Hello friends! I’m back with a Sew Goodness cause to share this month. Are you familiar with Quilts of Valor? If this cause is new to you or you want to learn more, here’s a little bit about this wonderful organization. Quilts of Valor is an organization created to “cover service members and veterans touched by war with comforting and healing Quilts.”
You can read more about the history of this inspired organization here. This cause is so well organized and has already delivered almost 190,000 quilts to veterans pf all ages since it was organized in 2003. There’s also a Quilts of Valor organization for Canada.
This video from the Quilts of Valor website is a moving example of what these quilts mean – both to those who receive and those who make the quilts. I’ll admit to getting teary watching it.
This is cause became a little bit extra near and dear to my heart a couple years ago. My husband’s parents were serving as Military Relations Missionaries for our church near the many military installments in the Virginia Beach area. They volunteered at the USO, taught Resiliency classes to service members and their families, supported families with deployed spouses, and fed and mentored young service members away from home for the first time. The are a retired military couple themselves, so they feel a special bond with all of those they’re helping.
We were so touched by the many experiences they’ve shared with us and I’ve grown to have an ever greater appreciation for those who volunteer to serve my country at great personal sacrifice. (Not to mention their spouses and children who sacrifice so much too!)
HOW TO HELP QUILTS OF VALOR:
The Quilts of Valor Foundation is very well organized with local chapters in every state. If you would like to get involved in the organization, you can find the contact info for local chapters here.
You can make a quilt
(You don’t have to be affiliated with a chapter to make a quilt.) Here is the information for making and/or presenting a quilt. There aren’t a lot of formal requirements for the quilt but there are a few (such as being machine quilted for durability) so read the requirements before starting. Other than that, the basic recommendation is a throw-size quilt (average is 60″ x 80″) with a patriotic theme and red, white and blue colors.
You can make a quilt block
Don’t have time right now to make a full quilt? Here is the information for the 2021 Block Drive with all of the details on the quilt block pattern (pictured) and where to send them.
The patterns for this year’s block drive are: a 12″ x 12″ (12.5″ x 12.5″ unfinished) Floating Wonky Star block (pattern here) or an Eight Point Floating Star (pattern here). Both patterns include instructions for mailing the blocks as well.
You can donate Fabric or Orphan Quilt Blocks
Don’t have time to sew, but have plenty of extra patriotic or red, white, and blue fabric? Or maybe you have some orphan quilt blocks from an unfinished project? Many local Quilts of Valor chapters will gladly take quality red, white, and blue fabric or unfinished quilts.
You can find the contact information for your local chapter here.
I wanted to spotlight this cause this month, because patriotic fabric and red, white and blue fabric is widely available this time of year and often on clearance after the 4th of July holiday.
Looking for free quilt ideas?
Quilts of Valor has a page full of free quilt and quilt block patterns for ideas and inspiration.
I’ve got a bunch of ideas for patriotic quilts for you in this post. Many of them are free. Keep in mind, you could also make any favorite quilt pattern in red, white, and blue fabrics. (One idea would be a simple patchwork quilt with a scattered sawtooth stars like this one. In R, W, and B fabrics, of course.)
As with any reputable charitable organization, if you do not have time to make anything but would like to contribute financially, you can donate here.
Looking for other ideas or causes in need of sewing or donations? I’ve got a list of Sew Goodness Charitable Sewing causes and ideas here!
Finally, remember, the purpose of Sew Goodness is to shine a spotlight on sewing for a good cause, NOT to add more guilt or stress to anyone’s life! It’s all about creating more good feelings in our lives by helping others, not bad feelings for not being able to “do it all.” Some months (years?) we all have more time or resources to give than others. That’s totally normal. We all need to remember to pace ourselves. If you’re already working on a favorite charitable cause, keep going with that one! If all you have to give some months is a smile to someone who needs it, you’re doing great! Carry on.