Smoky Mountain Quilters Guild

of Western North Carolina

In the News

Please see our Facebook page for current information:  Smoky Mountain Quilters Guild on Facebook

December 14, 2017 – Quilts of Valor awarded to several Jackson County Sheriff Deputies.

We were honored to be invited to the Jackson County Sheriff Deputies Christmas Party in Sylva. Several deputies who had served in the Army, Navy, Marines and Air Force were awarded a Quilt of Valor. One deputy has been deployed so his quilt was accepted by his wife. We enjoyed our evening with their staff and families.



Two of the Jackson County Sheriff deputies were on duty and not able to attend the Christmas party on the 14th.  Both had been deployed overseas during their military service.  Thanks to Celeste for making the arrangements to award them a quilt later in December.


October 15, 2017 – Quilt of Valor awarded to Retired Army Nurse

This past weekend Maggie Schmidt awarded a Quilt of Valor to her friend Kim Havas during a ceremony at First Methodist Church. Kim served as an Army nurse for 22 years both stateside and overseas. Thank you, Kim, for your service to our country. Thank you, Maggie, for making and quilting “Stars All Around.”  Carlie Nichols.

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October 6, 2017  – Quilts of Valor awarded in Cherokee

On Friday, October 6, we had the honor of awarding Quilts of Valor to 18 veterans in Cherokee. This occurred during a ceremony thanking veterans for their service and was part of a day long tribute to them. Our deepest appreciation to the American Legion Post 143 for their on going support and very generous donation to our effort to honor service members and veterans touched by war. Thanks to Maggie Schmidt for taking pictures and Judy Bentley, Barbara Jakiela, Susan Roper, Nancy Shay, and Pat Warren for assisting. Carlie Nichols.

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September 27, 2017  – Quilts of Valor awarded

We awarded Quilts of Valor to 4 veterans after our Wednesday Workshop. One was a WWII veteran. Thanks to Susan Skuda for taking pictures of the ceremony. Carlie Nichols.


 September 23, 2017  – Quilts of Valor awarded at Macon County Library.

On Saturday, Sept. 23, at the Macon County Library, we awarded Quilts of Valor to 9 veterans. Thanks to Max H. for connecting us with most of them. We were also able to award 2 of them to requests we have received from the QOVF website. Thanks also to our members Maryann Bastura, Judy Bentley, Brianda Carawan and Linda Kocur for their assistance in the ceremony. It was the largest attended program we have had so far in that facility.   Carlie Nichols


September 3, 2017  – Quilt of Valor awarded.

QOV 0817During Sunday School at First United Methodist Church in Franklin, Cliff J. was awarded a Quilt of Valor. With him are his sister Diane F. who nominated him and his wife Sandy. Thanks to Maggie Schmidt for making the award and to Nancilee Dills for making the quilt “American Heritage.”

August 14, 2017 – Guild Tablecloth Finished!

Guild Tablecloth

 April 22, 2017 Greening Up the Mountain Festival, Sylva, North Carolina

Our guild members demonstrated hand quilting and encouraged festival attendees to learn how to hand quilt, or practice a skill learned long ago.














We also displayed our 2017 Opportunity Quilt and sold many tickets!

OpportunityQuilt 2017




March 28, 2017 – Quilts of Valor awarded to Warrior Hikers.

We had a wonderful time at the Franklin NC American Legion when we awarded QOVs to ten Warrior Hikers. Check out the article beginning on the front page of The Macon County News. Appreciate the help from Terry Barr, Linda Kocur, Kim Leister, and Maggie Schmidt. Carlie Nichols.…/


January 2017 – Chamber of Commerce selects our Quilts of Valor Bee as the 2016 Club of the Year


“We are very honored that Mr. [Gary] Shields nominated our Quilts of Valor Bee for the Club of the Year award,” said Nancilee Dills, president of the Smoky Mountain Quilters Guild. “About a third of our Smoky Mountain Quilters Guild members participates in the Quilts of Valor Bee. This past year alone, we have awarded 98 quilts to service men and women. Since the beginning of this group in 2008, we have awarded 757 Quilts of Valor, including our entire local National Guard Unit when they returned from Afghanistan several years ago. Carlie Nichols is the chairman of this Bee, and has done an outstanding job keeping all this organized. Each quilt has a handmade label with the recipient’s name written on it and its own presentation case, and each recipient receives a hand-written thank you letter for their service to their country.”

While the Quilts of Valor Bee were specifically recognized on Tuesday night, the Smoky Mountain Quilters Guild has also given approximately 400 quilts a year (for at least the last 10 years) to Angel hospital and Macon Program for Progress’ Head Start. The have also donated StoryBook quilts (books that have matching quilts) to Macon County Elementary Schools, Fontana Library System, and to Head Start. The group participates in all the local festivals and are available to talk to school groups and others about quilting and about Quilts of Valor.


January 20-22, 2017  Quilts of Valor Retreat in Toccoa, Georgia

QOV 2017 Retreat

We had a wonderful time at the Region 8 retreat in Toccoa this past weekend learning new techniques and seeing lots of new patterns.

We’ll have applications for next year at the meeting in February.

 November 14, 2016  Quilt of Valor awarded to one of our own…

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We had the honor of awarding a Quilt of Valor to guild member Kerri S. during our meeting today. She recently retired from the Navy following an impressive 23 year career. We are always surprised by the heroes among us.






 November 11, 2016  – 6 Quilts of Valor awarded during Franklin Veterans Day ceremonies

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We awarded 6 Quilts of Valor to veterans during the Franklin Veterans Day program.  They were very appreciative of our efforts to honor our veterans.  As is usually the case, we received additional nominations. Thanks to Linda Harrison and Linda Tyler for taking pictures.






October 2016  – 12 Quilts of Valor awarded during Cherokee Fair

QOV Oct 2016

We were invited to award Quilts of Valor to veterans at the Cherokee fair during their day devoted to veterans.  Following our speech, we awarded Quilts of Valor to 12 veterans.  The Steve Youngdeer American Legion Post presented us with a check to help us continue our effort to honor veterans with comforting, healing Quilts of Valor.







October 22, 2016 – Quilt of Valor Awarded to Army Veteran


During Pumpkin Fest, Doug M. was awarded a Quilt of Valor.  Thanks to all who participated in awarding this quilt to another American Hero.  Thanks to Maggie Schmidt for nominating him and taking the picture.








August 1, 2016 – Quilts of Valor Awarded to West Virginia veterans

On August 1,  14 Quilts of Valor were awarded to veterans at the Louis A. Johnson VA Medical Center in Clarksburg, WV.   Our Thanks to Susan Roper for traveling to Clarksburg, WV to deliver and award these very special Quilts of Valor for these veterans.  This letter was sent to Susan to thank her:

Thank you again for traveling to Clarksburg, WV and attending the very special Quilts of Valor Ceremony yesterday.  Attached is the photo you requested.  Please keep us in mind next year and for your future donations to our female veterans.
We truly appreciate your organizations support to our Veterans.
Cynthia Panasiewicz
Voluntary Service and Recreation Therapy Chief
Louis A. Johnson VA Medical Center

quilt 2016

July 3, 2016 – Quilts of Valor Awarded to Cowee veterans

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On Sunday, July 3, we awarded seven Quilts of Valor to members of Cowee Baptist Church during their service honoring our military. Thanks to Robbie Robison and Terry Barr for organizing the awarding and assisting.








 June 29, 2016 – Quilt of Valor Awarded to Army veteran

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What an honor it was to award a Quilt of Valor to Vietnam veteran Tinker P. during our workshop in Sylva.

He shared with us his experiences of serving in the Army during that era. He was thrilled to receive his quilt.




 May 25, 2016 – Quilts of Valor Anniversary Luncheon

QOV Luncheon 2016

We celebrated our 8th year of making Quilts of Valor with a luncheon on Wednesday.  We have awarded 677 quilts to veterans and service members touched by war.  During our time together we shared stories of family members who are either currently serving or have served our country.  Thanks to everyone who decorated, set up the room and brought food and drinks.



May 11-12, 2016 – Quilting Programs for Macon Fourth Graders

Quilting Program Library
Quilting Program Cartoogechaye

Guild member Karen Burney presented a brief history of quilting in the United States at the Cartoogechaye School and Macon County Library. Four fourth grade classes sat on quilts Karen brought and listened to her read a book or two, a PowerPoint for the blocks mentioned, feed sack quilts, miniature doll bed quilts, a memory quilt, and a quilted bag. The children took home a blank nine-patch grid to create their own blocks after looking at the 10 blocks Karen displayed.





May 7, 2016 – Quilt of Valor Awarded to Navy veteran

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It was our honor to award a Quilt of Valor to Norm F. during the patriotic concert by the Brasstown Ringers at First United Methodist Church in Franklin, NC.

He served for 30 years in the Navy and has been all around the world.  A special thanks to Dianne Schickedantz for making the connection and arrangements for this special evening.




 April 3, 2016 – Quilt of Valor Awarded to 93 year old veteran

WWII veteran honored by his niece with a Quilt of Valor


April 2, 2016 – Quilts of Valor Award Ceremony

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It was our honor to award this years Warrior Hikers a Quilt of Valor April 2 at the American Legion hall in Franklin.

They were so appreciative of our effort to honor them and all veterans.

Thanks to our American Legion and VFW for covering the shipping.




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March 5, 2016 – Quilts of Valor Award Ceremony

On Saturday, March 5th, we had the pleasure of awarding Quilts of Valor to a father and son, Curt H. and Rusty H.  Both served over 20 years in the Army and retired as Lt. Col. having served in Vietnam and Iraq.  Thanks to Maryann Bastura, Norma Christopher and Linda Kocur for assisting.  This was definitely a first for us.  Quilts awarded were:  “Star Spangled Salute” by Susan Skuda and “Star of Valor” by Lisa Towe and Kathy Cochrane.  They were so very appreciative and wanted everyone who participates in making the quilts to know how appreciative they were.





October 6, 2015 – Storybook quilts

Sarah Sanford read to Frances Seay’s kindergarten class, at South Macon Elementary. The kids really enjoyed the stories and quilts.
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Thanks so much to Sarah for helping to keep this project going.








At our September 14th guild meeting, Carlie Nichols was presented with a letter from Quilts of Valor Foundation for her seven years of outstanding service.

QOV letter to Carlie Nichols

Carlie presented QOV letter



Link to recent news article about our guild members’ Quilts of Valor contributions:  Macon County News August 2015

From the Paducah Sun, August 2015:


Quilts of Valor exhibit honors veterans


Never has National Quilt Museum Curator of Collections Judy Schwender had to place a box of tissues in one of the museum’s
At least not until last week, when the exhibit “To Honor and Comfort: Quilts of Valor” opened.
The exhibit showcases a variety of quilts, but the fabric creations represent far more than the patterns they display. Each
piece comes with a story, ranging from accounts of those who have lost loved ones to war, to others who were wanting to do
something meaningful to benefit veterans.
The Quilts of Valor Foundation is a national organization that over 12 years has gathered quilts and awarded them to veterans
and those currently serving in the military. It was started in 2003 by a woman named Catherine Roberts, who began the Quilts
of Valor Foundation when her son was deployed to Iraq. While he was overseas, she had a vision of him being comforted after
his deployment ended by being wrapped in a quilt.
Since then, the organization has grown and it has awarded more than 100,000 quilts to service members and veterans.
“This is one of those programs where they truly found a need and it has grown faster than anyone thought it would,” said Frank
Bennett, National Quilt Museum CEO.
The opening at the museum this month marks the organization’s first exhibit.
“They’ve never had an exhibit before,” said museum docent Robert Worden of Paducah. “They’ve been giving away quilts since
2003, but this is the first. It’s as big for them as it is for us.”
“I think the exhibit is fantastic, it’s just beautiful,” Worden added. “It’s very emotional. It’s very uplifting.”
The exhibit of 34 pieces opened on Aug. 20 with a special reception at the museum, during which the Quilts of Valor organization
awarded quilts to veterans. One of those honorees was Worden.
Worden, a Vietnam veteran whose father served in World War II and grandfather served in World War I, has been a docent at
the museum about seven years. While he’s seen many quilts pass through the museum’s halls during that time, this exhibit holds
personal significance to him.
“I was awarded a quilt. It’s a very emotional thing. Even though you think you’re prepared for it, when they drape that quilt
on your shoulders, you know that somebody cares,” he said.
Worden didn’t learn until he was awarded the quilt who created it: Marianne Fons, a nationally known quilter.
The quilts’ creators vary in experience and inspiration. One piece, “Trip Around the World,” was made by a middle school student
with the help of a school teacher in Utica, New York. Another piece, “Al’s String Quilt,” was created by a World War II veteran
named Al Lind, a Nebraska native who was a prisoner of war and later awarded a Purple Heart.
Lind picked up quilting after he learned about Quilts of Valor. When he died at age 92 in 2010, he left about 150 quilt tops
behind. The quilt that hangs at the museum today was completed after his death.
While the biographies of the quilters in the exhibit are as diverse as the quilts themselves, there’s a common thread that
ties the gallery full of red, white and blue together. Each of the quilts will at some point be wrapped around the shoulders
of someone who has been “touched by war.”
The exhibit will be on display through Veterans Day, when the museum plans to host a reception in conjunction with the Quilts
of Valor Foundation. Each of the quilts in the exhibit will be awarded to a veteran from the region.
“When they take each one of these down, it’s going to be … moving experiences,” Worden said. “It’s going to be a lot of

Storybook Quilts presented to Macon Head Start program

HeadStart Picture

Smoky Mountain Quilters Guild recently presented 15 Storybook Quilts to Macon Program for Progress for their literacy program. Each Storybook Quilt bag contains a children’s book with a story about a quilt and a matching small quilt. Patti Huettig of Smoky Mountain Quilters is shown on the right presenting the books and quilts to Suzie McCoy of Head Start.