It is no secret that one of my deepest desires is to make a difference in the world around me. Since I was a small girl, I have been working with fiber, and hoping I could use the product of my labor to bless someone. I have given countless hand crafted items as gifts, from crudely woven scarves, to intricate counted cross stitch creations, and of course, more than a few quilts. I often pray over my creations as I am making them in an effort to leave a lasting blessing for the person I will give them to.
I have been fortunate enough to be able to use my gift of doodling over quilts to help others create heirlooms with which to bless their families. I do believe that these fiber masterpieces make a difference, they bring joy and a feeling of being loved to their recipients, not to mention physical warmth.
Many quilts I have quilted have been intended for charitable donations. If I know this ahead of time, I am happy to give a discount on the quilting price in order to contribute to the charity as well. I have been so grateful for the opportunity to do what I love and be able to contribute to my family’s finances, that I am glad to use my gifts to support my community.
One of the organizations I have supported informally through quilting is “Quilts of Valor.” This organization has a mission that is near and dear to my heart:
to cover service members and veterans touched by war with comforting and healing Quilts of Valor.
I am a granddaughter of a WWII veteran, whose father served during Vietnam. I am also a wife of a reservist who has volunteered for two overseas deployments since 2011. I can relate to some of the sacrifices our service men and women have made. Although I know that the simple gift of a quilt cannot undo some of the wounds of war, it is my sincere hope that feeling the love that has been poured into the creation of these quilts can bring some healing.
This is why I have taken the required steps to become a registered “QOV Longarmer.” This means that once a month, I am able to “give back” to someone who has fought for my freedom by quilting a top that has been made for them. I recently completed my first Quilt of Valor through the organization. Unfortunately, I only thought to take a “before” picture, next time I will take an “after” shot. This quilt was made from several red white and blue fabrics, and I added an allover quilting pattern of stars and waves. I have sent it back to the quilt-maker, who will bind it and deliver it to its intended recipient. I hope that he or she will treasure the gift a team of grateful quilters have created in their honor. I am looking forward to receiving quilt #2 this week. I’ll post photos on social media, so you can see how it turns out. 🙂
If you are interested in learning more about the Quilts of Valor organization, check out their website, which can be found here. If you would like to donate a quilt to QOV, and have it returned to you more quickly than the organization can accommodate you by having it quilted by Town and Country Quilter, we are currently happy to do so at 50% of the normal quilting charge.
I hope you are inspired to “give back” in 2016, I’d love to read comments of all the ways my quilting friends are making a difference!