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Members of the Rio Grande Valley Quilt Guild organized and stacked patriotic-inspired covers on Monday in an Alamo backyard arts-and-craft studio.

Twine ties hold the quilts in piles of five as the crew counts, double checking the total. The 160 are enough for the former servicemen residing at the Alfredo Gonzalez Texas State Veterans Home.

The group has about 300 members from Roma to Brownsville and they caravanned to the McAllen facility Monday in preparation for distribution on Independence Day.

The annual July 4 Military Service Quilts programs honors retired or active military personnel who reside in the Rio Grande Valley with unique quilts as a token of appreciation.

Nominations are accepted year round, open to the public and can be submitted at rgvqg.com.

“We are a nonprofit, and one of the criteria is that you have education and community service,” said RGVQG member Karon Jacobson. “We’re heavy in both.”

A white triangle is sewn on the corner of every quilt thanking the recipient for their service, providing a space for the new owner’s name in fabric pen.

Members of the club donate more than time, also supplying the materials, said Guild President Carla Mewhinney. Through the second quarter of the year, over 15,000 man hours and nearly $111,000 in contributions have been documented by the organization.

Local shops also give discounted rates and some professional quilters order wholesale to help control costs, Mewhinney said.

A number of members own industrial, long-arm quilting machines. These are responsible for the intricate thread pattern holding the pieces together.

“It’s not a quilt until it’s been quilted, and that’s all this stitching that puts the three parts together,” Jacobson said. “A quilt is made up of three parts: the top, the batting and the back.”

Each piece likely represents the work from multiple quilters, as they often delegate tasks.

The Guild also quilts for local neonatal intensive care units, vets receiving physical therapy and those in hospice care, members said.

For more information about joining or supporting, go to rgvqg.com

 

By: Daniel A. Flores (The Monitor News)