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NH Quilts of Valor

This article is about NH Quilts of Valor, which produces patriotic quilts for veterans.

NH Quilts of ValorNH Quilts of Valor (Bare Bones Quilters) is part of the national organization, Quilts of Valor (QOV), that began in 2003 with founder Catherine Roberts, whose son Nat was deployed to Iraq. She had a vision that a soldier covered in a quilt would bring healing and change that person’s demeanor from one of despair to one of home and wellbeing. She wanted to make sure that the quality of the quilt was very high, and on November 2003, the first QOV was awarded to a young soldier from Minnesota who was being treated at Walter Reed Army Medical Center after losing his leg in combat in Iraq. A Quilt of Valor says, unequivocally, “Thank you for your service, sacrifice, and valor.”

Charlene Roche formed the New Hampshire of Quilts of Valor Group in the Fall of 2012 on her back porch. Someone donated 47 yards of fabric, all of the patriotic patterns, to the American Sewing Guild (where Charlene and friends were active members) and they needed something to do with it. After making a few quilts, they had to find servicemen to give them to – and that’s when she found Quilts of Valor online.

There are policies and procedures that they must follow. All the quilters are volunteers, currently, 23 members are working for NH Quilts of Valor. They currently award all quilts within the State of New Hampshire, because they don’t have the funds to ship them to other states. Anyone wishing to donate to the Bare Bones Quilters (NHQOV) can make contact with Charlene Roche.

The QuiltsNH Quilts of Valor

Each quilt pattern is different and must be researched so a quilt is unique. The QOV patterns are usually red, white, and blue. Other colors can be based on the insignia specific to a branch of service like Navy, Air Force, Army. It takes a couple of months to complete a single quilt completed with a special Quilt of Valor label (purchased online) attached to each quilt.

If you are interested in making a difference in a veteran’s life through quilting drop by Hobby Lobby on the third Thursday of each month from 10 to 3 pm. Everyone is welcome.

The Presentation

NH Quilts of Valor - Sgt. DonnellyEach quilt is custom made for each veteran. Quilts are presented with an award and letter during a ceremony that includes their friends and family members. A QOV was awarded to a long-time employee, Patricia Donnelly of Keepsake Quilting. Sgt. Donnelly was an Air Force Veteran from February 1986 to June 1991, working as a Maintenance Scheduling Specialist in Germany in support of the First Gulf War.

Sgt. Donnelly’s quilt blocks were made by NH Quilt of Valor’s volunteers at the Spring Keepsake Block Event held at Keepsake Quilting in Center Harbor, NH, designed and assembled by Charlene Roche and Marilyn Nolan, quilted by Traci Dearborn in Wolfeboro NH, binding applied by Donna Watson, and labeled by Charlene Roche, all with fabrics donated by Keepsake Quilting – a National Quilting Catalog Store in Center Harbor, NH.

Charlene Roche has lived in Barrington for 35 years and absolutely loves it here. She said, “People don’t realize how touching something like this can be.” She added that “It really touches the veterans, and they have no idea how happy that makes us.”

To learn more about Quilts of Valor, visit the national organization’s website at www.qovf.org or you can visit the NH chapter’s Facebook page at www.facebook.com/nhquiltsofvalor.

Any veteran can be recommended for a quilt by contacting Charlene Roche at 603-664-2940.