I have been working with my step-mother, Pat, to surprise my Dad with a Quilt of Valor. I had a difficult finding out if it could be entered in the show but once I talked to the Quilt of Valor folks things went very smoothly. I added the label and shipped it to Iowa.
The America Quilts Expo was held in DesMoines, IA on Thursday, Friday and Saturday. At 9:30am, 5:30pm (Thursday and Friday), and 3:30pm on Saturday, Quilts of Valor were presented to veterans in gracious ceremony celebrating those served our country. My husband and I arrived at the show a littler earlier to find the quilt, shop for thread for my longarm and see a few lectures. My Dad and Pat arrived around 3pm Friday. We looked at the quilts and vendors. Unfortunately, that didn't take as long as planned. Thankfully, friends-Dave and Sylvia were on their way to meet us so we sat at a table and visited waiting for their arrival. Dad still had not figured out that he was getting my quilt. When Dave and Sylvia arrived we moved to the front stage of the show where the ceremony would take place and listened to Mary Fons' story about joining her mother, Marianne Fons, in the quilting world. After Mary finished speaking Dad turned to me and asked "how do veterans get these quilts, do they draw names or what?" I tried making up things but he persisted with questions. There was a lady sitting behind Dad listening to our conversation and you should have seen the consternation on her face. She was making faces at me, shaking her head and mouthing words back to me. Finally, Dad decided he better go use the restroom before the ceremony started. After he left the area, I got up and told the lady what was going on and that we had been trying to keep this a surprise for my Dad. She assured me that now she understood the strange conversation and was excited to hear that Dad would be receiving a quilt in the next ceremony.
Then the announcer paged the Joel Harris family. Luckily, Dad was still out of the room and we finished making the final arrangements with the Quilt of Valor people. We were moved to the seats in the front, Dave and Sylvia manned the cameras, and Dad returned. The Lee family came over to greet Dad and congratulated him on being a recipient of a Quilt of Valor. Now the secret was out! He got all choked and said he was going to cry.
Mr. and Mrs. Lee as his quilt is shown. Warren Larsen, from Quilts of Valor is on the left making the presentation. The front of each quilt is shown and then...
....the quilt is turned over and wrapped around the recipient.
Now the presentation of Dad's quilt. I was invited to be one of the presenters.
Wrapped in his quilt and being thanked by many Quilt of Valor members.
Taking his quilt home along with the certificate!
Posing for the Quilt of Valor folks with the Dad and Pat.
A picture of my dad, who served during the Korean Conflict, 1953-1957, in the US Air Force.
At the end of the ceremony they had a drawing for daily prizes. I won a new Elna Explorer 220 Sewing Machine from the Sewing House in Ottamwa, IL. Thank you Tim Dobson for donating this machine for a door prize!
Below is the picture and description of the quilt made by my fellow quilter, Kathy Crofoot. It had already been given to a veteran by the time I had arrived at the show. Thank Kathy for encouraging me to make Quilts of Valor. I have many more QOV in my future.
Thank you to all our veterans! Take a minute to pray for all our troops, past and present on this Memorial Day.
Yours in quilting,