Thursday, October 1, 2009

Patriotic Quilt Books Now Available

Thanking Our Troops--God Bless America Touring Quilts
By Judy Howard and Nationwide Quilt Artists

“Like a mother's loving arms, this quilt is our hug for our hero—a gift of thanks for protecting America. It expresses our gratitude, love, respect, and honor to forever hold and comfort you.”
This is the greeting sewn on the back of the quilt that Staff Sergeant Logan Ballew received upon arriving at the Bethesda Military Hospital in August of 2006. While disarming a roadside bomb in Iraq, Logan received the impact of the exploding bomb. The local military hospital personnel waited to notify Logan’s parents for three days, not knowing whether they would be sending the boy back home in a body bag or to a hospital.

Logan’s mother, Joan Ballew from Edmond, Oklahoma, entered a portrait quilt of her son, incorporating his uniform with buttons and zippers, in Buckboard Quilts’ God Bless America touring quilt exhibit, Thanking Our Troops.

“How do I love America—let me quilt the ways” is the theme of these 200 twenty-two-inch and larger patriotic quilts that are blanketing America for four years with “Hugs for our Heroes” and are featured in this full-color gift book along with their heart-warming stories of patriotism and gratitude.

All profits from the exhibits and books go to provide quilts for wounded troops and the families of our fallen heroes—those most in need of God’s loving touch and comfort these quilts represent. See for quilt photos, sample stories, entry and rental forms and to order books. Judy Howard, 405-751-3885.

Calendar of God Bless America Patriotic Touring Quilts

October 2-4, 2009, 10:00-6:00 Friday, 11:00-6:00 Saturday, Sunday 11:00-4:00, The Red River Quilters proudly features Buckboard Quilts’ God Bless America Quilt Exhibit in their Quilt Show at 600 Clyde Funt Parkway, Shreveport, LA,

October 3, noon-2:00 p.m. Judy Howard and Quilt Artists sign their books, Thanking Our Troops—God Bless America Touring Quilts and exhibit patriotic quilts at Hastings Books, 2300 W. Main, Norman 329-5529 Trina.

October 9-10, 9 am-8 pm Friday, 9am-5pm Saturday, The Watonga Cheese Festival Quilt Show proudly features the God Bless America Patriotic Touring Quilts at the Blaine County Fairgrounds, Foley (Yellow) Building, north of Main on 7th Street, Watonga, OK. Award winning author Judy Howard will sign her newly released books Thanking Our Troops—God Bless America Touring Quilts from 9:00 am-1:00 p.m Friday The Watonga 33rd annual Cheese Festival also includes an Art Show at Oasis Church, two stages of live entertainment, Rod and Hog Show, Craft and gift vendors, fun foods, cheese tasting, cheese food contest at the Fairgrounds, carriage and pony rides, parade, $5, under 12 free.

October 9-11, 2009, 10 am-5 pm Friday and Saturday, 1:00-4:00 p.m. Sunday. The Foothills Quilters Guild proudly features Buckboard Quilts God Bless America Patriotic Quilt Exhibit at their "In Stitches" Quilt Show at the Cleveland County Arts Council, 111 S. Washington St., Shelby, NC. $3. 704-692-1105,

October 24, 2:00 p.m. The Bethany Public Library proudly presents Judy Howard’s “Under the Covers with Granny Reveals Oklahoma Secrets” Quilt Trunk Show Program. Judy and quilt artists will sign their three books: Heavenly Patchwork I & II & Centennial Stitches—Oklahoma History in Quilts. She will also exhibit her God Bless America Patriotic Quilts that are touring the US for 3 years to inspire patriotism and thank our troops. 3510 N. Mueller, Bethany, OK, 789-8363

October 23-24, 9:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m. The Blount Country Quilt Guild proudly exhibits Buckboard Quilts’ God Bless America Touring Quilts in their Quilt Show at 1225 Palisades Pkwy, Oneonta, AL, $3,

October 23-25, Friday and Saturday 10-5, Sunday 10-4. The West Sound Quilters proudly present Buckboard Quilts’ God Bless America Touring Quilts at their annual quilt show, Quilts from the Cabin at the Kitsap County Fairgrounds, Presidents’ Hall, Bremerton, WA, $5 Admission, Vendors, Demos, Raffle Quilt, Wearable Art, Community Build A Block, Café, Quilt Turning, Harpist Bronn Journey, Featured Artist Delaine Gately.,, 360-337-1830

October 28, 11:00 a.m. OETATV for Oklahoma City Metro program interviews Judy Howard about her new book, Thanking Our Troops—God Bless America Quilts.

November 10-12, 8:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m. The GHS Beta Club of Greenwood High School, 440 E. Gary, Greenwood, AR proudly exhibits the God Bless America Touring Quilts in their Veteran’s Day Assembly, JoElla Skaggs, 479-996-2294

Veteran's Day Fayetteville, ND Ann Flaherty VD

November 11, 9 a.m.-5:00 p.m. Judy Howard and quilt artists sign their books, Thanking Our Troops and honors our troops and veterans with a special salute and exhibit, God Bless America Patriotic Quilts, at the 45th Infantry Division Museum, 2145 NE 36th St, Oklahoma City, OK, following the Veterans Day ceremony at 10:00a.m. 405-424-5313.

Nov. 13 & 14 , 9 to 3, The God Bless Amercia Touring Quilts will be exhibited at the 9th Annual Quilts and Tea Festival in the Historic District, Davenport, Florida 33837
FREE ADMISSION. Quilt & Tea Boutiques, Displays and Demonstrations located in historic buildings and along historic walkways in Davenport. Located just off the I-4 corridor between Orlando and Tampa

November 16, noon, July Howard will present a quilt trunk show program and show a few God Bless America Patriot quilt at the Woman’s Auxiliary of the Salvation Army luncheon at 50 Penn Place, top floor in Oklahoma City, Linda Wright 405-728-3263

December 3, 9:00 am-4:00 pm The Happy Homemakers OHCE proudly exhibits the God Bless America Touring Quilts at the Kingfisher County Fairgrounds, 215 E. Broadway, Kingfisher, OK at their Winterfest Show, 405-375-4051

December and January, Camp Striker Stables, Baghdad, Iraq

2010 Calendar

January 8 & 9, 2010, 9 AM to 5 PM, the Southwest Florida Quilters Guild proudly features the God Bless America Quilt Exhibit in their show FLORIDA CELEBRATES QUILTS 2010 "QUILTING: THE ORIGINAL GREEN" at the LEE CIVIC CENTER, 11831 BAYSHORE ROAD
FORT MYERS, FLORIDA. $7.00 Nancy Jones

January 13-16, 9:00 a.m.-7:30 pm, 8:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m.Saturday. The Quilting, Stitches and Craft Expos proudly presents the God Bless America Patriotic Quilt Exhibit at their Expo at the Cox Convention Center, 1 Myriad Gardens, Oklahoma City, OK

January 22-24, 2010,The Quilts Limited Gallery and Arts Center proudly present the God Bless America Touring Quilts at their Patriotic Quilt Show/Freedom Festival at the Quilts Limited Gallery at 7 Camino Otero, Tubac, AZ, 520-398-9001, Trish Ambrose

February 10 Lexington Hi School hosts Judy Howard in two programs, “Under the Covers with Granny Reveals Oklahoma Secrets and God Bless America Touring Quilts.

March 4-6 Indiana Heritage Quilts Show, Bloomington, IND

March 10, noon, Judy Howard will present her “Under the Cover with Granny” quilt trunk show program, and exhibit the God Bless America Touring Quilts at the Checotah Public Library, 626 W. Gentry, Checotah, OK

March 18-21, 2010, 9:00-5:00 Thursday-Saturday and 10:00-4:00 on Sunday. The Once Upon a Quilt Guild proudly features Buckboard Quilts’ God Bless America Quilt Exhibit during their Quilt Show by the Sea at the War Memorial Auditorium, 800 NE 8th St., Ft. Lauderdale, FL. $4. Lisa Stevens,,

April 10, 2010, 9:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m. Stashbuilder Quilt Guild presents the God Bless America Quilt Exhibit at their show at St. Margaret’s Episcopal Church, 12663 Perkins Rd, Baton Rouge, LA, $1., 225-673-9847

April 23-24, 2010, Friday, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Saturday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. The Odessa Quilt Group proudly features Buckboard Quilts’ God Bless America Exhibit at their Odessa Quilt Show held in the Odessa High School Gym at 2nd Street & 4th Avenue, Odessa, WA. 509-982-2825

May 15, 2010, 11 am-4 pm the American Legion Auxielary Unit 353 proudly exhibits Buckboard Quilt's God Bless America Patriotic Quilt Exhibit at their " Armed Forces Day Celebration" which includes children's face painting, ball tournament, etc, entertainment by local bands, Seniors' Bake Sale and Silent Auction and Taco Dinner $7 or $4 for children. Boy Scouts will fold flags for the troops in Iraq and Afghanistan to wear near their hearts in their pockets. Mustang Town Center, Banquet Hall, 1201 N. Mustang Road, Mustang, OK, 405-376-5157

June 24-26, 9:00 am-7:30 pm and 8:30 am-5:30 pm Saturday,. The Quilting, Stitches and Craft Expos proudly presents the God Bless America Patriotic Quilt Exhibit at their Expo at the Grand Sierra Resort, 2500 East 2nd St, Reno, NV

September 9-11, 9:00 a.m.-7:30 pm, 8:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m.Saturday. The Quilting, Stitches and Craft Expos proudly presents the God Bless America Patriotic Quilt Exhibit at their Expo at the Sharonville Convention Center, 11355 Chester Rd, Cincinnati, OH

October 4, 2010 Summit at Capital Center, Diamondal, MT

Veterans Day Fort Bragg/Pope AFB Ann Flaherty Fayetteville, NC

Patriotic Books Available for Christmas Gifting

Great news! "Thanking Our Troops is now available on at a special $5 publisher's discount for only $14.95. Containing the heart-warming stories of the 200 patriotioc quilts that are touring the US and Baghdad for four years with all profits from the books and $100 exhibit fees going to provide quilts for wounded soldiers. You can see photos, entry and rentals info and calendar of exhibits and programs on I’d like to tell you about one of these soldiers:

Edmond resident Jack Hayes was setting up a cannon to defend an airstrip when North Vietnam Regulars burst from the rubber trees twenty feet away, guns blazing. Jack spun around and returned fire before a bullet from an AK47 pierced his stomach and exited through his back. Medevac airlifted Jack to the Saigon Field Hospital where officials quickly honored Jack by pinning on his uniform a Purple Heart, Bronze Star and V for valor. Then they ceremoniously pulled a sheet over his head pronouncing Jack Hayes dead.

Only by God’s grace did Jack survive that injury which fractured his back, and the Agent Orange that poisoned his organs. During the ensuing years he underwent thirty-five major abdominal operations to remove his stomach, appendix and gall bladder, and endured countless complications. Nonetheless, Jack still radiates the joy of the Lord and praises Him each morning for the blessing of life.

For his last birthday October 17, 2008, I presented Jack with a replica of a Civil War quilt with an appliqué of an American eagle holding an olive branch in its beak. Mary Chenoweth, great-great-great grandmother of Kristen Chenoweth, created an eagle quilt top for her son Benjamin Franklin Chenoweth after he left for war in 1862. She prayed that he would return home safely and for peace in America with every stitch she took.

Benjamin brought his cherished quilt top, his wife and sons and their families from Missouri in a covered wagon caravan to join the Oklahoma Land Run of 1889. They homesteaded farms near Hinton in Indian Territory. Benjamin’s wife and daughters in-law quilted the top with their names, dates and family history documented in the threads for future generations.

That Civil War eagle quilt, which recently appraised for $8,000 to $12,000, now adorns the cover of Oklahoma Heritage Quilts, and I featured it in my Centennial Stitches—Oklahoma History in Quilts book. I made a smaller version of the quilt to tour with the God Bless America Touring Quilts that benefits our soldiers. A reproduction of that Civil War Eagle quilt made by Connie Heffron, a Chenoweth cousin hangs behind me in the photo.

When Jack received his appliquéd eagle, he cried at the thought that someone would take the time to express gratitude for his military service. The quilt follows him in and out of the hospital as he valiantly fights for his life. “Jack curls up in his colorful red, gold and green quilt for comfort,” his wife Sue shared. When the pain becomes too intense to bear, he strokes the trapunto three-dimensional wings as if the eagle gives him energy to soar to a higher level of faith. When Jack’s spirits need lifting, he traces the quilt’s embroidered “Thank You Jack” with his fingers and realizes that his suffering for his country was not in vain, but documented in this tangible memorial.

Jack delights in telling the history behind his quilt. To him, the mighty eagle is the personification of American freedom, strength and bravery. When asked how he has survived the last forty-one years, Jack answers, “When storms and tragedy strike our lives, we can decide to be like a rooster who hides wet and shivering in the corner of the henhouse, and eventually dies. Or, we can rise above the storm on wings of an eagle to soar to new heights. I’ve chosen to live each day through God’s promised strength like the eagle.”

Jack loves to remind his family and friends that we have the power to choose whether we live in freedom or captivity; to live triumphantly or in hopelessness and defeated by our circumstances. Jack recounts the story of the boy who tried to test the wise old man by capturing a tiny sparrow in his hands. The boy held his cupped hands out to the old man and asked, “What do I hold in my hands?” Said the wise old man, “It appears that you have a tiny bird.”

Hoping to trick the old man, the young lad asked, “Is it alive or dead?” The lad planned to prove the old man wrong by crushing the bird if he guessed it was alive, or releasing the bird to fly away if he said it was dead.

The wise old man said, “You hold within your hands the power to determine whether the bird lives or dies—just as your choices determine whether you live free or in captivity.
To Jack Hayes, his eagle quilt was a visual declaration that he has chosen to rise above his suffering on the winds of adversity to live free in victory.

Six months after his birthday, wrapped in his eagle quilt, Jack soared on eagle’s wingsto even great heights, triumphantly above all pain, right into His heavenly Father’s awaiting arms to receive his ultimate reward—the shiny stars in his golden crowns.

Jack’s inspiring story of courageous sacrifice on our behalf to keep our nation free is but one of many recounted in "Thanking Our Troops—God Bless America Touring Quilts" with all book and exhibit profits providing more of these comforting quilts for our wounded warriors—our unsung heroes. Won't you help support this worthwhile project by ordering this book for your friends and family for Christmas on