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'Quilts of Valor' given to veterans at West Michigan Quilt Show

The 21st biannual quilt show featured Quilts of Valor. They presented numerous veterans with handmade quilts by guild members.

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich — Quilts On the Grand, the West Michigan Quilter's Guild's biannual quilt show, returned Friday for the first time in three years.

The DeltaPlex in Grand Rapids was packed with quilts and visitors for the event. Organizer Nancy Roelfsma said there is more interest in quilting from the pandemic. 

"There’s a huge influx of people that either had quilted before and came back," said Roelfsma, "and people who never done it before, and now they’ll be a quilter."

This year, Quilts of Valor were given out to veterans. The patriotic themed quilts were made by members of the guild and each given to numerous veterans in front of a crowd. 

"It’s been a long time since they announced what service I was in," said Vietnam War veteran Juan Casarez. "That was kinda special to me after not hearing it for more than 35 years."

Casarez said he will keep the quilt forever, and never forget the day. 

"It’s really nice," said Army veteran Tessa Muir. "I’ve never had anyone make an honorary quilt for me before. It’s obviously a labor of love. It’s enormous, incredible beautiful, and there’s so many of them for the veterans."

The show also raises money for the Spectrum Health neonatal care unit. They help add to a quilt closet for the babies to have warm blankets, and donations for the social workers in the unit. 

"It just shows the heart of the quilt making community," said Roelfsema. "Quilt makers are usually very generous."

The Quilt Show continues through Saturday, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the DeltaPlex. 

RELATED VIDEO: West Michigan Home and Garden Show returns to Grand Rapids

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