This Memorial Day weekend I made another quilt for a local injured soldier and it put me in mind of my other work done in the past on military quilts.
I have started watching the local news on the computer for articles about our local soldiers - human and canine - and have found myself responding immediately. It takes so little time - 2-3 days - to make a rail fence pattern quilt, but it is a "hug from home", a remembrance of honor for these young military personnel. I will be enlisting some help from a couple of LA I know to see if they will participate with me to get them quilted more quickly.
For me this effort came about as an offshoot from a group called Patriot Quilters of Virginia. There were originally about 6 of us and we intended to make quilts for Virginia soldiers rather than send quilts to national organizations for disbursement. We did this for a season, and took them to the VA Hospital in Richmond, VA. When, as a major player in the group, I began the Barracks Quilt Project for my SIL's battalion in Farah, Afghanistan 3 or so years ago (that so many here on the QB assisted with!) then my personal regional local efforts took a backseat. That group lost its momentum and never seemed to regain it, as the founder never had the oomph to make any quilts herself or push it forward.
three months ago I saw an article about a local bomb sniffing dog that had developed PTSD in Afghanistan and was shipped home where she was adopted by her local soldier. I wanted to make a quilt for the dog and her soldier. Those were presented to these two at our local guild quilt show in March, to great fanfare by the local media (all arranged by our show PR person who was a retired army Lt. Col.!), unknown to me!.
That made me more aware of the news stories of other soldiers from our area who had been negatively impacted by their service for our country and surely were worthy of a "hug from home". Now I am determined to renew our Patriot Quilters group and include more local quilters in the effort.
This is something any locality could do. I challenge all of you to think about helping to create your own "Patriot Quilters of _____" group and reach out to the men and women of your town, county, or region. Who better to honor and support them than the residents of their home town! I'd love to hear from those of you who will consider taking on this rewarding endeavor in your own area!
Jan in VA