Soldier Kissing Pillows

Since 2007, Baldy View Chapter of the Embroiderers' Guild of America has participated in the Kissing Pillow project. Geraldine Trappey designed a small pillow for EGA Chapters to make for our military when they are being deployed and so being separated from their families.

Before leaving, most units have a good-bye gathering for the military members' families. We try to have the pillows available at that time. Each pillow is made of a hand-stitched top and a military-themed back. The pillows can be used by in one of two ways: each family member can kiss the pillow which can then go with the soldier to carry their precious kisses with him or her while away from home, or the soldier can kiss a pillow for each family member to leave a kiss for their spouse or child to hold while their loved one is away serving his or her country.

Our chapter is in constant search of the 14-count white aida and DMC floss colors 797, 321 and White needed to make the pillow tops. In 2012 we received a generous gift of floss from the DMC Corporation. Here we are giving them a big "Thank you." We've also received a gift of 20 pounds of polyester fiberfill from Fairfield.

Each pillow top takes about two hours to stitch. More time is needed to finished the top into a stuffed pillow.Each pillow is then bagged with this information:  "These hand-stitched little pillows are designed to be used as a keepsake for the children and loved ones left behind by the soldiers departing for service of the United States of America. The soldier should kiss the pillow and give one to each of his or her loved ones to hold onto until he or she returns from war. The backings are different so they can easily be identified by each family member. We hope the pillows will be a comfort during the lonely times for both the family and the soldier. They were lovingly stitched with gratitude for your service to our country by the Baldy View Chapter and sister chapters of the Embroidrers' Guild of America, Inc."

Several members have contributed a significant amount of time to this project. Pam R. spend six months stitching over 500 pillow tops. Helen I. and Denise M. are rarely seen without working on a pillow top. Georgette B. has finished the majority of our tops into pillows. Pat. C. has asked her friends around the world to contribute stitched tops, some coming from as far away as Scotland. Both Baldy View chapter members and needle workers from other groups contribute through stitching tops, sewing pillow and/or providing the necessary materials. We are happy to receive tops from anyone.

Our work so far:
DATE                     NUMBER                   DESTINATION
Oct 2007                       140                         Fort Irwin, CA
Nov 2008                      200                         Fort Irwin, CA
Aug 2009                    1,775                        Fort Lewis, WA
Sept 2009                      250                        Fort Irwin, CA
Sept 2009                      475                        Fort Lewis, WA
Jan 2010                          50                        USAF Squadron, UT
Apr 2010                       400                        Fort Irwin, CA
May 2010                      190                        Tops only to Arizona group
July 2010                       100                        Tops only to Arizona group
Sept 2010                      400                        Armored Unit, PA
Dec 2010                       350                        Tops only to Arizona group
Jan 2011                        400                         March Air Reserve Base, CA
Feb 2011                       300                         March Air Reserve Base, CA
Sept 2011                      400                         Fort Lewis, WA
Sept 2011                      150                         Tops only to Fort Lewis, WA
Mar 2012                      150                         Fort Lewis, WA
Mar 2012                      350                         Tops to Fort Lewis, WA
June 2012                      475                         Tops to Fort Lewis, WA