Illinois State Coordinator | rita.pennington@QOVF.org |
I’ve been quilting for Quilts of Valor since 2004. It gets more and more rewarding each year. Five years ago, I went to my local quilt shop, Prairie Shop Quilts, Batavia, and asked if we could have a QOV sew-in. We started out with 4 people and now have as many as 22-24 at our monthly sew-ins. This number does not include the people who stop by the shop to pick up a kit to sew on their own, the ones who pick up the tops to bind, the great machine quilters–some taking multiple tops at a time to quilt. Bonita, the owner, is the best. It seems she just can’t do enough–inserting in her newsletter the need for machine quilters, binders. It is definitely a group effort here. We call ourselves LOLQOV (Land of Lincoln Quilts of Valor). We’ve expanded to a group in Rockford/Beloit, IL. Lately, we have had people starting up in Southern, Central Illinois and another close to the Quad cities.
We have been supplying Great Lakes with about 75-80 quilts quarterly each year. I understand, due to budget cuts, their RWW program might be only 3 times a year, but the requests for quilts elsewhere is increasing, so we’ll just keep on quilting. Getting to know the Navy personnel from Great Lakes has been rewarding as well. They come to our sew-ins to pick up the quilts and hang out for the day. The next RWW (July) is located right here in the Chicago area, so we are the Captain’s guests. I can’t wait for them to experience the ceremony at the dinner. We have also been providing quilts to Hines Hospital; thewoundedsoldier.com; Welcomeyouhome.org to name a few.
My immediate family includes my husband, Gary, a very supportive Navy veteran. He has to be—fabric and quilts all over the house! We have two daughters, a son and have been blessed with two granddaughters, whom we care for while Mom and Dad work.
The family of friends whom I have met thru Quilts of Valor is awesome. The two guilds I belong to are the best. The many wonderful people and life-long friends I have met through my participation makes me one grateful citizen. I am privileged to be to be a part of it all.