Touch of home

Quilters use talents to honor soldiers

By BECCA OWSLEY

Monday, January 21, 2008 8:51 PM CST

JILL PICKETT/The News-Enterprise

Janice Conder keeps her eye on the task as she sews a piece for a quilt block during a gathering of the Heartland Quilters organization at the Nolin RECC building in Elizabethtown. The blocks are for quilts to be donated to soldiers in the wounded warrior unit at Fort Knox.

HARDIN COUNTY — Covering the wounded service members of the Armed Forces with quilts is a big task but the Stitchers Quilt Guild in Hardin County has taken on the responsibility.

The idea came from Becky Schroeder after she had heard about the national organization called Quilts of Valor. She brought it up at a local meeting and they decided to participate in their guild.

“To me it was worthwhile to be able to give something back to our soldiers because they have given so much to our country,” Schroeder said. “This was such a small thing to do for a giant job they’ve done.”

Some members of the guild and similar local groups have sent quilts to the national organization but the Stitchers Guild decided to focus on the wounded soldiers at Fort Knox.

“It makes it easier for us that a large wounded warrior unit is located at Fort Knox,” said Brenda Edwards, guild president. “We haven’t given the project a name yet except to call it ‘Patriotic Quilts.’”

Edwards said many of the guild’s members have ties to the military community at Fort Knox and wanted to focus community service efforts on the base.

Many of the women attend different quilters’ guilds in the area and work on the patriotic blocks for the quilts at other meetings.

Martie Rose is involved in the planning and promoting of the quilts. She said 13 quilts were donated in December and more are planned for the future.

Some of the quilts are worked on by guild members at meetings but many are made by individuals on their own.

“Quilt crafters who have been at it for a while generate more quilts than they can personally use or than they have friends and family to give them to,” Edwards said. “Making them in patriotic colors and giving them to wounded soldiers is about as satisfying as it gets.”

Soldiers who have received the quilts tell her they were reminded of their mothers and grandmothers or childhood memories that make them feel comfortable.

“We know more than anything, that it is a symbol to them that someone cares,” Edwards said. “This is something that we will continue.”

Becca Owsley can be reached at 505-1740, or at bowsley@thenewsenterprise.com.

This story, written by Becca Owsley, was provided to One Knox courtesy of The News Enterprise. Read more stories from The News Enterprise at www.thenewsenterprise.com.