COLUMN: Heartland Quilt Guild highlights Quilts of Valor

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A patriotic quilt is shown at the Heartland Quilt Guild’s February meeting. (Amy Leonard for The Cullman Tribune)

My second Heartland Quilt Guild meeting was far less terrifying than the first. I knew what to expect and had met a few quilters at the January meeting. The downside was that I arrived late due to an event earlier in the evening. Walking into any meeting late is the worst for me as I value punctuality and always arrive at appointments 10-15 minutes early. I put on my big girl panties, took a deep breath and walked in late. 

Once inside, all fears dissipated and I found myself in my usual state of awe when witnessing artwork shown by talented artists. A bed-sized quilt that was handstitched using 2.5-inch fabric strips had me wondering if these women are in fact carbon-based life beings or robots. Another quilt that had echo stitching (I learned something!) of cats and books had me wondering if I could nab the quilt and run for the door without being noticed.  I thought better of it since I plan to return. Another artist quilted two stools, one in rich jewel tones and the other in neutrals. 

I keep reminding myself that these experts were once fumbling, confused fraidy cats like me. Or, they’re robots. 

Mary Harris of the Quilts of Valor Foundation was the featured speaker and shared information on the history and importance of the organization, which was formed in 2003 by Catherine Roberts while her son was deployed to Iraq. The first Quilt of Valor was awarded at Walter Reed Medical Center to a young soldier from Minnesota. Specific to veterans of war, the quilts are awarded to provide comfort and healing for those who bravely fought and came home with wounds, both seen and unseen. No one escapes wartime unscathed.  

More information on Quilts of Valor can be found at www.qovf.org.  

The Heartland Quilt Guilt meets on the second Thursday of each month at 6:30 p.m. Meetings are held at Christ Covenant Presbyterian Church on St. Joseph Drive. 

P.S. I was asked by Hazel Ruehl where my quilt was to show the group. I laughed and laughed and explained that all I have accomplished so far is cutting out many fabric squares and that I am now at a standstill with my quilting knowledge. My new friend encouraged me to bring what I have to the next meeting and assured me that we can make a blanket happen. 

Follow my adventures with the Guild at www.cullmantribune.com/tag/heartland-quilt-guild