WHEELING, W.Va. (WTRF) – Sometimes thank you isn’t enough, especially when it comes to showing how grateful we are for our veterans.

For a group of women in the Ohio Valley they show their appreciation with their sewing machines. Ohio Valley Quilts of Valor is turning fabric into a works of art with meaning.

I always tell the guys when I give them to them a lot of hands touched this quilt. When quilters are quilting, we’re always thinking about who’s getting the quilt. 

Sue Olinski, Ohio Valley Quilts of Valor

As the scissors cut and the machines sew, veterans are on the minds of the women behind Ohio Valley Quilts of Valor.

We enjoy getting together. We enjoy sewing, but it’s nice to know that the finished project is appreciated.

Gail Willey, Ohio Valley Quilts of Valor

Ohio Valley Quilts of Valor started with a group of women who loved the craft, but the quilt guild quickly turned into community service. 

We had cut out quilts for different agencies, foster care, whatever and quilts of Valor was one of them. It was pretty much just getting started and a lot of the ladies took the patterns for Quilts of Valor. 

Sue Olinski, Ohio Valley Quilts of Valor

Just like that a hobby became a mission to gift as many veterans as possible with a handmade show of gratitude. 

That’s how the group started they wanted to do something that was kind of like another civilian award for the veterans, but it’s awesome to talk to the guys. It’s great.

Sue Olinski, Ohio Valley Quilts of Valor

The group works in different areas across the Ohio Valley all thanks to donations. There’s a group that works in Wellsburg, Wheeling and St. Clairsville.

Each quilt starts with some who cut the fabric to the precise shapes. 

We put them in bags with a pattern and then the ladies in the different groups get theirs and they they sew them up.

Sue Olinski, Ohio Valley Quilts of Valor

Then others get together to assemble the designs. 

Everybody kind of picks what they’d like to work on and we just sit and sew. We socialize a lot. 

Gail Willey, Ohio Valley Quilts of Valor

Once the quilts are assembled, they’re taken to a quilter for the finishing touches and then they’re personally presented to veterans across the Ohio Valley.

It’s just so rewarding to do that for them.

Sue Olinski, Ohio Valley Quilts of Valor

It’s a moment that brings great joy to those who make the quilts and those who receive them.

We try to encourage the fellas use the quilts. They’re not to take them up and fold them up and keep them safe. We want them to use them.

Gail Willey, Ohio Valley Quilts of Valor

Quilts of Valor is actually a national organization with around 3,000 members. 

If you’d like to learn more about the local group, request a piece for a veteran, or even donate to the cause, look up Ohio Valley Quilts of Valor on Facebook.