Burien Women Honoring the Deployed by Creating Amazing ‘Quilts of Valor’


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[EDITOR’S NOTE: The quilts in this story are NOT the ones that are on display at the Burien Community Center, which ends today (read about those here).]

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by Davy Desmond

What’s in a quilt? 

Blocks, color, batting, thread, time and cutting?

You got that right!!

But for a group of women in Burien – including Marj Woody and Lisa Nyreen – these ingredients mean something very unique. To these ladies, a quilt is a gift, blessing and a very special homecoming gift for men and women who serve our country. A quilt is a gift to Americans who have been deployed and dedicated their lives to service. This group would tell you a quilt is more than meets-the-eye.

‘Quilts Of Valor’ is a non-profit organization that makes quilts for the wounded and/or deployed soldiers.

“The mission of the ‘Quilts of Valor’ foundation is to cover all combat service members and veterans touched by war with comforting and healing.  It’s ‘Quilts of Valor.’

On a monthly basis, eight individuals meet to create quilts for these men and women. They meet at ‘AAA Vacuum and Sewing’ (located on 1st Ave South, a mile from Fred Meyer). The quilts are made from 100% cotton material and are 55” to 72” wide and 65” to 90” long.  Each quilt is quilted with the individual’s name and/or permanent ink.

These ladies work countless hours on these projects — the quilts don’t come into the world overnight — rather, each takes approximately 40 hours of labor with great attention to detail. As I interviewed Marj, (who’s been sewing 18 years and counting, by the way), I asked her about the most heartwarming story she’s experienced:

“I was honored to give a quilt to a soldier, his wife and their three kids once,” Marj told me. “He had been deployed to Afghanistan when his twin daughters were only 2 weeks old. He missed out on the first 9 months of their lives.Receiving such a beautiful gift, a home-coming gift from people who sweated and worked hard to make this masterpiece is always gratefully accepted.”

The Burien club of ‘Quilts of Valor’ is determined to give back to our country. Our citizens make each one as a gift of love and appreciation with the goal of ‘helping take care of our own.’

Marj and Lisa are currently looking for donations. If you like to sew or are interested in helping these soldiers, please email Marj or Lisa. Also please make sure your email title is ‘Quilts of Valor.’ If you have fabric or other materials you’d like to donate, such as batting, black and blue patches, etc., drop them off at:

AAA Vacuum and Sewing
10859 1st Ave South
Seattle, WA 98168

Make sure to specify you are donating for Marj and Lisa/‘Quilts of Valor.’

In July at the state capital in Olympia there will be quilts of Valor quilts on display. The Burien branch also submitted their quilt to be put up there the whole month of July.

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