Between Friends: A Quilt of Valor for a Neighbor

| By Meredith Ford

Recently, Catalina-resident Pattie Abbott presented a very special camo-themed quilt to US Marine Corps veteran Cruz Lemos in honor of his service to our country.

When Pattie saw that Cruz, her neighbor and close friend of twenty years, went onto hospice, she decided to give his family more than just her time and attention.

Pattie is the local leader of the Northwest chapter of the Quilts of Valor Foundation (QOVF), a non-profit that aims to honor and support veterans with handmade quilts.

Though the Quilts of Valor are typically given to the living, Cruz died in the care of our hospice before Pattie was able to complete it. Instead, she bestowed the quilt to Cruz’s sons, Ruben and Richard, who like their father are veteran Marines.

During the ceremony, Pattie acknowledged the sacrifice made during Cruz’s service to our nation, having patrolled Korea’s Demilitarized Zone after the Korean War then separated from the Marine Corps as a Corporal at Camp Pendleton in 1955. She wrapped the blanket around Ruben, as a symbol of comfort to the Lemos family.

For further information on the Quilts of Valor: Any individual may request a Quilt of Valor for a service member or veteran touched by war. An online nomination form is available here.

From Pattie Abbott:

A quilt consists of three layers held together by its quilting stitches. I like to think the layers.

The top of the quilt with its many colors, shapes, and fabrics, represents the communities and the many individuals we are.

The batting, the filler, is the center of the quilt. Its warmth. It represents our hope that this quilt will bring warmth, comfort, peace, and healing to the individual who receives it.

The backing is the strength that supports the other layers. It represents the strength of the recipient, the support of his or her family, our communities, and our nation.

Each stitch that holds the layers together represents love, gratitude, and sometimes the tears of the maker.

Each Quilt of Valor is formed by loving hands that join bits of fabric together, one piece at a time. A QOV may be fashioned by only one or two individuals, or it may come about through the combined efforts of many women and men of all skill levels. Quilters often work together in sewing groups to create these quilts. As we quilt, we talk about our families and friends and how grateful we are to those who will be receiving what we call our “quilty” hug when we wrap them in a Quilt of Valor.

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