OVER the last decade or so, it has been our privilege and pleasure to be part of a growing movement in this country, honoring the military men and women who have been injured - physically, mentally and emotionally - in the service of the nation we love, by handcrafting love-quilts for them. Janet is a member of the Olde Schoolhouse Quilters (of Westcliffe) and both she and kennel manager Christina Pasch (herself a veteran of the Naval Reserve) are members of the Pueblo West Quilters Guild, groups of ladies who get together to make quilts in all sorts of patterns, mostly using patriotic fabrics. Various volunteers from the quilting clubs are doing the "long arm" machine-quilting of the assembled quilts, creating beautiful stitched patterns on them, and saving the quilt-makers a lot of time so they can keep making more quilts. Other quilters make pillowcases in which the finished quilts are stored and handed to their recipient, so each person gets a quilt and matching pillowcase.
Around a few bends in the road from us is a dedicated retreat called Eagles Summit Ranch, which exists to offer healing and new meaning to their lives for these "wounded warriors." Periodic week-long rehabilitation, inspiration and learning sessions are held for new groups of injured veterans (as well as police officers and fire-fighters who have been maimed in the process of doing their job), and on graduation day for each group, we, and/or other members of our local quilting groups, are pleased to attend the ceremony. It is our privilege to help hand each graduate a hand-made Patriot Quilt in appreciation for all they have done, all they have endured, and all they have sacrificed in trying to make the world a better place.
You would not believe the expressions on the faces of these dear people as they accept their quilts -- amazement, joy, tears..... at the thought that total strangers would invest so much love, time and effort to create objects of warmth and beauty for them. Many wrap their quilt around them, as if to feel the loving embrace of the person who stitched it. It can be the middle of summer and 95 degrees, but they'll be wrapped tightly in their quilt! They take it home and put it right on their bed or a chair, and we're told it becomes one of their most cherished possessions.
So, just to show you that there IS room in our hearts for something other than dachshunds, we made this page to share with you the beauty of this passionate (and compassionate) mission of ours, and to offer you the chance to participate, too, if you wish. You may sew a quilt or two (or lots!), or donate quilt fabrics (in reds, whites and blues, or patriotic themes, or quilt-backing material - we prefer to use 100% cotton fabrics, but will use whatever we receive), batting, thread, or money to purchase these necessary items. Quilt fabrics typically cost in the range of $7-$14 per yard. Most quilts are being made in the 70" x 80" range or larger, and some of the ladies make a matching red-white-and-blue standard-sized pillow-case that takes at least a yard of fabric, to go on the bed with it.
Through the years, we've had several people from around the country graciously send us boxes of lovely quilts they have sewn, and we're grateful to each person, for every quilt. They have been delivered to patriots at Eagles Summit Ranch, as well as the Bruce McCandless Colorado State Veterans Nursing Home in nearby Florence, Colorado, for which we also make "fidget quilts," a fun pastime for patients with Alzheimers and other cognitive disorders.
Call Janet and ask about any specific, special needs at the moment, or you may use the PayPal "Donate" button below. (Please add a note of explanation to the transaction so she'll know it's not for a puppy!) Her number is 719-783-2955, and if no one answers, please leave a message - your call will be returned! Supplies and finished items can be mailed to Janet Flick, 9801 CR 271, Westcliffe, CO 81252. On behalf of our many veterans, thank you so much!
All donations will be used to buy materials for more Patriot Quilts and pillowcases, and will be greatly appreciated - as with most "missions," it gets expensive, even with all-volunteer workers. Everything is strictly "out of pocket" and donated from the goodness of the heart.
We are in no way affiliated with the Wounded Warrior Project.
These are just SOME of the recipients, and the beautiful quilts that have been donated since we started this mission in 2008:
Lisa Mollenhauer made this beauty, which reminds us of Joseph's Coat of Many Colors. Joseph's famous coat, however, did NOT contain pieces of fabric imprinted with the American Pledge of Allegiance!
As you can see, they're not all made with just red, white and blue, or patriotic fabrics.
They ARE made with a lot of LOVE, which is what comes across so powerfully to the injured veterans who receive them.
If this page inspires you to help us in this cause, please call or email Janet today!
To previous donors:
We have not gotten photos of anywhere near all of the quilts that have been donated. If you have pictures of a quilt or quilts that you've donated to Eagles Summit Ranch's Wounded Warriors, we would be thrilled to post them here, too - just email them to Janet at firstname.lastname@example.org in a 200-300kb size, and we'll gladly "hang them on the clothesline!" You put a LOT of effort into your quilt, but if you do NOT want your name shown with your photo(s), we will honor your request; otherwise, we would love to give credit where it is due. Likewise, if you recognize one of yours that's been posted here without your name, please let us know and we'll rectify the situation! ~ Thank you!
Every so often, Eagles Summit Ranch hosts sessions for special groups such as Marriage Retreats, Female Veterans, and Gold Star Mothers, the famous term for mothers who lost a child during their time in service. Sometimes the grieving families seem to have been forgotten by the public, but not at ESR. Each of the following quilts was made with a "gold star" stitched to it in memory of their loved one, and was handed to the mother inside its matching pillowcase to be unfolded and spread out - much to each one's surprise and delight.
We received an email that we'd like to share with you:
My name is Kattie [not a spelling error] and I am from MN. I am involved with a group of ladies who make quilts for wounded warriors. We have been at this for about 7 years. We call ourselves Minnesota Loving Hands. We sew, pray, and eat every Tuesday. We have been sending our quilts to a lady and she called to tell us that they have too many quilts right now. We really don't want to slow down on making them so I am looking for another place to send our quilts to.
Are you accepting quilts now?
Can they be tied quilts or do they have to be quilted?
Does it have to be 100% cotton?
We usually make the quilts 50x60. We had been told that this is a good wheelchair size. Is it okay to still send them if we make them this size?
We also add a pocket to the top inside and put a letter in it. I hope this is okay also. We sometimes get letters back from the soldiers so it is kind of fun to hear back from them.
To answer her questions - and for you, too, dear reader:
~ We're ALWAYS accepting quilts, and matching standard-size pillowcases for the bed-size quilts if you can do that.
~ They may be quilted or tied - the recipients don't care, and few probably even realize there's a difference. To them, it's the thought and the love that count.
~ Most traditional-type quilts today are made of 100% cotton material, but all-polyester quilts are just as appealing, and perhaps hypoallergenic as well. It's not that crucial to have all the same material in a quilt, either. We've seen quilts made of silk, lace, velvet, flannel, corduroy, denim, even ladies' fancy little antique handkerchiefs! - you name it! Old-time "crazy quilts" were made of bits of everything imaginable, then embellished with fancy hand embroidery around each piece! As was stated above, even the colors don't matter a whole lot - we get a lot in red-white-&- blue, but the pictures show we've had others in "many-colors" as well. Again, it's the thought, the effort and the love that went into it which thrill these dear people so much and give them encouragement beyond measure.
~ The 50x60 size is fine, as are larger sizes, like a twin-bed size, or double. The attendees at Eagles Summit Ranch are typically young people with prostheses, although some are emotionally scarred rather than physically - very, very few are in wheelchairs. They are fighting to show the world that they are fighters and survivors, who can ride horses, climb mountains, and still outperform a lot of the people they meet on the street and on the job. ESR sometimes does a counseling session for couples, too, and we like to give them larger quilts for at least a double bed, with one quilt given to each couple. (Click here for a great page full of Quilt Size Reference Charts and other charts, by Connie Dean of Flying Geese Quilt Guild, Inc. in Harford County, MD.) For those wishing to donate the 50x60 quilts, we also donate such 'comfort quilts' to other groups who care for children and the elderly, so they won't be left unused!
~ Adding a letter in a pocket is a GREAT idea, and so very thoughtful, since it gives the recipient a chance to say Thank you for all your hard work, dedication and love. We at Flickennel Dachshunds thank you, too!
These next photos are from the April 19, 2013 ESR graduation, featuring the lovely quilts sent by the lovely ladies of Minnesota Loving Hands! Thank you SO MUCH, ladies! You made these graduates VERY HAPPY.
Can you tell they LOVE their quilt?!
This was their graduation portrait, with Dave Roever, founder of Eagles Summit Ranch and the Dave Roever Foundation, at the far left. He himself is a profoundly-injured Vietnam veteran and a motivational speaker on a mission to help other vets be better able to live with and live above-and-beyond what happened to them, and to motivate others of all ages and walks of life to do the same.
From all of the staff at Eagles Summit Ranch, and at Flickennel Dachshunds, quilters - we salute you! We salute ALL the quilters across the nation who have joined this mission of showing gratitude, support, warmth and love to our returning warriors and their spouses and families. They appreciate it more than they can say. So do we.
By the way, for those who don't know her, the lady holding one side of most of the quilts shown on this page is Janet Flick, avid quilter, and owner of Flickennel Dachshunds.
From this . . . . to this!