by Diane Lowrey
A television advertisement for the Wounded Warriors Project has resulted in a Trenton woman supporting the military in the best way she knows how: quiltmaking.
Carolyn Brewer saw the advertisement last fall and, already involved in making quilts for others, decided to expand her work to include the military.
“I have all this material and I just thought it would be a good thing to do,” she said.
Choosing the military to reap the benefits of her sewing skills had a special meaning for the Trenton woman. He oldest son is currently in the Air Guard, stationed at South Carolina, while her granddaughter served a stint in Afghanistan. Both her husband and brother are also military veterans, with her brother having served in Vietnam.
She has donated 86 quilts so far, including 30 she took to the Veterans Administration Hospital in Kansas City on Dec. 19. She is currently working on a group of 40 that will be shipped at the end of the month to Charleston, SC and the unit in which her son serves.
Mrs. Brewer began quilting 16 years ago “to give me something to do” and now designates three to four hours each morning to her sewing work. She has quilted for individuals as well as groups like the women’s shelter and says she can whip out a quilt in about three hours time, two in four hours “if I put my mind to it.”
“I worked in a sewing machine factory when my kids were little, so I can piece one together pretty quick,” she said. “But sometimes I have to remember to slow down.”
The basement in which she sews is filled with all types of materials and twin sheets, which she uses as the backing. She buys her materials and batting in bulk and keeps the scraps when one quilt is completed “because you never know when it can be used in another quilt.”
She uses different themes for her quilts, depending on the materials she has available. For the quilts headed to South Carolina, she was able to find military symbols and is using a lot of red, white and blue panels as well.
Mrs. Brewer said the Joseph L. Norton VFW Post “has been very good” to her in providing money to help purchase items needed to make the military quilts. She also has received funds from some businesses for sheets, material and batting.
In addition to the military quilts, she has also done quilts for fundraisers as well as for individuals who provide material or who have a certain request. A women she sews for in Liberty brings her blocks of material that she has embroidered, with Mrs. Brewer then piecing the blocks into a quilt.
“I even had my son, who is a truck driver, looking for truck material for a lady who wanted that,” she said.
Mrs. Brewer plans to continue her military quilt making “until I run out” of material. She already ahs plans to take 30 quilts to the Veteran’s Administration Hospital in Iowa City, IA and then more to the Kansas City VA Hospital.
Persons who would be interested in making a donation to help with the quilts (material, sheets or money) can contact Mrs. Brewer at 358-2017 or drop by her house at 1001 Avalon St.