What started in the beginning of November as a phone call between our publisher, Kristi, and her deployed husband Jason, turned into a month-long project in our office. Our goal was to create 29 quilts to ship to Jason’s unit!
These soldiers were cold! Government issued sleeping bags are short. Especially for these six-foot-plus soldiers who are stationed in the mountains of Afghanistan, where daytime temperatures hover in the 40s, dropping into the 20s at night.
After some discussion, we decided the best solution was of course, quilts—large ones! We figured they needed to be a generous 72 x 90 inches to provide the warmth needed. We also needed to make these quilts quickly, and easy to care for and light enough for the soldiers to pack. We raided the flannel inventory in our quilt shop, and added to it with our personal stashes. We went to work cutting a lot of 6 1/2 inch squares and brick shapes. Soon after the blocks were distributed, employees completed all of the quilt tops.
We had show and tell every morning when quilt tops came in, each one unique in color and design!
We decided to back the quilts with fleece for warmth. When our friends at Fabri-Quilt heard about our project, they graciously donated some of the fleece backing, and our friends at YLI donated thread for quilting.
We realized quilting these quilts was going to be a big job. So with a little help from our friend Heidi Kaisand at APQS, who put the word out, we had quilters volunteering from all across the states. What a wonderful dilemma!
A very special thank you to the first of those many volunteers, Jane and Dave Brown, and Maria Davis. They quilted 14 of our quilts and bound 4.
The rest were all quilted and bound by our staff on their lunch breaks, before work, and at home—all on their own time. Cutting parties were organized, and we shared laughter in the sewing area where our sewing specialist, Cindy is shown here with scissors and rotary cutter in hand!
Each quilt was labeled with a soldier’s name,and the quilts were sent off before our deadline. They arrived a week later in Afghanistan to welcoming hands. We want to thank our parent company, New Track Media, for picking up the shipping costs.
Here are some of Red Bulls with their quilts. Hey- who’s the extra guy? He’s an American-born Afghan there to help out the unit!
We hope these quilts keep you warm and safe, and thank you for serving to protect the freedom we are so thankful for!
The Fons & Porter Team