Marty and Jennie Reese established A Sewing Heart Quilting early in 2014 after purchasing their APQS Quilting machine. It was then that they first learned about the Quilts of Valor Foundation and how they could become involved in bringing comfort and recognition to the veterans in our nation. But, their quilting story began before that!
Having both come from families where arts and crafts were the norm, it was not unusual for Marty to be out in the garage constructing a wood project or Jennie to be whirring away on the sewing machine making clothes, quilts, and more. What is a little more uncommon to see is a man piecing his own quilt, then machine quilting it. Marty’s interest in quilts came about after being the chauffeur on several shop hops. He figured since he was driving his wife and other ladies around to so many quilt shops, he might as well participate in collecting the free fat quarters offered at each location. His collection of hunting, fishing, and outdoor fabrics grew and so did his desire to make his own quilt. By the time he completed piecing that first quilt, it had grown to king size! It was finished close to the time of his retirement from the Texas Department of Transportation and the purchase of the APQS, so he was able quilt it on the new machine. His job at TXDoT involved drafting and design work on highways, which made it an easy transition to learn to follow a pantograph or make a free motion design on a quilt.
Today, Marty and Jennie are both retired from their professional jobs and work in their quilting business together. Jennie preps and loads quilts onto the machine while Marty performs all of the machine quilting and design work. They work together to choose the thread colors and quilting patterns that best suit each quilt. To date, they have quilted 960 quilts! Many of those quilts have been done as a volunteer service for Quilts of Valor. Besides quilting finished tops, Jennie leads a QOV group named Piecers of the Heart who piece quilt tops together. After these tops are pieced, quilted, and bound, they are awarded to a veteran who has served in the armed forces. As a veteran and quilter, Marty brings a unique perspective to the experience of awarding a quilt. Personally, Marty and Jennie have been involved in numerous QOV ceremonies and continue to enjoy the process of honoring those who have served our country.