On Friday, March 8 and Saturday, March 9, Sievers will be hosting at least nine teams of coaches and rookies working on Quilts of Valor. The Quilts of Valor program originated ten years ago when a Blue Star mom, Catherine Roberts, had a goal to cover all returning deployed service men and women touched by war with a reminder of America’s appreciation and gratitude. A Quilt of Valor is a generous lap-sized quilt made of quality fabrics. On March 8th, experienced quilters (coaches) will bring their sewing machines and prepare the fabric by cutting and pressing. Any rookies who wish to come that day to observe are also welcome. On March 9th, non-quilters (rookies) sew the 1/4″ seams and eat chocolate (!) according to Island coordinator, Ellen Graf. At least nine quilt tops will be completed by the end of the event. The coaches will then send the quilt tops, batting and backing to long-arm quilters. After the quilts are returned, there will be an additional day set aside for binding and labeling the quilts and then they will be distributed.
For the past several weeks, Ellen Graf has been planning and coordinating this Island event. A number of Island organizations and individuals have donated $100 each towards fabric and supplies for the nine quilts. Donors include: American Legion Post 402, American Legion Auxiliary, Sievers, Detroit Harbor Ladies Aid, Women of Trinity Lutheran Church, Washington Island School Student Council, Helene Meyer, Bread & Water, W. I. Lions Club and two anonymous donations. Sievers is also donating the studio space and supplying the backing fabric at cost. The quilt top fabrics have been supplied at a significant discount by Yoder’s Department Store in Shipshewana, IN. Ellen has recruited the coaches and rookies who will be participating and will be contacting them soon.
The Quilts of Valor program, Under Our Wings, pairing quilters with non-quilters was created with the help of Marianne Fons. According to Marianne, besides a way to express patriotism, the QOV program is a way to draw new quilters to the hobby. Ellen added that the format allows for an ideal first experience for brand new quilters and is a great introduction to learning and perhaps continuing on with quilting.
Since the organization’s inception, over 81,085 Quilts of Valor have been awarded to combat troops who have been wounded or touched by war. This is a wonderful form of National Service that anyone can do.
For more information, visit www.QOVF.org.