Local guild honors soldiers with quilts

Published 2:37 am Saturday, September 7, 2013

For months, members of the Covington County Quilters Guild have been busy showing their patriotic support by participating in the “Quilts of Valor” project.

Jan Harbuck, guild publicity chair, said the Quilts of Valor Foundation began 10 years ago by Catherine Roberts from her sewing room in Seaford, Del.

Sgt. Andrew Birge of Opp accepts a ‘Quilt of Valor’ from Quilters Guild members. Courtesy photo

Sgt. Andrew Birge of Opp accepts a ‘Quilt of Valor’ from Quilters Guild members.
Courtesy photo

“Her son Nathanael’s yearlong deployment to Iraq provided the initial inspiration, and her desire to see that returning warriors were welcomed home with the love and gratitude they deserved provided the rest,” Harbuck said.

“A Quilt of Valor is a quilt lovingly pieced and quilted, then presented to a veteran who has been affected in some way by war,” she said. “Members of the Covington County Quilt Guild have been busy making and presenting these quilts to veterans in the local area.”

Recipients of the first quilts from the Covington County Quilt Guild include veterans who served in World War II, the Korean Conflict, and the Vietnam War as well as those deployed to the Middle East in recent years. Club members presented Rex Bowers of Dozier with the first Quilt of Valor made by the local guild. Bowers enlisted in the Navy shortly after World War II broke out. He served in World War II and again in the Korean War.

The second quilt was pieced by Joyce Adams of Opp and quilted by Quilts by Two Sisters of Andalusia and presented to Sgt. Andrew Birge of Opp. Sgt. Birge was deployed to Afghanistan and has served in the Alabama National Guard since November 2008. The presentation was made in a special ceremony held at Northern Heights Baptist Church in Opp on April 28, 2013.

Mack R. Hammond received the third quilt, which was pieced by Joyce Godwin of Andalusia and quilted by Marcia Day of the Carolina Community. Hammond served our country in World War II, Korea and Vietnam.

Donnie Williams of Opp received the fourth quilt. Williams served during the Vietnam War. His sisters, Joyce Meeks and Joan Grimes, are members of the Covington County Quilt Guild, and accepted the quilt posthumously for Mr. Williams. He succumbed to his illness before the quilt could be presented to him.

Several other quilts have been made and will be sent for distribution to returning soldiers at Fort Rucker. In addition, the quilt guild members who attend Hopewell Baptist Church and Joyce Adams who attends Northern Heights Baptist Church are making quilts for the veterans at their respective churches. These quilts will be presented on Veteran’s Day to the veterans who served our country during the time of war.

The guild also participated in the 10th anniversary block pattern for the Quilts of Valor Foundation. Blocks were made and mailed to the foundation from all over America. These blocks are being made into quilts to be presented on Veteran’s Day

The guild is always looking for new members. Those interested in joining the Covington County Quilt Guild and participating in these patriotic projects should contact Shirley Langford at 334-488-4435.