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From time to time, quilters of Daily Kos and other handcrafters have made group gifts to VA Hospitals. This time, we are going to give to the Salem, VA Hospital in Virginia. And, Gordon20024 (accompanied by some of his friendly elves) will be making the delivery.  It’s his local VA — the one where he gets his care and where he volunteers, too — so he knows it well. 

Late March is the timeframe at this point, although that might change given other factors.  Would you like to contribute something to this?  If so, Kos Mail Gordon20024 and let him know — he’ll give you a shipping address.  And if you would like a receipt for tax purposes (all gifts to the VA are tax deductible), let him know that, too.

The first time Ann and I met Pam from Calif and her mom, we made a delivery of quilts and teddy bears to the Palo Alto VA Hospital. Since then, we have given gifts to the Detroit VA Hospital and the Portland, OR VA Hospital. See here for more info on past gifts and photos.

What you need to know to make a VA Quilt

Wheelchair size is good —  we generally aim for 36” x 60”

Lap size is good — use your judgment.

Avoid religious and political imagery

Batting —  since your quilt will be used and washed in the hospital, polyester is probably best

Bright colors are lovely and uplifting

Most patients are men but there are more and more women in the hospitals

Your quilt may well be used in hospice and given to the family of the patient

This is a great way to use any orphan blocks or UFOs you may have lying around

That’s about it…

If you knit or crochet, hats and scarves are used in homeless veterans outreach and the hats are also used in the cancer wards.

Readers, your used books are lovely gifts, too.  Also games, jigsaw puzzles, and such.

Gifts of money are used to buy other things the veterans might need.  You can’t go wrong with money.


Here are some quilts that were sent to me by Pam from Calif and by BeadLady for the Salem VA Hospital — and I will be passing them on to Gordon20024:

From Pam in Calif, found at a yard sale


By art ah zen


From Pam in Calif, found at a yard sale


From Pam from Calif, found at a yard sale


By art ah zen

And here is an idea for a wheelchair quilt, a 9” snowball arrangement that makes good use of novelty fabric.  This Ann and I made for a veteran friend of JaxDem’s, a man whose friends called him Moose.  Sadly, Moose passed away just after Xmas — but JaxDem tells me he loved this quilt.  It sweetened his last days.  And that is what this project is about — lovingkindness to those who are in a lonely place, quite possibly in pain.  Let’s remember them and their service to the nation.

We will make something similar with different novelty fabric for the Salem VA Hospital.

Would you like to write a future DK Quilt Guild diary? Please join in! We Need Writers for the DK Quilt Guild. Please volunteer within the comments or you can send Pam from Calif a kosmail.

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