There is another thread that questioned why the Quilts of Valor program has some of the requirements that they do. Since it seems many people just read the first post, they may have missed some of the posts explaining why the requirements are in place. I see lots of complaining about the requirements, but no one seems to have read the posts explaining why they exist.
While I am not officially associated with the Quilts of Valor program, I have helped coordinate our local chapter, and am saddened by the people who think the QOV guidelines are 'too picky' or that they're being 'greedy' and should be thankful for anything they receive. There are valid reasons why the guidelines exist.
I've pulled this quote from the QOV website:
Not all of the people wanting to help are experienced quilters. The guidelines are necessary to ensure that the quilts hold up through frequent washings as the quilts may be exposed to bodily fluids and need to be sanitized.After seven plus years and over 36,000 QOVs, we know what works for a quilt to be a Quilt of Valor. Your recipient stood in harm's way. They left the wire to do patrols in over 130 degree heat. They lost buddies and came home with their war demons. As a two Blue Star mom, I have insisted from the beginning that our QOVs would be quality made so that the QOV could last a lifetime of daily use. Making QOVs is not about mass production. Rather it's about honoring, comforting those who have served our Nation while at war.
If you find you can't afford quality fabric, contact your local VFW or American Legion or Service Club and ask for contributions. Usually they are more than happy to help out.
The requirement to 'not do only SID' is because that may not be enough quilting to hold the quilt together through frequent washing. Imagine a quilt made of 12" blocks with sashing, and the only quilting is between the block and the sashing - that batting will start shifting and become lumpy. Add some quilting to the blocks, borders and sashing and now the quilt will last much longer.
Quality fabrics are requested as they last longer through frequent washings, and are generally softer and smoother. Course, cheap fabrics may be irritating to injured skin. There are NO color requirements, although the Red White and Blue quilts have proven most popular.
If you cannot quilt the quilt yourself, you DO NOT have to pay to have it quilted. There are volunteer Longarmers who will quilt these FOR FREE. All you have to do is go to the QOV website to request one:
If you don't want to piece or quilt, and have the financial means, consider offering to pay a LAer to quilt a top. (There are many more 'toppers' than quilters, and while we LAers are happy to volunteer our time to quilt these, those of us in business have bills to pay, and can't quilt for free all of the time.)
And I think the suggestion from QOV to ask for donations from your local American Legion or VFW to purchase fabric is a great one.
We started our little group with fabric donations from private individuals. One of our members loves to cut fabric, so she would cut block kits from the donations. People would stop in my studio, pick up a block kit, sew it up at home, and return it. Someone else would take the blocks home, sew them into a top, then return it. Many of our local volunteers donate only their time, so lack of funds does not prevent anyone from participating. We set up a table at our quilt show explaining what we do and had a donation jar. We got enough money to buy a roll of batting and a few bolts of fabric for backings.
And if this cause (I hesitate to call it a charity) is not one you choose to support, that's fine. We each have to pick and choose where we spend our time and dollars. But please don't put it down because you feel the requirements are 'too picky'.
If you'd like to learn more about QOV, here is their website:
Scroll down and along the left hand side you'll see a tab "The QOV Process" - that will give you the requirements and how you can participate.