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Sew Much to Give posted: 3/28/2005
by *See Article* Printable Page
Category: General Method: All Series: In The News
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Reprinted with permission
from The Carolina News

SUN CITY: Thirty quilters stitch their love into blankets for wounded troops returning from Middle East.

Reprinted with permission from Carolina Morning News on the Web Low Country Now
Beaufort, SC
November 16, 2004

By Erinn McGuire
Carolina Morning News

Thirty quilters from Sun City hope their warm blankets are like an extension of open arms, welcoming wounded troops returning from Afghanistan and Iraq.

About 75 unique "quilts of valor" will be delivered to injured service members who land at Andrews Air Force Base in Maryland.

The precious cargo will be flown in military aircraft from Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort and handed out to men and women seeking medical attention at Bethesda Naval Hospital or Walter Reed Army Hospital.

When some of these men and women return, there might be thoughts of "Does anyone really care?" said Col. Harmon Stockwell, commander of Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort. These quilts unequivocally say, "Yes they do."

"Their acts of kindness go above and beyond," he said. "Many are veterans themselves and know the importance of this."

The Sew What Club Quilters of Sun City/Hilton Head learned earlier this year the Quilters Guild of Southern Maryland was unable to keep up with the quilt demand.

Sewing machine motors here revved up to alleviate the shortfall.

The quilters initially hoped to sew 50. But 75 will be in the first shipment.

Each quilt includes a hand-crafted card with these words: "This quilt was made for you out of appreciation, admiration and respect for your service to our country. With heroes like you, America will continue to be the best in the world. We salute you and hope this quilt brings you comfort and cheer when you need it."

The group plans to continue the project after the holidays.

"I was really excited about this," said Alida Jagt, who hand-sewed a log cabin-patterned quilt. It took the quilter about two months to complete her masterpiece.

"I really wanted to do a quilt for someone special. It's an honor and a privilege to do it. Some man or woman has given life and limb."

Reprinted with permission
from The Carolina News

Because Jagt's was the only fully hand-sewn blanket, some members wanted to raffle it off to raise funds for additional quilts.

Jaqt refused. She wanted to ensure a man or woman who really needed it would receive her craftsmanship.

The first of the 75 quilts were made from the quilters' own funds.

Then donations were received from the Sun City Veterans Association, Vietnam Veterans No. 717 of Ohio, Sun City/Okatie Lions Club and the Material Girls Bee of Palmetto Quilt Guild.

"We never dreamed we would have all these donations," said quilter Carol Lee, whose son-in-law is a rescue helicopter pilot and has completed one tour in Afghanistan and two in Iraq.

The green material used in Lee's seven quilts came from Iceland, where her daughter and son-in-law were stationed.

Lee and the other ladies admitted they became emotional while sewing the quilts.

"It's because you know where they're going," said Marci Baggetta.

2004 Erinn McGuire and Low Country Now
Reporter Erinn McGuire can be reached at 837-5255, ext. 107, or
Reprinted with permission

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