• Last modified 725 days ago (July 27, 2017)


Quilt takes 40 years

But couple finally gets it

Staff writer

A quilt that Joyce Kyle started 40 years ago and was finished this spring with the help of friends has sold for $7,000 at a benefit auction in Ft. Worth, Texas.

The auction, named in honor of her “American Sniper” grandson, Chris Kyle, benefits other veterans.

Chris was a Navy SEAL from 1999 to 2009 and died on a Texas shooting range in 2013 while trying to help a fellow veteran.

The quilt started out as a gift for Chris’s parents, Joyce’s son Wayne and his wife, Deby. They finally received it this year when the purchaser gave it to them after the auction.

Wayne and Deby Kyle had been married six years in 1976 when Joyce Kyle decided to make a quilt for them. She ordered a pattern that included a square for each of the 50 states.

Embroidering 50 squares appeared to be a daunting task, but she got to work.

“After a while, I got fed up with it,” she said. “I quit after I finished 35 or 40 squares. I put them away in a box.”

Years later, she came upon the box and realized that not many squares were left to embroider. She finished the squares, purchased batting and backing, but once again ran out of steam to complete the project. She didn’t put the quilt together.

Last year, when Wayne suggested she should make something to sell at the 2017 Chris Kyle Memorial Benefit in May, she wondered what she could do.

One day while quilting with friends at Burns, she told them about the quilt squares she had.

“That’s what you can do for the auction,” Dorene Kirkpatrick told her. “I will help you. We can do this.”

She, Joyce, Sandy Heyman, Charlotte Brosius, Beverly Morgan, and Patty Gaines worked to stitch the quilt.

When it was done, someone asked her what she would like it to bring. She said $500.

Joyce’s nephew Bob, found cheap airline tickets to Fort Worth, and he, Charlotte, and Joyce flew down to Texas for the auction.

When she showed the quilt to Wayne and Deby, she said, “You didn’t get it when you were supposed to. Now, you’ll have to buy it.”

She was astonished when the quilt sold for $7,000.

“The bids kept getting higher and higher, and I kept shaking my head and saying, ‘No! No! No!’” she said. “Maybe being Chris’s grandma helped a bit. I was so glad. It really did look good.”

When the buyer, a man from Kentucky, gave the quilt to Wayne and Deby, Joyce told them, “Well, I guess you didn’t have to buy it after all.”

The Chris Kyle Memorial Benefit is a yearly event started in 2014.

Proceeds go to various charitable organizations that serve veterans. This year, proceeds of the May 6 event went to Smoky Mountain Service Dogs.

American Valor Foundation sponsors the event.

Last modified July 27, 2017