In honor of Veteran’s Day, I thought I should revisit the American Heroes Quilts project. At our Bainbridge Island Quilt Festival this September, there were several American Heroes quilts exhibited and the opportunity for show attendees to stitch quilt blocks at the Bainbridge Island Museum of Art. Our local American Heroes quilt group meets on the third Thursday of the month at Esther’s Fabrics and is open to all. You can also pick up American Hero blocks at Esther’s to make at home. (This may change as Esther’s is about to have a new owner).
The American Heroes Quilts project was established in 2004 to provide recognition and appreciation to wounded service men and women who served in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. The quilts are like metaphoric hugs and a way to express gratitude. There are over 800 volunteers participating in the program. As of the January 2016, over 21,500 quilts had be given to deserving service men and women and their families. The quilts are sent to Madigan Hospital at Joint Base Lewis McCord, other Warrior Transition Centers in the US, and directly to bases in Afghanistan.
The quilts are made using red, white and blue fabrics, often with patriotic prints. Quilters seem to be generous by nature and this is one of many examples of the outreach projects in which they participate.