Weekend spent by many making Quilts of Valor
A group of 15 quilters spent a recent weekend at the Quilt Shop in Wakefield with one goal in mind — construct 20 quilts to be given away to area veterans.
The women are part of a Quilts of Valor group that makes and donates quilts to veterans or active service members.
Mary Rastede of Allen serves as the group leader, and along with Janet Sievers of Carroll, owner of the Quilt Shop, worked to get the weekend organized.
Sievers said she was approached by the Regional Leader of Quilts of Valor and asked to have her shop be a Quilts of Valor Shop. After consulting with a number of her customers, she said yes to the request.
The first Quilts of Valor were presented to veterans on Nov. 11, 2016 during a Veterans Day Program at the Wakefield Community Schools
Rastede said the group presented three quilts that day to area veterans. In February of this year the group handed out five quilts at the Wakefield Health Care Center.
Other quilts were given out at a church in Concord, at Brookdale Wayne, in Hartington and the Veterans Home in Norfolk.
"We have given out a total of 15 quilts in the last nine months," Rastede said. "Of these, nine went to veterans who served in the Army, four to those who served in the Navy, one who served in the Air Force and one who was a Marine. These quilts went to those who had served in World War II, the Korean Conflict and Vietnam."
The recent "Get Out of the Heat Retreat - Quilts of Valor" sewing event started on Friday at 5 p.m. and continued through the weekend until 5 p.m. on Sunday.
Those sewing included Vickie Loofe, Tracy Henschke, Mary Rastede, Diane Keim, Kathy Salmon, Vickie Greve, Imogene Brasch, Diane Zach, Terri Headley, Ann Geewe, Carol Jean Stapleton, Becky Brennan, Jodie Kelton, Coreen Bard, Marcia Henderson, Eileen Gentrup and Shar Sievers. These quilters came from Pender, Wakefield, Allen, Wayne, Beemer, Laurel, Concord and Ponca.
"We are very thankful for the generous donations of food for the weekend. These included donations from Elizabeth Carlson, Liz Ekberg, the Wakefield Legion Auxiliary, Wayne East, Tracy Henschke, Correen Bard and Hilda Pearson," Rastede said.
Planning for the quilting weekend began several months ago and Sievers had prepared all the quilt 'kits' prior to the quilters arriving to allow them to start quilting right away.
"While the majority of the quilts are red, white and blue, they can be any color. They are generally 60" by 80" which allows for a generous lap quilt. Any pattern is acceptable, and there are suggestions from Quilts of Valor," Sievers said.
Several of those quilting do have their own long-arm quilting machines and were able to take the quilts home to complete the quilting process.
Each quilter works at her own pace, but it is estimated that each quilt takes 12-15 hours to complete.
All the quilts are paid for with private donations, along with several grants. Thrivent donations have also been received for the project.
"I have had wonderful support from my customers for this project. We are always looking for more quilters to get involved and anyone who would like to become a part of the group or donate to the project can contact me here at the Quilt Shop," Sievers said.
Plans are being made to distribute these quilts in coming weeks in all the home towns of the quilters who took part in the project.
A video of the weekend's quilting is available for viewing on the Quilt Shop Wakefield facebook page.
Additional information can also be found at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling (402) 287-2325.