VANDALIA, Ohio (WDTN) — One group of quilters in Vandalia is busy again making quilts for veterans using a generous donation they received from a 2 NEWS viewer.
They call themselves the Library Piecemakers, sewing together at the Vandalia Library. Nonda Harvey helps facilitate the group.
“Piecemakers is ‘p-i-e-c-e’ because we piece the quilt tops,” explains Harvey. “Every one of them is different. They are as unique as the volunteers who sew on them and come up with ideas.”
They create quilts to be given to veterans free of charge for the Quilts of Valor Foundation. Sandy Goubeaux is one of the volunteers working to piece together a pattern of patriotism.
“I came up with this design. And I laid it out, and everything looked good,” Goubeaux said, describing her process.
The group started five years ago in 2017, sewing at the library. Vicki Martinez started sewing with them shortly after.
“I came to the library to get a book, some books. And I saw ladies sewing, and so, I stepped in to see what was going on. And being a military family — my husband retired Air Force, I had four of my boys serve in the military. And I thought what a great organization. So, I wanted to contribute what I could,” said Martinez.
While some like Martinez are now veteran Piecemakers, others – like 2 NEWS viewer Toni Webb – are newbies to the group.
“I’ve been a quilter for 40 years, and I’ve been following the national Quilts of Valor Facebook page, but I didn’t know of a local group. And then I saw your article, and it was like it was meant to be,” said Webb.
It was also a 2 NEWS viewer who helped this year’s quilts come together, donating about $1,000 worth of fabric to the Piecemakers after seeing a story about them.
“A channel 2 viewer had seen what we were doing, thanks to you, and arranged — because she knew of a quilter who had passed — for that patriotic stash to come to us. We estimated its value at $1,000, but if you look around this room today, this would probably be $25,000 worth of quilts that will be presented, donated, awarded, to veterans at no charge,” said Harvey.
This year, they’re on track to make about 50 quilts.
“A lot of these veterans were young kids, and they went away not knowing what their life is going to be like, and it’s been traumatic for them,” said Goubeaux.
The quilts are priceless for those who fought.
“I was able to put in a nomination for my husband who had served in the military for 24 years,” said Martinez, tearing up. “For him to receive this award, he appreciates it so much.”
“My dad was a Korean War veteran, and I would’ve loved to have been able to do something like this for him. He’s passed, but just to give to other friends and family, it means a lot,” said Webb.
The time and effort is a small sacrifice for this group compared to the one that our service members made for us.
“I’m just proud of our soldiers,” said Martinez.
This year, the group has received 11 applications and counting of veterans who want to be awarded a quilt.
To become a volunteer, or for veterans who wish to apply for a quilt, email Nonda Harvey at email@example.com.