Last week I spoke at the Camarillo Quilt Association in Southern California – a friendly and welcoming guild of ladies and gents. I love, love, love working with quilters – they are the sweetest people!
Before we got started Gayle Moyer, one of their members, showed me a group of quilts that she made from one of my patterns:
And here’s the story behind the quilts, in Gayle’s words:
“My son is currently active duty in the Navy. He is the rescue swimmer/door gunner on a helicopter. This summer, while the squadron was deployed into the Red Sea, he was on a detachment on the USNS Rainier. This detachment consisted of 2 helicopters, 4 pilots and 5 air crew (of which my son was one of). A rogue wave hit the helicopter while chained on the deck of another ship. This wave ripped the helicopter from the deck of the ship and it sank deep into the Red Sea. The one air crewman, which was still on the helicopter, was thrown free but the two pilots went down with the helicopter. It was a very stressful time for our family, not knowing if our son was involved. Before we even knew who the 2 men were that were lost, I decided that I wanted to be involved in making Home of the Brave quilts for the family. I had made some quilts for Home of the Brave in the past, including 4 that I made when 2 members of my daughter’s Army unit were killed while she was deployed to Afghanistan in 2006. When I heard that each of the pilots left behind 2 small children, I decided that I wanted to make the children quilts to comfort them and to remember their fathers by. The youngest child was born only 2 months before his father was killed and had never met his dad. The others were ages 4 and two 6 year old’s. I decided not to use the Home of the Brave pattern as these were young children. I wanted to use bright patriotic fabrics that they might still love when they are older. I had made several quilts from your Mouse Trap pattern and decided to use the pattern because it was an easy pattern that looked good with many different fabrics. I made the 4 tops and quilted 2 of them. A friend of mine quilted the other 2 as I wanted to get them finished to be able to present them at the Memorial service that was scheduled for January 17.”
“I wrote each child a little letter explaining who I was, my relation ship to the squadron, and to let them know that their dad was a true HERO. I was able to present these quilts as well as an official Home of the Brave quilt to each of the widows. My prayer is that as these children wrap themselves up in the quilts, they will imagine their daddy giving them a big hug.”
“The service went well. It was a wonderful service. I was glad that my son was able to sit with me and also was with me as I presented the quilts. He was able to tell them that he really enjoyed working with their husbands. We did not spend much time with the widows as there were more people wanting to talk to them. I was able to hand them over without turning into a puddle.”
Gayle – this world is a far better place because people like you take the time to make important quilts like these. Thank you so much for including me in this. Now excuse me while I go turn into a puddle…