From the Northwest and Beyond – Quilts Delivered to Mary’s Place

January 16, 2018

We recently sent 80 quilts to children at Mary’s Place in Seattle which provides a safe place for homeless children and women to sleep at night. They have 7 night shelters in the Seattle area that house over 500 people as well as a day center. They also provide 2 daily meals, hygiene facilities, showers, laundry, medical care and support groups. Their goal is to help find permanent housing for families, employment and available benefits as well. I am grateful for your help so these children can stay warm at night and be comforted by the quilts you have made.

Below are pictures of the quilts we provided and you can click on the picture to see who made and quilted them. Thank you so much for all the quilts and the lovely colors and patterns are sure to bring joy and happiness to the children who receive them!

Susan Schmidt,  Northwest Regional Coordinator

 

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December Fat Quarter Challenge Quilts

January 12, 2018

It’s hard to believe that December has come and gone, and it was one to remember with the bone chilling weather in so much of the country.  I live in southwestern VA and we were hitting negative windchills for 10+ days.  When the temps actually hit 15 one day with no wind, I thought it felt warm out.   Because of the weather, it was difficult to take pictures of the 3 quilts that I received during December for the FQ Challenge, but I was finally able to get photos outside.

All quilts received during the FQ Challenge year are entered into the monthly drawing.  This month, the winner was Kathleen Rountree who submitted her quilt in November.  You can see her quilt in this blog post.  Kathleen has won a $25 gift certificate from the Fat Quarter Shop.  Thanks to the Fat Quarter Shop for sponsoring our monthly prize.

This month the three quilts were from Carol Egan, Mendota Heights, MN; Donna Sciandra, Buffalo, NY; and Susan Trzcinski, Anacortes, WA.  Carol and Susan are Sunshine Members.  If you hover over the photo, you will see the quilter’s name.

Thanks to our volunteers and the Fat Quarter shop!

Stay warm, Tina

From the Northwest and Beyond – Navajo Nation Christmas Delivery

January 9, 2018

Once again we provided quilts for the Christmas delivery to children and the elderly in the Navajo Nation. They went to 6 different areas in Arizona in time for the cold winter weather. We have heard the quilts were received with appreciation and excitement for all the beautiful quilts we sent. As an organization we were able to meet our goal of 500 quilts to the Navajo Nation for 2017 and our Northwest regional group sent 167 of these. We know that pictures were taken of the deliveries and they will be posted as soon as we have received them. You can see the pictures of the quilts we sent below and you can click on the picture to see who made and quilted each quilt.

Thanks to all of you for the beautiful quilts and sharing your gifts and talents to help provide warmth to all who received them. I hope your holidays were filled with joy and happy times with family and friends. Thanks again for all you do and your support!

– Susan Schmidt, Northwest Regional Coordinator

 

How Do We Choose Where to Deliver Quilts?

January 4, 2018

As President of Quilts Beyond Borders, I enjoy talking with curious supporters from around the world and recently received a thought-provoking question about our mission focusing on “under-served children, mainly orphans, across the world to provide a handmade quilt”. So, how DO we choose where to deliver these gifts made with love?

When we were founded, one of the world’s greatest challenges was the HIV/AIDs crisis, and the resulting orphan crisis that was spreading throughout Africa, among other places.  Ethiopia had the greatest orphan population in the world with more than 5 million orphans at that time.  A visit to the orphanages in that country at that time would have given you a view of skeletal children waiting for death, and those were the children that touched the hearts of our founders and spurred the creation of Quilts Beyond Borders (QBB), because they felt a need to help these children in some way, if only to bring some warmth, comfort and color into their lives for the short times they had left.

I became involved in the second year, because as a new quilter I was running out of relatives to quilt for, and because I had spent my childhood in Ethiopia, so I really wanted to help the people of the country that had been my home for so many years.

We rely on volunteers to travel and deliver our quilts in person and do not use international mail so that we can directly ensure these gifts actually get where they are intended to go. In 2008, economic conditions required that we expand our focus beyond Ethiopia and devise new ways to distribute the quilts to children who needed them.

The next “under-served” area that was selected for our quilts was Haiti, after the earthquake which occurred there in 2010, destroying an orphanage in the mountains there along with many other buildings and institutions in Haiti.  After that we partnered with an organization that was providing quilts to victims of the tsunami in Japan.  Over the next several years we partnered with many charities, churches and organizations to bring quilts to needy children and orphans in Africa, Europe, Asia, Central and South America. In January of 2013 we made our first deliveries in the US, providing quilts to needy children and elders living in the Navajo Nation.

Political situations throughout the world have caused some areas to fall into our “under-served” definition.  For instance, since 2013 we’ve given almost 3000 quilts to children in Syrian Refugee camps in Jordan, Greece and Lebanon through a humanitarian group we work with.

2017 was unusual for us, because the US and world political climate impacted travel plans and preferences of our normal transportation network. With fewer travelers, we focused closer to home while continuing to give quilts to Syrian refugees, Guatemalan newborns, and to orphanages in Haiti.  But half of our quilts were provided to needy children and some adults across the United States:  Homeless students in Volusia County, Florida; Foster children in Appalachia; Homeless and needy families in Dayton, Ohio; Children and elders living in poverty in the Navajo Nation;  Sex-trafficking victims as young as 5 years old; Homeless and bereaved children in Minnesota who have been affected by HIV/AIDs; and Women and children in domestic violence shelters in the Seattle area.

I’ve been asked if we have any requirements that a child be any specific religion or have a minimum grade-point average.  I know that we’ve given quilts to children who are Christian, Muslim, Buddhist, Hindu, and a lot of other religions.  We have no religious constraints and work with both churches and secular charities to get quilts to children in need. And frankly, if a child can’t sleep warmly at night, how are they going to be able to stay awake in school, study and be able to maintain their grades?   So GPA is not a requirement either.

Over the past decade we’ve given thousands of quilts to children in 27 countries, including the US.  The actual meaning of “under-served” has been rather fluid, simply because conditions in many countries (including ours) change over time. The one thing that has not and will not change, is our passion for spreading comfort, love and hope to those who are suffering. Is the child needy?  Do the nights get cold?  That’s what counts.

-Carla

International Quilt Festival 2017

December 29, 2017

We hosted a charity booth in Houston at the International Quilt Festival (IQF) which takes place at the end-of-October, beginning-of-November every year. If you’ve never been to the IQF in Houston, I recommend you add it to your bucket list. Hundreds of amazing quilts are juried into the show from around the world, and there are hundreds of vendors and lots and lots of classes covering every aspect of quilting.

At our booth we typically give out information about our charity and kits for people to make tops or longarm quilts for us.  This year we gave out a record number of kits  — 325 kits were checked out by 196 women.  That might sound like a big risk, but we prefer to think of it as an “investment”, and we’ve found it pays off within just a couple of years.  We give out enough fabric to make a top, and it is often returned to us with backing and binding, sometimes already made up in a completed quilt, and often accompanied by more tops and quilts!  Our 2016 investment is currently up to a 114% Return on Investment (ROI), and our ROI for 2012 and 2013 is over 125%.    Some of those kits are returned to us as tops and quilts years later, sometimes at the show and sometimes via the mail when people send us an email at quiltsbeyondborders@gmail.com to find out the address of their nearest Regional Coordinator. This year show attendees brought us 164 completed quilts and 94 completed tops.  During the coming weeks many of those quilts will be going to homeless and needy students in Florida and Texas, and  children in Syrian Refugee camps in Greece and Jordan.   Stay tuned to the blog, and you’ll see pictures of many of those beautiful quits as we get them packed up for delivery.

At the show we also sell products from countries where we’ve delivered quilts and we sell some beautiful quilts which we’ve been given permission by their makers to sell for fundraising purposes.  This year we also sold many mug rugs, pin cushions, keychains, bookmarks, iron caddies and other items that were handmade for us by wonderful volunteers throughout the United States.  Our charity has no paid staff and every penny we make at the booth goes to getting more quilts to more children. This year the very first quilt we sold was one that was made by the Ladies of St. James the Less and quilted by Debby Conor of the Northern Illinois LongArm Guild (NILAG), two organizations that have made many beautiful quilts for QBB over the years.

Great thanks to all the wonderful quilters, crafters and volunteers who helped to make this year’s fundraising booth at the IQF a success.  We would love to meet you next year, and if you have completed a quilt from one of our kits, you can drop it off to us then as well!

Happy Holidays and Thank You!

December 24, 2017

As 2017 draws to a close, we wanted to take this opportunity to wish everyone a Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, and blessings for a fabulous 2018!

We have much to be grateful for in 2017 at Quilts Beyond Borders.  We delivered over 2100 quilts to needy children and people this year, with the help of 13 partner organizations around the world, including 1000 quilts to children in Syrian Refugee camps, 500 to needy children and elders in the Navajo Nation, and 120 to HIV-affected and homeless teenagers participating in Camp Heartland.

Other recipients included:

  • Children in an orphanage in Haiti;
  • Needy newborns in Guatemala;
  • Needy children in an Early Education project in Apalachia;
  • Children affected by domestic violence in Seattle, Washington;
  • Children of needy families in Austin, Texas and Dayton, Ohio;
  • Rescued sex-trafficked victims in Baltimore, Maryland;
  • A program providing winter shelter for homeless in the New River Valley, Virginia.

We couldn’t have accomplished this without our many supporters, quilters, donors and friends. We are already preparing for more deliveries in 2018!

As we reflect on the many things we are thankful for, the wonderful and generous quilters who give of their time and talent to finish so many wonderful quilts for needy children are at the top of the list! Thank you all, and we wish you all a wonderful Holiday Season!

The Quilts Beyond Borders Team

Winter Quilt - Betty of TX

Winter Warmth Quilt – Betty of TX

Over 200 Quilts Delivered to Syrian Refugees

December 19, 2017

Here are over 200 quilts traveling by container ship destined for the Syrian Refugees. They traveled 1 month and over 12,000 miles to reach Aqaba Jordan. The quilts were shipped along with medical supplies and equipment, clothing, school supplies, etc.. They arrived the end of October where it took several weeks to go through customs before volunteers unloaded the container and transported the contents to Amman Jordan. From there distribution began to the Refugees in Rukban Jordan (that borders Syria) and Daraa inside Syria. They are arriving just in time for winter weather, which can be in the 30’s-50’s at the higher elevations. These areas get 10-18 inches of rain yearly, mainly in December through February.

You can click on the picture to see who made and quilted the quilts. Thank you all for your generosity and the beautiful quilts that will brighten the days and provide warmth to the Refugees!!

Susan Schmidt   Northwest Regional Coordinator

Salaam Cultural Museum’s Fundraising Dinner

December 15, 2017

It was such a honor to attend the recent Salaam Cultural Museum’s Fundraising Dinner for the Syrian Refugees. We provided 57 quilts for the event, including gifts for the 47 children of the Refugees that came to the dinner and have settled in Seattle, and 10 quilts (the pictures with 1 quilt in each) that were auctioned that night. Every quilt sold and guests were so excited to get them. We enjoyed a delicious dinner of Syrian food and hearing the speakers talk of their time helping the Refugees in Greece and Jordan was uplifting. Rita Z. (the director and founder of SCM) spoke to the guests of what our quilts meant to the Syrian people and how grateful she is for the thousands of quilts we have now sent. It was an honor to speak to the guests about what it means to us to help the Refugees. 

I was fortunate to sit at a table with some of the Refugees and hear their stories and how life is for them in the U.S.. What incredible strength and endurance they had making the journey here. Leaving everything behind as well as people and friends they love still saddens them. Their one dream and hope is to return to their homeland.

I wish that each of you could have been there that night to hear exactly what your quilts mean to the people who have received them. Many of the Syrian women sewed and did handwork prior to leaving Syria and weep when they see the quilts you have made for their children. They appreciate your talents as well as your generosity to provide quilts for them.

Thank you so much” seems like small words for all the quilts you have provided. We have sent 523 quilts so far this year from our Northwest Group, how amazing is that!!  As always you should know how much I appreciate each of you, your talents and generosity help comfort children and keep them warm. Every quilt makes a difference in the lives of the children we serve!

You can click on each picture to see who pieced or quilted them.

Y’all are the BEST!!

Susan

Annie M_Colleen A Annie M_Mary C Anya Belinda M Beth H__Donna S_Sue A_Madam Frogge Blair__Susan B Catherine E Donna S_Mary O__Deanna R_Delleen__Donna S_Louise L__Helen Z__Lynn Marie Flavia R Flavia R__Quilting Blocks__Theola B_Catherine E__Lynn Marie Grandma Kay__Theola B_Heidi O__Pat J_Tomme F Helen Z__Brenda A_Mary C__Leona R_Annie O__Christina B_Mary C Irene & Sharon F_Louise L June B_Barbara M__Jill D_Catherine E June B_Tomme F Kristine M__Theola B_Delleen Nancy B_Mary O__Beth H_Delleen__Sunshine Quilters Phyllis C_Delleen_Terrie K_Louise L Sue A__Donna S_Colleen A Sunshine Quilters Sunshine Quilters__Blair Terri K_Kayleen Terry M Thayer G_Catherine E__Donna K__Louise B_Tomme F Theola B_Doreen__DanetteO_Sue O__Theola B_Wendi P__Thayer G Theola B_Kim W__Theola B_Doreen H__Karina__June G

November Fat Quarter Challenge

December 4, 2017

It’s hard to believe that we have already finished the first month of our Fat Quarter Challenge for the 2017-2018 year.  Seems like we were just at the Houston Quilt Festival a few weeks ago instead of nearly a month ago.  This month I received 4 quilts and it was a Sunshine parade.  All of the quilts were sent in by members of the online Sunshine Quilt Guild.  I heard there was a wager among the Sunnies to see who can turn in a quilt in November.  All of the quilts were lovely and based on the random drawing, Gail Hardy fqc-nov-2017-hardy.jpgfrom Palm Desert, CA won the $25 gift certificate from the Fat Quarter Shop.  This is the fifth year that the Fat Quarter Shop has sponsored our monthly prize, and we can’t thank them enough.

The remaining 3 quilts this month came from Beth Holland of Eden Prairie, MN; Kathleen Rountree of Castro Valley, CA; and Cathy Labath of Long Grove, IA.  (Hover over the picture for quilter identification.

Just a reminder that our FQ Challenge runs through September 2018 and the sooner you turn in a completed quilt, the more chances you have to win the monthly drawing or the year end $100 cash prize.  Each of these quilters will now be eligible for every monthly drawing through the end of September and you may win more than once.

If you did not pick up a FQ from our booth at Houston, do not despair.  You may supply your own FQ and submit a quilt to us.   If you plan to do this, please contact us via email at quiltsbeyondborders@gmail.com and we can provide you with the requirements.

Congratulations Gail and thanks to all of our quilters for these lovely quilts.

Cheers, Tina

 

100 quilts!!

October 24, 2017

In May a total of 100 quilts were shipped to the Syrian refugees from the Northeast QBB team.  What a great team of dedicated quilters!  Here are samples of what we sent.

Picture #1: Two quilts quilted by Peggy Thomsen, CT: pieced (out of squares from IQF) by Sue Holden, CT; pieced by Donna Motyl, CT. Quilt pieced by Valerie Lee, quilted by Charlotte Kieliszek, NY.

Picture #2:  Three quilts quilted by K & S Matheson : two pieced by Angela Church, CT; one pieced by Quilting for Christ Ministry, TX.

Picture #3:  Quilt made by Randee Majka, MA. Quilt made by Betty Zito, CT. Quilt pieced by Ruth Bechtold, NY; quilted by Lorraine Lucas, NY.

Picture #4:  Quilt pieced by Quilting for Christ Ministry, quilted by K. Matheson; Quilt made by Charlotte Kieliszek, NY.

Picture #5:  Quilt pieced by Hong Chang, Australia, quilted by Jan Baker, CT. Two quilts made by Bonnie Salt, MA.

Picture #6:  Quilt pieced by Hong Chang, Australia, quilted by Linda Dranchak, ME. Three quilts pieced by Lee O’Connor, CT; pieced by Pat Wildman, Barbra Buckley and Jan Baker, all from CT.

Picture #7:  Four quilts pieced by Marsha Johnson, FLA. Quilted by Alice White, OK; Linda Dranchak, ME; Terri Desmond, CT, K&S Matheson, CT.

Picture #8:  Three quilts pieced by Marsha Johnson, FLA. Quilted by Peggy Thomsen, CT; Fran Fink, MA; Charlotte Kieliszek, NY.

Picture #9:  Four quilts pieced by Marsha Johnson, FLA, all pieced by Fran Fink, MA.

Picture #10 – #12:  All made by Nancy Kane, NH. One quilted by S. Matheson, one by Peggy Thomsen.

Picture #13:  All made by Sheila Hughes, MA.

Thankfully,

Karen Matheson