Longarm Quilting and Embroidery
Elaine and I currently call Virginia Beach, VA home. And we currently refer to home as Studio 708. It all started when my best friend and lovely wife, one in the same, ask me to go to the quilt show...she was in the market for a longarm machine. As it turned out the longarm machine was a power tool attached to a computer tablet with PantoVision (a pantograph software system)...the rest is history. She does get to use it...I golf and ride a motorcycle...so I'm not always in Studio 708.
The Mission of the Quilts of Valor Foundation is to cover active service members and veterans touched by war with comforting and healing Quilts of Valor.
Not Forgotten QOV is dedicated to aid in that mission with the commitment and sincerity of those we recognize with this Award. We will forever be grateful for their service and sacrifices to this country and the freedoms they stood and stand watch over.
We operate a hand guided Innova Longarm for our quilting needs. We have been longarming quilts since 2012. We spent a year researching and testing a plethora of longarms. The selection of Innova came after much consideration due to the financial investment that was being made. Two main reasons Innova was the choice. A computer tablet delivered a "pantograph" system, which moved the operator to the front of the machine and very limited maintenance. Many of the other machines required daily oiling and maintenance...above the quilt. It just seemed, oil daily, the chance of damaging a quilt was greater. The computer tablet pattern system provided a much more ergonomically correct positioning for the operator.
With RARE EXCEPTION we are able to have your quilt back to you in
SEVEN BUSINESS DAYS or less. AVOID THE LONG DELAYS.
Contact Les for questions or scheduling via email... email@example.com
Open Letter…Follow-up 01/24/2020
Several weeks have passed since I posted (my response to the Board of Directors approved 2020 Budget that was presented to the membership via an email from the salaried Executive Director. I emphasize salaried since it is misleading to anyone that visits the qovf.org website. If one reviews the posted Policies and Procedure’s you will find the following content:
“The Foundation’s leadership consists of its Board of Directors, its Executive Staff, and its State Coordinators, who are all unpaid volunteers. The Foundation expects its leadership staff, member group leaders, and members to adhere to the standards and policies described in this manual.”
There are several positions on Executive Staff that are salaried. In 2016 the reported figure was a shade under $1500. By the end of 2017 that had climbed to over $15,000 and at the end of 2018 to over $109,000. The Executive Director’s position has been budgeted for 2020 a 33% increase in salary. One can assume the final figures for salaries, other compensation, and employee benefits will rise above the $109,000 numbers for 2019 and most certainly for the year 2020. To convince me that the increase to the membership is to only cover Group operational costs would take a team of CPA’s from PricewaterhouseCoopers LLC.
But that is not the good news. There has been some reevaluation of the proposed budget. The Board has approved the new Group Business Fees be allowed to be withdrawn as an approved expense from a Groups Trust. Previously the Groups Fees were out of one’s personal pocket. The increase for one that chooses to be a National Member associated with a group has been reduced from $15 to $10. A reasonable increase as the Foundations Operational costs for a group could have easily increased along with just about everything else in existence since 2014. How much is yet to be determined. Considering the many Chapters of Project Linus pay $100 a year for operational costs…QOVF is still a bargain.
The very good news. Through the efforts of a very dedicated and committed group of volunteers who spend countless hours helping with our fundraising functions annually, Not Forgotten QOV has sufficient assets and will be able to utilize the offering from National to pay our Group Business Fee from our Group’s Trust. We are reminded daily who really makes the Foundation a success, understands and thrives to accomplish the Mission, and without pause continue providing the symbol known to our service members and veteran recipients as a Quilt of Valor, the Volunteers. Without them the Mission would be a failure, Catherine’s vision but a passing thought and Not Forgotten QOV but a title.
We thank you for your support and kind words and responses as we trekked through these muddy waters.
No really, the latest from QOVF Leadership indicates that the Group Fees will increase from $30 to $75 (150%) and that a Group Members Annual Fee will increase from $5 to $15. Which translates to a 2 Member Group Fee increasing 162.5%. Meaning, an individual Group Member will sustain a 200% increase in their dues. As explained; to cover the increase in operation of the Foundation.
With the Cost of Living Adjustment for 2020 being 2.8%, the Social Security Bump being only 1.6%, or 1.2% below the rise in the Cost of Living and for those still paying SS tax, an increase of 3.6%, an increase for many of nearly $300 more per year in SS Taxes. It’s hard for me to believe the operating costs of the Quilts of Valor Foundation can justify an increase of 10% not to mention at least 150%.
In 2017, to keep it simple:
QOVF Total Assets at the beginning of the year totaled $361,618.
End of Year, $533,916.
Total 2017 Liabilities at the End of Year were $10,573.
Total Revenue was $830,492
Total Expenses were $659,321 or
Revenue less expenses of $171,165.
End of Year Assets were reported as $524,057.
Am I off base in assuming QOVF is solvent?
2018, to keep it even simpler:
Total Assets End of Year $693,465
Total Liabilities $11,483
Reporting End of Year Assets at $681,982
It was interesting to see the Salaries, other compensation and employee benefits increase from 2017, $15,041 to $109,444 in 2018.
More interesting though is that Revenue from dues between 2017 and 2018 increased by 1.53%. Contributions, gifts and grants increased by 7.65% and Total Revenue from 2017 to 2018 increased by 5.5%.
So in an effort for me to understand the need for an increase of 150% per Group, 162.5% for a 2 person Group to continue to function and a 200% increase for a Group Member to maintain their Volunteer Member Status would someone from leadership please indicate the percentage of increase for each of the following categories stipulated by the current Executive Director in her e-mail that has created the need to seek even more from those that contribute the most. The Volunteer Members, now over 11,000.
“*There are costs to conduct business, even non-profit business. We support groups and do not bill each group for their portion of the cost for the following:” Tammany McDaniel, Executive Director
Please note…the stipulation was made that the following categories as listed by The Executive Director is what justified the need to develop a membership base to offset these costs and make it possible for Groups to maintain the total of their funds raised to purchase authorized goods and supplies to craft QOV’s. What exactly did the $81,121 from dues cover last year? Have those expenses increased by at least 150% since 2014? Personally I don’t think so.
-The permission to raise funds in our name
-General liability for meetings and events
-Trademark/Registered Marks use
-Banking and accounting is paid for at the national level with no flow-down of group itemized costs
-Wholesale products for your fundraising
-Fundraising organization and (increasing) support
-IRS and state audits
-Annual federal and state non-profit filings
-Where required, a 501(c)(3) in each state
-Where required a license to solicit funds in each state
-Software and system databases
-Leadership Training and Support (increasing).
At the same time can someone answer.
Who is seeking out celebrity endorsements?
Who is writing Grant Proposals?
Has someone in leadership even sought out someone to write proposals?
Who is actively seeking Corporate Sponsorship? (Not to be confused with Partnerships.)
Who is actively seeking volunteer and membership relations with industry to pass on material and supply discounts and benefits of quilting products?
Is it time for the Quills of Valor Foundation to adopt a democratic system with membership voting rights?
Les Page #9029
Volunteer Member since 2014
Volunteer Since 2009
Volunteer Member Longarmer since 2012
Former State Coordinator and Executive Staff Member
…and one very confused and frustrated individual concerned about those that have yet to receive a Quilt of Valor and how this type, of yet to be justified increase, will affect the future of our Mission and the future of the Quilts of Valor Foundation and it’s membership base.
We use a Brother Entrepreneur Pro 1050X for our embroidery needs. Whether quilt labels or a special request for a shirt, bag, hat or other need, The Brother handles them all.
QOVF® originated from a vision of a mother with a son serving in Harm's Way in Iraq. From her vision of a post deployed warrior being wrapped in a quilt to comfort him the Quilts of Valor Foundation formed in November 2003. For information go to www.qovf.org.
Annually We Quilt/Not Forgotten QOV participates in events by setting up Visitor Booths. We award QOV's, collect donations, sell Raffle Tickets for one of a kind quilts at the annual Spring and Christmas Craft Markets in Virginia Beach and at the Mancuso Mid Atlantic Quilt Festival in Hampton, VA every February. Check our calendar for where we will be next.
QOV Sew Day is the 3rd Friday from 10:00AM to 2:00PM at A Different Touch...1107 S. Military Hwy. Chesapeake, VA (757) 366-8830. For further information contact Elaine at
or thru the websites "Contact Us" link at firstname.lastname@example.org
Normally there is no Sew Day in December. Elaine makes every effort to keep you posted via email. We would love to have you join us.
"My Way" Longarm Video Series. Introduction
Loading a quilt back.
Loading the batting.
My Way Tools and Techniques
Loading (Floating) a quilt top.
Upcoming Events & QOV Sew Days
Quilt preparation is the first step for getting the best longarm quilting possible.
We operate a hand guided longarm using edge to edge patterns. We enjoy working closely with the quilter to optimize their desires regarding the finished product. Custom work is accepted after a one on one consultation.
Square Quilt and Backing: Your quilt needs to be square (same width top & bottom/same length left and right side) to load on the frame correctly, otherwise it will load at an angle on the frame or flare in the middle or flare at the top or bottom causing waviness. Note: Very often there is a slight difference…¼ to ¾” variance…this is no problem. So, please square your blocks in your top and measure your quilt at the top, bottom and middle – get an average measurement and cut your borders to fit your quilt based on that average. This helps in preventing wavy borders.
If you are piecing your backing, please square your blocks as you piece to keep the seams as straight as possible without puckers. If there are any squaring issues we will contact you so they can be corrected. Backing seams should run horizontally (left to right) This eliminates puckering as the quilt is being advanced on the frame. A thick vertical seam can easily cause issues as the quilt is advanced in the longarming process. Remember…when it is all said and done…the back is 50% of the quilt you have spent hours making. Don’t short change your efforts by cutting corners on the backing. The back should have four, evenly trimmed edges. We would never recommend ‘muslin’. If that is your choice we will complete your quilt as you request.
If you are not putting a border on your top, stitch the perimeter of the quilt as close to the edge as possible to eliminate seam separation when tension is applied when loaded on the longarm frame.
Extra Backing and Batting: To fit your quilt on the frame we need an extra 8” – 10” (10” preferred) of backing. This means 4” – 5” extra of backing all the way around the quilt. If you provide batting it should be 6” wider and at least 10” longer than the pieced top. Currently we charge $5.00 a yard for 80/20. We carry Hobbs or Cozy Cotton from Marshall Dry Goods. We will use whatever you supply.
Pressing the Fabrics: Please press all the fabrics of the quilt top and backing. Press the quilt top so that all the seams lay as flat as possible and press the backing fabric so that there are no deep creases (especially in batik fabrics.) Backing seams should be ½” and pressed open. When pressing the borders, it is good to press the border’s seams open when possible. Before loading we press out creases due to hanging/folding at no charge.
Trim Threads: Cut loose threads on the pieced top, they can catch on the hopping foot of the longarm. Cut loose threads on the back of the top as well as threads can get lodged between your quilt sandwich and show through backing and/or the top.
Batting: There are many kinds of batting available. If you are doing a quilt with very dark fabrics you might want to consider black batting. Please use quality batting, craft batting will not hold up as well.
● If your backing or top is directional, please mark it clearly or mention it during the intake process. Let us know any specifics about your top and back.
● Any quilting issues such as puckering, weak seams/holes, wavy borders, pleats etc. will NOT go away with the quilting, they may be exaggerated. We will do our very best to work with the issues to minimize them in the end product.
● In most instances, we can say we have been able to determine difficulties that may be encountered during the longarming process before the first stitch is applied. In those cases you will be contacted so we can determine how you want to handle the situation. On occasion the problems may be encountered during the process. Again, we will contact you to work out what would be the best outcome for your quilt.
It is our goal, when finished, to compliment your quilt. We will do everything possible to attain that goal. The first step is working with you during the intake process to meet the needs and desires you envisioned.
I'm sure if you had the time you could count the number of manufacturer's of longarm quilting machines. We think we tested them all at one quilt show or another. But when the decision was made that our investment would be in the Innova System someone smiled upon us. Our dealer, Virginia Longarm, had just swithced from another well known manufactuer to the ABM International product. Since our purchase Virginia Longarm has opened a showroom in South Carolina and has become known as The Longarm Network. While we are certain there is a kaleidoscopic range of dealers from coast to coast we feel that Virginia Longarm and TLN sets the bar when it comes to customer satisfaction and administering the equipment needs in the longarm quilting community. If you are in the market for a longarm to add to your inventory of quilting tools check out their showrooms.