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Group brings comfort to veterans through quilting

Posted at 7:36 PM, Mar 05, 2019
and last updated 2019-03-05 20:36:49-05

WACO, TX — The mission of the Quilts of Valor Foundation is to cover service members and veterans touched by war with comforting and healing Quilts of Valor.

There have been 200,000 quilts awarded to veterans by volunteers across all 50 states.

Stacy Clady is the regional director for Quilts of Valor. She said there are more than 90 veterans from Waco to Copperas Cove in need of a quilt.

On the second Tuesday of each month, about half a dozen women get together at PHD Quilts in Waco to help meet that demand.

Quilting is a long process, but Marilyn Smith enjoys every minute of it.

"It's another way to give back," Smith said. "I'm retired and you need something to fill your days."

Smith said she's been sewing and knitting for decades, but this is the first quilt she's made for Quilts of Valor.

"It makes me feel good and I know it makes them feel good to know someone cares," Smith said.

She's still in the beginning stages of her patriotic quilt that features a bald eagle right in the center.

"There will be a big white star in each corner, filled in with red," Smith said.

Smith is a veteran herself. The majority of ladies she volunteers with also come from military families.

Vicky Morris hasn't missed a single Tuesday since the group started meeting more than a year ago.

She spends the majority of her time quilting and enjoys using her talents to give back to others.

"My son was in Afganistan, he was in Iraq. I just felt like it was something I wanted to do," Morris said. "I made one for him, I made for my brother-in-law, he was in Vietnam. It's just something I felt I was called to do."

Diane Cimorelli hopes the veteran who receives her quilt understands how much she appreciates their service to our country.

"My husband is a veteran, my dad is a veteran," Cimorelli said. "It means a lot for me to give back to the military. I know the sacrifices and the things they do for us so I like to give back to them."

Carol Patterson doesn't have a connection to the military, but started working with Quilts of Valor because she likes volunteering and the social aspect of quilting.

"I've done volunteer work my whole life and it's just a fun thing to do," Patterson said. "I enjoy the bees, I enjoy the process, I enjoy getting to know other ladies."

Patterson said the quilters are called "bees" since when they get together their chatter sounds like buzzing.

Patterson added that quilters already have homes filled with quilts, so this is an easy way for them to share the love.

The work is slow, steady and usually takes a few sets of hands.

"It usually depends on the quilter and how much she does," Clady said. "Some do the whole thing, so one spot at one time. Some just do pieces and we have to get it to each of the different people to do their part."

The quilts aren't cheap to make either. The supplies alone cost a few hundred dollars.

Quilts of Valor is a donation-based organization.

If you're interested in becoming a volunteer or making a donation, you can email Stacy Clady at txpatrioticpiecemakers@gmail.com.

You can make a donation on the Quilts of Valor site here using the group code "50429" to make sure your donation stays local.

You can also visit the TX Patriotic Piecemakers Facebook page.