June Fat Quarter Challenge

July 16, 2018

Another month has come and gone.  It’s hard to believe we are over halfway through the year.  Our winner for the month of June for the QBB Fat Quarter Challenge is Carol Egan from Minnesota who is also a Sunshine Quilt Member.  Congratulations Carol!  She will receive a $25 gift certificate from the Fat Quarter Shop;  they have been sponsoring our monthly contest for 4 years!

I know it’s hot, and I hope that some of you that signed up for the FQ Challenge will submit a quilt soon.  I did not receive any quilts in June.  Carol Egan submitted her quilt in December.  Please remember you are entered in every month’s drawing for the monthly prize and you may even win more than once.  Right now your odds are great!  See the sidebar about entering the FQ Challenge.  There are still 3 months remaining.

When I told Spot I didn’t receive any FQ quilts this month, this was the look she gave me.

20180705_093733Stay cool, Tina


500 Eid Quilts for El Cajon Refugees

July 10, 2018

El Cajon (in San Diego County, California) has a large number of refugees settled there, mostly from Syria and Afghanistan.  The Facebook group ‘Helping El Cajon Refugees’ is assisting families who have settled there, including 500-700 children.  Some of you may know that we recently observed the month of Ramadan, the major Muslim holiday season, which culminates in the day of Eid when people break their fasts, celebrate, and give presents to children, like Christians do at Christmas.

The group had a storage locker which contained almost $10,000 worth of toys and clothing for the children to be given on Eid.  Unfortunately someone broke in to the storage locker, vandalized it and stole almost everything.  So when Roberta Katheiser, a QBB volunteer, saw the news story and approached them to ask if they might be interested in some quilts for the children, they were very excited about the possibility.

Roberta and other volunteers quickly took action and coordinated three huge deliveries of 500 QBB quilts in time for Eid. The recipients and the families who care for them had tears in their eyes, they were so happy to receive this donation. All the El Cajon volunteers that came to pick them up were astounded not only with the quantity, but also the hard work and love put into each quilt.

To say we over delivered is a understatement. Much appreciation goes out to all the QBB members who made the quilts, and got them to us in such a short time. We even made the news, as part of stories highlighting how the community rallied with donations and support after the theft. QBB quilts are pictured in both links below!

News story 1: https://www.10news.com/news/group-gets-big-donation-to-help-refugee-families 

News video and story:


To accomplish this, our Regional Coordinators and volunteers from around the country all chipped in, please enjoy just a small sample of quilts that went to El Cajon below.

Photos from Regional Coordinator Sherree Newhouse, click on each photo to enlarge and see the makers’ names:

Quilts by Dianne Combs via Carla Triemer:

Quilts by Carlson Family:

Click on the four quilts below to see the creators.  They are by Ann D.,  Debby C., Jan from MO, Betsy & Skye, Helen and the ladies of St. James the Less in Northfield, IL:

Quilts by Audrey Murphey:


May Fat Quarter Challenge

June 21, 2018

With the beautiful weather, I’ve been spending most of the time outside and very little time sewing.  I have a feeling that is what happened with our Fat Quarter Challenge participants.  I did not receive any quilts in May for the challenge.  We do have a winner though and it’s Beth Holland from MN.  Beth was actually the first person to turn in a quilt last November, and you can see her quilt here.  Thanks to the Fat Quarter Shop for sponsoring our monthly prize for a $25 gift certificate.   If you haven’t perused their site, I highly suggest it.

Remember, there is still time this year to enter our challenge and details can be found on the side bar of our blog.  And if you enter now, you still have time to be in the year end drawing for a $100 cash prize.

Since I didn’t have any quilts to post this time, how about a picture of the newest member of our family, little Rosalita.


Cheers, Tina


The Guatemala Project

June 18, 2018
In a village near Chichicastanago in Guatemala, many people burn wood in their houses for warmth and cooking.  The stoves they have are not ventilated and the people breathe the smoke from the fires every day.  As you can see the floors are dirt.
The Guatemala Project (https://www.sdguatemalaproject.org/) installs safer stoves in several homes each year.  These are special stoves which are ventilated so the people can breathe clean air in their homes.
Earlier this year, thirty-one quilts from QBB were distributed to these families and widows during a trip to install stoves. The quilts will bring warmth to the families and especially the children.
During the civil war in Guatemala in the 1980s, the men of the village were called to a meeting in a local church.  They were asked to join the army to fight in the war.  When the men refused to join, the soldiers locked the doors and set the church building on fire.  That fire took the lives of the 40 men who went to the meeting.
The widows of those men formed a co-op.  They do weaving and embroidery to support themselves.  These women prepared lunch for the people who provided and installed the stoves.  Quilts were given to some of the women.  Their smiles tell how grateful they were.
Thanks to so many generous people who send quilts to QBB, there will be smiles on the faces of these people.  Your quilts will be used and cherished by these people for many years.  Thank you all for your time and talent and especially your generosity.

-Ann Drake

Remembering Steve Matheson

June 6, 2018

We are profoundly sad to report the death of Steve Matheson, husband of Karen and a great friend to all of us at Quilts Beyond Borders.   Steve passed away on May 30 in Connecticut.

Steve first became involved with QBB when Karen joined our team in 2014, and he worked with us in our fundraising booth at the IQF in Houston in 2015 – 2017.  A couple of years ago he told Karen he’d like to be even more involved, and we elected him to serve on our Executive Board as our Co-Treasurer.

Steve had an impressive business background which he brought to QBB, contributing some different ideas for some of our challenges.  He dragged us kicking and screaming into using the square to accept credit cards in our booth in 2017, which had terrific results.   He also had a wicked, wonderful and sometimes goofy sense of humor which was such an asset to the team during occasions when we felt over-stretched and over-stressed.  And somewhere along the way, Steve even became a longarmer.

Steve was a wonderful, accomplished, generous and humble man, beloved by everyone he met. His obituary can be read at:  https://obittree.com/obituary/us/connecticut/simsbury/vincent-funeral-home—simsbury/stephen-matheson/3528014/

A devoted husband and father to his wife, Karen, and their daughters Amy and Julie, Steve will be greatly missed by all of us.

Steve M 2016 IQF

Quilter Spotlight – Sheila Hughes

May 22, 2018
Sheila Hughes and Karen Matheson

Sheila Hughes (right) and Karen Matheson at the Arts and Crafts Festival in Simsbury, Connecticut.

One of QBB’s most generous monetary and fabric donors, prolific quilter and overall Quilts Beyond Borders champion is our Spotlight Hero this month. Hailing from Massachusetts, Sheila’s enthusiastic dedication is an inspiration for us all. She is a tireless, outgoing, charming volunteer and, I’m proud to say, a new friend, thanks to our mutual love of all things QBB.
When I asked Sheila if I could officially “interview” her, this is what I learned……

I have wanted to quilt since I was about 6 years old as my great grandmother was a quilter. I didn’t really become a quilter until my youngest daughter was a senior in high school-over 35 years after my desire started.

Once I made quilts for all my family members and friends (and found out some gave the quilts to their dogs or when they received a second one they threw out or gave away the first one) I didn’t know what to do but I still wanted to quilt; as luck would have it, a sister worked with a charity in Texas which dealt with sick babies so I started making as many quilts as possible every year for these children at Christmas (often as many as 50 quilts) but then she changed jobs so once again I had no outlet for my quilts. For a number of years I still made quilts but not very many as I was really low on who to give them too.

Then one day my sister called saying her friend in Cleveland, Ohio worked with a group called Quilts for Kids who needed help making quilts. I contacted the Massachusetts chapter and became friends with the coordinator Mary Ann O’Neil, that really got me started making quilts again in greater numbers. Then my brother who had been a missionary in Russia started returning to Russia several times a year so I would give him 20 quilts each time he went. I now have over 150 quilts in Russia (he has also taken some to Cambodia and the Philippines).

One day I bought a quilt magazine for a friend and as I glanced through it there was a page talking about Quilts Beyond Borders… I was all ears. I contacted Karen as soon as possible and have been hooked ever since. Last year I donated about 80 quilts and some cash to help defray shipping expenses. That fateful magazine was all about primitive quilts which are not of interest to me, so it was meant to be that I would find Quilts Beyond Borders.

I am 72 years old and have a humongous supply of fabric and know I can’t live long enough to use it all (and I still like to buy new fabric from time to time) so I have donated about 100 or more yards to Quilts Beyond Borders and plan to give even more this year. 

Having met Karen (such a wonderful person, as is her husband) I am convinced to be with Quilts Beyond Borders as long as I can continue to quilt. Hopefully many more years so my investment in my long arm machine will have been worth it!

Thank you to Sheila and our many generous donors and volunteers! We couldn’t do it without you all!
-Karen Matheson

April Fat Quarter Challenge

May 12, 2018

It’s beginning to look a lot like spring finally!  I had gone on vacation and the trees were just starting to bud; when I returned they were full of green leaves!  It was a long winter, and I’m glad to see spring here.

This month we had two quilts returned for our FQC.  They were from Donna Dellacamera from Unionville, CT and Gail Knighton from Salem, OR.  The quilts are lovely and we know some child will love to snuggle in them.

Our random winner for the April FQC drawing was Susan Trzcinski from Anacortes, WA.  She returned her quilt in December.  You can see her quilt here.  Susan has won a $25 gift certificate from the Fat Quarter Shop.  Fat Quarter Shop has been sponsoring our monthly prizes for almost 4 years now and we can’t thank them enough.

If you weren’t at Houston Quilt Festival last year, do not despair.  You can still enter our fat quarter challenge and the information on how to enter is on the right hand side of our blog under “Pages”.

Thanks to everyone,  Tina

Join the Fat Quarter Challenge and Win!

May 9, 2018
fqc 2013-ann-bordeau

One of the beautiful Fat Quarter Challenge quilts, submitted by Ann Bordeau in 2013!

We have had several recent questions asking for more details about how to be part of the Fat Quarter Challenge that we blog about each month. To help with any confusion, we added a link on our main Page under the “About” menu with this info:


Here is the information found in that link…

The Fat Quarter Challenge is our contest sponsored by the Fat Quarter Shop ( https://www.fatquartershop. com/ ) which encourages volunteers to make and donate quilts made from a fat quarter supplied from our booth at the yearly Houston Quilt Festival.

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, just include a note with your quilt that it is part of the Fat Quarter Challenge.  To find a block pattern to use for your FQC quilt, please go to Marcia Hohn’s site, Quilt Blocks Galore via this URL:  Quilt Blocks Galore!


This Challenge runs through September 2018 and the sooner you turn in a completed quilt, the more chances you have to win the monthly $25 drawing or the year-end $100 cash prize. Each FQC quilter will be eligible for every monthly drawing through the end of September and you may win more than once.

Quilts sent for this challenge should meet our general guidelines and criteria for donated quilts, please read these links https:// quiltsbeyondborders.wordpress. com/quilt-dimensions/  and https:// quiltsbeyondborders.wordpress. com/where-to-send-quilts-and- tops/ on the right-hand side of our main web page.

Chuck Glenn FQC Booth

Chuck Glenn and the FQC Display at the Houston QBB Booth!

50 Quilts Heading to Syrian Refugees

May 4, 2018

This set of 50 quilts is the first set of 2018 to be shipped to Seattle for the container going to Syrian Refugees care of the Salaam Cultural Museum.   Since 2013 we have provided quilts to Syrian refugees, and since 2014 we have mainly worked with the Salaam Cultural Museum and their director Rita Zaweideh.  Rita coordinates humanitarian shipments to the refugee camps.   We know these quilts provide comfort, warmth, cheer, hope and love to the refugees.

Click on each picture to enlarge and see who sewed and quilted each one!

Sherree Newhouse

Quilts for Headstart Program in Texas

May 1, 2018

We recently delivered 95 quilts to the WBC (Williamson and Burnet Counties) Head Start and Early Head Start Center in Leander, Texas near Austin. This program is a comprehensive child and family development program that prepares children from birth to age 5 to become successful school students and productive members of society. WBC Head Start was started in the mid-1960’s and has grown into a multi-faceted program in not only child development, but also health, nutrition, mental health and social services.

Children from birth to age five who are from families with incomes below the poverty guidelines are eligible for Head Start and Early Head Start services. Federal poverty guildeline for a family is $25,100. Children from homeless families, and families receiving public assistance such as Temproary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits are also eligible. Babies from a local program for teen mothers are also enrolled in the Leander Center.

There are 15 Head Start Programs in Williamson and Burnet Counties. Babies and children enrolled in the Program receive nutrition, dental, health, vision, emotional wellness and education screenings, follow-up and treatment as necessary.

Head Start graduates are more likely to finish high school and go to college. They are also more likely to be in good health as adults. The Center has a tremendous impact on people’s lives and the community as a whole.

Please enjoy these pictures of the quilts that were part of this delivery and of the quilts being delivered to children at the Center!


-Nancy Alderman and Kim Bell