I get a great paycheck for this work, usually in the form of hugs and smiles.
2012 Celebrity Cruise Honoree
Barbara was born in Washington State, but moved to Southern California when she was three years old, and has remained there ever since. She worked for many years in sales and real estate, and is now retired.
For the past nine years, Barbara has put in over 40 hours each week with a group called Quilts of Valor. This nationwide group of quilters creates beautiful quilts for military veterans, and often purchases fabric and pays shipping costs out of their own pockets.
Barbara's group has delivered 3,100 quilts to veterans of WWII, Korea, Vietnam, Beirut, Desert Storm, Iraq, and Afghanistan. Says Barbara: "It's worthwhile to see the smiles or get a letter from our vets when they receive these quilts. They truly appreciate the time and work we put in to honor their service. It's something that can warm their bodies as well as their souls. Many recipients think of them as works of art, and plan to pass them on to their descendants.
SoCal Quilts of Valor recently had the honor to sew a quilt for two WWII Veterans, including a 99 year-old former soldier who is still as mentally sharp as ever, as well as the co-pilot of the Enola Gay. Barbara also recently completed a special quilt for a Korean War Veteran who is one of the last eight living recipients of the Congressional Medal of Honor (in addition to two Purple Heart medals and many other awards). Says Barbara: "I get lots of hugs and smiles, and that's better than a paycheck."
Each quilt is a labor of love that takes many hours to complete. Most people on Barbara's team have worked together for several years now, and they are the model of efficiency. When they gather as a team, each person has a specific task, such as piecing the front, doing the backing, or making the binding. The quilts all have different themes. Some are patriotic, others are pictorial, floral, plaid, or a mix of various fabrics. Says Barbara: "We don't really like to make flag patterns because people tend to hang quilts like that on the wall. We mean for the quilts to be used."
Barbara and her husband, Donald, have 8 kids and 14 grandchildren! Donald will join Barbara on the cruise.