Meet Dot Plume, The Quilt Lady Honoring Vets with Compassion
At the tender age of 77, Quail Hollow Senior Living Community resident Dorothy (Dot) Plume has launched a mission of love and caring that nearly defies description with its passion and dedication.
In recent years the entire country has been caught up in honoring military veterans and first responders. As the song lyric states: “A grateful nation turns its eyes to you!” Dot Plume not only got swept up in the veteran’s tributes, but the delightful lady contributed all her talents and energy to make sure veterans received a proper and emotional thank you.
Dot is simply known as the Quilt Lady by those veterans she has honored. Dot is a talented artist who handcrafts quilts especially designed for each person she honors. Simply stated, each quilt is considered a true work of art and she makes a point to touch the hearts of the recipients with each masterpiece. How did this all come about?
“I was always interested in making quilts, but after awhile I really wanted to do something with mine,” Dot explained. “I came up with the idea of making quilts and giving them to veterans and first responders as my personal tribute. I was especially struck by the plight of the Vietnam veterans who were treated so badly when they returned home.”
Once the Vietnam War was finally over and the military members could come home, they were exposed to a hostile environment by those who bitterly opposed the involvement in the war by the United States. That was a great shock to the military members and a sad one to think they had come back not only with broken bones, but broken spirits, as well.
Dot has been doing her very best to make amends and the results have unleashed a whole new wave of emotion. To date she has crafted some 50 quilts that were distributed all over the United States to deserving recipients, each quilt especially designed for that individual.
How does she accomplish this mission of thanks?
“Oh, I seek them out!” Dot exclaimed with a warm smile. “I will track them down. If I see a veteran’s hat or license plate I will stop them and get their names and history. I go over to the Veterans Hospital in White River Junction and get as much information as I can. The reaction by the people is interesting. They look at me and wonder just what I am doing at first!”
The results of her quest have returned countless, emotional benefits beyond her wildest hopes.
“Once a veteran receives his or her quilt, they are almost entirely overcome with gratitude and the tears start flowing. It is hard to explain
what those quilts mean to these vets. One prime example is the Vietnam vet, a nurse, who requested to hold her quilt when she passed away. She was granted that wish!”
Another remarkable aspect of her dedicated work is that although the quilts are individually designed and crafted for each veteran, they are considered valuable collectors items. Dot has borne the cost of the entire project.
“There is no way you can establish a true value of these quilts,” Dot stated. “What they mean to each person is priceless. However, I have been told that they may have a retail value of between $600-800. I have been buying the materials on my own, but recently have received donations to help with the expense. My most recent project was donating quilts to the Harley Davidson Dealership in Lebanon to raffle off to benefit veteran’s groups.”
Stay alert, you veterans. Dot Plume will indeed track you down! You will be grateful she did.