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Thread: quilts for soldiers

  1. #1
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    Is anyone making quilts for soldiers?

  2. #2
    Super Member justwannaquilt's Avatar
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    Being a quilting military wife. I have made quilts for soliders in the past.
    I have also made things like "Daddy pillows" for kids who have a parent deployed. I made A BUNCH of these, they are fast, fairly cheap, and easy to do.

  3. #3
    Super Member Rose Marie's Avatar
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    Yes, my little group has been making quilts for wounded soldiers for about 3 years.
    Used to send them back east to get quilted then back to the Quilts of Valor but it was so expensive and we wanted to give locally.
    We contacted the local VA and now give to wounded in our area.
    Sometimes we even meet the soldier but sometimes it is a familly member we give the quilt to.
    Here is a picture of one.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  4. #4
    Senior Member dmackey's Avatar
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    I have a son in the Air Force, and I make quilts for soldiers along with some other AF moms. We have our own group on Google to coordinate and share ideas. Our main focus is charity quilts for a yearly raffle at the Air Force Academy.

    Sometimes I search www.anysoldier.com looking for a recipient for my quilts, if I want to send to anyone other than my own. That way, the quilt goes to a specific soldier. I usually save my quilts for when my son is deployed (yearly), and he lets me know who doesn't get much mail, and that is who gets my quilts!

    I used to send quilts to CSAF, which is a hospital in Iraq at Ballad AFB, but I discovered the soldiers cannot keep the quilts when they are air lifted out to Germany. Something to do with transferring bacteria. From Germany to the USA, I believe they can keep their quilts.

    My local quilt shop has two long arms by Handi Quilter. The owner discounts the rented time for me if I am doing a charity or soldier quilt. So, ask around your area to see if someone will quilt for a discount when the quilt is going to a soldier.

    Two questions:

    1. What is a Daddy pillow?

    2. Jeannie, why did you want to know if anyone quilts for soldiers. Do you need help with something?

    Diane

  5. #5
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    Wow that is gorgeous!!

  6. #6
    Super Member Edie's Avatar
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    Hi! I am in the process of designing one now, have to put it on the back burner a little bit - W.I.P. right now! I do like the idea of giving them to our soldiers locally. We have Fort Snelling not too far from us> that way, my plan was to make a MInnesota quilt with memories of the State of Minnesota, with a book to go with it explaining the blocks and what they stand for. I would also like to make a patriotic one.

    I think it is so heartwarming to do something for the soldiers considering what they have done for us! :-) There are so many things I would like to pay forward, I'll never get done.

    It sure feels good too!!!!! Edie

  7. #7
    Senior Member dmackey's Avatar
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    Edie,

    You pay it forward just one quilt at a time.

    I send a message with my quilts about why I made it using a particular design, how each minute spent cutting, sewing, and quilting was with thoughts of how it will keep a soldier warm and let him/her know they are loved and thought about daily.

    I've discovered that soldiers appreciate quilts more than words can say. We make them for a person, and not to match a room or decor, and that is what is so special.

    Giving locally is wonderful. You can choose a state on www.anysoldier.com to make sure someone from your state gets the quilt as well.
    Diane

  8. #8
    Super Member Edie's Avatar
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    Diane, thanks so very much for your tips. I, too, would make it specifically for someone from Minnesota, so I can put things in it like fishing, hunting, football, basketball, baseball, hockey - stuff that would mean something to a MInnesotan. I am in the process of making a baby quilt for our son's friend and his wife. And I should be done with it this weekend, I hope!!! Then I can get my act together and make a quilt. What size did you make. I am a 12" block - 5 across - 7 down with 2" sashing and 4" border. Am I thinking way too big? Or should it be a 3 across - 5 down? The QOV had a size, but I was just wondering if you made it and delivered it personally to the VEts Hospital, would it matter?

    Again, thanks for your help. Edie

  9. #9
    Senior Member dmackey's Avatar
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    justwannaquilt,

    I don't know what Daddy pillows are, so please tell us how you make them!

    I make recovered fleece pillow for soldiers. I use freecycle.org to ask for used toss pillows. I wash them and then make an envelope pocket out of patriotic or solid colored fleece to put the pillow in, and I send them to a local group who makes weekly packages for our soldiers. I also send them to a military hospital in Iraq, and in any packages that I send to soldiers. They are so quick to make and the best part is getting the pillows for free. I always use my Joann's 50% off coupon for my fleece. The pillows are so soft and easy to take the fleece off for washing.

    Here is how I make them:

    If the pillow is 14x14, then I cut a piece the same width and 2 1/2 length,
    so the piece is 14x35. Wrong side down, (center if necessary if the fleece is a print) fold the two short sides over each other until you have the 14" square, pin, and sew along the long edges of the fleece, close to the edge. Turn rightside out and stuff the pillow in. No need to edge the fleece, as it doesn't ravel.

    Cutting the fleece the same width as the pillow, gives a nice smooth fit because fleece has that stretch to it.

    Diane

  10. #10
    Super Member justwannaquilt's Avatar
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    Sorry I didn't get back to ya, I haven't been online all day, well, thats a lie, I have been online but I have been doing homework. JOY!

    Here is a link to what an actual daddy doll is.
    https://www.hugahero.com/]https://www.hugahero.com/[/url]
    When I make them I print the picture on fabirc, and then make the pillow in the rough shape of the picture just like the daddy dolls!

  11. #11
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    I too make quilts for wounded soliders. Here is south Hattiesburg is Camp Shelby where the men come before going to Iraq. I know someone that works out there and she helps me distrubute my quilts. So far I've made 3 and quilted 2 for anyone lady. It does my heart good to give these quilts even though I don't see who gets them. Once I got a thank you for a soilder and I cried. He lost his leg fighting for my freedom so I figure a quilt might let him know I appreciate what he did.
    I have two more tops ready for quilting.

    Regina

  12. #12
    Senior Member dmackey's Avatar
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    Regina,

    The love you get back in the thank you letters is worth the time to make those quilts.

    While no one should expect a thank you from soldiers too busy trying to avoid harm, or going through rehab or hospitalized, when you do get one, you know how much they loved their quilt, and it lifts my spirit for months!

    I actually believe I saw one of my quilts on the news one night about 3 years ago. I had been part of a group that sent several quilts to Walter Reed Hospital, and I could see it on the bed near the soldier they were talking to! It was a top I had designed, but I didn't quilt it.

    Diane

  13. #13
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    I agree I don't want a thanks for this is my thanks to them. On my labels I usually just put my first name and the city and state where I live. This particular quilt was given by a friend from my church and she told the solider my name. I am so thankful for my ability to do this. I wish I didn't have to work and could donate more time to the cause but I have a addiction to eating and buying fabric so I guess I'd better keep showing up at the office. There is a big need for quilters to do this and I hope everyone just does one quilt.

    Regina

  14. #14
    Super Member Edie's Avatar
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    With all respect to QOV, I am wondering here if I go to all the work of making a quilt and it goes to Afghanistan or Iraq and the hospital in Germany won't let the soldier keep it, what's the sense. Can we make them and send them to where they will be able to get them and keep them. Could someone tell me if this is correct? I thought I read here that they couldn't keep them. I have every intention of making a few, but would like to know the best way to do this - other than just taking it to our local VA hospital. Thanks in advance for any help you can give me. Edie

  15. #15
    Senior Member dmackey's Avatar
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    Edie,

    If a soldier in Iraq or Afghanistan is getting the quilt from the hospital, then he/she cannot keep it due to the possible transfer of bacteria. The quilt does get washed and reused for other soldiers.

    If you mail to a specific soldier, not hospitalized, they can keep it. Just be sure it is about twin sized and easy for them to roll up and carry.

    I can find out for sure about the hospitals. Might take me a couple of days.

    I think QOV sends their quilts to Germany where there is a military hospital that takes in those air lifted from Iraq and Afghanistan. Not sure, so you might want to ask them.


    Diane

  16. #16
    Super Member Edie's Avatar
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    That's even better - the hospital in Germany. That was another thing I was thinking about. That is what I would like to do also.

    Thanks so much for your help! Edie

  17. #17
    Super Member justwannaquilt's Avatar
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    I did some looking
    I know when my husband was coming home from Iraq (hurt) he went through Landstuhl Regional Medical Center. Which is where the vast majority of injured troops are treated after being evacuated out of Iraq or Afganistan.

    http://ermc.amedd.army.mil/landstuhl/index.cfm is a link to their homepage, and [email protected] is an EMAIL address to the public affairs office. If you would like to send quilts to them or have questions about quilts that you may send in the future, shoot them an email I am sure they would help you out and answer any questions you may have.
    I know when my husband was there the people were AMAZING!!!!

    I think he still has some (personal) phone numbers from his time in the hospital there, when he gets home tonight I will see and report back to ya IF I can get any closer to an answer.

  18. #18
    Super Member Edie's Avatar
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    Thank you very much for your help and please give your husband a hug from a grateful citizen of the United States of America! He is a hero, through and through!

    Edie

  19. #19
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    Edie, I have made sure that my quilts go to a solider and that he/she keeps them. My suggestion is to go through your church, a friend's church or find an local base and call. The army base here in Hattiesburg MS has a chaplin that was giving out candy to soliders being processed to go to Iraq and they didn't have time to eat so he asked for candy to be donated. I took that on as a mission and got them so far over 25# of candy. I would be ticked if I knew I made a quilt for a soilder and he didn't get to keep it.

    Regina

  20. #20
    Super Member Edie's Avatar
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    That was basically how I felt too. We have a veterans hospital not more than three miles from us and I could check with them and I could also donate some to them too - assuming I could get a lot made.

    Also, one more thing - when Hurricane Katrina hit you folks, our next door neighbors loaded up their motor home and drove down to Hattiesburg and worked for the animals. Helping the homeless animals and taking care of them. They came home and the next morning, he came over and said "Come see what we brought home". It was a puppy mixed of some sort or another about 2 months old or so - they named him Reckless - and this poor emaciated Walker Coon Hound. She had mange, she had fleas, she had heartworm, she was half starved, she must not have weighed more than 20 lbs. She now is a healthy, not sure on age, 5 year old. Her name is Hattie - named after Hattiesburg. She is a love, she is all cured, she is beautiful and she loves carrots. I love happy stories. Someone has to help the animals too. And he does it better than anyone I have ever met. Edie

  21. #21
    Senior Member dmackey's Avatar
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    I sent an email to MaryAnn Phillips of Soldiers Angels at Ramstein in Germany and she told me that many soldiers arrive from CASF with their quilts and fleece blankets in tow, so she doesn't think they are taken from them at the hospital. Many soldiers arrive without any personal belongings because they are coming almost directly from the battlefield, to CASF, stabilized, and air lifted to Germany. Their personal stuff comes later, and that would include quilts and blankets.

    So, I think it is safe to say that quilts sent to CASF in Iraq and Afghanistan, will travel with the wounded soldier it is given to.

    I am still waiting for a call back from Wilford Hall. I left a message for the dept. that handles medical personnel for deployments to see if they have something to add.

    It was almost two years ago when one of our moms was told not to send quilts because the soldiers couldn't keep them. I wish I had checked into it back then!

    Diane

  22. #22
    Senior Member dmackey's Avatar
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    justwannaquilt,

    I hope your husband has recovered from his injuries! Thank him for his service from me and my family.

    Thank you for all you have to deal with during deployments too.

    Separation is so hard on family. My son has yet to have children, but I see what his wife goes through and it is an incredible sacrifce the families of the deployed deal with. Did I mention all the gray hairs this gives me as well?

    Diane


  23. #23
    Super Member justwannaquilt's Avatar
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    Thank you, he wasn't hurt NEARLY as bad as most soldiers coming home. He will never really "recover" he messed his back up and some days are a chore just to walk but he considers himself lucky because he can pick our kids up and go play with them alot of soliders comeing back CAN NOT! Because of him being nondeployable the army "let him go"! The military is still a HUGE part of our lives and I will forever consider myself an Army wife.

    Diane, thank you for the info you provided to everyone.
    When Jeff got home last night he said go get the website off of my bag. It is Soldiers Angel. When he got to LRMC they (everyone that came with him) were met with open arms and given book bags and hygene items, vouchers for clothing. You name it they had it.

  24. #24
    Senior Member dmackey's Avatar
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    Soldiers Angels is a great organization. They take in quilts and blankets along with many other things, http://soldiersangels.com/

    Because I am so connected with the AF parents, we always have someone we know deployed and can tell us their needs as well as how to help others. We have had some really fun projects such as helping to decorate a morale tent, getting shoes for kids, school supplies, yarn and knitting stuff.

    We are so blessed because our pilots tend to be in a much safer environment than the ground troops, and our pilot's main concern is the ground troops, not each other. Most tell us of things they want to give to those troops, so that is very heartwarming. My son always says he doesn't need anything but mail, but often will tell us what the Chaplain or medics can use to distribute.

    I'm glad to hear your husband is doing okay, but I also know back problems can cause lots of other issues. May I suggest a massage therapy that I think is awesome? It is called Cranial Sacral Message therapy and it is very gentle but works great for back issues. It removed a kink I had in my hip and another in my neck after 25 years of suffereing, in one session. It is a great massage for sciatica relief too.

    Diane

  25. #25
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    thank you for that story I will pass that on....and tell Hattie I'm glad she made it. Hattiesburg is named after a man's wife and her name was Hattie. I don't know all the story about them.
    I'm love this message board.
    One more thing about the solider quilts, I have done mine in RED WHITE and BLUE.....but anything will do.
    Just a suggestion

    Regina

    just a remark about Katrina....I've never been so scared as I was that day. I prayed and prayed and prayers were answered. I lost a half of a shingle off the roof and the trees that fell, went into the yard not on the house. Thank you Jesus.

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