Road to California has a long history of celebrating quilts and veterans.
Road 2014: A Special Exhibit and Presentation
Led by Island Batik, Quilted in Honor was a fund-raising initiative for Operation Homefront, one of the top military fundraising organizations. A special exhibit they sponsored recognized quilts and veterans with a collection from top industry celebrities and quilters. They were asked to incorporate specially designed fabrics created by Island Batik for this initiative in their quilts. The results were truly patriotic!!! After the show, the quilts were donated to support military families and returning veterans whose lives were forever changed because of their service to our country.
Also, at the 2014 Show, Road to California, Island Batik, and Quilted in Honor recognized quilts and veterans when they presented to veteran, Ron Baker, a special quilt to thank him for his patriotic service. Mr. Baker was a former combat photographer who spent 12 years in the military (from 1964 until 1976), serving in Germany, Vietnam, Japan, and California. In 2014, Mr. Baker also worked as an advocate for other veterans.
Road 2016: Southern California Quilts of Valor
The Long Beach Chapter of Quilts of Valor recognized quilts and veterans by collecting donations during the 2016 show ranging from quilt tops to selling raffle tickets for their opportunity quilt. The drawing for their opportunity quilt is held annually on Veterans Day at the Long Beach VA Hospital.
During the years, Long Beach Quilts of Valor has gone to various veteran events around Southern California, telling their story and presenting quilts. In 2015, they gave away 417 quilts to service members and veterans. At the time of Road 2016, they had already given away 134 quilts with 78 more being donated January 26th to Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder sufferers affiliated with the West Los Angeles Veteran Hospital.
An interesting fact is that not all veteran recipients request a patriotic themed quilt because it can be a painful reminder of what they went through, especially with POW’s. For those instances, Quilts of Valor volunteers have made quilts in a range of colors and themes such as animals or sports. “You never know what a veteran will request. Whatever type of quilt we make, it always finds its rightful owner,” remarked Chapter leader, Barbara Winkler.
Veterans at Road 2020
Frances attended Road 2020 with his wife, Betty. Both are long time quilters who had only missed one Road to California Show since it moved to the Ontario Convention Center. Frances served as an Electronic Technician in the Navy during the Vietnam War. His ship, the USS Forrestal, was the first of the “super carriers.” While Betty has been quilting for over 20 years, Frances got interested in quilting when attending Road and saw a demonstration on how to use circles in quilts. That was 10 years ago.
David and Elaine are residents of Boise, Idaho. Road 2020 was their second time at the Show. They love the great weather in California in January. David liked seeing all the quilts on display. He too served in the Navy, as a medical captain during the Korean War. His responsibility was to save Marines from their battle wounds.
It is a privilege for Road to California to honor both quilts and veterans during our shows.