Saturday, January 21, 2012

Quilts of Valor

In addition to taking beginner’s Yoga classes (that I have been liking a lot), I’ve added another new activity to my calendar.  The closest quilt shop to me (Crafty Threads) has graciously allowed a local Quilts of Valor group to meet in their large classroom and I decided to step out of my comfort zone and join.  It’s very hard for me to walk into a new situation, but I had decided to try to be a little more active in my local community and this seemed a good fit for my skills.

The mission of the Quilts of Valor Foundation is to cover all combat service members and veterans touched by war with comforting and healing quilts.  And I was pleasantly surprised how easy it was to slot right into this local group.   One of the things that some members do during the monthly meetings is to make up kits of blocks that other quilters can pick up and sign out to take home to work on.  I posted about those [here] when I made a few in advance of going to the monthly get-together. 

So when I walked into the shop on meeting day (Friday), I brought back the last of my finished 4-patch blocks and they set me to work laying out a top to sew together.
This is the Fourth of July pattern offered by Bonnie Hunter free for personal and charitable use.  Thank you so much for your generosity, Bonnie!

This particular group has only been meeting for a short while and they have already completed 4 quilts to distribute.    One will be given out in early February to a recipient who was hit by an IED in Afghanistan two years ago.  He is currently undergoing rehabilitation here locally.  We have two major Veterans’ care centers in our area (the James A Haley Veterans Hospital in Tampa and the Bay Pines VA Healthcare Center in St Petersburg) plus several outpatient clinics.

We also went to a nearby restaurant that we could walk to for lunch.  This is the look back at my lonely sewing machine where I was sewing together rows when we left for lunch.
And quilters being quilters, someone brought homemade cookie bars.  Oh, joy!  This group could be addictive … I’ll definitely be going back!

And as a small aside … remember I was having trouble with my thread breaking on the top I was trying to quilt on my frame?  Well, I bought this product that was recommended to resolve that issue.  It’s a liquid silicone to drop onto the thread and bobbin spools.  I’ll report back if it works for me.

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