FQ Challenge for May and More Quilts to Syrian Refugees

June 23, 2016

During May we did not receive any fat quarter quilts for the challenge, however, anyone that has sent in a FQ quilt prior to this time is still entered in the drawing every month.  Our winner of the $25 gift certificate from the FQ Shop  (http://www.fatquartershop.com/) is Kay McKinnon of Grand Blanc, MI.  She is a devoted and talented quilter who sends us about 20 quilts per year.  Congrats Kay!  Here is a picture of some of her quilts submitted recently.

FQC K McKinnon

Regards, Karen V FQ Challenge Coordinator

Now for quilts that have traveled to Jordan for Syrian refugees.  These beautiful quilts were made by the following quilters. Louise Bird and Ellen Janes pieced and quilted their two quilts. The other eight quilts were pieced by Dede Cranford, Theola Breaux, Julie Richards, and Susan Schmidt. The quilting was done by Heidi Oliver, Laural Hertel, Mary Craft, and Tomme Fent. Hover or click on each quilt to see who made them. We have been told by the group delivering the quilts that the people receiving them are so grateful and cherish their quilts!

Thanks to all our volunteers for making these beautiful quilts that will warm the hearts of these children receiving them.

Susan Schmidt  Northwest Regional Coordinator


More Beautiful Quilts! For Syrian Refugees, and Orphans in India and Ethiopia

June 20, 2016

Today I’ll be featuring quilts that will be going to Ethiopia me in September, as well as some that have already headed to Syrian Refugees with Salaam Cultural Museum, as well as to India with Orphan Outreach (OO), an organization in Plano, Texas that works with orphans around the world.  We’ve provided quilts to OO for many years, which went to places like Russia, Romania, Guatemala, and India.  They’ve always got something wonderful going on.  For more information, see their website here:


First, please view these lovely quilts that our Regional Coordinator in North Carolina, Noreen Fling, packaged up and sent off with volunteers from Cherokee Gives Back.  They’re headed to Ethiopia, and will be among the ones I give out when I get to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.  These were made by many wonderful quilters in Noreen’s area, and unfortunately I don’t have the names of them — but if you recognize your quilt in these pictures, let me know and I’ll be happy to give credit where credit is due!  Thank you all!


The next group of pictures show quilts from Gail Hardy.  These have already left for SCM.  So bright and cheerful, I know they will brighten up the Syrian Refugee camp where they land, whether it’s in Jordan, Lebanon, or Greece.


The next group of quilts are from Georgia Goebel.   They will be heading to Ethiopia with me, I believe.  All were beautifully quilted by Georgia.  The first one was pieced by Jeanne, and the fourth one was pieced by one of our most prolific “toppers”, Audrey Murphy.

The next four adorable quilts are quilted by Sue Joos, and pieced by Theola Breaux, Donna Drost, and Kim Bell.  I believe these are all destined to go with OO for orphans in India.

The final two quilts are by Lorie Riopel, and are likely going to Ethiopia with me.  Very pretty!  (EDITED:  Earlier I identified these quilts as being sent by Lori Roelse.  Lori Roelse send me a note and set me straight.  My apologies for my mistake, Lorie Riopel!  These are lovely quilts, and I want to credit them correctly!  Thanks!)


To get a closer look at any of these quilts, click on them in the blog.  And to see who was responsible for each of them, hover your cursor over the thumbnail to see how they are named, because whenever we know, we will include the names of the quilters in the title of the photo.

Great thanks to all the wonderful quilters who created these lovely quilts for us!  I know the children who receive them will cherish them for their warmth, comfort and beauty!





Beautiful Quilts for Syrian Refugees, and a Future Trip to Ethiopia

June 4, 2016

Quilts Beyond Borders (QBB) is ramping up for a busy summer this year. Already we’ve provided quilts to be taken to Rwanda, Zaire, Jordan, Greece, Macedonia, India, Haiti, and a camp in the US for children who have been affected by HIV/AIDS.

Typically the quilts we give to needy children and orphans are 40-45″ wide by 48-60″ long, but occasionally we receive requests for quilts that are larger or smaller than that.  We’re currently finishing up an initiative to provide 200 baby quilts to expectant and new mothers living in Syrian Refugee camps. The baby quilts will be packaged in “Baby Boxes”, along with other baby supplies new infants need, and the boxes can be used for the baby to sleep in. The Baby Box concept was initially developed in Finland to help out new mothers and lower infant mortality there in the 1930’s, and it’s a great way to help out these mothers who are giving birth under incredibly difficult circumstances. For more information about Baby Boxes, see this http://www.babyboxco.com/pages/tradition

We work with Salaam Cultural Museum (SCM) to get the quilts over to the Syrian Refugee camps. SCM does humanitarian and medical work in the camps. One of our Regional Coordinators, Susan Schmidt, spent some time with Rita Zawaideh, the Director of SCM. The following excerpt from Susan’s email to the rest of us is something I want to pass along.

“Rita said things are bad in the refugee camps, women beginning to struggle with depression and there have been some suicides because they have been in the camps so long. I don’t think I realized just how much our quilts mean to the women and children there. Rita said the women cry when they get them and absolutely love them. They can’t believe people from America would do this for them. They are cherished and taken with them when they leave the camps. Everyone needs to know how much Rita appreciates us and how much we mean to her. Even she is amazed that people who have no ties to the Middle East would make such beautiful quilts to donate.”

Here are some of the beautiful baby quilts that will be going to new mothers in the Syrian Refugee camps.  These quilts were made by Brenda Barnett, Bettijean Meyer, Eleanor MacMillan, Jeanne Ayers, Jill Ruesch, Sue Wood and myself.  Brenda and I did our quilts together, using some Unfinished Objects (UFO) blocks that were sent to us by Hollis McCright, and using the “Stitch & Flip” method of quilting — it was a lot of fun!  To see who made each quilt, hover your cursor over the thumbnail.  To get a closer look, click on it.

Now that we’ve completed the Baby Box effort for the year (there will be another Baby Box effort next year as well), we’re continuing to provide at least 20 quilts a month to SCM for the camps. Many of them travel with medical or humanitarian volunteers, and others travel via container ship, used as packing for medical equipment until they reach their destination, where they are delivered to children who are delighted to receive them. Many of the camps are in mountainous areas, which get very cold at night, especially in the winter, so the families cherish the quilts that are received by the children. They are, quite literally, lifesaving.

For more about SCM and the Baby Box initiative, take a look at this article from the Seattle Times:  http://www.seattletimes.com/seattle-news/supplies-and-tlc-in-baby-boxes-for-syrian-refugees/?utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=article_left_1.1

Working with Orphan Outreach (a charity in Plano, Texas that works with orphanages around the world) QBB will be providing more quilts for their volunteers to take to an orphanage in India during the summer. They will be taking more than 150 in two deliveries.

In September I will be going back to Ethiopia, along with 2 or 3 other volunteers and 200-250 quilts to be given children in orphanages there. We will also be teaching some sewing skills to indigent women to help them develop the means to earn a living. It’s always a wonderful trip for me, as I spent my “Wonder Years” in Ethiopia, and it’s always great to get back there. I’m looking forward to bringing some of the beautiful quilts lovingly made by wonderful quilters from the US and Canada to provide to the orphans there.

Thank you all for making this possible!


Quilts to Syrian Refugees and to Ethiopia

June 1, 2016

We have a wonderful showing of quilts today.  Some of these quilts have been shipped to Ethiopia and some will be shipped to Syrian refugee children.

These quilts are headed to Ethiopia this fall and were quilted by Sharon Pudwell.


The following quilts were made by Donna Sciandra, Joy McAuley, Mary Alice Kolpak and Mary Verrico and I quilted many of them.  These have already been sent to the Salaam Cultural Museum for the  June shipment to Greece for the Syrian refugee children.

The quilts are beautiful and we really can’t thank our volunteers enough.


A Cornucopia of Quilts & A Shout out to Fairfield

May 28, 2016

Before I share the beautiful quilts in this post, QBB would like to thank Fairfield World (http://www.fairfieldworld.com) for the gift of batting that will be used to make quilts for the children.  Here is a picture of Noreen Fling, QBB Regional Coordinator, and Mario from Fairfield.


Without further ado, here are quilts that our Regional Coordinator, Karen Matheson has sent for distribution to Ethiopia and Syria.  The first picture has quilts made by Karen; Donna Sciandra, quilted by Sandy Darlington; Sandy Morawski and Mary Gibbons.


Quilts to Ethiopia

The next 2 pictures are quilts going to Syrian refugee children that have been sent to the Salaam Cultural Museum for distribution.  The quilts are as follows:  two made by Marsha Johnson, and quilted by Fran Fink and Terri Desmond, and two by Susan Elliott.  The other picture are quilts made by Elaine Longley, Barbra Buckley, Sandy Morawski, and two by Prayers and Squares, Simsbury United Methodist Church, CT.

And finally, the following are pictures of quilts that were brought to us at the 2015 IQF, either as completed quilts or as tops that have been finished in the last few months.  Lisa Glenn, one of our Regional Coordinators, sent the quilts to the Salaam Cultural Museum to be given to babies and children in the Syrian Refugee camps in Lebanon, Jordan, Greece and Macedonia.

Thanks to all of our piecers and quilters.  These quilts are sure to bring joy and comfort to many children.



Quilts to India

May 25, 2016

Below are some of the lovely quilts that are being sent to India via Orphans Outreach whom we have worked with before.  These quilts will be delivered early summer I believe and then we will have another batch delivered in the fall.

The piecers and quilters of these quilts are:  Loretta Kelldorf, Cindy Green, Donna Drost, Krista Baker, Bobbi & Jackie Nichols, Autumn Crites, Linda Rogde, Judy Danials, MaryLou Stanson, Donna Spicket, Sunshine Quilts Quild, Janet Gilbert, Betty Barna, Jenny Briscoll, Rheta Grove, Sally J., Shelley North, Grandma Jan, Patricia Phinneg and Marie B.

I just love looking at these quilts.  They’re so bright and colorful.   If you click on the photos, you will see the names of the quilters. Thanks to all our volunteers, the children that receive these quilts will love them.

April Fat Quarter Challenge

May 3, 2016

Each year at the International Quilt Festival we give quilters the opportunity to participate in our Fat Quarter Challenge.   The participants sign-up to receive a fat quarter and a block pattern which they use as the basis to create a quilt for the needy children that are served by Quilts Beyond Borders.  The finished quilts roll in each month, and it is fun to see where they come from and occasionally we receive notes with them as I did this month from Marci Roberts of Idaho.  She writes, “I hope these are good enough, I’ve only been sewing a short time.”  They are wonderful Marci and so are the other quilts we have received.  The winner of this month’s drawing for a $25 gift certificate from the Fat Quarter Shop is Marlene Glickman of Clearwater, FL.  Congratulations!

The FQ Challenge quilts below are from Pam Finnegan, Woodlands, TX; Marlene Glickman, Clearwater, FL and Carolyn Goodling, York, PA.

Thank you on behalf of the many children around the world who will enjoy them.

Karen V.

Odyssey of Ozington and his Quilt

April 26, 2016

Quilting for charity is a wonderful experience where you can practice new techniques, spend some time doing something you love, and make a needy child or orphan very happy as a result of your work. At QBB we try to post pictures of as many quilts as we can on our blog when we receive them. We also try to take photos of deliveries whenever we can, and post them to the blog so you can see your quilt delivered to an excited child. Sometimes the orphanages don’t allow pictures or sometimes the groups that transport quilts for us get so excited giving out quilts that they forget to take photos, so it doesn’t always happen. I’ve always thought of our posting pictures of the deliveries as sort of “the end” of the story of making or receiving a top, getting it to a longarm quilter, finishing it up, packing it up, and giving it to a child.

Every once in awhile, though, I get a reminder that the creation and delivery of the quilt is just the beginning. We got one of those earlier this year, when we received a message from an adoptive mother that said this:

“I have long wanted to thank your organization for providing my son with a lovely quilt while he was in an orphanage in Ethiopia. We brought it home as a keepsake 3 years ago now and it is a lovely reminder of human generosity and kindness. I hope you know these lovely quilts go to beautiful children who deeply appreciate them. Thank you sincerely from my family to all of you, Jessa R.”

Wow!! Just reading the comment made me tear up! And since I’d gone to Ethiopia 3 years ago, with a couple of friends and about 200 quilts, I wondered if Jessa and I had been there at the same time. Jessa and I started corresponding, and quickly discovered that we were there the same week. While she wasn’t at the orphanage at the exact time we were there, we had posted a picture of her son, being hugged by one of my friends as he received a quilt, on a blog post I posted in May of 2012, when I returned from that trip.  https://quiltsbeyondborders.wordpress.com/2012/05/11/img_1215/

(You can see more details of our 2012 trip by searching on “installment”, as I posted “Installments 1-7” about the trip.)

Here’s the picture of Jessa’s son, Ozington, with my friend, Linda Visentin McDaniel, on the day we gave out the quilts and a couple of pictures of Ozington and his new parents.

Oz - with LindaOz - with Mom - JessaOz - with Mom & Dad

Jessa made a beautiful video of their trip to Ethiopia to get Ozington and has shared it with us at this Youtube URL:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V4yCFnFr0xY

Jessa keeps in touch with several other couples that she met, also adopting on the same trip. They get together frequently, so she sent my blog link to them, and pretty soon she said they were all very emotional: “A lot of emotions from wanting to squeeze our kids extra tight to being so thankful for the kindness of strangers.”

Here are some pictures of Ozington’s little friends, who were also adopted by Canadian couples, as they received the quilts in the orphanage.  The following pictures show my friend, Brenda Barnett with Rumi, and the other picture shows Chance.  As it turned out Ozington’s little pal, Chance, was originally photographed with the quilt that Ozington eventually took home with him – I guess some trading went on after we left!

Jessa also sent us some pictures of the children, still pals, now at home in Canada

Jessa also sent us a picture of Ozington’s quilt label, so we know that his quilt was pieced by the Sisterhood of the Thimble in Martinsburg, WV, and quilted by one of the longarmers in the guild I belong to in Illinois, NILAG member Emma Everett.

Oz - Quilt Label

Ladies, thank you for doing such a lovely job on this quilt! It has traveled back and forth across the Atlantic, and all these years later it is still treasured by the little boy who received it!

Oz - With Quilt in 2016

Great thanks to Jessa Rodenburgh for sharing her story, pictures and video with us.  We wish you all great luck, love and happiness together always!



The Quilts are Blooming!

April 15, 2016

Finally here in Maryland, the weather is beginning to look and act like spring.  It’s so nice to be able to take pictures of quilts outside.  Today we have a beautiful bouquet of quilts.  Most of these will be going to Ethiopia this fall.

When you scroll over the pictures you can see the names of the volunteers involved.  The quilts from Katy Sweigart (MI) and Melissa Snyder (IN) did not have piecers’ names on the labels on the back of them so we are assuming that they pieced and quilted the quilts themselves or they received the quilts from us with no labels with piecers’ names included.  Sometimes identifications get separated from the tops if we’re getting a lot at once (like we do at the Houston IQF) and sometimes the piecers just don’t identify themselves to us. Please let us know if you know who pieced these, so we can give credit where credit is due!   Also featured is a quilt from Barbara Baker (MI) and two pieced by Barbara Peterson (NYC) and quilted by me.

A quick note about labels on the quilts.  We ask that you could provide labels on the back of the tops and quilts for a few reasons.  First we like the children to know that a specific person(s) made the quilt for them;  we also leave a space for the child’s name to be written on it.  Many times these quilts are their sole possession, besides the clothes they have, so being able to have their quilt marked just for them is important.  Also, it helps the Regional Coordinators if a label is already attached to the quilt and saves us some time.

The labels can be as simple as a piece of muslin (the one below is about 3×5 inches) and written with the information using a permanent ink pen such as a sharpie or you can use a printer.  Here are pictures of some labels.  Just remember that the labels need to be machine stitched onto the quilt, please don’t be concerned about hiding that stitching; it’s more important for the label to be affixed permanently.

Thanks everyone for providing these quilts to make some children feel loved and warm.  We’re looking forward to a beautiful weekend and hope the same for you.

Cheers, Tina

Quilt Your Heart Out Podcast & More Photos

April 13, 2016

Probably two months ago, one of our Regional Coordinators, Susan Schmidt ran into Mary Fons and told her about Quilts Beyond Borders.  Well Mary was very excited about our organization and she and her mother, Marianne, will give us a shout out on their podcast tomorrow, April 14th.  Here’s a bit from Mary’s letter to us:

“If you’re not familiar, the QYHO podcast is new and is hosted by me and my mom, Marianne Fons. It’s a call-in advice show for quilters and each week we feature a “social media shoutout.” You’re our “social media shoutout” on the April 14th show! We told our listeners (many thousands already) about QBB’s mission and directed people to your website/blog (via ours, quiltyourheartout.com) simply in hopes they’ll be as interested and inspired as I was when I learned about your work.”

So please visit their site www.quiltyourheartout.com  and you will be able to send in questions and listen to their podcast.

Recently I had the chance to quilt some quilts from one of our prolific quilters, Joy McAuley, from MD.  I am always amazed how people can put together scrap quilts cause I have the hardest time doing that.  As you can see, Joy, took lots of fabric pieces to make the squares.  Two of these larger quilts will be headed to Syrian Refugee children and the rest will be going to Ethiopia.  Can you tell it was a windy day while photographing these?


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