Iraq, Afghanistan Memorial Quilt honors fallen heroes

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“You just can’t help but be in awe when you look at it,” said Carolyn Bass when describing the San Diego County National Iraq and Afghanistan Memorial Quilt, which was on display at the Women’s Club of Lakeside’s 28th annual Quilt Show that was held March 8 and 9 at the VFW Hall in Lakeside.

“You just can’t help but be in awe when you look at it,” said Carolyn Bass when describing the San Diego County National Iraq and Afghanistan Memorial Quilt, which was on display at the Women’s Club of Lakeside’s 28th annual Quilt Show that was held March 8 and 9 at the VFW Hall in Lakeside.

Club member Carol E. Carpenter contributed to the quilt, literally, and helped explain the design. She said the squares on one side honor fallen hero Sgt. Camella Steedley, a wife and mother of four from San Diego, who died defending her country. The flip side of the quilt gives a brief biography of Steedley, and likewise for other squares displaying other fallen heroes names and biographies.

Carpenter noted there are approximately 86 squares with names and biographies of such heroes and heroines. The quilt also contains a section which holds space for additional squares and names.
Pausing to view it in its entirety is in order, as this quilt will soon be traveling to other shows as part of a nationwide show.

Out of the 116 quilts display­ed, whimsy, tradition and stark beauty dominated with quilt names like “Day at the Beach,” “Shirts & Ties,” even “Japanese Manhole Covers.” Apparently Japanese cities put city crests on the manhole covers while America’s manhole covers remain very plain. Google “Japanese manhole covers” to view this interesting art form and warmth that quilts such as the one on display bring to life.

The quilts were judged and were also for sale, ranging in price from $10 to $1,500 for the “Tree of Life” quilt.
“They’re warm, utilitarian and beautiful,” responded Carpenter when asked how warm the quilts are.
Some of the “rock stars of the quilting world” include Gloria Loughman from Australia and David Taylor from Colorado.

Quilters explained that family pictures can also be sewn into a quilt. Landscapes are also included with quilt designs. To illustrate, Carpenter said that she made a landscape quilt picturing San Antonio’s Our Lady of Lakes University for a relative.

A humorous sign posted at the show warned of a “quilter’s pox,” with a variety of symptoms including: having no taste for electric blankets, and sometimes being deaf to one’s kids and spouse (while curled up in the quilt). Some attendees at the show may have contracted this same pox post-show time.

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