Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

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September 23, 2012

Local quilting group offers their handywork to area veterans

PRINCETON — A group of quilters in Mercer County are hoping to make the winter a little warmer for veterans residing at the Veteran’s Administration Hospital Nursing Home Care Unit in Beckley.

Sue Hardin, owner of the Sewing Gallery in Princeton, said she and 17 other women have come together to make 50 quilts for veterans who live at the nursing home facility. Hardin said she and friend Marie Bailey came up with the idea.

“We just felt there was a need,” Hardin said. “Marie Bailey thought it would be a good idea to make a few quilts, and when we contacted the nursing facility in Beckley they told us we had to make at least 50 for them to accept them. Marie’s husband is a veteran, and she is going to be taking the quilts to the hospital.”

Hardin said the project has been taken on by a local quilting group and others who enjoy quilting.

“The Gallery Girls is the name of our little quilting group,” she said. “We just get together and have fun. We come together once a month on Mondays to quilt and talk. Other new people outside of the group that like to sew have also contributed to keep the project going. Everyone has been very helpful in getting these quilts done. Though 50 seems like a big number, all of the people working together is really helping. So far, we have completed 33 quilts and we are hoping to present all 50 at the VA in Beckley on Dec. 1.”

According to Hardin, the 17 women involved in the project are working tirelessly to make sure all 50 quilts are completed on time.

“We are sending them home with the ladies, and they are getting the quilt tops done as quickly as they can,” Hardin said. “When they are done sewing the quilt tops then the quilts will be set aside until we can give them to the veterans. The quilts are 61 inches wide and 88 inches long so they will fit over the twin-sized beds in the nursing facility. We have a basic pattern with some variations we are using to make each quilt different, but they are all within the same dimensions. We are trying to make sure each quilt is as equal as possible.”

However, quilting isn’t cheap with each quilt requiring approximately $110 in materials.

“We have solicited donations from the community to purchase the fabric and supplies we need at a discount rate through my store,” Hardin said. “Putting together 50 quilts costs a lot of money. We are using high-quality fabric to make sure the quilts will last longer. Lower quality fabric sometimes does not last as long. We want the veterans to get something of quality. Technically, each quilt costs about $110 to make and is worth about $200. The discount does help with purchasing the materials needed to make these quilts. Otherwise, we would be paying $5,500 for the entire project.”

Hardin said the local community has been supportive in donating funds to purchase materials for each quilt.

“So far, several local independent businesses in the area have given some money so we can stay ahead,” she said. “A lot of individuals have given donations from $15 to $30 to help buy materials we need. We are buying fabric cautiously and getting the backing and batting so each quilt can be made with enough money left over to start another quilt.”

According to Hardin, the goal of the project is to thank the veterans for their service.

“This is a great cause because our veterans need to know they are appreciated for their service,” Hardin said. “They have done so much for our country and our freedom. We just thought this was a little something we could do for them.”

For more information on getting involved in the project or to donate contact the Sewing Gallery at 304-487-6700 or drop donations off at 535 Rogers Street in Princeton.

— Contact Kate Coil at

kcoil@bdtonline.com

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