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Quilts are labor of love for fallen soldiers’ kin

CULLMAN (AP) — About 200 to 300 quilters from several Alabama counties are making quilts for relatives of soldiers killed in Iraq and Afghanistan as part of the nationwide Home of the Brave Quilt Project.

“It’s a symbol of love and comfort and caring. ... It says I love you,” said Karen Ory, secretary for the Nimble Thimble Quilters, one of two Cullman groups involved.

Jo Reid, state coordinator for the Home of the Brave Quilt Project, said Don Beld, a California quilter and historian, started it after the war began.

Reid said it has spread to 46 states, with Cullman, Blount, Marshall, Madison and Autauga among those in Alabama taking part.

She has a list of 66 soldiers who have died and listed Alabama as their home state of record. So far, Reid said, 35 quilts have been made and delivered to Alabama families.

Sometimes more than one quilt will be made for a family, such as for the wife and mother of a slain soldier, but most of them have gone to parents because many of the soldiers were young and unmarried.

Reid said the pattern, material and designs are modeled after 250,000 quilts made by mothers and other relatives that the U.S. Sanitary Commission gave to Yankee soldiers during the Civil War.

Copyright 2005 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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