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Thread: Dispelling Myths about Quilts of Valor

  1. #1
    Senior Member AndiR's Avatar
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    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:

    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.
    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.

    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:
    http://www.qovf.org/content/getting-...m-quilter.html

    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:
    http://www.qovf.org/index.html
    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.

  2. #2
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    Thank you very much for the explainations.

    It easy to not notice when the reasons why are several pages later on a long thread.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Granny Quilter's Avatar
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    Thank you

  4. #4
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    Thanks for this valuable information.

  5. #5
    Super Member Buckeye Rose's Avatar
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    Bravo for what you and many others are doing for our soldiers. While I understand why you have the necessary rules about the fabrics and quilting, I also think that you need to explain it better in your requirements to eliminate confusion and some of the issues you saw on the previous post. Your requirements aren't difficult or unreasonable. I don't donate to QOV, but do make and donate quilts to a local children's hospital and there are some requirements, but nothing that is difficult to deal with. It's just the nature of hospital use and the necessary steps to keep quilts clean and free of bacteria. It's all part of what is best for the soldier.

  6. #6
    Super Member Grama Lehr's Avatar
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    Thank you for all of the information! It really makes sense!

  7. #7
    Moderator kathy's Avatar
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    thank you andi

  8. #8
    k3n
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    Good idea to post this separately Andi - I'd hate to see such a worthwhile cause lose out because of a few ppl getting it wrong and starting bad feelings about it.

  9. #9
    Super Member boxerlady's Avatar
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    Thank you for the clarification. I am sure many do not realize the reasons behind the requirements. Thank you also for working with this cause

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    Super Member Peckish's Avatar
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    Thank you so much for clearing up this info. I have a quick question:

    Quote Originally Posted by AndiR
    There are NO color requirements, although the Red White and Blue quilts have proven most popular.
    Popular with the quilters who make them, or popular with the troops who receive them? Just curious... if it's the troops who like them, then I'll keep making mine RWB.

  11. #11
    Senior Member Delilah's Avatar
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    I still think I would prefer to give my quilts to Soldier's Angels. They do much more for our warriors than give quilts. http://soldiersangels.org/index.php?...ankets-of-hope

  12. #12
    Senior Member AndiR's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Peckish
    Thank you so much for clearing up this info. I have a quick question:

    Quote Originally Posted by AndiR
    There are NO color requirements, although the Red White and Blue quilts have proven most popular.
    Popular with the quilters who make them, or popular with the troops who receive them? Just curious... if it's the troops who like them, then I'll keep making mine RWB.
    From what I understand, the troops are usually allowed to choose a quilt from what is available, and most of them choose a RWB one. But not all of them want a patriotic one, so other colors are fine. Only 10% of the troops are female, so overly feminine quilts are probably not in high demand, and they do ask that you not use juvenile themed fabrics.

    I've also heard, although I can't find documentation on the site right now, that it's best not to use fabrics with guns, fireworks, etc, that might remind them of the trauma they witnessed. But we have used sports-themed fabrics, military prints, etc.

  13. #13
    Super Member Glassquilt's Avatar
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    Thank you

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    Power Poster blueangel's Avatar
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    Thanks for the clarification.

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    Thank you for the information and clarification.

  16. #16
    Senior Member sewgray's Avatar
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    Thank you so much for taking the time to give us this info.

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    Thanks, Andi - I hope those who are so upset by the guidelines issued by QOV will take the time to read your message and gain a better understanding of what they ask of us when we provide a quilt for our service men and women.

    I volunteer as a LA quilter for QOV, and I encourage anyone who makes a top to ask to be paired up with a quilter. The only charge to you for that service is the postage to send it to the long-armer.

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    It states stitch length but not how close the stitching needs to be (like every 3-4". Is that based on the batting used?
    What is considered "giant meander"?

    I think it would have been helpful if the instructions/guidelines had said that quilting lines should be no further than X inches apart.

    What are they looking for?

  19. #19
    Super Member C.Cal Quilt Girl's Avatar
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    Missed the other thread, thanks for the clear unput tho!!
    Thanks for what you and others do for the troops in whatever way, any and all of it makes or sends a little comfort.

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    Thanks for your explanation. I'm sorry my question got out of hand. I just wanted to know what was wrong with the SID quilting method. I didn't think about the different sizes of blocks, etc. It all makes sense now. Thanks again.

  21. #21
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    Thank you for saying what I have been thinking all morning. The misunderstanding certainly needed a thorough explanation such as yours. A little understanding goes a long way.
    My brother was wounded while serving in Saudi Arabia. He went on to serve in Baghdad and Germany. He continues to serve stateside as a civilian. I shudder to think that what all these men and women of our armed forces have done for us, to be given a QOV and then have the quilt not last the rest of their lives. There is meaning behind those quilts. Their memories will last a lifetime, the quilts are a means of comfort and should help get them through it all. May God Bless all the wonderful people for their time and talents to a worthy cause.

  22. #22
    Senior Member AndiR's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rdorminy
    Thanks for your explanation. I'm sorry my question got out of hand. I just wanted to know what was wrong with the SID quilting method. I didn't think about the different sizes of blocks, etc. It all makes sense now. Thanks again.
    I'm glad I could clear things up some. You just asked a question, nothing wrong with that :wink: . The QOV guidelines could have been clearer, but there is already so much information on their website that they were probably trying to simplify things.

  23. #23
    Power Poster sewbizgirl's Avatar
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    Thank you for the explaination and thanks to all those who have worked to comfort and honor our soldiers!

  24. #24
    Moderator Jim's Gem's Avatar
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    Thank you!

  25. #25
    Senior Member Granny Quilter's Avatar
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    I hope the people who need this info read it.

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