14 May, 2010
There are a wide variety of volunteer organizations that do great work on their sewing machines. We especially love it when that work is done primarily on Janome machines – it brings our company great pride to know that our machines are being ‘deployed’ for good. One such project is the Camo Quilt Project.
As you might imagine from the name, this is a group that makes quilts for soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan. This project was started by Linda Wieck. When her son-in-law Todd was called up for service in Iraq, he asked her to make him a small camouflage quilt with cotton batting to take with him on his deployment. Thus, the first of Camo Quilt was finished in April of 2006. By the time Todd’s unit left for Iraq in July of 2006, Linda had completed 48 more!
Word soon spread about Linda’s amazing work, and others started asking her how they could help. In April of 2007, Linda conducted a workshop on creating Camo Quilts at a local banquet hall. Eventually, with orders for Camo Quilts soaring, Linda joined forces with the Lutheran Womens Missionary League for a full staff of volunteers, as well as a facility for creating Camo Quilts. Over time, the cause gained even more momentum, and a second facility is now in operation in Milwaukee.
The quilts themselves are made out of the official camouflage fabric of the military, which makes it much tougher than the fabric most people are used to sewing. This fact, plus the fact that the machines are used 18 hours a week, meant that Linda had to make sure she found machines and a dealer she could count on. This led her straight to her local Janome dealer, Darryl Ottman at the Sewing Machine Shop in Sheboygan Falls. Using money donated to their cause, the Camo Quilt Project was able to purchase six 6600P’s and four 1600P machines. They also use four Magnolia 7318’s in their Milwaukee facility.
Janome America would like to thank Linda and her team of volunteers for their amazing work. For more information on this program, or to make a donation, visit their website: http://camoquiltproject.blogspot.com/
A Note from a Volunteer from the Camo Quilt Project:
Thank you so much for linking the Camo Quilt Project to the Janome website. I have been working with Linda since spring of 2008 and am the one who works with the Lutheran women’s group. Linda is right in saying that everyone LOVES the Janome machines. The machines with the built-in walking foot are the best. It has improved the quality of the finished quilt considerably. It also has cut the sewing time considerably. Having recognition on your site will help in spreading the word. I am sure that we will have people interested in supporting the project. The requests for quilts never ends. Just recently we were to the point where we could actually take quilts off the shelf and send them out as an order came in. Well, that lasted just about a week. Last Sat morning we had a phone call requesting 300 quilts and then another call came in the afternoon requesting 250 quilts! Good thing we have LOTS of volunteers and hopefully more contributions will come in as a result of being linked to the Janome website.
It amazes me on how much this project has grown. I remember that at the end of October 2008 we had distributed 850 quilts. Today we have sent more than 4,000 quilts to troops serving in Iraq and Afghanistan. My guess is that we are completing close to 400 quilts a month! That would not be possible without the many volunteers who come to sew and it wouldn’t be possible without the contributions sent in by individuals who want to support our troops. Besides the facility here in Plymouth WI, we now have a second facility in the Milwaukee area. Both of these facilities are donated for our use, including all the utilities! We also have at numerous workshops that are held on a regular basis (at least once a month) and these groups complete about 20-40 quilts a month for us. Like I said, it is AMAZING.
Again I thank you for the recognition you have given our project.
God bless all of you at Janome.