veterans who have sacrificed so much.
May you all be blessed with a beautiful Christmas. Stay safe. God Bless you and have a very Merry Christmas!
I thought after DC we would slow down but I must have been dreaming. On December 13th Barbara and I went to Lodi, CA and presented 7 quilts to veterans from different eras. All of the recipients were more than surprised – one thought it was his surprise birthday party. It’s amazing what we tell our recipients to get them there. We did sing happy birthday to him. Everyone wanted their pictures taken with us – we felt like Hollywood stars. As we were getting ready to leave, Della said, “I have a surprise for you.” She gave us 11 beautiful tops made by herself, her mother Rosie, and Nancy. That was a first for us. For a Friday the 13th, we had a great evening.
December 18th was our last workshop of the year. We had a great meal! Dad made ham and I made twice baked potatoes which were a big hit. Before we all ate, I asked each one what they were thankful for this Christmas. By the end we all had tears in our eyes. Our entertainment for the day was Frosty the Snowman in the restroom. I know most won’t forget him, especially Lou.
This weekend we will be off to another ceremony and award 5 quilts. That should end 2013. Stay tuned for our yearly “year in review.”
God bless and Merry Christmas!