For a handful of years, the fantastic organization Quilts of Valor has captured our hearts and inspired us to support this worthy cause. A Quilt of Valor (QOV) is a quality, handmade quilt awarded to a Service Member or Veteran who has been touched by war. We donate to the Quilts of Valor Foundation each year, and we designed a free quilt pattern that meets the QOV standards called William’s Honor in remembrance of Kimberly’s father, who served in the National Guard.
When one of our longtime staff members said she would like to sew and award a quilt to honor her father for his years of military service, we were proud to support her in this! Cathy will share her plans to make her quilt and gift it to her father here on our blog this year. Here is her story in her own words.
My name is Carleen, but I am called by my middle name, “Cathy.”
I’m on the accounting team here at Fat Quarter Shop, with a large amount of time spent on clubs.
I love helping my customers get everything sorted so they can enjoy all their goodies.
I basically have NO quilting experience. With a large family to raise, spare time is far and few between. I have for the past year been participating in the 2022 Solids club project as my very first quilt, and I have all of my blocks pieced, but I’ve set that aside to make this quilt for my dad. So, when I complete this quilt, it will technically be my first quilt sewn to completion. I have watched Kimberly’s tutorial for this pattern and plan to follow it exactly like she says. I’m also tackling this one because of our great team. I will have lots of help when I need it!
I am the baby of my family, fourth born to Major Carlos Cesar Carrales Sr., aka “Dad.”
I’ve always looked up to and adored my dad. As a young girl, I did not see imperfections in anyone, least of all my dad. He was funny and attentive during the times that we were together. He was away for long days of work and still had a lot of training to attend when I was young, but I’m pretty sure he was the one leading the training by then. I was born post-Vietnam, but once my dad went on to Panama, we no longer lived together. I did get to visit him in Panama for a couple of weeks with my brother, and it was a fantastic trip!
During his career, my dad served in Ft Devens, MA; Korea; Ft Riley, KS; Ft Bragg, NC; Ft Sill, OK; Ft Rucker, AL; Vietnam; Ft Campbell, KY; Panama; Rio Grande College in Ohio and Ft Hood, TX.
My dad attended Oklahoma State University and received a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science. He went on to attend jump school and flight school and battled as an infantry and helicopter pilot. He served with the 187th Assault Helicopter Company for the US Army and flew the Huey (UH-C and D models) some but logged over 1,000 hours in the AH-1G Cobra Attack helicopter. He retired in 1985 as a Major. He then went on to get a teaching degree at UTSA after retirement and taught elementary school for a time in the valley here in Texas.
Some of the fondest memories I have with my dad were the rides in the car when he came to pick me up, and we would go camping or back to his house to play games and eat good food. He always made me laugh, and our time together felt lighthearted and easy. I still have an entire shoebox full of letters he wrote me during our time apart.
I want my dad to be remembered as a dedicated soldier that gave his lifetime of service to protect our freedom. I would also like him to be remembered as a dad that, as soon as he experienced a personal relationship with Christ, shared His perfect love and strived to be the example that was called of him. Never giving up, and never turning back!
As my dad struggles with the physical and mental aftermath of the battle experience and soldier life, I want to honor the man that I am SO proud to call “Dad” to comfort him, knowing that it was all worth it. That he is loved and appreciated!
Follow Along & Share with Us!
Follow #DadsQOVQuilt this year to stay inspired and updated as Cathy sews her Dad’s Quilt of Valor. Return to the blog in December to see the Award Ceremony and Cathy’s final quilt!
If Cathy’s inspired you, visit the Quilts of Valor Foundation and find out how to make a QOV of your own to thank a Veteran for their service and sacrifice in serving our nation or donate to this wonderful cause.