May 30, 2013

Robes for veterans also quilted by group

Jessica Lane, Staff Writer,
The Express-Star

CHICKASHA — After the May 20 tornado, Grady County's impulse to help their Moore neighbors has taken many forms.

For the Grady County Fire Department, it was over 45 hours of work, six fire trucks and 19,000 gallons of water. Volunteers from near and far pick through debris in rubber gloves, clean cemeteries, arrive in trucks with beds full of pallets of plastic wrapped bottled water.

It's not difficult to picture the intensity of this effort.

Sending help can also look like a group of women in their 50s, 60s, 70s and beyond with their heads bent over sewing machines and ironing boards and sewing, cutting, pinning and pressing squares of fabric to sew together for those whose lives have been ripped apart.

The members of OHCE are sending nine quilts--both homemade and donated--to the tornado victims in Moore.

OHCE uses an assembly line setup to make the quilts, with each member working on a different part of the process.

OHCE also make lap robes for veterans. On the last Friday in June, they will take about 100 lap quilts to the veteran hospital. Some of these are simple in design, others are more elaborate.

The more elaborately detailed quilts tend to come from the older OHCE members who can't easily leave their homes because of their years of experience and the time available to channel their talents.

The veterans can take the lap robes home with them after they leave the hospital. The lap robe quilts are long enough vertically to cover someone in a wheelchair down to their toes, but short enough horizontally not to get in the way of the wheels.

Patsy Linn has been making a "Home of the Brave" quilt which will be given to the family of a soldier who died. Each block of this quilt is personally signed by an OHCE member.