Monday, October 15, 2007

The Home of the Brave Quilt Project

The Home of the Brave
Quilt Project


This nationwide effort to show our support for the families of service men and women was established in 2004 by Don Beld, nationally recognized quilter and historian of Redlands, California. Just as the quilters in early American history were dedicated in their heartfelt efforts to support the soldiers, we are working to show our gratitude for their service and sacrifice by providing these commemorative Home of the Brave quilts for the family of each serviceman or woman killed in Operation Enduring Freedom (Afghanistan) and Operation Iraqi Freedom (Iraq).

During the Civil War, a volunteer organization called the United States Sanitary Commission was formed with the purpose of raising supplies and funds for the North, and of overseeing the sanitary conditions of military hospitals. From this Commission, many significant Americans -- including Clara Barton, Dorothea Dix and Frederick Law Olmstead -- went on to achieve greatness by beginning America's social and medical movements. Fund and supply raising events, called Sanitary Fairs, were held throughout the Northern states. The Women's Auxiliary of the U. S. Sanitary Commission was particularly important in making and donating clothes, bandages and quilts at these Fairs. All supplies donated were stamped on the back saying "U. S. Sanitary Commission" and documented in Commission records. Today, they are national treasures.

The Sanitary Commission requested that quilts measure 48 by 84 inches, as these quilts were given to soldiers to carry as part of their bedrolls and were used in military hospitals on the wounded soldiers' cots. In two and a half years, the Women's Auxiliary made and donated to the Union troops 250,000 quilts. They frequently carried the names of the makers and messages of hope and support.

The U.S. Sanitary Commission later became known as The American Red Cross.

The pictures shown are from the Oregon Chapter web site.
http://www.oregonhomeofthebrave.org/
Anyone can help make the quilt blocks and the quilts for the family.

2 comments:

Buck Pennington said...

In two and a half years, the Women's Auxiliary made and donated to the Union troops 250,000 quilts. They frequently carried the names of the makers and messages of hope and support.

Now THAT made me stop and think. No telephones, no internet, and newspapers had at least a three-day lag in news. That's over 10,000 quilts a month... and simply "getting the word out" had to be a huge task. Not to mention the logistics behind the collection and distribution of the finished quilts. Amazing.

Kris, in New England said...

Fantastic organization. I belong to a quilting club that is part of the Quilts of Valor project. Quilts are made all across the country in stages - the group I'm in does the tops, another group does the longarm work and others do the quilting and shipping.
These quilts are donated to the various military hospitals around the country, specifically for wounded soldiers. As of today, Quilts of Valor has awarded 12,400 quilts across the country.

I made my first quilt top in July of this year (yes, my very first ever) and it was the most humbling, rewarding experience of my life. We have another gathering in 2 weeks and I can't wait.