From the Northwest and Beyond: Camp Heartland

September 18, 2017

We were so excited to provide these 40 quilts to Camp Heartland. They will be going to a camp for children who have or are affected by AIDS and homeless teens they are helping in Minnesota. The patterns, colors and quilting will be enjoyed and cherished by children who have so appreciated our quilts in the past.  Click on each picture to see who made and quilted them.

I feel so blessed to have so many quilters in my group who are so supportive and helpful when there is a need. They faithfully provide tops, quilts and quilting throughout the year. We are a growing group who has a heart for QBB and children around the world. You all are the best!!

Susan Schmidt  Northwest Regional Coordinator


August FQ Challenge Quilts

September 12, 2017

For the month of August we received 3 quilts for the FQ Challenge and one of those quilts made by Sarah Wilkinson from Kingman, AZ, a Sunshine member,  was the randomly chosen winner of the $25 gift certificate from Fat Quarter Shop.  Congratulations Sarah!

Sarah submitted two quilts in August for the challenge.  They are so bright and cheerful.

Aug FQC - S Wilkinson

We also received this lovely quilt from Karisa Harriman of Yucaipa, CA.


Thanks to Sarah and Karisa for their quilts.  They will be sent out this year in support of one of our initiatives.  And a big thanks to Fat Quarter Shop for their continued support of our program.

Remember the FQ Challenge ends September 30th, so if you still have a FQ, please get your quilt in by September 30 to be considered for the monthly challenge and the year end $100 cash winner.

Cheers! Tina


Comfort for Many Needy People from Many Generous Quilters

September 1, 2017

It is almost a gut reaction for quilters when we hear about any catastrophe. We want to sit down at our machines and make a beautiful quilt to comfort the victims of the disaster. When I started hearing about Hurricane Harvey this was on my mind too.

But I also remembered talking to one of my friends who watched disaster relief donations being thrown from a truck into a crowd of Hurricane Katrina survivors. She watched a quilt made for a child, thrown into the air, caught by a man who looked at it, realized he didn’t want it, and tossed it on. Eventually the quilt ended up in the mud, trampled by the crowd, useless to anyone.  The harsh truth is that disaster relief responders don’t typically have the time or the manpower in the early days of the disaster to go through every donation and determine who might best benefit from receiving it, and make sure each donation is delivered directly into the arms of the most appropriate receiver.

And often well-meaning donors send items which aren’t precisely suited to what the disaster refugees need. Right now the temperatures in Houston are in the 80’s and 90’s, which isn’t really quilt weather for most of us. I have spoken to several of our volunteers in the Houston area who have told me that the shelters are most in need of things like toiletries, baby clothes, diapers, formula, pet crates, and new underwear and sox in all sizes. And even better, if you can donate money, they can buy the things they actually need for the people they are sheltering. Here is a list of direct service providers accepting clothing, supplies, and other in-kind donations in addition to cash.

The Way Home Houston

Based upon feedback from our volunteers living in Houston, Quilts Beyond Borders will be waiting until after the immediate disaster is over, and once those who can return to their homes have done so, we will be sending quilts to shelters for homeless women and children who have been affected by the storm.

In the meantime, we will continue with our current initiatives, which include:

  • Providing quilts to One Heart Baltimore (Backpack Rescue) to be put into backpacks for children and youths who have been rescued from sex traffickers;
  • Providing quilts to Maya Midwifery International, Inc., which provides services to needy women in Guatemala and their newborns;
  • Our on-going efforts to provide quilts to Syrian refugee children living in refugee camps in Jordan, Lebanon and Greece;
  • Providing quilts to needy elders and children in the Navajo Nation.

Below are some of the beautiful quilts we have received recently which are going to some of those efforts and may be going to Houston as well.  With the exception of one quilt made by Brenda Barnett with blocks made by Hollis McWright, all of these quilts were pieced by Jill, Linda, Nancy and Michelle of St. James the Less Episcopal Church in Northfield, IL, and quilted by members of the Northern Illinois Longarm Guild, Judy White, Marilyn M, Connie & Aileen, Nancy Mueller, Nancy Panozzo, Nancy Sturgeon & Bev, Barb, Rose S and Debby Connor.  Please hover your cursor over the quilt to see who made each of them, and click on them for a closer look.

Great thanks to all the wonderful quilters who created these beautiful quilts.  We’ll keep you advised as we learn about appropriate initiatives for us to donate quilts to Houston during the recovery.

Best regards,



Texas Team Members and Volunteers, Please Stay Safe

August 26, 2017

To all our wonderful Texas team members and volunteers, we are praying for you and sending you good thoughts during the onslaught of Hurricane Harvey. Please stay safe.



Big Hugs from all of us at QBB,


Quilter’s Spotlight: Donna Sciandra

August 15, 2017

This month our Quilter’s Spotlight is shining on the person who we’ve officially dubbed QBB’s Most Prolific Quilter, Donna Sciandra. I believe that Donna has been quilting for Quilts Beyond Borders longer than I have, and I was one of the early ones! When I say “Prolific”, I really, really, REALLY mean PROLIFIC!! Donna makes us between 50 and 100 tops and quilts every single year, and has since 2007!  Every time she hears we have a new initiative or we’re sending quilts to a new country, she makes sure she has at least one top or quilt that can make the trip!  And she does this somewhere in between working full time and family responsibilities. I think she’s amazing!

We asked Donna to send us some pictures of her favorite quilts, and of herself.   Some of you might recognize her from the years she’s flown from her home in New York to Houston to work with us in our booth at the IQF.   Below you see Donna with her late father who passed away earlier this year at the age of 99.

Here’s another picture of Donna with (from left) her mother, her cousin John, her Uncle Joe, and on the other side of Donna, her cousin Mary Alice.

Here’s one of the quilts Donna pieced, which was quilted by Terri Desmond, and a picture of her holding up another of her favorite quilts, quilted by her friend Arlene Berndt, at the IQF in Houston in 2011.  Both of these quilts were sold at the IQF for fundraising to help us pay for postage to get tops to longarmers and quilts to people who were delivering them to children.

Donna provided some information to allow you all to get to know her a little better.

Hometown & State:    Buffalo, NY

Years Quilting:    Since 1991

Favorite Quilting Style:    Scrapping

Why do you volunteer with Quilts Beyond Borders?    It is extremely rewarding for me to know that by making a quilt for someone I can bring them comfort and know that someone truly cares for them.

How did you learn about Quilts Beyond Borders?   I was reading a quilting magazine and towards the back of the magazine there was an article about QBB.   That was in 2007.

How did you learn to quilt?    After my daughter was born I traded in my Suzuki motorcycle for a Bernette machine and then began classes at the Bernina dealer.  I always enjoyed sewing and another student was making quilts and I always wanted to try it.

Where do you get quilting inspiration?     Of course I check out many of the blogs and I enjoy seeing what other QBB quilters are making.

What’s your favorite quilting tip or technique?    I love my Bernina 440, and I when I do quilt I enjoy writing inspirational words and meandering to get the job done.

What else should we know about you?    Quilting has become a form of relaxation and helping me deal with a large amount of stress in my life.   I really don’t know what I would have done if I had not been linked up with Carla and the many regional directors and other QBB people, that I have enjoyed becoming friends with.  I have a Juki that has been sitting in its box for 2 years now, lol!

Donna, I don’t know what we would have done if you hadn’t linked up with us!   When you consider that you’ve made between 50 and 100 quilts and tops every single year, and you’ve been quilting for us for about 10 years, there are somewhere between 500 and 1000 children in 25 countries all around the world sleeping more warmly and comfortably because of your generosity and talent!  Thank you so much for everything you do!







July Fat Quarter Challenge

August 11, 2017

During the month of July I did not receive any fat quarter challenge quilts.  I know everyone is busy probably spending time outside during the summer months; I sure am.  Even though no quilts were turned in, once you submit a quilt, you are entered in each month’s drawing.  Congratulations to Kathy Thomason from Tampa, FL for being this month’s recipient of a $25 gift certificate from the Fat Quarter Shop.  Kathy’s name was randomly chosen as the winner.  She had submitted her fat quarter challenge quilt in April and it is pictured below.  She is also a Sunshine member.

FQC Apr - K.Thomason

For those of you still thinking about entering, please do so.  You still have the months of August and September to send in your quilt and to also be entered for the annual $100 cash drawing.  QBB has many initiatives right now and your quilt would really help brighten the life of and bring warmth to someone.

Thanks to the Fat Quarter Shop for being our monthly sponsor.  Please take some time to browse their website because they have an awesome choice of goodies.

Cheers!  Tina



South West Report

August 8, 2017

Dozens and dozens of quilts have come to my house this year.  I have sent 80 quilts to the folks who supply the Syrian refugee camps with quilts and other supplies.  Your quilt may have been one of them.


Many people have seen Quilts Beyond Borders on line and decided to donate quilts.  Some folks have come to our booth in Houston at the International Quilt Festival.  We pass out kits for quilts and people take them home and make a quilt and send it to the nearest Regional Coordinator.  Other folks offer to quilt the tops that are donated at the quilt festival and throughout the year.  It is wonderful to know the world is filled with compassionate, caring people who make quilts for needy people they don’t even know.  The world is a better place because of all the people who have participated in this endeavor.  The quilt makers are a very creative group.  Just look at the variety and beauty of these quilts.  It seems no two are the same. The patterns range from simple squares to circles and triangles.  Each and everyone will be treasured by the recipients.  Your quilt will make a huge difference in the life of a needy person.

Sunshine is a group of online quilters from all over the US.  Many of the quilters in that group donate quilts to Quilts Beyond Borders.  They are a generous and prolific group of quilters.  Several of them participated in the Fat Quarter Challenge.  Sunshine had a retreat in July and 17 members attended and made 187 quilt tops.  All of them will be quilted and some will be donated to QBB. 

A huge thank you goes to each and every one of you who worked on these beautiful quilts.  They will certainly make someone warm and comforted.  Thank you for your generosity and compassion.  You have made a difference.

Ann Drake, Regional Coordinator for the South Western US.

From the Northwest & Beyond: Syrian Refugee Quilts

July 18, 2017

These 155 quilts and 34 baby quilts are going overseas to No Man’s Land (a strip of land between Jordan and Syria). They were put aboard a container ship the first of April to make the month long journey to the 75,000 Syrian Refugees living there.   Some time during the middle to end of May they were delivered to the Refugees. The container was full of many other supplies that are desperately needed there.

Also if you scroll to the very end, there are pictures from Rita and some of the refugee quilts that had been distributed to a National School for Disadvantaged Children.

Thank you to all of our quilters for the beautiful and colorful quilts that traveled there. You can see the pictures below and click on them to see who made and quilted them.  I know they will be loved and cherished by the children who receive them!!

First the baby quilts:

Now the children’s quilts:

From Rita Zawaideh of the Salam Cultural Museum:  I thought you might want to share with your members pictures of the distribution of Quilts that arrived in the last container that were distributed at National School for Disadvantaged kids – Syrian, Palestinian and Jordanian. We did a distribution of 200 quilts at the school. Look at the kids and the teachers faces as they are giving this to the kids. Thank you so much for everything that you and your members are doing.

This was a long post, but oh so worth it!  Thanks everyone.

Susan Schmidt     Northwest Regional Coordinator

Giles Early Education Project (GEEP)

July 14, 2017

This past October I moved permanently to Eggleston, VA nestled in Giles County.  It’s a beautiful area in southwestern VA not too far from Blacksburg, VA.   Having met some wonderful people here, I asked about the need for quilts for any of the children that live in the area.   It just so happens that there is a wonderful group that works with foster children in Giles County.  Quilts Beyond Borders has since partnered with this group and has provided about 40 quilts for these children.

Ann Goette, my neighbor, wrote the following about GEEP:

Giles County is nestled in the mountains of southwestern Virginia nudged up against the West Virginia border. It is a place of rolling vistas, meadows, dappled creeks, and waterfalls; the ancient New River runs through the very heart of the county. In addition to a county seat with a population of  2,700, there are a number of small towns, some of them too small to even boast a mayor or lay a sidewalk. There is a strong and proud Appalachian tradition in Giles, great storytellers, wonderful musicians, and a tenacious sense of community.

There are also isolated hollows of misery, 47 percent of county citizens live in poverty.  Some of the children emerging from the darkest of those hollows arrive for a first day of school never having touched a book, or sat in a chair; they have no idea of how to hold a fork or take-a-turn. They are left behind before they even begin.

The Giles Early Education Project (GEEP) formed in early 2012 with the conviction that the best way to lighten the dark places in the county was to begin with its very youngest citizens. GEEP is a small but determined group of very hardworking idealists. In the past five years they have advocated for early childhood with the county board of supervisors and have seen the establishment of five pre-schools within the public school system; GEEP has put books into hundreds of small hands and opened three “little libraries” within distressed communities. The group also runs an arts program each summer concurrent with the county’s Free Lunch Program; they have sponsored early childhood teacher trainings and small children’s festivals. Through working with other agencies, and with help from a private contribution, GEEP has given every at-risk new mother a book on childcare and a beautiful board book for her newborn. Early this spring GEEP wrote and produced SMILES OF GILES – A County Alphabet Book.

SMILES OF GILES was created as a literacy project, but also as a way to give the children of the county a sense of place and community. Giles County Administration and a philanthropic couple pitched in the funds to make it possible for every three, four and five-year-old enrolled in any of the county’s early child centers to own a copy of the alphabet book. “We have a waterfall!” a four-year-old exclaimed as she pointed to C is for Cascade Falls. The small book is illustrated with drawings by the children from the summer arts programs and with fabulous nature photographs by the county’s gifted official photographer. You can order a copy here. All the proceeds go to early childhood projects, bringing brighter smiles to Giles County.

As you can imagine, being able to provide this group with quilts was a wonderful opportunity for QBB.  The quilts came from all over the US and from 3 different Regional Coordinators.  I hope that I have included all the names correctly.  If you do see your quilt and your name is not mentioned or was not properly identified, let me know.  These quilts were made by the following people in no particular order:  Shirley Elliott, Terrie Kremer, Chrissi Vergoglini, Sunshine Quilters, Joy McAuley, Mary Verrico, Joan Nar, Kathryn Zurek, Carolyn Pike, Kay McKinnon, Linda Roush, Linda Weaver, Linda Mullins-Spirio, Sally M, Delleen Kompkoff, Trudy Pickle, Donna Sciandra, Linda Lupton, Suzanne Gaensbauer, Beth S, Linda, Brenda Lou Scott, Gail Hardy, Donna Crook-Jones, Cathy Labath, Hope Crook, Misty King, and Tina Freudenberger.

Such a beautiful display of quilts and we really want to thank all of our volunteers for making these quilts.  You’ve made some children feel very loved.

Cheers, Tina

June FQ Challenge

July 10, 2017

Summer is in full swing and most of my time has been spent outside, so I apologize for the delay in posting our June winner.  Without further ado, Carol Egan, a Sunshine Member from Mendota Heights, MN was our June winner.  Carol submitted her quilt in March (pictured below), and has been a long time volunteer for QBB.  Congratulations Carol on your $25 gift certificate from the Fat Quarter Shop.  Many thanks to the FQ Shop for generously donating our monthly prize for nearly 3 years now.


I also received two other beautiful quilts during June.  One was from Brenda Lou Scott of Jordan, MN and the other was from Lynn Smith of Spring, TX.   Both of these quilts have already found homes with some foster children that I will soon be blogging about.

Thanks to all FQC participants.  We appreciate your lovely works of art.  For FQC participants that have not sent in a quilt yet, you still have through September to send in your quilt and be eligible for the monthly and yearly $100 cash prize.

Cheers, Tina