Patriotic patchworkOn a day when Americans are celebrating the Fourth of July, Susie Kapelovitz of Dickinson may be found packing boxes of red, white and blue quilts for shipment to American soldiers wounded in war.
By: Linda Sailer, The Dickinson Press
On a day when Americans are celebrating the Fourth of July, Susie Kapelovitz of Dickinson may be found packing boxes of red, white and blue quilts for shipment to American soldiers wounded in war.
She has recruited quilting friends to help in this effort, sponsored by the Citizen Sam project of Peroria, Ill.
“I had two great-nephews who have served in both Iraq and Afghanistan several times,” she said. “I got the information for their mother, Cindy Corean, who is my niece. I decided I knew lots of ladies who do quilting.”
She invited the Dickinson Community Quilters at St. Patrick’s Catholic Church and the quilters at St. John Lutheran Church to help make the quilts according to specifications set forth by the project.
“They have to be 4-foot-wide by 6-feet 6-inches long because they’re being shipped overseas to injured soldiers who are being transported to hospitals in Germany from Iraq and Afghanistan,” she said. The group wants each soldier to have a unique quilt.
“When they get to the hospital in Germany, they have the quilt cleaned and they give it back to the soldier.”
Hilda Wanner furnished the backing for several blankets and helps quilting.
“I do it in memory of my husband, Seb, who was wounded in Italy,” she said. “They transported him by gurney to Rome and from there to New York and from there to Texas. He was strapped to the gurney the whole time.”
She remembers him saying the transport was done by propeller airplanes and so the trip was long.
Kapelovitz decided that if she asked the quilters to make and donate the quilts, she would pay for the shipping.
“I felt it was a good way to honor our veterans overseas who are fighting this war,” she said. “I always wear red on Fridays — that has been in the national press. People are to wear red on Fridays to honor our veterans.”
She gets the boxes from St. Benedict’s Health Center, where she works as volunteer coordinator. The local effort was initiated about four months ago.
“So far, I’ve got two dozen and another half dozen on the front step,” she said.
Kapelovitz has made a few baby quilts and is cutting out red, white and blue quilting blocks at home.
The quilts are red, white and blue, made of light-weight fabric and are washable, she said.
Charlene Weismann said the quilters also set the goal of making 150 quilts for the North Dakota Veterans Home in Lisbon. They will remain in storage until construction of a new home is completed in 2011.
She said all of those quilts also have a patriotic theme.
“Either we had brothers, husbands or children in the service,” she said. “They are very deserving of it.”
The group includes quilters from all four Catholic parishes. It’s a multi-generational group of women who like to keep busy.
Marie Renner said the group has been together for about five years. Over that time, quilts have gone to a variety of causes including the Boys Ranch, Home on the Range and victims of a July 8 tornado in Dickinson.
“Every baby baptized in the parishes is given a quilt. We give them to all the priests. We’ve also given them if there’s a benefit in town,” she said.
The fabric is usually purchased, but donations are welcome.
“We have lots of donations, like if Grandma passes away and the kids clean out the house,” Renner said.
The quilting effort for injured solders remains open-ended — until the war comes to an end, said Kapelovitz.
Anyone can participate.
For more information, call Kapelovitz at 701-225-2710.