Fairfield Ledger
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Neighbors Growing Together | Aug 30, 2014

Iowa woman makes 15 patriot quilts for veterans

Jul 15, 2013

CORALVILLE (AP) — When Betty Bream of Coralville learned of a national organization that allows people make custom, patriotic quilts for combat veterans, she knew she wanted to participate.

She did, and then some.

On Friday, Bream presented quilts she made herself to 15 veterans — some of them relatives, some friends — who came from Iowa, Florida, Alabama, Tennessee, Illinois and Wisconsin. The group receiving quilts represented the Army, Navy, Air Force and Marines, and veterans from the Korean War, Persian Gulf War and Vietnam War. Bream created the quilts as part of the Quilts of Valor program.

Each quilt took her about 20 hours to complete, Bream told the Iowa City Press-Citizen.

Bream distributed the quilts in a carrier tote to each veteran, saying she opted against wrapping each veteran in their quilt.

“Sometimes during the ceremony, they'll take the quilt out of the bag and actually wrap them in it, and it can get very emotional,” she said. “All of these people I know. I don't think I could get through it without crying, so I planned on just handing it to them and thanking them for their service.”

Bream said she learned about the Quilts of Valor program when she saw a brochure in a local quilting shop. There are stringent guidelines.

Each quilt must be at least 55 inches by 65 inches, constructed of high-quality 100 percent cotton quilting weight fabric and filled with low-loft batting. They must be made from patterns found online or approved templates on the Quilts of Valor website.

Quilts must include an appropriate patriotic design, balanced and uniformly sized stitches. Quilters also must attach a tag listing the organization's name, washing instructions and blanks for the recipient's and quilter's names. Quilters also must make a custom pillowcase tote to carry the quilt.

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