50 Ways to Say Thank You

In spring 2008, the Indiana State Museum partnered with the Quilter’s Guild of Indianapolis (QGI) in an outreach program focused on the Quilts of Valor program, a nationwide program that collects charity quilts to give soldiers who were injured while fighting in the conflicts of Afghanistan or Iraq. The program coincided with the museum’s exhibit Quilting Blocks & Binding Threads, which focused on the history of quilts as gifts.

The original goal of the program was to pass out 800 kits to museum visitors. Each kit, prepared by QGI, contained materials needed to complete one quilt block. When the blocks were completed, they were asked to be returned to the museum to be used in creating Quilts of Valor. The hope was to receive enough blocks back to create five to 10 quilts.

It was pretty evident within the first month the exhibit was opened that more than 800 kits were needed. The response was so great that QGI made, and the museum handed out, over 1,800 kits! Not only did Hoosiers around the state volunteer to do their part by completing a block (several completed enough blocks for a whole quilt), but the museum received blocks from all over the United States and even one from Bristol, England.

All 50 of the Quilts of Valor are held in the museum’s Governor Frank O’Bannon Great Hall by members of the Quilter’s Guild of Indianapolis, Indiana State Museum Volunteers and Indiana State Museum staff.

All 50 of the Quilts of Valor are held in the museum’s Governor Frank O’Bannon Great Hall by members of the Quilter’s Guild of Indianapolis, Indiana State Museum Volunteers and Indiana State Museum staff.

Now the project has come full circle, as all of those blocks have been pieced and finished into a lap-sized quilt. Enough blocks were received for 50 Quilts of Valor, all of which will be given to a soldier as a way to say thank you for his or her service to our country. Thanks to all of those who participated in the program. We could not have done it without your support!

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