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Thread: Alternative patterns for quilts for Vets?

  1. #1
    Super Member jillaine's Avatar
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    I love the idea of making quilts for returning vets.

    But all of the ones I've seen have a patriotic theme. And in fact, it seems like the organizations that coordinate quilt donations to vets require such themes that usually include red, white and blue and stars.

    I can't help but wonder if there are some returning vets who would prefer NOT to be reminded of their time over there, and would appreciate something entirely different.

    What have you made for a returning vet that is of a non-patriotic theme? And can anyone recommend a quilt-donation-coordinating organization that doesn't require a particular theme?

  2. #2
    Super Member jljack's Avatar
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    Most of the organizations do indeed require that the colors be mostly patriotic themed. I think that's the point of the Quilts of Valor and others that are similar.

  3. #3
    Super Member jillaine's Avatar
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    Janice, Yes, it was Quilts of Valor that I was thinking of. I was all set to make a quilt to donate, but ran into this question of-- what about some other theme?

  4. #4
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    Well this is interesting..I wanted to make my son a quilt when he returned from Afghanistan. He asked specifically not to make anything red, white and blue or with ARMY on it. I just made a quilt that I would have made for anyone else and he loved it.

  5. #5
    Super Member jillaine's Avatar
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    Do you have a photo of it, Lisa?

  6. #6
    Power Poster Sadiemae's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jillaine
    Janice, Yes, it was Quilts of Valor that I was thinking of. I was all set to make a quilt to donate, but ran into this question of-- what about some other theme?
    Unless things have changed recently, they would like the majority of quilts that are red, white, and blue--but there are are a certain amount of servicemen and women who would like other colors.

  7. #7
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    I made a bunch of quilts NOT red,white,and blue!!! I took them all to the VA hospital. They gave them to new returning vets. The families and vets loved them and many cried thinking theyd been forgotten!!

  8. #8
    Super Member patski's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jillaine
    I love the idea of making quilts for returning vets.

    But all of the ones I've seen have a patriotic theme. And in fact, it seems like the organizations that coordinate quilt donations to vets require such themes that usually include red, white and blue and stars.

    I can't help but wonder if there are some returning vets who would prefer NOT to be reminded of their time over there, and would appreciate something entirely different.

    What have you made for a returning vet that is of a non-patriotic theme? And can anyone recommend a quilt-donation-coordinating organization that doesn't require a particular theme?
    our guild makes quilts in all colors for the wounded warriors, some don't want red,white and blue

  9. #9
    Power Poster Sadiemae's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Painiacs
    I made a bunch of quilts NOT red,white,and blue!!! I took them all to the VA hospital. They gave them to new returning vets. The families and vets loved them and many cried thinking theyd been forgotten!!
    And this is awesome, becuase you can make up your own rules! Not everyone wants to make them like QOV requires.

  10. #10
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    We have made both. Some patriotic and some just regular fabrics, non red, white and blue. We need to make quick quilts so turning 20, rail fence anything fast. Wounded warriors do like both but most of the time they choose red, white and blue, others are the last to go. We get to take the lap quilts to the wounded warrior at Fort Bliss in El Paso, Tx. Our group enjoys meeting these young people and hearing their stories and getting hugs, the best part.

  11. #11
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    I know it is still with the red, white and blue theme but how about a two color quilt. just blue and white or red and white? I can understand wanting something different though.

  12. #12
    Super Member purplemem's Avatar
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    I donate through


    Barb Johnston
    Q4C
    1831 Jeanne Ave
    Pahrump, NV 89048

    Tell her the quilts are for returning veterans. She is furnishing 300 quilts to the new to be opened VA hospital in Las Vegas, and she wants NON Red, White and Blue quilts.

    I just use a large star pattern like this:

    http://www.quiltingboard.com/t-131950-1.htm

    in whichever colors I wish. She needs her quilts to be at least 60 x 70, so that is the size I make them.

  13. #13
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    No I didn't take a picture..but I will have him take a picture and send it to me.
    I think its great to send something other than the normal RWB.
    He says they need a break from all of that when they get home, not they don't love their job, but need to be away from it also.
    Now, I will tell you this also, I have made an ARMY quilt and a RWB quilt, sooooooooooooo I guess I will give them to him when he retires...which is a few years away...LOL

  14. #14
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    I did a Quilts of Valor in flower fabrics
    Some vets are female and this seemed nicer for them
    No refusal from the organization

  15. #15
    Senior Member Becka's Avatar
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    [quote=jillaine]I love the idea of making quilts for returning vets.

    I can't help but wonder if there are some returning vets who would prefer NOT to be reminded of their time over there, and would appreciate something entirely different.

    [quote]

    I've mentioned this as well in a post, I think it was yesterday, and can tell you there are veterans that, in fact, do not want to be reminded of what they saw or had to do. They are in my unit and in my family. If you're talking about veterans returning home, who aren't going into a hospital, or who aren't physically wounded, an alternate to the patriotic gift is incredibly difficult to suggest - something that would express gratitude for their service without bringing back memories of what that service included... No matter what the theme, that veteran will be thinking "that's the quilt I got for being in the war" - or whatever gift it may be, you know what I mean? and that pretty much negates the whole "thank you gift" concept. It's a really hard place to be.

    If you're talking about returning wounded vets, who are like in a hospital, that's some different, in my mind. They've got to cover up with something, right? so just make it different colors than the patriotic standard.

    Sometimes a hug is all you can do.

  16. #16
    Super Member ube quilting's Avatar
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    First I would contact my nearest Vet Hospital and ask if you could donate some quilts to the vets. Maybe show a few to them. Homespuns, shirtings and plaids are all great for guys, And a small corner block with a heart in it would be cool. I argee about the super patriotic angle of so many organizations. I think those who serve know they are patriots and just want and need something that shows care and appreciation for their efforts.

    It is a very thoughtful thing to do and you should try it!
    peace to all

  17. #17
    Super Member ube quilting's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by purplemem
    I donate through


    Barb Johnston
    Q4C
    1831 Jeanne Ave
    Pahrump, NV 89048

    Tell her the quilts are for returning veterans. She is furnishing 300 quilts to the new to be opened VA hospital in Las Vegas, and she wants NON Red, White and Blue quilts.

    I just use a large star pattern like this:

    http://www.quiltingboard.com/t-131950-1.htm

    in whichever colors I wish. She needs her quilts to be at least 60 x 70, so that is the size I make them.
    This is wonderful. I love this idea.

  18. #18
    Senior Member sarahconner's Avatar
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    I have made a few that have red, white, and blue in them; and I have also made some regular type quilts. All of these have gone to a new local assisted living facility, (that is just for Vets) not to far from where we live. I also belong to a Guild, and we make different colors. My favorite in the Spider quilt, U know so easy with leftover strings.

  19. #19
    Senior Member clynns's Avatar
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    I did a 6 inch rail fence block for a man coming home from Walter Reed hospital after he was shot in Iraq. It was made in different shades of brown. Manly but not depressing. I hand quilted it.

  20. #20

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    I made a batch that were oriented toward women, used the tiniest snippets of red and blue (thinking that I was being sneakily compliant), took them to the VA Hospital near me and asked if they were acceptable. The Social Services person fell all over them - he told me that a number of female Korean, [email protected] vets in the hospital and they feel forgotten. I had taken a batch of plain little notecards and sat right down and wrote little notes like "Thank you for paving the way for all of the women in future generations." The Social Service director told me not to worry about the red, white and blue thing.

  21. #21
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    I've wondered about that, too.

    Are there any vets that could speak/write directly about this?

  22. #22
    Member andifar's Avatar
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    I did a purple and yellow quilt for my 3 tour vet. His favorite color is purple. I called is Yellow Ribbons and Purple Hearts. He adores it and it was the catalyst of a wonderful 3 year friendship. He was not physically wounded, but he came back very emotionally beat up.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  23. #23
    Super Member brushandthimble's Avatar
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    I mailed 15 quilts to Afghanistan this year and only about 1 in 3 were red, white, and blue. They were all passed out to soliders in my sons company; he had a waiting list for them.

  24. #24
    Super Member Tinabodina's Avatar
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    What is he favoriate hobby. Boating, fishing, cars? I would make it something that would not remind him of what he has been through, but of what brings a smile to his face.

  25. #25
    Super Member Tinabodina's Avatar
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    Beautiful and love the name Yellow Ribbons.

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