Maureen Orr Eldred

District Coordinator

A native Californian, I was raised among a large family including a great-grandfather who served in the Civil War, 7 uncles who served in WWI and WWII, 3 brothers who served during Korea and Vietnam. My husband served 3 tours in Vietnam with the Navy and later stateside with the Army, so I was a military wife for about 17 years. Most recently, I’ve been a Marine Grandma and a happily retired higher education administrator.

After sewing for most of my life, I tiptoed into the world of quilting in early 1980 and fell hard. Once I discovered that quilters gather in guilds to learn and play together, things really changed. I became a member of Northwest Quilters in the Portland, Oregon, area, discovered workshops, retreats, shop hops and other activities, and then was gently eased into Quilts of Valor before it was a Foundation. My friend, Janice Jones, an Air Force brat still connected with other military brats across the country, talked about Catherine Roberts. I felt an immediate kinship with Catherine’s “ten seconds away from panic” statement, because that is how I felt the entire time my husband was in Vietnam. We began making quilts to mail off to wherever they were needed. Now I’m honored to work with the dedicated and fun-loving members of Northwest Quilters QOV Volunteers (not all members of the guild itself) and to be supported in this endeavor by my husband, who learned to make quilts and has wrapped dozens and dozens of them around the shoulders of our deserving veteran recipients. I feel most privileged to be able to express the gratitude of the American people and to acknowledge the service of our veterans with the work of our hands.