A caravan from California will stop in Nebraska today to pick up more hand-made quilts to donate to returning military personnel on the East Coast. Quilt-makers from Nebraska and several surrounding states made the cozy comforters as part of the Quilts of Valor program.
Maureen Ose is spokeswoman for the International Quilt Study Center and Museum in Lincoln, which will feature a one-day display of the program’s sewn works of art. Over the last several years, Ose says they’ve created more than 20-thousand quilts and given them to soldiers who are returning from duty or who may’ve been wounded. In this case, the quilts are for an entire battalion of 12-hundred that’s returning from Afghanistan. It’s a battalion of Marines and Navy Corpsmen returning to Camp LeJeune, North Carolina.
The caravan has already made stops in Utah and Colorado with more stops planned in Missouri and Tennessee enroute to the Tar Heel State. Ose says the Quilts of Valor folks will be picking up 85 quilts in Lincoln that were made by people in Nebraska, Iowa, Minnesota, Kansas and South Dakota. They’ll be combined with the others for a total of 12-hundred quilts, most of which are red, white and blue or have a patriotic theme.
Creating a quilt often takes weeks and Ose says for many quilt-makers, these are labors of love. The individuals may have a direct connection to the military as they or a loved one may have served, or they might just want to show they really care and to show their respect. This is one of many projects being coordinated by the Quilts of Valor Foundation, a non-profit group that was created to “cover our wounded soldiers, sailors and Marines one quilt at a time.”
“The idea is to give them a quilt that makes them feel good, that makes them feel comfy,” Ose says. Quilt-makers will spend many, many hours on the process, which she says is because “they just want to let the servicemembers and veterans know that people here care.”