This family picked up a quilt during a recent Quilt of Valors event in Stewartville. The Spring Grove Piecemakers Quilt Guild made the beautiful quilt.<br /><br /><!-- 1upcrlf2 -->Photo courtesy of Judy Stiner
This family picked up a quilt during a recent Quilt of Valors event in Stewartville. The Spring Grove Piecemakers Quilt Guild made the beautiful quilt.

Photo courtesy of Judy Stiner
The Spring Grove Piecemakers Quilt Guild has been honoring area veterans for four years by making Quilts of Valor and taking them to Iron Wood Springs Miracle Lodge in Stewartville.

In February of this year, it was no different. Their first trip was on Feb. 2, to welcome home soldiers that had recently returned home from Afghanistan. The veterans were there with their families spending quality time together after a long 12- to l8-month deployment. At that time, the guild handed out 15 quilts.

On Feb. 23, members presented 18 quilts to Gold Star families. "This was a very emotional time as all of the families there had lost a loved one in Afghanistan," explained one of the guild members, Judy Stiner.

"We displayed all the quilts that day, and as a staff member read the name of the person who had lost a family member, they would come up and choose a quilt," Stiner said.

"When they read off the name of one fallen soldier, a little 10-year-old girl walked up to choose a quilt. She had lost her dad; her mom was there but she wanted her daughter to choose the quilt.

"It was especially sad for the mother as her little girl has brain cancer, and she is the mother's only child."

Another family that was called up was an older couple who had lost their son. A set of grandparents chose a quilt for a grandchild.

One young women that had lost her husband wore a t-shirt that read "Remember, Freedom is Not Free", and it also had a picture of her husband on it with the date that he was taken from his family.

Each person that loses a family member chooses to show their grief differently.

"As presenters of Quilts of Valor, we hear their stories at lunch. We become inspired by them; they tell us that through determination they survive and overcome, and the tears in their eyes tell it all.

"When presented with a quilt, they realize someone does care they stood up for our country and fought for our freedom.

"We have several more weekends this spring, summer, fall and into the future, to honor our soldiers with quilts. As we do so, our quilters continue to make quilts so that we will have enough to present to every deserving soldier.

"At this time, our finances to buy the fabric are running low. This is where you come in. We are asking for donations from the public to keep this project going; with your help and generosity, we can do this!"

"If you can find it in your heart to perhaps donate $5, 10 or15 dollars or more to a wonderful cause please do so. If you sew and purchase fabric, perhaps you could pick up a yard or two of red, white and blue fabrics. It would be much appreciated," Stiner explained.

Send donations to Piecemakers Quilt Guild, in care of Judy Stiner, 301 W. Main St., Spring Grove, MN 55974 or just drop them off at the Village House Motel in downtown Spring Grove.

Once again Quilts of Valor are a way of honoring those who have served and sacrificed to keep us safe.

"They stand by our country we need to stand by them," Stiner summed up.