Barbara Winkler—Quilts of Valor
Updated: Apr 23
Touched by War, Receiving Comfort and Healing
Barbara Winkler is not alone in her desire to honor, thank, and comfort men and women who have experienced the horrors of war on behalf of our nation. Nationwide, in 47 states and the District of Columbia, are multiple small chapters of quilters creating beautiful and practical Quilts of Valor and presenting them to veterans and active service members. In Barbara’s chapter alone, the group has made 4,375 since Barbara created her first quilt! Last year they made 651!
Many chapters gather and benefit from the social aspect of creating a quilt, as well as from the joy of finding a purpose they find meaningful and appreciated by the recipients and their families. However, most chapters also have members who work at home. In Barbara’s Southern California chapter, the oldest member is 92, working at home and providing a one quilt-top each week for the other stitchers in the group to complete. Barbara’s group also partners with teens in local high schools to make the quilts. The students earn service-learning credits, find mentors and friends among the skilled quilters, and experience pride in their skill and creativity, as well as humility in knowing the stories of the ones who will receive their quilts.
Volunteers do not need to know how to quilt. Quilting is a group effort. There is a specific task for everyone, including designing, cutting the fabric, hand sewing, machine stitching, washing, ironing, presenting, and more. Anyone can start wherever comfortable and learn more from the others—and have a good time doing so!
To see the variety of beautiful quilts Barbara’s group has made and given, go to socalqov.org. To find a Quilts of Valor chapter near you, visit www.qovf.org. That site will also guide you in creating a new chapter, if need be.
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