Sunday, April 26, 2015

Quilting a Special Quilt Of Valor for WW II Veteran

Been trying to get ALL caught up so I could get to quilting this really neat Quilt of Valor top we've been saving for a very special WW II Veteran:

Patriotic Stars & Stripes Quilt of Valor
What a great QOV this was to quilt!  Here are a few close-ups of some of the quilting...enjoy!

StarStruck panto in the interior

McTavish quilting in the Navy/Star border
w/Rainbows Patriotic thread in the needle

Border and panto quilting

This special Quilt of Valor came together so beautifully - all that's left to do to finish are the binding and the QOV label, and it will be all ready to be awarded in May!

Questions?  Please contact:

Deb Lindley/Founder/Group Leader
East Central IL QOV
217.264.2051 (Direct)

“Covering our Service Members and Veterans touched by war with Quilts of Valor®…”


Friday, April 17, 2015

Quilts of Valor for Port Mortuary Service Members and Veterans

A while back, our Assistant Executive Director, Sharon Ledbetter, sent out a Call to Action to each of our states, requesting we honor a plea from our Founder, Catherine Roberts, to assist with an ongoing Quilts of Valor need.

The Mission of the Quilts of Valor® Foundation:  "To cover Service Members and Veterans touched by war, with comforting and healing Quilts of Valor®".

Sharon writes:

"Some years back, Catherine Roberts charged us with honoring and covering those who receive our dead at the Port Mortuary(PM) in Delaware. Both military and civilian volunteers serve in the preparation of our hero's for their final journey.  Catherine understood these volunteers were Touched by War.

Sisters Lenny Truitt and Laurel Braunstein, Delaware's co-SC's, have collaborated on this project. Those who serve in this capacity rotate every 4 months with anywhere from 25 - 35 rotating out. Contact from Lenny recently notes they will need approx. 100 quilts to get them through 2015 and they fear they will not be able to meet their need."

"It is also worth mentioning that every QOV sew day we have (every other month) workers from the Port Mortuary (usually active military) come to sew so they can pay it forward.  We had one young woman delay her separation from the Air Force so she could attend one last sew day before moving to Boston to attend graduate school. She brought a picture of herself receiving her QOV and since the quilter was local we arranged for them to meet."

Sharon goes on to write, "These quilts must be patriotic and not branch specific."

East Central Illinois Quilts of Valor was more than honored to join other states in this effort.  If you've ever watched the movie, "Taking Chance" with actor, Kevin Bacon, then you understand what Port Mortuary embodies.  Our family is particularly familiar with this effort, since one of our own fallen warriors, Army Spc. Charles 'Chuck' R. Lamb, was escorted home to his final resting place after a mortar attack in Baghdad, IRAQ on September 5, 2004.

Port Mortuary takes care with every single detail while preparing our fallen warriors for their final journey home.  Each and every Quilt of Valor is created to honor and cover those touched by war. We hope and pray, our Quilts of Valor will do the same.

This Quilt of Valor is the second of two we have promised to deliver to Port Mortuary:

Quilt of Valor destined for a Port Mortuary Service Member or Veteran
One of our esteemed QOVF Volunteer Members, Doris, created this original Quilt of Valor.  We added a few patriotic borders, Quilt of Valor quilt labels, the QOV Presentation case, and the Quilts of Valor Award Certificate and personal letter, which tells the story of this specially made quilt and a little bit about the history of Quilts of Valor.

A few pictures depicting the creation of this very special Quilt of Valor:

Adding a binding w/patriotic top stitching

Finished quilting

Top stitching a QOV Award Presentation case

Embroidering our custom East Central IL QOV quilt label

Attaching Quilt of Valor quilt labels

Shipping info to the QOVF Volunteers who will take special care with this Quilt of Valor

This very special Quilt of Valor all ready to ship!
If you, too, would like to assist in any way by offering to help honor and cover our Service Members and Veterans with comforting and healing Quilts of Valor, Please don't hesitate to contact us - we'll be glad to assist you in any way we can...Thank YOU!

Questions?  Please contact:

Deb Lindley/Founder/Group Leader
East Central IL QOV
217.264.2051 (Direct)

“Covering our Service Members and Veterans touched by war with Quilts of Valor®…”


Friday, April 10, 2015

April QOV Updates

April, 2015 Minutes
Happy Spring!
10 QOV quilt tops complete, ready for borders & binding, ONLY 2 remaining to reach our June 30, 2015 goals of fifty (50) completed Quilts of Valor!
6 QOVs scheduled to be awarded in April

Our regularly scheduled April meeting had to be cancelled due to local flash flooding and severe weather threats.  Living in the MidWest, we've grown used to these explosive weather situations that seem to pop-up out of nowhere and have learned to keep our 'eyes on the skies' and tuned in to our local weather channel!  We ALL said more than a few prayers for our fellow Illinoisans north of us who, unfortunately, received far more devastation and destruction than we did.  We will continue to keep them in our prayers as they climb out and re-build their local communities.

Illinois tornado - April 9, 2015

Because we were spared the effects of the brunt of the severe storms and tornadoes, thankfully our Group of dedicated sewers and quilters were able to stay on task.  I heard back from several of you relaying your completion of TEN new Quilt of Valor quilt tops, more than 7 are in various stages of being bound, and two are headed to Texas to be longarmed by a recent QOV Volunteer, Thank YOU!

Here is a pile of our most recent quilts ready to be bound:

5 QOV quilt tops bound on one side
Getting ready to sew the second side down:

First side of binding sewn, all pinned down ready to sew down to the front side

Close-up of pen stitch used w/Rainbows Patriotic thread
that matches the machine quilting

And the second side getting all sewn down:

Sewing the final side of the binding

One of the first finishes:

Binding finishes - this one ready to be shipped!
As you may know, recently we've had a very special Quilts of Valor request for Vietnam Veterans from our area who will be attending a reunion of their Infantry Division this fall, which of course we've agreed to honor.  You may read all about it here:

We also have several Quilts of Valor Award ceremonies coming up in the next few months, including over the Mother's Day, Memorial Day, and Father's Day weekends.  Stay tuned for future blog postings and updates.

UPDATE 4/11/15:  We just received notice of donations received from Champaign, Robinson and Teutopolis, IL American Legions...Thank YOU!

Thanks again to Everyone for ALL your amazing talents, gifts, and especially your unending generosity in helping us honor and cover our Service Members and Veterans with Quilts of Valor.

Questions?  Please contact:

Deb Lindley/Founder/Group Leader
East Central IL QOV
217.264.2051 (Direct)

“Covering our Service Members and Veterans touched by war with Quilts of Valor®…”


Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Come and Sew for Our Vets!

CANCELLED! due to Severe Weather/flooding
East Central IL QOV
Quilts of Valor Monthly Meeting

The Mission of the Quilts of Valor® Foundation:  "To cover Service Members and Veterans touched by war, with comforting and healing Quilts of Valor®".

You are invited to help us create Quilts of Valor®  for our deserving Service Members and Veterans in our East Central Illinois area.  In 2014, we created and awarded over thirty (30) Quilts of Valor® to area Service Members and Veterans.  We were able to accomplish this through the generosity of local area talent, coupled with wonderful monetary and non-monetary gifts from area donors.

We have lofty goals for 2015 - to now create and cover one hundred (100) area Service Members and Veterans with Quilts of Valor.  To do this, we need your help.  

EVERYONE is Welcome to participate, including home-schooled and 4-H youth, ages 8 years and up interested in learning how to create Quilts of Valor.

What:  Clark/Crawford/Edgar County Quilts of Valor Monthly Sew-IN

Where:  Clark/Crawford/Edgar County U of I Extension Bldg.
15493 N State Highway #1; Marshall, IL  62441

When:  2nd Thursday of every month, next meeting is April 9, 2015

Time:  1:00 pm – 2:00 pm (CST)

We Need:  Cutters, Sewers, Pressers, Quilters, and most importantly – folks who are motivated to getter done!  QOV Valor block kits and quilt kits will be available for a modest donation for those participating in our QOV block and quilt top drives.  F R E E QOV block patterns will also be available for participating East Central IL QOV Members.

*NOTES:  Each participant is responsible for sewing their kits by adhering to our QOVF Standards of Excellence, and returning their finished blocks and/or tops in a timely manner…Thank YOU!

Questions?  Please contact:

Deb Lindley/Founder/Group Leader
East Central IL QOV
217.264.2051 (Direct)

“Covering our Service Members and Veterans touched by war with Quilts of Valor®…”


Sunday, April 5, 2015

We have just received a Very Special Request for Vietnam Vets...

I sobbed when I first read this letter.  It jolted me back to a time when as a young child, I watched my Uncle Danny, a Vietnam Vet, who got spat on while walking up to watch one of our 4th of July parades.  I don't think I ever saw him attend another one.

I cried again and again after re-reading it and tears are still streaming down my face as I write this.  I hope and pray no one minds if I post this heartfelt letter.  A letter from the wife of a Vietnam Veteran with a very simple request of help for other Vietnam Vets in our East Central Illinois area.  I will ask you the same question she asked of me after reading her letter.  If you can, if it's in your heart, "Can You Help?"

Please Note: Certain content, including names, have been edited by this blogger for privacy reasons. However, the proper name given of this Vietnam Infantry Division in this letter is correct and no edits apply and/or have been applied...Thank You.

April 3, 2015

To: Deb Lindley, Quilts of Valor Coordinator/State of Illinois – East Central

From:  Linda L., Wife of Vietnam Veteran (1969-70) Larry L.

This past September, my husband was presented with his Quilt of Valor in a very lovely and touching ceremony in Eastern Iowa.  His name was put forward for this quilt by a new friend we had made after moving to Iowa in 2002.  Having never heard of the Quilts of Valor Foundation, we weren't quite sure what this was all about and rather hesitant to participate.  Even though he was with 4 other vets he didn't know, it still was an emotional tribute and much appreciated.

In January of 2013, after 43 years of searching for his Vietnam unit buddy, Jeff S, (do you have any idea how many Jeff S.’s live in Ohio?), Larry received a call from Jeff S.  He was speechless.  It was as if 43 years melted away to just yesterday.  Jeff’s health is failing and his request to his daughter that Christmas was to help him find “his guys”.  

So started Jeff’s search for as many of the Alpha Co., 2nd of the 12th, 25th Infantry comrades who fought in those fields and jungles so many years ago and what seemed to be a lifetime ago for all of them.  

Since then, these comrades have gathered for 2 reunions and are in the midst of planning a 3rd reunion, September 20 - 25th in Branson, Missouri.  Many newly found comrades are reluctant to attend, fearful of stirring up old memories.  

However, those that do face their demons are so excited to renew those old friendships and bonds that were made and lost in the fields of Vietnam back in 1969.  One vet shared that he got more out of a 4 day reunion than 17 years of therapy.  Another said that until he talked with others who shared the same horrors, he thought perhaps his mind and memories were just exaggerating the events.  They have come together to share stories, hugs, tears, laughs, life’s challenges and, hopefully, inner healing that comes when connecting with the only other people who can really share their experiences.

There were no homecoming parades for these veterans, no small children waving American flags while standing along the streets, no welcome home gatherings in the local gymnasiums with family, friends and the community.  Like my husband, many were airlifted from the field to a medical facility, sent to a hospital for several months and then sent home alone to fend for themselves.  There were no goodbyes, no “thanks for having my back”, no exchange of contact information.  They were in the field one day and gone the next.

Alpha Co. Reunion 2014
Columbus, Ohio

After Larry received his quilt, I suggested that it would be so meaningful to receive a quilt among comrades and wouldn't it be great if we could make this happen for the guys attending the reunion this year.  This could be one of those healing events for these veterans who have had so much ugliness to carry within their hearts.

They come to the reunion with artificial limbs, wheelchairs, canes, physical and mental disabilities, seen and unseen.  One thing they all share is their love of country and willingness to have fought for our freedom.

With your help, I’m asking to make this presentation a new healing experience for the comrades of Alpha Co, 2 of the 12th, 25th Infantry Division.

Thank you for your consideration and I look forward to hearing from you.

Linda L.

UPDATE 4/6/2015:
My immediate response to Linda was YES!  We at East Central Illinois QOV will be more than happy to provide a comforting and healing Quilt of Valor for one or more of our area Illinois Vietnam Veterans who will be attending this year's reunion in September.  

IF you also wish to assist in any way with this reunion for these Vietnam Veterans - whether to help provide a comforting and healing Quilt of Valor to Honor another of these very deserving Vietnam Vets for their sacrifice and service for our country, OR to donate monetarily to help us create a Quilt of Valor for one of these Vietnam Veterans, monetary/non-monetary donations will be accepted, and any/ALL proceeds garnered specifically for this event will be used accordingly.  We will continue to post updates on this blog as additional details and circumstances provide...Thank YOU!

UPDATE 9/7/2015:  BOTH Quilts of Valor ready to ship -

Both Quilts of Valor - labeled w/QOV Award documents and Presentation Cases

Additional details regarding the creation and completion of these two very special Quilts of Valor may be found by following these two blog links below:

East Central Illinois QOV feels trully privileged to have played a small part in helping to create these two very special Quilts of Valor...Thanks goes to EVERYONE who helped in any way to make it possible to honor and cover our Illinois Vietnam Veterans with comforting and healing Quilts of Valor.

UPDATE 9/30/2015  -  Just received these pics from Missouri Quilts of Valor State Coordinator, Gloria H. from the Vietnam Reunion:

Those smiles say it ALL don't they?  Thanks goes out to EVERYONE who helped make this happen for these deserving Vietnam Veterans.  Thank YOU, Gentlemen, for your sacrifice and service for our country...Welcome Home!

Please contact me with any questions:

Deb Lindley/Founder/Group Leader
East Central IL QOV
217.264.2051 (Direct)

“Covering our Service Members and Veterans touched by war with Quilts of Valor®…”


Saturday, April 4, 2015

This is what it's ALL about - To Honor...

To Honor those whom have sacrificed for our country - and that's just what our Marilyn is doing:

Marilyn Honors a Veteran
And Awards him a beautiful Quilt of Valor she created just for him:

A gorgeous Quilt of Valor to Honor a special Vet
Along with another special Vietnam Veteran:

A stunning Quilt of Valor to Honor 'Sonny' for his sacrifice and service - Thank YOU! 
Marilyn as she Awards 'Sonny' his Quilt of Valor
Marilyn was kind enough to send these pictures to us, along with a wonderful note telling a little bit about these two fine Vietnam Vets.

Marilyn's note about her recent Quilts of Valor Awards to two memorable Vietnam Veterans
Marilyn - you do us ALL very proud...Thank YOU!

That's what it's all about - To Honor those whom have sacrificed for us...

Have a Blessed Easter Everyone!

Deb Lindley/Founder/Group Leader
East Central IL QOV
217.264.2051 (Direct)

“Covering our Service Members and Veterans touched by war with Quilts of Valor®…”