Stitchin’ Love and Honor

Federal holidays seem to come up here and there and then pass without any real thought for most people. It means an extended weekend or a day trip to see friends or shop.

With Veterans Day here, how can stitchers show how much they appreciate the sacrifice made by our military members? With quilts of course! Whether you are an obsessive quilter with a pile of finished snuggles and no recipients or a sew-happy human that enjoys making a project for a specific purpose, you can participate in comforting a veteran year around. Here’s how.

Tailor the Project

If you are project oriented, Quilts of Valor, Quilts of Honor and www.welcomingvetshome.com are the places to start. Each site has a detailed submission section that will help you to know exactly what will work for their charity. All three sites list the basic components that must be included in the quilts, as well as sizes accepted and what is widely requested from both active military and veterans.

For example, Quilts of Valor asks that the use of military-branch-specific fabrics be avoided so the quilt is easier to present. They also would like the quilt to be pre-laundered and suggest that a notecard or journal of the quilt’s creation be included to give the veteran an idea of the quilter’s intentions.

Take Out the Stash

You probably won’t believe this, but there are quilters out there that will quilt and quilt and have stacks of up to a couple dozen quilts sitting with no homes. It’s true! You’re probably NOT one of them, but if you have a “friend” who is, how about a quilt walk at the local VA hospital or at a retirement home? Over the years, quilt donations swell and ebb at these facilities, so calling to see if current patients or residents would like a new quilt is always a good idea. Set a date and maybe get a couple of other stitchers to donate as well. Smaller lap quilts to full sized bed quilts are always appreciated and the smiles on the residents’ faces are definitely worth it!

Bee Fruitful

The great thing about creating quilts in a quilting bee is that while you’re creating, you can be sharing experiences and making lasting friendships. One great idea that has been budding in areas like Minnesota and Georgia has been Veteran Quilting Bees. Veterans of the needle and veterans of the military are coming together to stitch love and honor. Imagine the stories that can be shared and the honor they would feel to be part of creating a beautiful, useful gift for another veteran. If you don’t have a bee in your area, go to local quilting clubs and suggest it.

Those are just a few ideas of how to take your love for stitching and your gratitude for those that have sacrificed for us and combine them in a great gift that you know will last for many years. If you have any question about fun fabrics for a project like this, contact MT Needleworks and ask. We can find just what you need.

-Teresa Giltner, Owner, MT Needleworks

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