Quilts of Valor

Stonecrest Senior Living Community residents volunteer their time and talent to comfort those in need.
Gloria Lund looks through a photo album of quilts at Stonecrest while Adeline Angerer and Ruth Bunch create a new quilt.

There’s nothing like waking up to the warmth of a cozy quilt, especially when it was handmade with love. Even more so when it covers the bed of a soldier in Iraq or Afghanistan. This love and warmth has been brought to hundreds of recipients thanks to a group of women at Woodbury’s Stonecrest Senior Living Community, who have lovingly donated their creative talents and time for the last eight years.

Resident Gloria Lund had a passion for sewing and previously taught while working in the sewing machine department at Sears. After she was presented with the idea of making quilts for servicemen and servicewomen through the nonprofit Quilts of Valor, she recruited five other Stonecrest residents to join her.

“As soon as I moved here, someone was at my door; they knew I sewed and they were right there. I wasn’t even settled in my apartment yet,” says Addie Angerer, who has been sewing for Quilts of Valor since 2009.

Lund’s quilting “crew,” as she calls them, meets each week in a space dedicated for their craft. “We do a lot in two hours,” says Lund, who cuts the fabric, designs layouts on the flannel boards and also makes a pillowcase to match each quilt.

“She’s the professional,” Lund says motioning toward Angerer, who sews the fabric together. “I’m particular,” Angerer laughs, and gives Lund a loving jab at the squares of fabric that Lund cut less than perfectly. “We have fun down here.”

“We used to do five a month, but right now there’s just a few of us,” Lund says.

“Every time I have trouble threading the needle, I think of Rosemary, who said put a white piece of paper behind it, and I think, ‘Okay, Rosemary, this had better work.’ So we remember them even when they’re gone.”

The quilts are sent out through Quilts of Valor to a quilting shop where volunteers do batting and machine quilting, and brought back to the Stonecrest team for the finishing touches. Then Quilts of Valor distributes the quilts to servicemen and servicewomen overseas and in VA hospitals.

Today the crew at Stonecrest includes Lund, Angerer, Darlene Reminitz, Ruth Bunch and Norma Thiede. The group collaborates on each project, along with Stonecrest and greater Woodbury community, which donates all the supplies for the quilts.

“Many times when residents are moving in, they have to downsize from their homes,” says Marilyn Knudtson, recreation assistant at Stonecrest. “There have been a lot of donations from the family members and the community themselves.”

Over the past eight years, Lund and friends have taken pictures of each quilt and have several photo albums of their unique designs. The books contain photos of everything from camouflage, to nautical—even a checkerboard quilt that included fabric circles to play the game on the bed.

“At one point [Quilts of Valor] asked us to just use red white and blue, and that made it difficult for us to be creative,” Lund says. “We got a little tired of doing red, white and blue, so we picked something a man would like, like dogs, or birds, and cowboys.”

Because they are working with donations, many of the fabrics were not suitable for the Quilts of Valor project. Lund’s daughter came up with a great solution: She put them in touch with a local battered women’s shelter, and the team at Stonecrest now donates quilts to the women and children living there.

Working from donations requires extra creativity for the Quilts of Valor crew, but that’s half the fun. “We never know what we’re going to find when we walk in here,” Angerer says.

“I’ve loved to see everything come together for the finished product,” says Lund, who notes that she always adds a note with each quilt that says, “Made by 5 little old ladies in their 80s.”


For more information about the Quilts of Valor program, go to qovf.org.