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Warm Thoughts: Quilts for Hospitalized Soldiers posted: 7/26/2005
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Category: General Method: All Series: In The News
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Nutty Quilters

By Pete Kendall
(Monday, April 11, 2005)
Reprinted with permission from the Hood County News

The Nutty Quilters, as they call themselves, are anything but. They’ve made particularly good sense of late, completing a project to donate 10 fluffy, colorful and positively patriotic quilts to soldiers recuperating at Walter Reed Army Medical Center on the East Coast.

Accompanying the quilts will be 15 phone cards so the soldiers can call family or friends or perhaps Granbury to say thanks to Nutty Quilters Janice Kuhns, Lou Bates, Brenda Fisher, Susie Lambeth, Lois Brake, Ruth Smith, Shirley Scott, Beverly Clegg, Becky Roberts and Sue Dewey.

They didn’t originate the idea to quilt for the troops, but they took the ball and ran with it … farther, actually, that they originally intended.

“There was an article in the newsletter from the Old Craft Store in Carrollton telling about a quilting group in Maryland sending lap quits to Walter Reed for the wounded soldiers,” Roberts said. “It said they needed more quilts.

“We presented that to our quilting bee here. We decided to do it. It went from one to 10.”

“We were each going to do two blocks,” Smith said. “We cut out the blocks from some of the scraps. We were going to put them together in one quilt. Then it grew. We ended up with three quilts just from the blocks. Then we added other fabrics.

“Lou went to South Texas for two or three months. She made two quilts while she was down there getting away from the cold. And she’s done all our labels on her machine.”

To An American Hero from The Nutty Quilters
Pecan Plantation
Granbury, Texas
The labels, adorned with an eagle flag, state: “To an American hero – from Nutty Quilters Pecan Plantation Granbury, Texas.”

“Post 9-11, there was a lot of patriotic digitizing done with computer software,” Bates said. “I wanted something that would reflect patriotism, and this eagle seemed to do that. Someone else did the work of digitizing the flag. I combined the lettering with that.

“Thus was born our Nutty Quilters label.”

The quilting took five months … give or take a holiday. “We skipped the whole month of December,” Smith said. “We worked on the quilts at meetings and at home. Some are machine-quilted. All the piecing was machine. We didn’t do a lot of handwork on them.”

It’s a tribute to soldiers they will likely never meet. It’s also a memorial to a former member of the group, the late Carolyn Reich.

“Carolyn died a year ago February,” Smith said. “She was very active. She never missed a meeting if she was in town. Her husband Steve lives in Pecan Plantation. After Carolyn died, he called and invited us to come over and look through her fabric.

“A lot of the yarn was taken to Acton Methodist Church for prayer shawls. More yarn and macramé was delivered to the Shanley House for their projects. More fabric went to the Granbury Quilt Guild. “We used all her red, white and blue for these quilts.”

The phone cards are a bonus. “On the Internet,” Dewey said, “a general from Walter Reed was saying it was nice to have ribbons on your trees and cars, but that the soldiers really needed phone cards so they could call home. That’s where that idea came from. Susie (Lambeth) and her daughter took it from there.”

“My daughter was in Iraq for seven months. She was headquartered in Kuwait,” Lambeth said. “She told somebody what we were doing, and the person she talked to donated the cards.”

The quilts and cards are almost ready for shipment.

“Now that we have our goal of 10, we’ll send them the next week or two to the quilt group that asked for help,” Smith said. “They’ll see that everything gets to Walter Reed. Some of the quilts are stretcher-size, and some are lap-size for wheelchairs.”

The Nutty Quilters wouldn’t mind a thank-you note from the soldiers.

“But I don’t know that we feel we have to hear from them,” Smith said. “We just wanted to do this as a project to thank them for their patriotism and their sacrifices for all of us.”

Pete Kendall can be reached at (817) 573-7066, ext. 248, or e-mail
HCN Online
PO Box 879
1501 S. Morgan St.
Granbury, TX
Fax: (817) 279-8371
Phone:(800) 588-7066

©2005 Hood County News and Pete Kendall
Reprinted with permission from the Hood County News

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