By Mrs. Martha Yoshida (Leonard Wood)December 1, 2016
Stitch by stitch and piece by piece, the Gone to Pieces Quilt Guild designed, measured and sewed quilts to present to Fort Leonard Wood service members, during its "Honor the Active" quilt show, Nov. 19 at the St. Robert Community Center.
Twenty active-duty service members were recognized, with some being nominated by the community and others recommended through their respective units.
"Each year we have a different theme for our quilt show," said Portia Ellis, who helped coordinate the event. "We thought it would be nice to honor active-duty service members this year."
With the theme in place, the guild issued a call for quilts to its 45 members last January.
"We spend the whole year preparing for this show," said Chris Pomeroy, Gone to Pieces Quilt Guild member. "Quilts may take weeks or several months, depending on the number of pieces used. All of the quilts are made on a voluntary basis, some by individuals and some as teams."
"We donate all of our quilts. You can't buy them," Pomeroy added.
In addition to service members, the guild donates its quilts to veterans, wounded warriors, Gold Star Families, the local women's shelter and the hospital maternity ward, or "if we just meet someone who is deserving," according to Pomeroy.
Each quilt is embroidered with the service member's name and unit.
Staff Sgt. Crisanta Jaggers, General Leonard Wood Army Community Hospital, was grateful to receive a quilt, because she knows she is likely to be assigned to another location in the future.
"This is going to be something I'll always have to remember Fort Leonard Wood," Jaggers said.
"I will either display it, or use it to keep me warm," she added.
Command Sgt. Maj. Tyson Goolsby, who recently transitioned out of his role as Fort Leonard Wood's Garrison command sergeant major, assisted the guild in making this year's quilt presentation a success.
After all of the quilts were distributed, the guild surprised Goolsby with a quilt in recognition of his service to Fort Leonard Wood and the community.
Goolsby, who is preparing to move on to Fort Hood, Texas, expressed his appreciation for the quilt guild's support of the military.
Following the presentation, each of the quilt makers had a chance to meet with their respective quilt recipient to talk about the theme and uniqueness of the quilts.
"From the first block to the last, these quilts are a labor of love," Ellis said.
The quilt guild meets on the fourth Monday of each month at the Waynesville Medical Plaza, and for more information, visit GoneToPiecesQG.blogspot.com, or email GTPQuiltGuild@gmail.com.