UCC Mainstream Online

Sewing support with Quilts of Valor

Vaughn Kness / Megan Morehouse / Mainstream
Sue Muckey, Penny Jenkins, and Vi Jobb work on Quilts of Valor for veterans stationed overseas. Each block was put together by hand.

The Umpqua Valley Quilters Guild is a local non-profit organization who work to “promote the joy of quilting as a creative expression and an art form,” according to their website. For this project they partnered with Quilts of Valor, a national organization which has presented 108,398 quilts to veterans of Iraq or Afghanistan theatres. The UV Quilters Guild plans to add 92 to that list by presenting their quilts to Charlie Company in June; one quilt for each soldier deployed from Douglas County.
An official Quilt of Valor must be made of 100 percent cotton quilting fabrics and measure between 55”x65” and 60”x80”. These quilts are both warm and beautiful. The task of keeping warm is not an issue during the day for soldiers stationed in the desert climate of Iraq or Afghanistan. During the nights, however, cold temperatures range from 23 to 35 degrees, leaving soldiers with thoughts of home.

Vaughn Kness / Megan Morehouse / Mainstream
Patterns made from blocks were laid out by students and faculty, then sewed together by the guild.

Because they only use the best for our troops, each quilt has an estimated value of $200, not including the hours of labor the quilter’s put in.
Quilt of Valor’s website (http://www.qovf.org), provides recommended patterns along with other quilt specifications.
The Douglas County community has been helping the guild by way of donations. The Sleep Inn of Roseburg often donates its conference room. This gives quilters plenty of space to set up their sewing machines and lay out quilt patterns. They’ve also received donations from Street Memories and some proceeds from the Blackberry Festival. The pattern the guild has been using takes about 20 hours to complete. The guild agrees that this is nothing compared to the priceless labor our troops perform.
Pat Glass, a veteran herself, is the chairperson for the Umpqua Valley Quilt Guild. She has been sewing since she was about 8 or 9 and quilting since the 1970s. “Guilds all over the United States are making Quilts of Valor,” she says. “There are about 122 members of the Guild, each participating in whichever way they can.”
Before making the Quilts of Valor, the guild made patriotic quilts for the local veterans. They were smaller than the official Quilts of Valor. The Guild is displaying their quilts in the Student Center through November, hoping to reach out to the many student veterans and making sure they are recognized.

Most of those are the Patriotic Quilts, but there is one big Quilt of Valor hanging from the rafters,” says Glass.

Vaughn Kness / Megan Morehouse / Mainstream
Corrine Woodward and Pat Glass working on the Quilts of Valor

The guild hoped to have enough involvement to create 20 blocks last Thursday, which would be enough to complete one quilt. Thanks to students and faculty involved, the guild was able to finish three quilts and are planning to return in January for another design-a-block event.
Glass is extending an invitation for anyone who might be interested in working on future quilts. She would also like to know of any veterans who have yet to be recognized. For more information, contact Pat Glass 541-440-6874 or visit the Umpqua Valley Quilt Guild’s website: http://www.umpquavalleyquilters.com.