United States

Meet RSM Pursue Your Passion Winner: Lucrecia Gray

ARTICLE

Manager | San Antonio, TX

As a military spouse, our home has always had a deep respect and appreciation for the men and women protecting our country, especially as they return home from war. I recently taught myself to quilt, making more than 15 quilts in the last three years. Since my home now has more quilts than we have cold days in the year, I have a deep desire to start sharing the things I have learned and using those skills to give back to the community. I would like to collaborate with the Quilts of Valor Foundation to produce 15 to 20 full-size quilts to be awarded to our United States service members, both young and retired. Quilts of Valor has collected and awarded over 180,000 quilts since 2003, and continues to receive requests for quilts on a daily basis. The mission of Quilts of Valor is to cover service members and veterans touched by war with comforting and healing quilts. Their core values of treating people with respect, promoting excellence, valuing service over self and being accountable align strongly with the values here at RSM.  

In the few years that I’ve been immersed in this craft, it’s become clear that it is a dying art. A large part of our younger generations don’t take the time to learn many handcrafts, and very few people appreciate the time and expense that go into the average quilt. A full-size quilt will cost on average $300 in materials and take at least 40 hours of work by the quilter. I would like to offer classes to youth, through scouting and 4H clubs, to teach our leaders of tomorrow valuable sewing skills as well as the joy of giving back to our community through donating our time and skills.

Quilting can be a very isolating activity and requires a certain amount of space for machines, cutting boards and ironing boards. Therefore, I would like to bring experienced quilters together for group quilting sessions to reach the goal of 20 quilts, and spread the word about the wonderful Quilts of Valor program. My ultimate long-term goal would be to create a group of quilters and sewers that comes together annually to make items beyond quilts for different groups in need. To do these things, I would use part of the budget to secure locations that would allow for many people at one time to set up sewing machines as well as have the ability to teach new skills. The remainder of the budget would be spent on supplies for creating and teaching - including fabric, batting and thread and the additional equipment needed such as cutting mats and rotary cutters, fabric scissors, two small beginner sewing machines and patterns.