“Now that we’re blessed with the new shop, it’s time to do some good work,” said Sharley Lewis, owner of Island Fabric & Sewing Center in Freeland, which she opened with partner Kris Schricker in 2012.
Lewis is excited about the Quilts of Valor project the store is sponsoring to make lap quilts for veterans.
“Anyone who would like to make a quilt for a combat veteran can do so now as part of a new program called ‘Under Our Wings,’ that pairs experienced quilters with kit-buyers in a one-day workshop,” said Lewis.
The first “Under Our Wings” workshop will be from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, March 9, at Island Fabric & Sewing Center at 1592 Main St. in Freeland.
“It’s easy to participate, even if you don’t know how to make a quilt,” said Lewis. “We need individuals to buy a kit for a lap-size quilt and bring it to the workshop on March 9. A ‘coach’ will do the cutting, pinning, pressing and will help the ‘rookie’ sew simple patchwork blocks for the quilt top.”
“The quilts will then go to a quilter with a long-arm machine for the quilting, then returned to the shop for binding,” said Lewis.
Coaches will help the quilters finish the quilts, which includes a label and a presentation pillowcase.
For those who want to buy a kit to support a veteran but do not want to do the sewing, volunteers will be available to sew the chosen quilt.
Lewis learned of the Quilts of Valor program through watching a special TV presentation on PBS last year. She was so impressed with the idea that she watched the program four times.
“After watching the program, I said to myself that we’re going to do this when we open the new shop,” said Lewis.
The Quilts of Valor Foundation has made quilts for American armed service members touched by war since 2003, so far presenting some 34,000 quilts to wounded warriors including combat veterans from conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan as well as from World War II, the Korean War and the Vietnam War. Recipients often comment that nothing has helped their healing process more than the comfort of the quilt they received.
Windermere Real Estate/South Whidbey has volunteered to pay for the shipping of the finished quilts. Lewis also hopes to cooperate with the local Veterans Resource Center to find nearby veterans to receive quilts.
Kits for Quilts of Valor are available now at Island Fabric & Sewing Center. The complete kits range in price from $129 to $134 and include backing and batting. There is no other charge for participating in the program.
For more information, call 360-331-7313.