And the quilts keep coming and going!

June 30, 2015

I received these little darlings throughout the month of June (where has the time gone? Before you know it, it’ll be October and time for IQF again and another Fat Quarter Challenge!!):

Cheryl Fitzgerald, Claudia Swee Meridy Pyer, Laura Savage Quilting for Christ, Judy Cabot Donna Sciandra, Judy Cabot Pat Ferguson

We’d like to thank Claudia Swee, Cheryl Fitzgerald, Donna Sciandra, Judy Cabot’s longarm skills, the Quilting for Christ Ministry, Meridy Pyer and Laura Savage for the little lovelies.  They’ll be going on their way to bring joy and comfort to children all over the world as I will soon be sending a shipment to the Salaam Cultural Museum.  If you go through the archives, it will warm your heart to see these dear, sweet children hugging their very own quilts close. It helps me stay motivated, I’ll tell ya that! :)

The winner of this month’s drawing for that $25 gift certificate to the Fat Quarter Shop is Charlotte Kieliszek, whose quilt was featured in last month’s blog post. Congratulations, Charlotte! It will be on it’s way to your inbox shortly.

Thank you again to all of you for your generous donations. Quilters are the most generous and compassionate group of people anywhere and it’s a privilege to work with you!



Fat Quarter Challenge for May

June 1, 2015

Hello everyone!  It has been so wonderful to go to the mailbox and see all the wonderful quilts you have sent. With close to 700 quilts still needed before November, these completed quilts are a godsend for us as they enable us to quickly send them on to various initiatives.  This month I received two FQC quilts, one from Charlotte Kieliszek and also Erin O’Neal pictured below:

Charlotte Kieliszek, Erin O'Neal

For those of you who haven’t sent them in yet, there’s still time PLUS you’ll be entered to win in the monthly drawing EVERY MONTH after it’s received. The winner of this month’s drawing is Edith Shanholt! Edith, if you could please email us, we’ll get the gift certificate on it’s way.

I’ve also received these beauties:

Maria Hamilton, Brenda Lou Scott, Sandi Watters, Sandia Quilters Carolyn Sower, Maria Hamilton, Della Burwell, Sandi Watters, Deb Jackson Debi Jackson Debi Jackson, Mary Kolpack, Maria Hamilton, Della Burwell, Sandi Watters Donna Sciandra, Della Burwell, Maria Hamilton, Brenda Scott, Sandi Watters Maria Hamilton, Della Burwell, Sandi Watters

Let’s give a shout out to the following piecers and quilters:

Maria Hamilton, Brenda Lou Scott, Della Burwell, Sandia Quilters of Albuquerque, NM, Carolyn Sowers, Debi Jackson, Mary Kolpack and Donna Sciandra.  They have really been busy lately and I know these will bring love and comfort to the children.

Again, thanks to all of you! The need is so great. What a special gift you all have and you’re so willing to give so freely. I know the children cherish their quilts and I hope you can feel their joy by looking at their happy faces.



A Quilt from the Bear Creek School in Redmond, WA

May 27, 2015

This is really an “orphan” quilt. It was made by a third grade class for a school auction . For whatever reason, it never got to auction. As this is my grandson’s school, someone remembered my volunteerism with QBB so it was gifted to us. I was thrilled that anyone even remembered my work and thrilled to receive such a colorful, unique quilt. I guess it speaks volumes to telling everyone you meet about our organization. I added a lot of quilting but other than that it’s just perfect. Thank you to the Bear Creek School in Redmond, WA. I’m hoping they’ll do it again, so fun being from kid to kid.

Bear Creek Elementary

Regards, Karen V

Quilts from St. James the Less, NILAG, Jolene, Marci and Jeanne AND Deliveries to Gaza and Jordan

May 23, 2015

April was a great month for Quilts Beyond Borders.  We received lots of beautiful tops and quilts from a lot of wonderful quilters and piecers.  The ones I’d like to feature in this post are the ones I received here in Illinois from the quilters of St. James the Less in Northfield, IL and the Northern Illinois Long Arm Guild (NILAG), as well as some quilts I received in April from Jolene McClellan and earlier in the year from Jeanne Ayers and Marci Lane.

St. James the Less    First, here are the beautiful tops I received from my friend, Sue Babbs, of St. James the Less.  Sue’s group has been contributing to Quilts Beyond Borders for many years, and the quilt tops they provide are always beautiful, well made, and kitted up with backing and binding to make it easy for us to quickly pass them along to longarmers to finish up and speed them along the way to needy children and orphans.  Here is a picture of Sue the day she delivered the tops to me, and pictures of all the tops I received that day.  These cute tops were made by Jill, Betsy, Linda, Diane, Meredith, Sarah and Sue.   For a closer look at any picture, click on the thumbnail.  To see who made it, hover over it with your cursor and the name will appear in the lower left corner of the screen.

Sue Babbs 2015 03 02 Betsy(2) 2015 03 14 Diane (2) 2015 03 14 Jill (1) 2015 03 14 Jill (2) 2015 03 14 Jill (3) 2015 03 14 Jill (4) 2015 03 14 Jill (5) 2015 03 15 Betsy 2015 03 15 Linda 2015 03 15 Meredith 2015 03 15 Sarah 2015 03 16 Linda 2015 03 20 Linda 2015 03 31 Sue

Northern Illinois Longarm Group    The following pictures are quilts I received from NILAG.   This is the longarm guild to which I belong — a great group of quilters who meet every other month.  For info about this guild, here’s the URL to their blog:

These wonderful quilts were quilted by:

  • Sharon Gaber (top by Meredith, of St. James the Less)
  • Sandra Smith (tops by Sandra Smith and Carmen Zapata)
  • Anonymous NILAG  (3 quilts, including one from a top by Jill of St. James the Less)

As above, click on the photo for a closer look, and hover over to see the names of the quilter and piecer.

Nilag 1 Nilag 2 Nilag 3 Sandra Smith 1 Sandra Smith 2 Sharon & Meredith

Jolene McClellan    Jolene is a longarmer in Wisconsin.  She sent these four beautiful quilts which were made from tops by Teri Goade, Bobbi and Jackie Nickols, Judy Wood and Tracey Murphy.

Jolene McClellan & Teri GoadeJolene McClellan & Bobbi & Jackie Nichols Jolene McClellan & JudyWood  Jolene McClellan & Tracey Murphy

Marci Lane  Marci, a quilter from Texas, pieced and quilted the two cute quilts shown below and dropped them off to us at the International Quilt Festival in Houston last year.  There was a third one as well, but I’m afraid I sent it on to be delivered to a needy child before I had a chance to photograph it!  Hopefully we’ll see a picture of it wrapped around a child when it’s delivered.

Marci Lane 1 Marci Lane 2

Jeanne Ayers   Jeanne Ayers, of Florida, has been quilting for Quilts Beyond Borders for many years now, and always makes adorable quilts for us.  These two are no exception!

Jeanne Ayers 1 Jeanne Ayers 2

Thanks to all the wonderful quilters who made all of these beautiful quilts!  I know the children who receive them will cherish them!  Many of them have already been boxed up and sent to the State of Washington where they were delivered to the Salaam Cultural Museum which is taking them as part of a humanitarian mission to Jordan for refugees from the Syrian war and to Gaza for children in a Cerebral Palsy hospital.  For more information about this mission and for some pictures, keep reading!

Deliveries to Jordan and Gaza

I received a note from one of our Board members, Karen Vander Stoep, summarizing a meeting she had with Rita Zawaidah, the Director of the Salaam Cultural Museum who is leading the effort to get humanitarian aid to Syrian refugees in Jordan.  Here is that note:

Quilts for children in trauma centers, Jordan and Syria
We are in full swing on this initiative with a target of 480 quilts by November.  Such a hefty undertaking, but nevertheless we are moving along.

I had the pleasure of meeting with Rita Zawaideh today.  She’s the one woman icon who is leading the effort to establish trauma centers for refugee children.  One is operating right now in Aman, serving 40 children per day; 3 evenings per week – adult women are treated for trauma and 2 times per month, families are treated.  The full time staff includes 4 social workers, a psychiatrist and a psychologist.

We call it the trauma center, but its name is the Malki Center, named after the wife of a volunteer Dr. She gave $60,000 to erect the building. The Malki Center will be expanded with another site in Jordan; funds have been donated to build that building.

Our quilts are also to be received by what I call “the lost children of Syria Idlib.” 35 children, ages 6-15, living in a cave in Syria. They have no family, no papers so they cannot get out. Rita’s group provides clothing, food, needed aid and walks to the outside when it is safe. I can assure you she is always looking for a way to get them out.

It is such a privilege to know Rita and the endless contributions she makes to the refugee effort. I mentioned that I have often told people, she walks really close to God. She started crying and I wasn’t sure I would get her back. She said, “Sometimes I am quite emotional about what I do.” Well, no wonder.

So to you all, your investment in quilts for refugee children is so much appreciated. I had mentioned they would go on the next container. She says oh no, they go in our baggage, they’re special quilts.

Thanks again for all you do!

Below are pictures of quilts delivered to children in the Trauma Center in Jordan:

TC - Jordan 5

TC - Jordan 1 TC - Jordan 2 TC - Jordan 3

TC - Jordan 4  TC - Jordan 6

You can see that it’s always important for the children to have their names written on the labels that are on the backs of the quilts.   So many of the children who receive our quilts have left their homes with only the clothes on their backs and what they can carry in their hands, so they really treasure receiving a quilt of their very own.

The following pictures were taken in a Cerebral Palsy school in Gaza.  Salaam Cultural Museum worked with the Physicians for Social Responsibility to get the quilts delivered to the children there.

Gaza 2

Gaza 1 Gaza 4 Gaza 3

We have delivered more than 180 quilts to Salaam Cultural Museum since March, and anticipate delivering another 300 before November.  Great thanks to the quilters who created the quilts in the pictures above, and all the quilters and volunteers who have helped us and continue to help us with these efforts!

Best regards,



April Quilts

May 4, 2015

What a wonderful month April was.  Many quilts were sent on their way to Jordan to help the refugees feel loved and special and to provide comfort as well as warmth for them. So many quilters have sent me quilts this month and soon they’ll be on their way to Jordan as well. How about these beauties…

Donna Sciandra, Quilting for Christ, Edie Hubenak FQC Joyce Goldberg FQC, Carolyn Sower, Judy Cabot, Kathy Elston, Peggy Aront

Special thanks to Donna Sciandra, Quilts for Christ, Edie Hubenak, Joyce Goldberg, Carolyn Sower, Judy Cabot, Kathy Elston and Peggy Aront for these happy, happy quilts.

Pattilou with the Sunshine Online Quilt Guild has been super busy lately.  She took her lotto block winnings, string blocks and panels and sent me all 12 of these lovelies…

Pat F, Sunshine April 1 Pat F, Sunshine April 2 Pat F, Sunshine April 3 Pat F, Sunshine April 4

Such diversity! Such creativity! Sunshine in a box! Thank you, Pattilou!

Our winner for April for the $25 gift certificate to the Fat Quarter Shop is Rebecca Timm!  This is a repeat win for her, lucky girl! Remember, you’re entered every month in the drawing for the gift certificate, not just the month I receive your quilt so be sure to finish up your Fat Quarter Challenge Quilt soon for more chances to win!



FQC and More!

April 2, 2015

It’s been a fun month watching the quilts come in. It’s been a typical March with blustery winds so the quilts really look like they’re going to fly to their destinations right off the clothesline. Today we have Fat Quarter Challenge quilts as well as quilts just being sent because we have our initiatives going on. It’s always a pleasure to see a box in the mail! So without further ado, the quilts…

Della B:Sandi W  Martha Klatt, Edith Shanholt, Maria O Rodriguez  Carolyn Sower & Judy Cabot  Carolyn Sower, Della Burwell, Judy Cabot  FQC March except 1st one, Karen Kehoe, Diane Hamm, Sue Hudak


We would like to give a shout out to Della Burwell, Martha Klatt, Edith Sandholt, Maria O Rodriguez, Carolyn Sower and Longarmer extraordinaire Judy Cabot, Karen Kehoe, Diana Hamm and Sue Hudak. Judy typically asks me to send her 5 quilt kits a month and she gets them quilted and bound and back to me in a quick fashion! It’s always so much fun to see what she does with them. I’ve had the pleasure recently of being able to also quilt some tops up and Della always does my binding for me. It’s all about teamwork, isn’t it? :)

Well, the winner of the $25 gift certificate to the Fat Quarter Shop is…Sue Hudak!! Congratulations, Sue! It will be on its way to you tomorrow.  Do all of you know that the Fat Quarter Shop also features free patterns? They’re always quick and easy and turn out really cute. If you’re looking for something a little different, check out the free pattern section at the Fat Quarter Shop. You’ll be glad you did!

That’s all for now! Until next time,




FQC winner and a new initiative

March 4, 2015

Hello everyone! I hope you’re all staying warm and snug this horrific winter of 2015!  It’s perfect weather to stay inside and sew. We received a couple of quilts last month for the Fat Quarter Challenge. Here they are:

January 2-15 FQC

You’ll also be seeing these later in the post as they are on their way to comfort children in the Syrian Refugee camps. But first…the winner for the $25 gift certificate from the Fat Quarter Shop is Sandra Ohler!! We’ll have that sent to you pronto, Sandra! Congratulations!

Just this morning I sent 2 boxes to Washington state to be sent to the refugees. This is going to be an ongoing project for us this year. These will be going to children who are receiving treatment for PTSD. Rita from the Salaam Cultural Museum, whom we sent quilts to last year for the refugees, has started trauma treatment centers with programs for the children lasting between three and six months. One of the outings that they had recently had them doing something that they’d never done before…seeing and touching grass! The children are given quilts at the beginning of their program and the quilts are kept at the Center for them. Then upon “graduation” the children will be able to take the quilts home.  The need is so great. We need about 350 quilts before December to help these children. So take advantage of your frightful weather and sew, sew, sew!! They have asked that we NOT include any helicopters, planes or military type fabrics. The children have been traumatized by these things. Bright, happy colors will surely bring joy to their hearts and ease their minds. They also love red and green quilts as those are the colors of the Syrian flag. Ages range from 5-16 but our typical quilt size of between 40-45″ wide and 48-60″ long made from 100% cotton fabrics works wonderfully well for them.

Here are the pictures of the quilts that are on their way today! Sorry but the wind insisted on blowing so some of the pictures aren’t the best.




Thanks goes out to Dakota Co Star Quilters, Carol Egan from the Sunshine Guild, Judy Cabot, Kathy Elston, Carolyn Sowers, Donna Dellacamera, Quilting for Christ Ministry, Linda Ferraro, Linda Cadzow, Sandra Ohler, Della Burwell, Joy McAuley, Claudia S, and Vivian Taylor.

Until next time, carry on and sew away!




Fat Quarter Challenge and an unsung hero

February 10, 2015

January 2-15 FQC


Aren’t these fun little quilts? These are the latest quilts to come in for our Fat Quarter Challenge. This almost doubles the number I’ve received since the fat quarters were handed out in Houston last year! I know I’ve said it before but I’ll say it again, it’s really fun to see everyone’s uniqueness and creativity. All shapes and sizes and colors and each one filled with love and ready to bring happiness to someone around the world. Such a great feeling to be a part of this wonderful work! So the winner for January’s drawing is…..Sandra Ohler!  She made the quilt on the left in the picture. Linda Ferraro made the other TWO for us! Thank you both for your help!

Now I’d like to share a story that Ann, our RC in California sent along. It’s about a woman who helps out one of Ann’s sewing groups, Sewing Servants, at her church.

She is 78 years old.  She is less than 5 feet tall.  She has overcome cancer.  She has macular degeneration.  She is a widow.  She lives alone.
Do you think she can’t do very much?  She mows her own lawn.  She cooks and cleans for herself.  She irons for her daughter and son and all their family members.  She loves to iron.
She is a member of Sewing Servants at our church.  She is there nearly every time we meet.  We meet once a week on Mondays and the first Sunday afternoon of each month.  About 6 of us are at the sewing machines.  She does all our ironing.  Our backing fabric has not one single wrinkle.  She is an ace at ironing binding.  Our blocks are neatly pressed and ready to be sewn together.
Recently I received several boxes of tops for QBB.  They needed a great deal of ironing.  I asked her if she would mind ironing them whenever she could.  No hurry, just do it in the next few weeks. There were about 25 in total.  She happily agreed and had them all done in two days!!  What a woman!
What is her name?  Well, she prefers to be anonymous.  She says she doesn’t want any credit for her work.  We just call her Ms. B.
Isn’t she a wonderful example? Truly inspiring! Hopefully we’ll have more stories about some of our unsung heros who give so much and want so little in return.


Confessions of a Regional Coordinator

February 2, 2015

Here I am in front of a quilt I didn’t make! But this quilt holds a significant place in my QBB life.  It is the 200th quilt that has crossed my path for some measure of preparation since I became a QBB Regional Coordinator, exactly one year ago this month.  This top was pieced by the Quilting for Christ Ministry from the Hurst Baptist Church in Hurst, Texas. I unloaded it from Lucy, aka my long-arm, last night, hung it up on the design wall for its blog picture, checked my log book and realized it was a sweet, milestone moment in my journey with QBB.


Here’s a chuckle for you. Recently I got backlogged in my picture taking for blog pictures which meant I had about 30 quilts in the queue waiting to be photographed. You should know that I have a reputation for frequent, mostly unnecessary redecorating around the house. Usually I just rearrange little stuff like pictures and pillows; occasionally I also move furniture.   I read somewhere that you forget to look at your stuff unless you move it around.  (Try it, it feels like you bought new things when you really have just reshuffled everything.)  Anyway, it was definitely time to take blog pictures of these 30 quilts. So I spent the morning climbing up my little stool, pinning one quilt to the wall, climbing down, taking the picture, climbing back up, removing that quilt…and repeating – 30 times! My husband, whom I thought was paying no attention, finally looked up from his computer and asked, “Haven’t you found ONE you like YET?” 

JoyceGoldberg    JanBennett_KarenM    FrancesFink2   FrancesFink

I, like you, have a passion (obsession?!) for quilting. Was signing on to be a QBB Regional Coordinator going to be like the guy who loves to cook, opens a restaurant and then never gets to cook? Happily, no. In fact, after so many years of making quilts for my family (you KNOW that look -“ MOM? I already have 45 quilts, what am I going to do with THIS one??”), sewingwith a new purpose, a new outreach, has become a bright spot in my life.  All the children who receive our quilts receive a work of art that started like the painter’s blank canvas – from nothing. Fabric is solicited, donated, cut, organized, kitted-up and distributed.  Fabric squares become pieced tops. Pieced tops become quilts. Quilts become precious gifts.  Coordinators coordinate. Of course. We coordinate the effort under the watchful, enthusiastic and capable eye of our leader, Carla. We are organizers and cheerleaders for the program. We certainly get to sew and quilt. We are a team who usually only know each other through email.  We continue to hope opportunities to go to IQF in Houston and to travel as a QBB representative on delivery trips to the children in the world will become reality.

We are QBB. I am QBB and I am fulfilled.

Karen Matheson
Northeast Regional Coordinator
Simsbury, Connecticut

Quilt Delivery to the Forgotten People of the Navajo Nation

January 12, 2015

Wow! When we put out a plea to help us collect 100 quilts for the Forgotten People of the Navajo Nation by Christmas, you delivered. We were able to send more than 100 quilts for distribution. If you remember, many of these Navajo do not have heat in their homes, so quilts were desperately needed for the elderly and children.

Our Regional Coordinator, Sandi, who coordinated this delivery had posted several pictures of quilts that were sent for distribution. You can read about those photos from her December 22nd post on the blog. The following quilts were also sent for distribution to the Forgotten People. The quilts were made by the Prayers and Squares Quilting Group, Simsbury United Methodist Church, Simsbury, CT; Donna Sciandra, Karen Matheson and Carol T. If you hover over the pictures, you can see who made the quilts.

CarolT_KarenM  DonnaS_KarenM  KarenM  Prayers&Squares  Prayers&Squares2  Prayers&Squares3  Prayers&Squares4 Prayers&Squares5  Prayers&Squares6  Prayers&Squares7  Prayers&Squares8
Right before Christmas, Marsha Monestersky delivered the quilts to the Navajo and sent pictures from the delivery. I will let the pictures speak for themselves. You will see many new moms and grandmothers receiving quilts for their children. Marsha also sent us this note.

Please find attached some photos of quilts we distributed that went far and wide on the Navajo Nation to children, grandchildren and the elderly

You are incredible and your quilts are amazing
We will be giving out more quilts at Senior Citizens Centers and am thrilled to see how happy the people are to receive your incredible original quilts-artwork

Your quilts make the people feel loved.
Have a Blessed New Year and Thank you!!!! Marsha

Another new mom holding quilt  Begay grandchild w handmade sweater 1  Bessie Wilson w Quilts  Blackrock grandchild w quilts 2  Duane Blackrock w quilts  Glenna grandaughter getting quilts  Gloria Babbitt w quilt 2  Gloria Babbitt w quilt  Jerena Chaat w quilts 1  Jerena Chaat w quilts  Jerry Lane & Duane Blackrock  Jimmy & Arlene Lane w quilts  Martin w quilt  Mary B Maloney w quilt  Mary Babbit Maloney w quilt  Mary Lane w quilt 2  Mary Lane w quilts 2  Mary Rose Kee w Quilts  ???????????????????????????????  New dad Harry holding baby and quilt  New mom holding quilt 2  New mom holding quilt  New moms holding quilts  Quilt for giveaway  Rena B Lane & Jerry Lane w quiltse  Rena B Lane w Beulah Begay w Quilts  Renae new mom holding quilt  Sarah Blackrock w quilts  Sarah Slim w quilts 1  Verna Clinton with quilt  Vicky Begay w Quilts

Thanks again everyone!


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