Lura Johnson Campbell stitches quilts with lovePublished 1:34pm Monday, June 4, 2012
By PHOEBE DONALD ROBINSON / Community Columnist
Lura Johnson Campbell comes from a long line of seamstresses. One of her family’s prized heirlooms is the “Crazy Quilt” stitched by her great-great grandmother.
Her mother Caroline made all of her clothes and Campbell learned the skill at her knee. Campbell made her first skirt in the third grade and was creating all her clothes by high school.
Traveling during her working years, Campbell learned a new craft, quilting. The small squares were easy to work with and small to carry. The hobby began to grow with her purchase of her long arm Gammil, a quilting machine with a 15-and-a-half foot table and 30-inch throat, which is not computer driven but allows her to quilt free-handed.
Campbell’s quilting exploded with her retirement. With more time, Campbell began to quilt for others, especially for the Quilts of Valor Foundation, whose mission is “to cover all those service members and veterans touched by war with wartime quilts called Quilts of Valor (QOVs). This Foundation is not about politics. It is about people.”
Campbell knew first-hand the life of growing up in a military family for her late father was career Army and served in the Vietnam War. Currently, she is helping the QOV project to provide a quilt for every veteran who will reside at the new, 200-bed Col. Robert L. Howard State Veterans Home in Pell City opening in July 2012.
Campbell also makes memory quilts for those who have lost loved ones, T-shirt quilts for children, and other quilts which have special meanings.
One such project was of a mother of a son with Cerebral Palsy, who had a quilt made of her son’s baby clothes for her great niece’s first baby. Another quilt was made for the children of a soldier deployed to Afghanistan of material of their father’s clothes to comfort them while he was away.
The projects are endless. The quilts are stitched with love.
To see Campbell’s work (email@example.com) and other quilters, come to the 11th Quilt Symposium of Alabama at Bumpus Middle School, 6055 Fleming Road, Hoover, on June 7-9, QSAI.org.
Phoebe Donald Robinson can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.