Quilts Desperately Needed for Syrian Refugees and Forgotten People of the Navajo Nation as Winter Approaches

November 25, 2014

We are asking for your help again for completed quilts for Syrian refugees in Jordan and for the Forgotten People of the Navajo Nation in Bennett Freeze area of Arizona.  The need is urgent because both of these groups live in areas where the cold, winter months are approaching rapidly and both groups are living in tents or houses without heat.

We have been sending quilts to the Syrian refugee children ongoing this year.  Right now we are trying to collect 75 quilts by mid-December for shipment to Jordan to a camp that houses refugees from ISIS and the Syrian war.  While we commonly think of the Middle East as being all desert and extremely hot, the camp is in northern Jordan where the winters are very cold.  Many of these refugees escaped Syria with only the clothes on their backs and are currently living in tents.  Last year several babies died when the temperatures dropped to freezing.  Our quilts are not only welcome and appreciated, but also lifesaving in some instances.  This initiative is being handled out of Lovettsville, VA.

Syrian baby 2  Syrian baby

The second initiative is to gather 100 quilts by Christmas for Navajo children and elderly people living in the Bennett Freeze area of Arizona.  Again, you may think of Arizona as being hot and arid, this is not the case for this area in the winter.  Winter temperatures here are already in the teens and just this week dipped to 12 degrees.  Many of these residents live in homes with no electricity, heat or running water.  Last year we provided quilts to this area, but we have been asked to provide more quilts for people who didn’t receive them in 2013.  We have been told that they were very much appreciated for their warmth and beauty.  This initiative is being handled out of Bear River City, UT.

Bennett freeze  Bennett freeze2

I know it’s a busy time of the year for many of you right now.  However, we hope if any of you have some finished quilts for either of these groups, that you could help us out.  Also for those of you that picked up fat quarters for the challenge at IQF, now would be a good time to complete those quilts and earn more chances for the monthly $25 gift certificate drawing from Fat Quarter Shop.

All of us at QBB wish each of you and your families a wonderful Thanksgiving and hope you will consider our rather urgent plea for quilts at this time.  If you have quilts, please email us at quiltsbeyondborders@gmail.com.  Thanks.

All the best,


A Great Time at the International Quilt Festival!

November 13, 2014

Well, we’re back from Festival and finally settled. We had a terrific time at the booth this year.

I’ll be honest — when I first saw our location, I was a little concerned. We were waaaaaaaay back in the far back right corner, right near the restrooms. But what was I thinking!! What could be better than being right near the restrooms? Between Wednesday evening preview night and Sunday afternoon, the last day of the show, we probably saw everyone who attended the show! Some sought us out so they could bring us quilts and tops they’d made for us since last year and others were just on their way to or from the restroom when they spotted us and stopped by to check out our wares!

We had a wonderful response from all the people who came to our booth. We received over 140 quilts and tops from quilters who’d picked up kits from us in prior years, and we had 115 quilters sign up to participate in our Fat Quarter Challenge.  We gave out kits to more than 260 quilters.  And we sold nearly every fundraising product we brought to the show!

I’d like to express my gratitude to all the wonderful customers and quilters who came to our booth and brought quilts and tops and bought quilts, jewelry, scarves, baskets and all the other fundraising items we brought from Ethiopia.  I’d also like to thank Stephanie Robertson and her team who donated the wonderful Kipepeo Greeting Cards, made by needy women in Kenya, that we sold on the last couple of days in the booth.

I’d also like to thank the wonderful volunteers who helped me out in the booth:


  • Brenda Barnett
  • Cheryl and Tim Batsche
  • Felicia Ramirez
  • Lisa and Chuck Glenn
  • Linda Mullins-Spirio
  • Carolyn Sower
  • Loretta Kelldorf


Thank you all for your hard work and dedication!  And thanks for making it so much fun for me!

Below are some pictures of the booth and some of the events of our week:


Here I’m explaining to a quilter now our Fat Quarter Challenge works. Brenda Barnett, one of our Illinois volunteers, and Loretta Kelldorf our wonderful Regional Coordinator in Tyler, TX, are answering questions and handling the sign-outs for kits an sign-in for quilts .


Note some of the beautiful quilts that are hanging around our booth. These were all donated by generous volunteers for us to sell.


When we sell one quilt in our booth we can pay the luggage fees to get 20-30 more quilts to children, or pay the postage to send 30-40 kitted-up tops to longarmers.


Betty Thomas brought us 12 quilts from her quilting group in Louisiana. From left to right, holding all these beautiful quilts, are Loretta, Betty’s sister Audrey Malone, Betty, and me. The children who receive these bright and cheery quilts are going to love them!


Shirley Deasy of Livingston, TX with two of the quilts she made for us. Great job, Shirley!


Chuck Glenn explains our Fat Quarter Challenge to a quilter. Chuck and his wife Lisa are two of our wonderful volunteers. They make a great team, binding and longarming quilts for us!


Loretta handles intake and sign-outs, while Lisa Glenn meets another volunteer who brought us a quilt she made for us.


Visitors to the booth peruse the beautiful quilts we had for sale.


Lisa helps display a donated quilt for a photo.


Chuck and Loretta holding down the fort!


Our youngest quilter, Emilia, age 7, displays a quilt top she made for a needy child.  Beautiful!


Some more of the beautiful quilts and the scarves we had for sale. The scarves were made by needy women who needed to develop a new skill to earn a living.


Loretta answers questions about some of our products in the booth.


Loretta helping customers while Brenda surveys the quilts for sale in the booth.

It was a great Festival!  We’re looking forward to seeing everyone next year at the IQF!







More Pictures from Uganda — and Quilts Headed to Uganda, Syrian Refugees and the IQF

October 23, 2014

Photos from Uganda:

My cousin, Cindy Roth, has sent me more pictures from the delivery she and her church members made  to New Hope, Uganda, earlier this year.   The photographer asked Cindy to let us know that the students have been delighted to get these beautiful quilts, and send along their thanks to all the quilters who made them!

Uganda - New Hope 8   uganda - new hope 5Uganda - New Hope 7 Uganda - new hope 6

Quilts Headed to Uganda, Syrian Refugees, and the IQF:

We have another initiative currently underway to get more quilts to more children in Uganda to the Christ the Center Ministries Primary and Nursery School in Kampala, Uganda.  We are also working with two organizations to get quilts to children who are refugees from the war in Syria.  And in all our spare time (LOL!) we’re finalizing plans for our fundraising booth at the International Quilt Festival in Houston.   Each year, with the permission of the makers, we sell some beautiful quilts at the IQF.  We have no paid staff, and the money we get from the sale of quilts (and the products we bring back from our quilt delivery trips) goes entirely to getting quilts finished and delivered to the children.  Some of the quilts below will be going to Uganda, others to Syrian refugees, and others will be going to Houston.

Loretta, our Regional Coordinator in Tyler, Texas, recently sent me some great photos of bright and cheerful quilts made by the team of Carolyn Sower, Sharon Turvaville,and Lana Davis.  Great job, Ladies!  These are wonderful!




The following quilts were quilted by Jean Clarkson of the Mesquite Quilt Guild.  The quilts  pieced by Amy Bellany,  Mary Lou Stinson and MaryAnne Whitehead, are being sent to the school in Uganda.   The quilts pieced by Meral Fritchey and Judy Daniels are being shown at the Houston International Quilt Show as fundraiser quilts.   Whether in the US or abroad, some children are going to be very happy to cuddle under these lovely quilts!  Many thanks to the hands and hearts that provided these lovely quilts!



Finally, I have a group of lovely and unusual quilts that were sent to me by several different quilters from different places.   Some of these quilts will be sent to Uganda, others to Syria, and others will be going to the IQF as fundraising quilts.  Great thanks to Jeanne Ayers, Cathy in Iowa of the Sunshine Guild, Marilyn Barba (quilted by Kin Hum), Susan Seward (pieced by Mary Jean Morrison), Sharon Mitchell, Linda La Fleur, Ann S, Lynda Galloway, Jean McKay and Judith White.  Thank you, Ladies!

Ann S Cathy in Iowa - Sunshine Guild Jean McKay Jeanne Ayers 1 Jeanne Ayers 2 Jeanne Ayers 3 Judith White Linda LaFleur Lynda Galloway Marilyn Barba - Kin Hum Mary Jane Morrison - Susan Seward Sharon Mitchell 1 Sharon Mitchell 2

We are so grateful to all the quilters who so generously gave of their stashes, time and talent to make all of these beautiful quilts!  Thank you all!



We’ll See You in Houston at the International Quilt Festival!

October 19, 2014

We’re delighted to tell you that we’ll be having a booth at the IQF in Houston once again, starting the evening of Wednesday, October 29th and going through Sunday, November 2nd.  We’ll be in the area with the Exhibits, in the hall with all the quilts that are on display.   Once again we’ll be giving out kits to make quilt tops and encouraging participation in the Fat Quarter Challenge.  We’ll be selling some beautiful fundraising quilts made by our volunteers, and some wonderful products that I picked up in Ethiopia over the last month!  We look forward to seeing you in our booth!


I just got back from taking 250 quilts to Ethiopia (along with friends Brenda Barnett and Ann Drake) and while we were there we had a chance to pick up some great additions to the products we’ve sold in the past.  (Over the next few weeks I’ll plan to post pictures from our quilt deliveries, but we’ve been so busy getting ready to go to Houston and running initiatives to get quilts to Syrian refugee children and needy children in Uganda that I haven’t had a chance to go through the 1200 pictures I took and do that yet.  Stay tuned!)

You’re already familiar with the ever-popular string animals that we’ve been selling in the booth for the last several years:


This year we’ll be adding a string lion to the string herd.  We’ll also be adding some painted soapstone elephants and hippos, and a wonderful wooden giraffe carving, as well as some wonderful small carved and painted wooden bowls. We’ll also have some wonderful woven Ethiopian baskets.

IMG_6481  IMG_6482

We’ve also brought back some colorful bracelets and jewelry and some wonderful handmade Ethiopian crosses.  The pictures don’t do these lovely jewelry pieces justice!

IMG_6477   IMG_6480

While we were in Ethiopia we spent some time with people from the Connected in Hope’s Former Women Woodfuel Carriers’ project.  We taught sewing to some of the former woodfuel carriers so they’d have new marketable skills to support themselves and their families.  We also stopped by their shop and brought some of the beautiful scarves that are woven by some of the former woodfuel workers.  Stop by the booth and check out the selection!


This year we’ll be expanding our Fat Quarter Challenge.  As those of you who’ve participated in the past know, to participate in the Fat Quarter Challenge you pick up a fat quarter and a block pattern and (adding your own fabric and batting) make and send us a completed quilt for us to provide to a needy child.  The names of all those who return quilts are entered in a drawing which takes place on September 30th of the following year.  The winner wins a $100 prize.  We’ve had the FQC for two years, and our two winners were Renee Coakley and Donna Dellacamera.  This year we’re expanding the FQC from 100 participants to 200, and we will have additional drawings every month for those who have already returned their quilts — so for more chances to win, get your quilt in early!  The winners of the monthly drawing will receive a $25 gift certificate from the Fat Quarter Shop, and at the end of the 12 month period we’ll have another drawing for the grand prize of $100.

For more info on the Fat Quarter Shop, see these links:







Great thanks to the Fat Quarter Shop for making these drawings possible!  Stop by our booth and enter the challenge for your chance to win!


If you’re attending the show, this would be a wonderful time to return any quilts or tops you’ve completed from kits you picked up at the show during prior years, if you haven’t already returned them to us.  If the kit or top has been misplaced, substitutes or monetary donations are gladly accepted.  If you won’t be attending the show and would like to send us a finished top or quilt, please send us a note at our email, quiltsbeyondborders@gmail.com , and we’ll give you the address of a Regional Coordinator who will be happy to receive your finished quilt or top.  Thanks!

We hope to see you at the show!



Pictures from Uganda, and Quilts Headed for Guatemala

October 16, 2014

Photos from Uganda:

Earlier this year my cousin, Cindy Roth, and other members of her church group went to Uganda to New Hope to the Kasana Children’s Center to do some mission work there.  We sent 150 quilts along with them for the children.  Because of scheduling conflicts Cindy’s group wasn’t able to distribute the quilts personally, which is something that happens from time-to-time.  (It’s always a disappointment when that happens, because everyone wants to be Santa at least once in their lives!)  However Cindy just received some pictures from the delivery that occurred after the missionaries had left.

Here they are!


Uganda - New Hope 1 Uganda - New Hope 2 Uganda - New Hope 3 Uganda - New Hope 4

The smile on this boy”s face says it all, doesn’t it?  I know the children who received these and the other quilts we sent to Uganda will cherish them!  Great thanks to all the wonderful quilters who made all the beautiful quilts we sent to Uganda.

Quilts on their way to Guatemala:

Loretta Kelldorf, our Regional Coordinator in Tyler, Texas, has been coordinating an initiative for Orphan Outreach in Plano, Texas, to take some quilts to the Downs Syndrome School in Guatemala City, Guatemala.  She recently sent me these pictures of some of the beautiful quilts that will be on their way to the children in Guatemala shortly.  The quilters include Joanne Hopkins, Donna Della Camera (the winner of our Fat Quarter Challenge this year!), Margaret of Washington, Delleen of Oregon, Karen Vander Stoep, Karen Matheson, Donna Sciandra, Alice McQueen, MJF, Susan Brown, Jennifer DeMeuse and L. Hollingsworth.  To know which quilter made which quilt, please hover your cursor over the thumbnails.  For a close-up view, click on the thumbnail.


Thank you, all the wonderful ladies who made these beautiful quilts!  We’ll post pictures of the children who receive them as soon as we get the pictures from Orphan Outreach.





Winter is Coming and Quilts are Still Needed for Syrian Refugee Children

October 14, 2014

If you’ve been reading our blog, we have been collecting quilts for the Syrian refugee children in Jordan. The need for quilts for these children continues to grow as more and more families are displaced by war. Winter is approaching and life in the tents is chilling. Your quilts are an important source of needed warmth and comfort.

Below are some pictures provided by Rita Zawaideh of the Salaam Cultural Center. Rita is very supportive of the quilts we have delivered to her and many have already made their way to Jordan. Rita is in the red shirt and Reham is holding the quilt. Reham is going back and forth to Jordan with Rita.  SCM7

Pictures from one of the first deliveries of our quilts.



Our quilters response has been terrific and we have passed the 400 mark this year for refugees alone! We are not done though. Please keep those machines “singing” as we continue to provide quilts for love and comfort, and warmth for these refugee children.

Quilts at SCM waiting for the next shipment.  SCM3
We greatly appreciate receiving completed quilts, as we’re able to get those most quickly into the hands of a child who needs it. If you don’t care to quilt your top, we would also appreciate if you can return it to us kitted up with backing and binding so that we can quickly send it to a longarmer for completion. And longarmers, we do have kits waiting to send to you if you can help us quilt them. Please contact us at quiltsbeyondborders@gmail.com and we can provide addresses, East or West Coast whichever is closer, to send completed quilts.

Here are some completed quilts from Delleen Kompkoff and also Peggy Icenogle and Nancy D. These quilts have been sent to SCM for the Syrian children. Thanks so much ladies and to all who have supported this drive.

Kompkoff (2)Kompkoff (1)PeggyIcenogle_NancyD


Karen V

And the FQC winner is…

October 1, 2014

Donna Dellacamera!!

Sorry there are no pictures of me drawing her name out of the bowl but I’m not nearly as cute as Ann’s grandson last year! :) Donna, if you could please send your address to us, we’ll get your check in the mail!

We want to thank all the participants of the Fat Quarter Challenge. It was so fun to see the many creative ways you used your fat quarter and your completed quilts brought many smiles and ooh’s and aah’s to us as we’d open each box. Rest assured those quilts are now bringing warmth and happiness to children all over the world. This is a short post so let me share with you some of those happy faces from the past year and please know that all of YOU made this possible! 2012-09-10 16.45.50 IMG_2710

Haiti1 (1) Haiti1 (7)  Syria2

And this last picture says it all!


See you in Houston!!!!

Salaam Cultural Center on the News and QBB

September 25, 2014

Tonight our local news in Seattle, highlighted the work of Rita Zamadeh, Salaam Cultural Center. Her mission is primarily medical: doctors, specialists, nurses and medical supplies for refugees in the middle east. She also fills a container of clothing, food and other items that are sent every other month.

Rita SCCSo far QBB has sent 113 quilts. During the interview she pointed to some of the items sent and picked up a quilt, with a very large label facing the camera “Quilts Beyond Borders”. Wow! We will gladly deliver another 20 quilts to her tomorrow. They are entering the winter,  so let’s try to get as many as possible to her for the November trip. It’s going to mean so much to these children, who are traumatized by war, displaced and have lost family.

Send us an email with the number of finished quilts you have, and we’ll give you an address of where to send. We are collecting on both east and west coast. Thank you for helping out.

Here is a link to watch the video:  http://www.king5.com/media/cinematic/video/15025576/seattle-aid-workers-plan-new-mission-to-syria/
Regards, Karen

2013 Fat Quarter Challenge is coming to a close

September 20, 2014

Hard to believe almost a year has passed since we started our current Fat Quarter Challenge and soon we’ll be meeting in Houston again! I’ve received FQC quilts weekly the past month and there is still a little bit of time for those of you who might be hurrying to finish yours up to send to me so your name can be entered in the $100 drawing taking place Sept 30th. Here are the latest entries.  These were made by Pam Murphree, Mary Kay Otto,  Susan Devant, Sarah Huie, Joyce Hladik, Marilyn Peery, Vickie Craddock, Pam Hish, Tena McElroy, Annette Jones, Linnie Hyde, Susan Seward, Teri Slaughter, Deb Davis, and Cathy Davidson.

FQC ANnette Jones  FQC Cathy Davidson FQC Deb Davis  FQC Joyce Hladik FQC Linnie Hyde  FQC Marilyn Peery FQC Mary Otto:Susan Devant:Sarah Huie  FQC Pam Hish FQC Pam Murphree  FQC Susan Seward FQC Tori Slaughter  FQC Vickie Craddock

I’ve also been receiving finished quilts from longarmers who have finished them for us. I’m really happy to post these finished quilts as they had been sitting in my QBB closet as tops, backs, bindings and labels just waiting for some TLC to finish them up. It’s so nice to see them all finished and waiting to be loved and needed this winter.  The folks who made these quilts happen are: Kathy Elston, Judy Cabot, Linda Cadzow, Marilyn B, Quilting For Christ Ministry, Sue, Kathy, Sophia, Anya, Ann, Jo of Australia, Delleen Kompkoff and Louise.

Joyce Hladik 1  Joyce Hladik Kathy Elston:Judy C 2  Kathy Elston:Judy C 3 Kathy Elston:Judy C 4  Kathy Elston:Judy C Linda Cadzow:Judy Cabot  Marilyn B:Judy C Quilting for Christ:Judy c 2  Quilting for Christ:Judy C Sandi W:Judy c 1  Sandi W:Judy C 2 Sue Kathy Sophia Anya Ann Jo of Australia Delleen Kompkoff Louise

All of these quilts will be leaving here shortly and on their way to Washington where they’ll be sent forward to help the refugees, just in time for cold weather! Thank you all for the great work you’ve done.



More Quilts Headed to Refugees in the Middle East

September 8, 2014

Over the last couple of weeks we’ve had some significant deliveries of quilts on the East and West coast of the US that will be headed to refugee children in the Middle East. Photos of quilts that Karen was gathering for the Salaam Cultural Museum in Seattle were shown in our last posting. Karen made another delivery to Rita of SCM yesterday, and had this to say:

Paul and I delivered another 63 quilts to the Salaam Cultural Museum today. Rita was glad to receive as she leaves on Monday for the middle east, along with a fleet of medical professionals, a full container of clothing and provisions. It just leaves us amazed at what one woman can generate. It’s been a real privilege meeting her.

Our quilts are especially welcome as winter approaches. Refugees are living in tents with no heat. Rita was much concerned about babies and appreciative of the quilts, which will help.

The scope of people displaced is huge, about 10-1/2 million Syrians (1/2 outside the country and 1/2 inside). Our quilts are also going to the displaced, in Gaza. In our way, we just quilt for one child at a time. We are blessed in giving and no doubt, the child is thrilled.

It was a day of “awe”. In all I’ve been able to deliver 113 quilts, they are all well done and beautiful. Thank you to everyone who has quilted to this occasion. Honestly, it was one amazing quilt show.

Currently QBB is sending quilts to refugees from a port in Virginia and also the port in Seattle. So, if you have quilts to send, please email quiltsbeyondborders@gmail.com, let us know the quantity and where you are sending from and we’ll provide an address, east or west, the closest to you.

Thank you for all you do, sewing and creating smiles!


Additionally, Noreen Fling and her husband Rodger have made a recent delivery of about 100 quilts to Gleaning for the World in Concord, VA for their upcoming deliveries to Jordan for Syrian refugees and Iraq for the Yazidi and Christian Refugees there.  Noreen sent pictures of the experience.

The first three pictures show her living room lost under 100 quilts!  Way in the corner between lamp and french door are 130 kitted quilt  tops, ready, so if you’re a longarmer with a little extra time and a generous heart, looking for something to practice on while developing new skills which will also improve the lives of children living in very difficult circumstances, drop us an email to quiltsbeyondborders@gmail.com and we’ll send you some tops  (kitted up with backing and binding) to work on.


The pictures below show our delivery to Gleaning.  Noreen is the blond wearing the striped shirt and green capris.  Our contact at Gleaning, Daphne, is the blond wearing the black and white top and black slacks.  The other young women in the pictures are working at Gleaning, and you can see from the shots of the warehouse that they are working very hard to move lots of supplies and humanitarian aid that will make a great deal of difference to people living in crisis.




Great thanks to all the quilters who have made it possible for us to deliver these 200+ beautiful quilts to SCM and Gleaning.  The children who receive them will love them, and as winter sets in they will greatly appreciate their warmth.




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