ROANOKE/ROCKY MOUNT, Va. (WFXR) — Roanoke Quilts of Valor Stitcher’s leader Carolyn Zaleski was called to serve military veterans and service members through her stitching skills. When she was in North Carolina she was impressed by the Quilts of Valor chapter there and started a chapter in Roanoke in October 2021.
“When I was in that group, I got to do a few events and speak to the veterans. It was very humbling and to meet them and delivering so much and they are so humble. It was such a good thing to do. I had to focus on something after my husband passed. I thought this was a good thing to focus on,” said Zaleski.
Star Quilters Guild representative Sarah Baumgardner said the partnership between the Guild and Stitchers is special especially when it comes to the presentation of the Quilts of Valor.
“We all share a common passion for quilting. quilters in general like to give back. The presentation is very moving. Because they are not just given a quilt. They are physically wrapped in the quilt during the presentation. Really to represent the love for their community and for their community and wrapped in that support, so it is a wonderful thing to see,” said Baumgardner.
One veteran to receive the quilt of valor honor is 21-year Navy vet Todd Cassell.
Todd was presented with his quilt last year. Interesting enough…Todd and his wife Melissa are the owners of Fork Mountain Quilting in Rocky Mount. He has a connection thanks to him being a veteran and connected to quilting.
“As a veteran, I served with many wonderful people that have done a lot of amazing things. Far beyond things that I could do. I am here talking to you. A lot of folks didn’t come home. So when I look at that type of quilt. When I look at that, that is what reminds us of the ones that didn’t make it home. The ones that made the ultimate sacrifice. So when I look at that. It keeps me warm at night when I am wrapped up tight. That is what goes through my mind,” said Cassell.
Since 2003, the Quilts of Valor Foundation has awarded a quilt of valor to over a quarter of a million service members and veterans touched by war. The Star Quilters Guild is hosting a quilt show this Friday and Saturday at the Berglund Center. The Roanoke Quilts of Valor Stitchers will present a total of eight quilts to selected veterans. The Stars Over the Blue Ridge Quilt Show and Sale is Friday(9 am-5 pm) and Saturday(9 am-4 pm)