Quilts of Valor (QOV) is a national foundation that awards quilts to living veterans as a Thank You for their service. Here in Waxhaw, Edna Marie Drakeford has created a local chapter. Meeting in her rented classroom space in Created In The Carolinas, she and volunteers cut out patterns and piece the blocks together for the front of the quilt before Drakeford uses her long arm quilting machine to bring it all together.
Drakeford became interested in sewing when she was in teenager in high school. She eventually went on to receive her Associates in Fashion Merchandising and gained experience in garment making through custom creations of prom dresses and gowns. About 9 years ago, she bought her first long arm quilter and eventually opened Marie’s Sewing and Quilting in her home in Waxhaw. She was involved with a quilting group in Lancaster before starting the Waxhaw chapter of Quilts of Valor. As the wife of a Vietnam Veteran, she knows first hand how important it is to provide a thank you to our veterans and to wrap them in “quilts of comfort.”
Drakeford and the Waxhaw QOV gave away their first six quilts to local veterans who were in the 2016 Independence Day Parade. She was able to give away 21 quilts on Veteran’s Day in 2016 and six more at the 2017 Memorial Day Ceremony in Waxhaw. Currently there is a waiting list two pages long of local veterans who have been nominated to receive quilts. Drakeford has set a goal of exceeding the number of quilts given away at last year’s Veteran’s Day ceremony but she needs your help!
Its easy to volunteer to help make the quilts and Drakeford will provide instruction so no experience is needed. Volunteers can help cut patterns with a rotary cutter as well as sew the blocks together. Its not as scary as it sounds, all sewing involves straight lines. “Its a great opportunity for scouts to earn their community hours,” Drakeford says. Union Electric and the Waxhaw American Legion are both sponsors of the Waxhaw Quilts of Valor program.
Waxhaw QOV meets at Created in the Carolina on Tuesdays evenings from 5:30 to 8:30. You can contact Drakeford at 704-575-0640 to get more information about volunteering. Donations of fabric and quilting supplies, as well as money to purchase supplies, are also appreciated.