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Quilted in Honor!

This month, we remember and honor those who served. Once called Armistice Day for the ceasefire of the First World War, Veterans Day is recognized in the USA and Remembrance Day in the Commonwealth countries on November 11th.


One way to show honor for the courage and sacrifice of our veterans is with a very special handmade quilt. Quilts of honor, or valor, have become symbols of gratitude and remembrance to those who served, often risking their lives to defend our lives and freedom.


Remembrance Day Quilts

These quilts were made in honor of Remembrance Day. This gorgeous red poppy Anzac quilt has its roots in the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps who served during WW1. Inspired by the poem, In Flanders Field, the red poppy is one of the most recognized symbols of remembrance of soldiers who died in conflict. This Remember quilt, set against a stunning blue background, honors the fallen in stars and poppies. Pam Bono's Quilt of Remembrance, with green leaves and red poppies, was officially recognized as Canada's quilt for Remembrance Day.


Quilts of Valor

Quilts of Valor seeks to Service Members and Veterans touched by war with comforting and healing Quilts of Valor. Quilts are made by volunteers who want to show appreciation and thank those who gave us so much. They incorporate symbols like eagles and flags in the quilts to show patriotism, national pride, and honor. Colors and patterns they choose have significance: red for courage and sacrifice, white for purity and innocence, and blue for dedication and loyalty. Quilt patterns like the Log Cabin or Star of Bethlehem represent home, hope and faith. And, every quilt tells a story.

Those honored for their service are: Hilland “Borden” Sabiston, US Air Force, 1950-1968 and US Army, 1968-1971; Bradley Hopper, US Army, 2008-2014; Mike Johnson, US Navy, 1974-1994; Milton Fletcher, US Army, 1944-1956; and David D. Herman, US Army, 1956-1959.

Five veterans, from Blue Ridge, NC, with service as early as 1944 were honored with special quilts. The mission of Quilts of Valor is to wrap service members and veterans touched by war with comforting and healing quilts of valor. "The quilters think of how the veterans protect their freedom while they are making the quilts." The veterans are wrapped in a quilty hug. I think they like their quilts a lot. Look at those happy faces!


Quilts of Honor

Quilts of Honor's mission is to bestow a universal symbol and token of thanks, solace, and remembrance to those who serve in harm’s way to protect and defend our lives and freedoms. What better way to do that than a personal handmade quilt.

When Retired Army Master Sgt. Carl "Eddie" Courtney returned to the United States from Vietnam, in 1970, he was verbally and physically abused. He bought a sewing machine and started his own chapter of Quilts of Honor so that another veteran would never feel unappreciated. Quilts of Honor make custom-made quilts for military veterans. He calls them, Hugs of Gratitude. Eddie says, "No person, especially a veteran, should have that happen to them. I'm grateful to be doing this. It's almost like prayer."


Honored for their Service

The stories represented in these honor quilts are truly amazing! These three men represent so many who have served.


Bill "Sweet William" Amberson (pictured center) is a 92-year-old World War II veteran who has never received a quilt of valor. He still carries injuries sustained in Germany as a 20-year old infantryman. Jan Bynum made Bill's quilt. Her brother was killed in Vietnam in 1968. Adding her brother's initials to the quilt, she said " I do this to honor him." She also quilted, "In valor there is hope."


Vietnam veteran, Lance Wilson (pictured right) received a quilt made by his wife, Nancy. Wilson served on ships for two years in support of the war. He said, "No one has ever honored the Vietnam veterans that much. It's the forgotten war. I think it should be done a lot more."


Edward Erb (pictured left) is a retired Army Ranger, served from 1975 to 1996 deploying four times to Operation Iraqi Freedom as a contractor installing surveillance systems at Army posts and forward operating bases. He said the quilt has great meaning for him because someone outside of the military wants to understand and recognize what veterans have gone through.


The Veteran's Quilt Project, Tulalip, WA


These are the generous quilting volunteers and the well-deserving recipients of these quilts of valor: Candy Hill-Wells/Raymond Fryberg, Marine Veteran; Sara Andres/Joseph Jones, Marine Veteran; Rae Anne Gobin/Gary Holding, Navy Veteran; Sheila Hillaire/Mel Sheldon Jr., Army Veteran; Benita Rosen/Larry Wooster, Air Force Veteran; Sonia Sohappy/Steve Gobin, Navy Veteran; Sherry Dick/Guy Madison, Marine Veteran; Lena Jones/Daniel Moses Sr., Army Veteran.

The Veterans Quilt Project, for the Tulalip Veterans, was founded in 2016. Each year, the members decide on a pattern and make one quilt for each veteran honoring the service of men and women in all branches of the military. The eagle represents strength and power.


Rae Anne Gobin, quilter and project founder said: "We hope each recipient finds the quilt comforting. We know our veterans put their lives on hold while serving, and helped protect us to keep our freedom. "


Honoring Dad

I really love this story! Cathy is on the Accounting Team at Fat Quarter Shop. She wanted to honor her Dad for all his years of military service. She sewed the Night and Day Quilt as a tribute to her Dad. This is the very first quilt she has completed.


The pictures of her family and her Father's military career are just fantastic! He retired in 1985 as a Major, and then returned to school to get his teaching degree. I hope you'll take the time to read their story.


Scott's Victory Quilt

Pam Neill of Kentucky, actively supported her son's service while he was in the US Army Special Forces in Afghanistan in 2001. She made a quilt for him, nicknamed Scott's Victory Quilt, adding one square for every day he was gone, using a quilt as you go method. Family and friends wrote messages on the blocks. The quilt provided comfort during a difficult time for this family. (Click on the link, Scott's Victory Quilt, and page down to read her story and watch the video.)


It would be great if we could honor everyone who has served, their stories are worth remembering.


They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:

Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.

At the going down of the sun and in the morning

We will remember them.



I hope you enjoyed this small tribute to our veterans. The quilts may outlive them, but their service will never be forgotten.


This blog was written and compiled by our resident historian :) Crystal King


PS: You can read more about these honored veterans and their special quilts by clicking on the links in each paragraph.


Happy Sunday everyone,

Krista


Follow all my quilty adventures on Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest. Visit my YouTube channel for free tutorials and tips. If you like my patterns, you can buy them on Etsy, and here on the website.

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