Do Quilts Really Flirt?

January 20, 2016

“Hey there, cute one. Have I met you before? You are looking particularly beautiful.  Moda prints, right!?”

“Yes!” And you have to be Kona. Mmmm, love those dark and dusky cotton colors. I don’t think we have met. Where have you been hanging out?”


“Oh man, if you only knew. All this travel, cooped up in tight boxes with so many others. And it was worse before I even started traveling. Originally I am from Australia, the product of many poor rejected pieces of plain old fabric, tossed in a box in a closet somewhere in The Outback.  Have you heard about The Outback? It’s really out there. But fortunately people who have to work hard to make a living still have big hearts for helping those even less fortunate. Eventually I was pieced together, after having my parts (oh, sorry, didn’t mean to sound so off-color) exhumed from that forlorn box, and sewn into a quilt top destined for an organization called Quilts Beyond Borders.”

“Really? Quilts Beyond Borders, did you say? You aren’t even going to believe this, but I, too have a label attached to me that says those very words! Are you SURE we haven’t met?”

“Honey, you are so darn pretty with all those pretty pink flowered prints, I would have remembered you! And I would probably have fallen in love with you, too, as some little girl is going to do when she gets you for her very own.  I assume you have been traveling, too, sweetheart?”

“Oh yes, Mr. Kona, I have really been around. Oh gosh, I didn’t mean that to sound the way it did. I am really NOT that kind of girl…..But, yes, like you, I started out as a bunch of rejected, uneven, unmatched flowery pieces of fabric. Eventually a very talented lady in Buffalo, New York in the USA (do you know where that is? Not close to The Outback at all!  In fact, Buffalo is on the other side of the world from The Outback!) Anyway, this talented lady is very dedicated to Quilts Beyond Borders and makes all kinds of quilt tops out of us rejected scraps. Scraps, ugh.  Isn’t that an awful word? I prefer to think I was created from little beauties-in-waiting.”

“I travelled as a little quilt top from this lady’s studio in Buffalo to another place in the United States called Connecticut where I was fixed-up – oh gosh, there I go again, with some fancy quilting stuff, folded back up, packed in another box with others just like me, and shipped off, yet again to a place called Massachusetts. In Massachusetts I was stretched from stem to stern on a monstrous machine. Geez, I hated that machine! Wasn’t it in the olden days that people stretched the bad guys on monstrous machines as a form of punishment? Well, anyway, I survived that ordeal, and turned out to be just fine, in fact, quite beautiful, I’m told, in the end.”

“But you are right, I wasn’t close to being done with all this traveling yet. This time I was jammed in a box with so many others like me to what I thought was my final destination.  But, to my chagrin, I ended up back at the house in Connecticut where I just laid there, folded on a shelf (where no one could appreciate my beauty or genuine warmth) waiting to hear about my next stop. I was not happy about that. It seemed to me it was about time for me to arrive in a child’s arms, as I had been promised so long ago.”

“I hear you. Wow, you know what, I think we really might have met a long time ago because I, too, spent some time at that house in Connecticut. I got sent from Australia to Connecticut and then, you are not going to believe this, I went to Canada for a while – and ended up stretched out on one of those monster machines! I agree – ouch!! But it did me a world of good. Like people getting face lifts, I suppose, quilts don’t look right until they get all that Work done….The Connecticut lady thought it was so cool that she was the intermediary between Australia and Canada. Big deal, I thought. Let’s get on with this.”

“Right, my friend, and so now, after all that, here we are, finally meeting, stuffed in a box, very close together. Mmm, this is so romantic. Doesn’t get much cozier than this. We both look pretty spiffy, too. I’m so glad I don’t look a wreck now that I have met you.”
“This IS fun, but I am really excited to think about the end of this trip because I think, at last we will be in the arms of a couple of little children. And I think you and I might be together – forever. Do you think we could get cots next to one another? Let’s see if we can work that out.”
Karen Matheson
Northeast Regional Coordinator
Connecticut/Rhode Island

2015, What a Year We Had!

January 10, 2016

Well we’ve all been busy and this blog post is late, but I promise, it’s a good one! I want to tell you about how we ended with our commitments during 2015 and also share some pictures of quilts that have been sent and received.
Let’s first talk about some of the quilts that were sent last year. Most of these quilts below went to Syrian refugee children in Jordan and to the Navajo of Bennet Freeze. I want to thank Joy McAuley for piecing and Linda Brammer for machine quilting these tops.

The second set of photos are quilts that have been delivered to the Downs Syndrome School in Guatemala. The smiles on the faces of these children should convince you that your quilts are cherished.

We do ask that the organization that makes the delivery try to take pictures of the children with the quilts. Many times this is easier said than done. There are times that the receiving organization will not allow the children to be photographed; other times it gets so hectic and photos are not taken. Please be assured that the quilts are going to the children, so you have no worries there. If you have Facebook, we recently shared some photos from the Salaam Cultural Museum (Syrian refugee children) and pictures of some of the Navajo. Do not worry though, we will also do a blog post with these pictures if you don’t have Facebook.


Last year we had been asked to commit over 1100 quilts and we were able to deliver nearly 1200 quilts! It just astonishes me the generosity of our volunteers. Here are the raw numbers, the first number was the target, the second number was what we committed, and the third number was what we sent.

Salaam Cultural Museumtrauma centers & refugee camps, Jordan, Lebanon, Gaza:  480 / 578 / 571
Downs Sydrome School – Guatemala:   120 / 120 / 148
Micro Orphanage Haiti:  20 / 20 / 25
Christ the Center Ministries Primary and Nursery School – Uganda:         168 / 150 / 168
Forgotten People – Bennett Freeze:  200 / 200 / 215
Peruvian Orphanage:  60 / 60  / 35 (note group could only take 35)
Pathfinders in South Dakota:  14
TOTAL  1176 sent

Finally, without you, our volunteers, there is no way we could provide the amount of quilts that we do to children throughout the world. Thank you so much.
Regards, Tina

Somethings Old and Somethings New at the 2015 International Quilt Festival in Houston!

October 24, 2015

This year the Quilts Beyond Border booth at the IQF will be in a new place at the IQF. We’ll be in the aisle closest to the wall between Hall C (where the vendors are) and Hall D where the show quilts are hung. We’re right by the door between Halls C&D towards the back of Hall C. This is a section for the “Interactive” booths, which are the booths that are charities and/or dedicated to the education and preservation of quilting and quilts. We’re also right behind the Open Studios where presentations will be given by speakers concerning various aspects of quilting.


Quilts Beyond Borders is a non-profit charity, with no paid staff. All the proceeds from our booth at the IQF will go directly toward getting more quilts finished and delivered to needy children and orphans. This year we have a lot of terrific new products as well as many of the great items we’ve sold in our booth in the past.

We’ll be selling some wonderful quilts made by our volunteers.  Here are just a few of the many that we’ll have for you to choose from:

251 20150929_105229-1 266 IMG_6547 334  20150929_105433-1 275  

We also have two beautiful mini landscape wall hangings, made by Helene Knott, who designs, teaches, and creates landscape quilts of all kinds.  She is a past winner at the Houston IQF, so you know these are awesome!  For more info about Helene and her work, see her website at .

348 349

We have some patterns we’ve sold in the past, like this foolproof Sudoku pattern by me, and this adorable pumpkin patch wall hanging by Jolyn Buhl of Caught up in Stitches.  You can see more of her adorable designs on  her blog, .
IMG_3618 urban pumpkin patch pic

You might remember the Ethiopian jewelry, scarves, carved items, woven baskets and string animals we’ve sold in past years.  We have some more of those big favorites with us again this year!

IMG_0378 IMG_0380 Picture2 IMG_0376 IMG_0382

This year we also have items from Jordan, brought to us by the sister of Susan Schmidt (our Regional Coordinator in Oregon).  We’ve provided over 500 quilts to Syrian refugee children in Jordan and Lebanon this year, so I’m looking forward to seeing these items in person!

299    300

We have terrific Regional Coordinators who do so much to help us gather and finish quilts and coordinate initiatives to get the quilts to needy children and orphans all over the world.   Susan Schmidt also made us these wonderful coaster sets and coasters in fabric boxes.  Kim Bell, our Regional Coordinator in Georgetown, TX. made these ornamental hat pins, nail file holders and pretty bracelets.

343 358 FullSizeRender IMG_8971 Nail File HolderIMG_8722 

All of our regional coordinators also made mug rugs, fundraising quilts, and kitted up lots of fabric so you can help our charity by making a top for us or signing up to participate in our Fat Quarter Challenge.  This pretty young lady picked up a kit last year, and returned it to us as a completed quilt top just a couple of days later!  That’s what I call a QUILTER!  You GO, Girl!!


Last year we had such a great time, and we’re excited about seeing you in Houston this coming week.  Here are just a few of the pictures we took of our booth and some of the terrific people who stopped by and the wonderful people who worked in our booth.

IMG_6546 IMG_6542 IMG_6544

IMG_6540IMG953677 IMG953674

Stop by and see us!  And remember, every penny you spend in our booth will help us to get a quilt to a needy child or orphan.  Thanks for your support!



Thanks to Quilt Shops, Designers & Manufacturers

October 7, 2015

Many of you already know that our group is non-profit and completely relies upon the generosity of our volunteers and corporate gifts. Over the past year we have been fortunate to receive donations from manufacturers and independent quilt shops.

First up is the Fat Quarter Shop For the past few years we’ve given out fat quarters at the International Quilt Festival (IQF) as a challenge for quilters to make a quilt for us and be entered in an annual drawing for $100. During the past year, beginning in November, the Fat Quarter Shop donated a $25 gift certificate for a monthly drawing for Fat Quarter Challenge quilts returned to us. This was the first year that we were able to provide a monthly incentive. The earlier you turned in your quilt, the more chances you had to win this $25 since you would be entered in each month’s drawing after we received your quilt. We are pleased to announce that the Fat Quarter Shop will again be sponsoring our monthly drawing. If you’re in Houston, stop by and see them at booth 1524.

(Please note that I have tried to include IQF booth numbers for manufacturers and vendors referenced in this post.  If a booth number is not listed, it does not mean that they will not be at IQF.)

There are times that manufacturers contact us about donations. We were recently contacted by Marcus Fabrics to see if we could use some fabric. Well that was an easy answer, we can always use fabric. They will be at Houston, booth 1022.

Another manufacturer that has helped us is Fairfield who provided us with batting. Our Regional Coordinator, Noreen Fling, recently picked up the batting that they donated to us. Noreen, her husband Rodger, and Amy D’Alessandro from Fairfield are pictured below.

Finally, some other independent quilt shops & designers that have also given us donations in the past year are listed below. A big thanks to the following:

Jordan Fabrics  Grants Pass OR
Pioneer Quilts  Milwaukie, OR
Pocket Change Fabrics  IQF #656, Las Vegas, NV
The Quilt Nest   Castle Rock, WA
Quilting Delights   Happy Valley, OR
Diane Springer Designs  IQF # 2800, Ruston, LA
Pat Fryer with Villa Rosa Designs   IQF # 2710, Smartsville, CA

Thanks so much to all of you for helping us provide quilts to children.
Cheers, Tina

September FQC quilts and Winner

October 2, 2015

September is the final month for the 2014 Fat Quarter Challenge.  The three pictured here are the final quilts for the drawing.  Any one of all the people who made and sent completed quilts from the Fat Quarter Challenge could be a winner.

The real winners are the children who will receive a lovely quilt to keep forever.  Thank you to all the quilters who have helped with this project.  You are wonderful people.

Susan S. FQC Sept. 2015

Susan S. had stars in her eyes when she made this bright quilt.FQC by Donna KilloranDonna Killoran made this quilt with lots of steps.



Sue Chae

Sue Chae contributed a nice blue and brown quilt.













Now for the winner of the $100……….Charlotte Kieleszek!!  Congratulations and thank you for being part of this project.

We also want to thank Daniar from the Fat Quarter Shop for her generosity throughout the year.  She has provided prizes to each of the monthly winners.  Be sure to check out her shop on line at

Everyone be sure to pick up another Fat Quarter at the Quilts Beyond Borders booth in Houston in October.  We’d love to meet all of you.  Thank you for caring about needy children all over the world.

We are continuing to supply quilts for 3 initiatives this fall.  We still need about 250 quilts to fulfill these projects.  If you have quilts that are ready to send, we are ready to receive.  Be sure your quilts are machine quilted and machine bound.  Send us an email so we can give you an address to send the quilts.  Several folks around the country are collecting the quilts and preparing to send them out.

Ann Drake, Regional Coordinator in California

Quilts from Joy McAuley, Barb Peterson, Dena Graham, Kay Baker, Kay McKinnon & Quilts for Christ Ministry

September 19, 2015

As Carla mentioned in her last post, the older you get, the quicker the time flies. Well I really must apologize to these women because I meant to post this blog back in May and somewhere along the way, months flew by and we’re already into the fall. Most of these quilts have already been sent to the Salaam Cultural Center for the Syrian refugee children in Jordan and a few of them will either be going to Guatemala or to the Navajo of Bennet Freeze.

Our first set of quilts are from Joy McAuley. She has not only been quilting and piecing for us, but also donates lots of fabric to make backings and more quilts. Joy, I love your choice of colors and how the colors are so bright.  Joy quilted 4 of these and I quilted the other 3.

JoyMcAuley (1) JoyMcAuley_Tina(3) JoyMcAuley_Tina (2) JoyMcAuley_Tina (1) JoyMcAuley (4) JoyMcAuley (3) JoyMcAuley (2)

The last set of quilts are from Barb Peterson/Dena Graham, Kay Baker, Kay McKinnon and 2 from Quilts for Christ Ministry. The quilts are lovely and we do appreciate your work.

BarbPeterson_DenaGraham KayBaker KayMckinnon QuiltforChristMinistry_KarenM QuiltforChristMinistry2_karenM

Thanks everyone. You have made a child smile somewhere.


Quilts from NILAG, Melissa Snyder, Sue Joos, Rebecca Walker, & Carol Egan

September 16, 2015

My father used to tell me that the older you get the faster time flies. Well, in that case, I guess I’m getting really old, because the last 6 weeks have just flown by! After attending AQS shows in Syracuse (where I spent time with good friends and had a wonderful time) and Grand Rapids (which was also a wonderful show), I came home and everything just got away from me! While I was off in Syracuse, my friend Debbie Weber was kind enough to pick up quilts that had been finished up by the generous and talented members of the Northern Illinois Longarm Guild (NILAG). Also, I received quilts from several other quilters in other states, including Melissa Snyder, Sue Joos and Rebecca Walker, and I took some time to finish up a couple of tops that Carol Egan from the Sunshine Online Quilt Guild sent us.

So, for your viewing pleasure, we have a colorful display of lovely quilts. Most of them are attributed to both the quilter and piecer (where they are different people), but some of them became separated from their labels somewhere along the way, so if you see anything that you recognize that we attributed incorrectly, please let us know so we can correct the attribution. To see the attribution, hover your cursor over thumbnail, and to see a close-up of the quilt, please click on the thumbnail.

First, quilts from NILAG. Some of these were tops kitted up with backing and batting, mostly received from piecers at the IQF. A few were quilted by the piecer, but because the orphanages and places where these quilts are sent often have very tough laundry conditions, we asked the NILAG members to add some of their magic to the quilts to ensure they would be rugged enough to withstand the toughest of conditions. And several of these quilts were both pieced and quilted by these great ladies! NILAG quilters who quilted these quilts included Carol Paxton, Judith White, Sally S., Nancy Sturgeon, Erica B, and another quilter who remains anonymous.  Piecers included Jill, Betsy, Linda, Meredith, and Susie (all from the quilters of the Episcopal Church of Saint James the Less in Northfield, IL) and Quilting for Christ from the First Baptist Church of Hurst, Texas.

Carol P & Betsy Carol P & Meredith SJL Carol P Carol P2 Erica B Jill - SJL (2) Jill - SJL Jill - SJL-001 Judith W & Q4Christ Nancy S & Q4ChristSally S & Sally Susie - SJLUnkSally S - Linda SJL Nancy SSally S & Jill - SJL

Next are quilts by Melissa Snyder.  Piecers include Quilting for Christ, Linda Cadzow, and Jill from St. James the Less.

Melissa S & Jill of SJL Melissa S & Linda C Melissa S & Q4Christ Melissa S & Q4Christ2 Melissa S

The following quilts were made by Sue Joos:

Sue J Sue J2 Sue J3 Sue J4

These quilts were quilted by Rebecca Walker.  Rebecca’s signature on all the quilts she makes is the fuchsia and black square that is different from the rest of the squares in the quilt.

Rebecca Walker 1 Rebecca Walker 2

The final two quilts were made by Carol Egan and quilted by me.

Carol E - Carla T 2 Carol E - Carla T

Ladies, thank you all very much for creating these beautiful quilts!  Some of these will be headed in the immediate future to Salaam Cultural Museum in Seattle where they will packed into containers and taken to Jordan to be given to Syrian refugee children in trauma centers.  The remainder are likely headed to either Guatemala to a Downs Syndrome school, or they will be headed to the Forgotten Navajo People of the Bennett Freeze area.  I know the children who receive them will treasure them for their warmth and beauty!




Fat Quarter Challenge August 2015

September 1, 2015

August  brought some beautiful quilts for children.  These two were made by Valerie Burgess and Leesa Pierce as a team and Beverley Enright did the fun spinning wheels.

Valerie Burgess_Leesa Pierce

This star quilt was made by Susan Sassic.  This was her first quilt!  Good job Susan.

Susan Sassic FQC
The pretty purple and green quilt was made by Rachel Clemence.   Marilyn Lichtenstein FQC The pink and gray quilt was made by Nancy.  Nice work.


Debi Jackson made one of these three wonderful quilts and Linda Cadzow made the other two.Debi Jackson, Linda Cadzow 2   Two of these lovely quilts were made by Debi Jackson and the third by Della Burwell with fabric donated by Brenda Scott.

Debi Jackson 2, Brenda Scott

The green and yellow stair step design quilt was made by Barbara.  Barbara FQCFour patches in blue and aqua make a pretty design, thanks to Judy Mills.
Judy Mills

Thank you to all the quilters who participated in the Fat Quarter Challenge this month.  The winner of the drawing is Marilyn Hamilton!  Congratulations, Marilyn!

Next month we draw the name for the year!  Who will it be?  It could be any of you who made a quilt for the Fat Quarter Challenge.  Good luck!

Ethiopia 2014

August 21, 2015

Carla, Brenda and Ann distributed quilts to several orphanages in Addis Ababa. It was a blessing to see the smiles on the faces of the children. They seemed happy to have a quilt of their own.


Carla, Ann & Brenda with some new friends:





A typical family in Ethiopia has many children.  The children are happy and full of life.

Wrapping up in a quilt seems to be second nature for kids.

Happiness is a warm hug!  And we have lots of warm hugs and happy hearts here!








Another Day in Ethiopia 2014

August 20, 2015

Delivery of more than 200 quilts takes more than a day…especially when each one is delivered with a hug.


We went to schools to meet some of the children.  They were playful, smiling, and fun to watch.  They sang to us and joined us in singing and dancing to the Hokey Pokey.

                  It is wonderful to know that so many people take the time to make beautiful quilts to give warmth to these children.  Yes, it does get cold in Ethiopia.  It rains a great deal and the air is damp and chilly at times.  At night it is so nice to cuddle up in a quilt made with love.


The labels on the quilts indicate who made the quilt and have a space to write the child’s name.  These kids get to keep the quilt even when they are old enough to leave the orphanages.

The smiles are contagious and we are so blessed to hand out the quilts each day of our visit.


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