The Forest Acres Quilting Club was organized in 2016 soon after I retired from teaching. Our group of five ladies sews for two hours every Tuesday afternoon and makes quilts to award to deserving veterans through the Quilts of Valor Foundation. We call it our weekly therapy while sharing sewing tips, community news, and family events. We enjoy trying new patterns and see them come together while trying to decide which one we like the best. And just like our children we love them all!! To date we have awarded quilts to 29 veterans in our area as well as donating quilts for the Women’s and Purple Heart Honor Flights.
On December 17th we had the unique opportunity to award a Quilt of Valor to Scott Stemper of Firth at my home. This was a first for our group as our presentations usually happen in public spaces such as Freeman High School, Gold Crest Retirement Center, and the Adams Community Building. We also invited members of the Adams VFW to meet Scott and let him know about the benefits of membership in the VFW. In attendance were Commander David Page and his wife Karen, WWII Flying Ace Don McPherson, and Korean Vet Bill Burrows and his wife, Norma.
Scott served in the United States Army from 1979-1985 as a military policeman. His duties included guarding Cubans during the Cuban Refugees Crisis (Mariel Boatlift) at Ft. McCoy, Wisconsin, and guarding and protecting 26 American Generals as part of NATO in Heidelberg, Germany. In the fall of 1983 he was part of a large detail who guarded President Ronald Reagan on his trip to South Korea. At Ft. Ord, California, Scott’s duties included protecting the Presidio. After being honorably discharged Scott used his military training and experiences to enjoy a long career in law enforcement. At the present time he serves the Nebraska Department of Education as their Emergency Operations Planning Specialist.
Following the awards ceremony guests were treated to cookies, coffee, and conversation. The delicious homemade cut-out star cookies were baked and decorated by Sharon Mills of Adams. She graciously donated them for our special event.
The quilt that was awarded to Scott was constructed from a pattern called Star Chain from MK Designs. It includes 28 friendship stars surrounded by diagonal chains. The finished quilt measures 63”x72”. I stitched a custom design which included continuous curves in the small red squares and background blocks, an orange peel design in the star centers and large red squares, and feathers in the large background blocks. The star points were stitched with a straight-line echo design. The thread colors - So Fine #50 from Superior Threads - matched the fabrics. I used a bluish-green color called Kalispell that blended with the blue fabrics as well as scarlet and a beige thread called putty.
While the quilting club certainly enjoys getting together each week to sew and share news and ideas, we look forward to the awarding of our quilts even more. It is so rewarding to honor these veterans who have been touched by war and hear the stories of their experiences. We are humbled and grateful for their sacrifice.