Rural Missouri - July 2012 - (Page 10)

Eastern Missouri group provides quilts of comfort to soldiers T letter of appreciation. “We know how important it is to have something from home,” says Jean, “to let them know that hey came from 10 someone cares.” different counties Each of the ladies has her own in eastern Misreason for participating. Some souri. They talked have personal ties to the military. of grandkids, of friends in Others come for the camaraderie the hospital, of family, and that develops around a quilt. especially, of quilting. Inside Dorothy Vogelgesang of St. Charrette Baptist Church Paul, whose husband served in in Marthasville, the women the Army during the Korean War, of the Quilts of Valor Easthas been quilting with the Eastern ern Missouri group joined Missouri group for five years. together to offer their time “I’m really thrilled that we can and skills in support of do something for those who are wounded American soldiers. doing so much for us,” she says. The day-long quilting Both Jackie and Jean believe bee began just before the that Quilts of Valor provides a Memorial Day holiday as means of supporting American ladies filtered in through the troops that is tapping into the church doorway, stopping strengths of those involved. briefly for name tags before “I think everybody wants to do joining the swelling bustle of something, and this is something activity inside. Where pews we can do,” says Jean. had lined the interior of the For her, the drive to provide sanctuary for Sunday servicAbove: Quilts of Valor Eastern Missouri members work on the group’s 900th quilt at Charrette Baptist quilts is found in the appreciation es, three rows of quilts now Church in Marthasville. Below: A quilter practices her quarter-inch stitches. A majority of the quilts of the quilt recipients and their stood on stands surrounded produced by the women are done by hand. They will be donated to veterans when finished. families. Though quilters rarely by rapidly filling chairs. meet those they help, Jean describes those instances Though the guidelines on the Quilts of Valor When every seat had been taken, work spilled over as amazing experiences. Foundation website state that quilts may be finished into the foyer. On one occasion, when the Moving Wall for either by hand or machine, these women choose to For the next six hours, the steady hum of converVietnam Veterans visited the area, Jackie presented a quilt by hand, which they feel gives the quilts a persation and stitching was interrupted only by bursts veteran with a quilt at the wall. sonal touch. of laughter, the call for lunch and the occasional “I give him a hug and all of a sudden a sob come At a time when hand quilting is a rarity, Jean says clang of a cowbell that signaled the completion of out from him,” she says, “I just held him until he that only about 5 percent of their quilts are comanother quilt. In spite of the work, an air of festivgot his composure again, and I said, ‘For God’s pleted using a longarm machine, simply to keep up ity permeated the room. It was an atmosphere Jean sakes, these guys went through hell and never got with supply and demand. Jaeger and Jackie Heggeman, both of thanked.’” “Who would’ve ever guessed we could pull Warrenton, had become familiar with Paul Schmitt of Marthasville, who served as a over the past six years. that many women in? Whoever knew that there sergeant with the Marine Corps in Desert Storm, was “I’ve met a lot of wonderful people were that many quilters around?” asks Jackie. Marthasville surprised with a quilt from the group two years ago. In 2003 when Catherine Roberts first through Quilts of Valor. People are great, At Charrette Baptist Church, Paul mingled with the established the Quilts of Valor Foundation, and they’re so generous and willing to same women who donated their time to making the help,” Jean says. the purpose was to provide comfort and quilt he says covers his legs perfectly. healing to soldiers of the wars in Iraq In July of 2005, Jean and Jackie orga“It was nice to get some recognition. I wasn’t and Afghanistan. Any soldier “touched nized the Quilts of Valor Eastern Missouri even looking for it,” says Paul. by war” — those who had seen combat group under the blanket national orgaFor the women of Quilts of Valor Eastern Misnization. Since then, they have witnessed and suffered from either the psychosouri, it’s the veterans in need who have made the logical or physical effects — was eligible. Later, the a tremendous amount of growth and support that journey worthwhile. Quilts of Valor mission expanded to also include far surpassed their initial expectations. At first, the veterans from past wars, with presentations to solgroup had just 23 members and $100 donated by diers from conflicts as far back as World War II. the Veterans of Foreign Wars post in Marthasville to For more information on how to get involved with While Jean and Jackie also accept local requests, use for shipping expenses. Quilts of Valor Eastern Missouri, contact Jean Jaeger at their primary goal is to contribute to the national Now, the group averages between 85 to 100 ladies 636-456-3980 or visit www.qovf.org. effort and provide quilts for soldiers at each meeting. American Legion groups, the VFW coming home from the recent conand individual supporters provide continual fundflicts. This, Jean says, is in response ing. As word of the effort spread, churches also to the overwhelming demand felt donated space to host the quilters. The group has by the national headquarters. outgrown many of those spaces. Each month, the Quilts of Valor With a supply of tops and completed quilts trickFoundation consistently falls about ling in all the time, it’s common for Jackie and Jean 200 quilts short of its goal. to leave their monthly meetings with twice as many Called to answer this need, Jean quilts as they brought in. During the Charrette Bapworks with a destination coordinatist Church meeting alone, 11 quilts and 17 tops tor who notifies her of the number were donated in addition to the 16 already being and types of quilts needed, which worked on. she then ships directly overseas to “We don’t ask for them, they just bring them in,” Quilts of Valor destinations in GerJackie says. many or Afghanistan. Tremendous support has led to tremendous outEach quilt is personalized put from the group. through its unique patterns and In their first seven years, the women produced colors, and a hand-stitched label 800 quilts. It took less than 5 months to add another bearing the name of the recipient, 100, an extraordinary feat considering a majority of piecer and quilter. The quilts are the quilts produced by the group are pieced together then placed in sewn cases with a by hand. by Katie Alaimo kalaimo@ruralmissouri.org . 10 WWW.RURALMISSOURI.COOP http://www.qovf.org http://WWW.RURALMISSOURI.COOP

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Rural Missouri - July 2012

Rural Missouri - July 2012
Contents
Comments
Columns
A peach of a place
Quilting for a cause
Outdoors
Corralling the faithful
Out of the Way Eats
Platte City’s jewel
Reeling in the competition
Hearth and Home
News Briefs
Rita & Little Ollie
Around Missouri
Marketplace
Neighbors
Just4Kids

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