Part of the Red River Valley Quilt Guild's mission is to find ways to give back to the community. At our 2022 Eiffel in Love with Quilts show, we are excited to share with you a special exhibit highlighting the Quilts of Valor Foundation, our military veterans, and the volunteers who make the Quilts of Valor (often called simply QOV).
The Quilts of Valor Foundation was literally conceived in 2003 out of a dream by its founder and quilter, Catherine Roberts, whose son was deployed in Iraq. In her dream, Catherine saw a young man sitting on the side of his bed in the middle of the night hunched over in despair. War demons clustered about him, dragging him into an emotional gutter. Like a movie, the next scene was one of him wrapped in a quilt, and his demeanor had changed from one of despair to one of hope and well-being. Quilts equaled healing.
Because of that dream, the model of Quilts of Valor was simple; have a volunteer team who would donate their time and materials to make a quilt. One person would piece the quilt top and another would quilt it. Since its 2003 inception, 300,000 Quilts of Valor have been presented to retired service members and those on active duty from all branches of the military and major conflicts.
In 2018 just such a group of quilters formed the Red River Valley Quilt Guild’s QOV Circle here in Paris with the goal of covering our local veterans with comforting Quilts of Valor. Our circle of 14 members meets once a month at Sew Always to plan, sew, and complete these quilts. Since our beginning, we have presented 21 Quilts of Valor to local veterans. The most presented at one time was seven quilts to veterans of WWII, Korea, Vietnam, Desert Storm, and Iraqi Freedom last November at the Red River Valley Veterans Memorial during the Veteran’s Day Program at Love Civic Center.
We are frequently asked, “What does a Quilt of Valor mean?” This quilt says someone cares, and it’s an expression of gratitude meant to thank and comfort you. We honor your leaving all you hold dear to serve your country whether in time of crisis or peace. This Quilt of Valor unequivocally says THANK YOU FOR YOUR SERVICE, SACRIFICE, AND VALOR IN SERVING OUR NATION.
It has been a privilege to make and present each of the 21 quilts so far. At the 2022 Eiffel in Love with Quilts show, we presented our 22nd and 23rd Quilts of Valor quilt to 2 local veterans! The recipients are Tommy Frazier, U.S. Air Force, and James Shoemaker, U.S. Army. Thank you for your service!