Patience is a Virtue

For these stoic boxes of quilts waiting for months in my hallway to be delivered to Comfort Cases, patience was indeed a virtue! Our plan was to deliver QBB quilts monthly during 2020 to be included in the backpacks filled with comfort and personal care items for youth entering the foster care system. Unfortunately the pandemic shut things down for months. Finally in October of 2020 we were able to resume shipments and will continue this important partnership throughout 2021. Please enjoy the photos below from this delivery, and you can click on each photo to see it larger and to see the maker’s names in the filename.

  • Linda Spirio, QBB Regional Coordinator

A Winning Quilt and a Winning Quilter

We received one lovely quilt in February for the Fat Quarter Challenge. This quilt was made by Angela P. of New York. She sent the quilt to Regional Coordinator, Linda S. That is one way to submit a quilt, if it’s easier for you. Send it to your friendly Regional Coordinator along with a note stating your quilt is for the Fat Quarter Challenge, she then sends me the information to get your quilt registered in our system. Or you can send the quilt directly to me – read more information here about joining the Fat Quarter Challenge. Either way you submit a quilt, you will become eligible for a prize drawing which happens once a month. Good luck!
Angela’s quilt:

Our February winner of the prize drawing is Cathy L. of Iowa! Cathy loves to make scrappy quilts and is always generous with FQC quilts. This is one of the beauties she has submitted this year:

The monthly winner receives a $25 gift certificate to the Fat Quarter Shop. They have generously supported QBB for several years. Whether or not you win, I hope you visit the Fat Quarter Shop. It is a lovely online quilt shop.

Our blog has been busy showing you pictures of quilts that have been donated through QBB, along with a few precious pictures of the recipients with their quilts. I hope you feel inspired to join the fun of creating a loving quilt for someone who needs a hug. The quilts are true gifts to the people who receive them.

Carol Egan – Fat Quarter Challenge Coordinator

100 Quilts On Their Way

Yup that’s right, ONE HUNDRED QUILTS, on their way to Comfort Cases in Baltimore!! Think about the countless hours and amount of  love and talent it has taken to create all of these, and all “from scratch” as our grandmothers used to say. Even more impressive, is the fact that these many quilts are just one installment of hundreds more quilts made by QBB volunteers and delivered on an ongoing basis that we enjoy sharing with you. As I was photographing the quilts hanging on the deck railing, (while I was freezing, by the way…) I felt  kind of emotional saying good-bye to them. I am privileged to work with the quilts you send to me long enough to get quite attached to them. Logging them coming in, logging them going out, sometimes labeling and sometimes finishing or binding them, then photographing them and seeing them one last time while I tuck them snuggly in their box for delivery gets to me! Kind of nutty, I know. I’d keep every one if I didn’t know they were going to kids who really, really need our warm little ambassadors of love…..

As we told you about recently, Comfort Cases’ mission is to inspire communities to bring dignity and hope to youth in foster care. In an effort to eliminate the indignity of carrying ones belongings in a trash bag, Comfort Cases provides youth entering foster care with a Comfort Case – a backpack or small duffel bag filled with comfort and essential items for the child’s first few nights in a new environment. A quilt from you, along with new pajamas, a stuffed animal, a journal and pens or coloring book and crayons, books, toiletry kits, and a dental kit are all included in the duffle or backpack.  Since 2014 Comfort Cases has impacted the lives of over 35,000 youth in foster care in 39 states, DC and Puerto Rico. It warms my heart to think we can provide a significant piece of the love these kids will find in their very own traveling bag. 

Many thanks to all the piecers, quilters, binders, kit makers who worked so hard to make the stunning quilts: Most of you sent many, many quilts! Wow! You can click on the pictures below to see them full size.
Alice Aldrich White, OK; Sue Sweeney, Susan Elliott, Deb Jacoby, Donna Motyl, Barbra Buckley, Peggy Thomsen, Kim Bennett, Martha Benoit, Marguerite Boslaugh, Sandy Lipscomb, Paula Place, Mary Gridley,Angela Church, CT; Deb Cox, quilt from IQF in Houston; Sue Hurley, Barbara Kwityn, Barbara Fegley, Vivian Glenn, NJ; Pam Belanger, Randee Majka, Sheila Hughes,Donna Hopkins, Jean Thibodeau,Terri Desmond, Fran Fink, Bonnie Salt,Barbara Mroz, MA; Judith Nuno, VT; Dianne Combs, IN; Jean Unger, PA; Hong Chang, Australia; Linda Dranchak, ME; Nancy Kane, NH; Linda Ferraro, RI. 
With heartfelt thanks, 
Karen

The River of Quilts

So many generous quilters have kept the river of quilts flowing during the last year.  Thank you all so much for using your talents and spending your money to keep sending quilts to those in need.

So many folks have donated quilts that I find it difficult to keep up with posting the photos of all of them.  So, if some of these photos seem to be from a long time ago, it is because I am behind.  Please know that even if the pictures are posted a long time after you have sent a quilt, the quilts themselves have been sent to needy folks in a timely manner.

Last year my shipments went to the Syrian refugees, the Forgotten People (Navajo) in Arizona, orphans in Israel, and foster kids in Maryland.  This year so far, I have sent quilts to foster kids and to the Syrians.  I have boxes of quilts packed and ready to ship as soon as we receive requests from other agencies.

Thanks again to all of you who donate so freely of your time, energy and money to make all of this happen.  Please enjoy the photos below – you can click on each thumbnail to see it larger and the maker’s names are in the file names.  If I have mislabeled any photos, please let us know in the comments and we will correct it right away.

Ann Drake, Southern California Regional Coordinator

Comfort Cases – Feb 2020 Quilt Delivery

We recently told you about volunteering with and donating QBB quilts to Comfort Cases, a wonderful organization which provides backpacks filled with comfort and personal care items for youth entering the foster care system across the US. As part of our ongoing partnership, we delivered another large set of quilts in February of 2020 to be given in these backpacks to deserving children. Little did we know at the time that this would be our last delivery to Comfort Cases for months, due to COVID shutting things down. We are happy to share these photos, and even happier to report that we have resumed these deliveries as of last fall, and will share more photos of beautiful and comforting quilts soon! You can click on each photo to see the names of the quilters in the file names.

Linda Spirio – QBB Regional Coordinator

From the Northwest and Beyond – Beirut 2020

The explosion in Beirut on August 4th 2020 killed over 200 people, injured over 5,000 and displaced over 300,000. The Salaam Cultural Museum that helps the Syrian Refugees and whom we have partnered with for years, stepped in to help the people of Beirut.  500 QBB quilts that were going to go to Syria were diverted with our permission and airlifted to Beirut. In my June 10th blog post the quilts that were pictured there went to Beirut along with the pictures below for a total of 476 quilts from our group. There were many other quilts sent from around the country from our organization as well for a total of 867 sent.       

I am sure that the beautiful quilts that were made were a comfort to children who were injured during this tragedy. We are grateful for all the wonderful work that the Salaam Cultural Museum does and that we can be a part of their outreach around the world. Pictures below include quilts from the Northwest group and many more photos will be shared soon on this blog from other Regional coordinators around the country. Click on the individual pictures for a larger image and to see who pieced and quilted each quilt.

Susan Schmidt   –  Northwest Regional Coordinator

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What To Do When it’s Cold Outside

When it’s cold outside, and one wants to stay inside where it’s warm, what’s a good way to spend the time? By making quilts, of course! Deb W. of Michigan and Sue T. of Washington took that to heart and created these beautiful quilts for the Fat Quarter Challenge in January.

Deb got busy and made six beautiful quilts. We will accept any number from you, as well — from one to one hundred — as many as you want to make. Just use a fat quarter of your own, or we can send you one at your request. Read this information first, then use it in a quilt, finish the quilt, and send it to Carol E., the Fat Quarter Challenge Coordinator.

Once the quilt arrives, your name is put into a hat. Once a month we draw a winning name. That person wins a $25 gift certificate from Fat Quarter Shop. It’s one of my favorite online shops.

Our winner in the month of January was Donna S. of New York. Donna is a regular contributor to Quilts Beyond Borders, which means she has provided hugs and warmth to so many children. Here is the quilt she donated in January:

You can join the fun, too. Make a quilt for a child and feel the warmth in your soul, even though it’s cold outside.


Carol Egan – FQC Coordinator

Quilts for Comfort Cases

Just over a year ago I learned of a non-profit organization that is trying to make life better for children that are entering foster care.  The effort was born after their experience of taking in four foster children who all arrived with their belongings in a garbage bag.  It was deja vu for one of the parents, since he, too, had entered foster care as a youth and carried his belongings to his foster home in that same thing—a garbage bag.  If you would like to read more about their story and their mission, take a look at www.comfortcases.org.

Their mission is to provide these children with a backpack or duffle bag (age dependent) containing some items to make their transition a little easier.  In each bag, they include some personal hygiene items, a new pair of pajamas, a blanket, a book, a coloring book and crayons or a journal and a pen, and a small toy for the younger kids.  Although they began as an effort to improve the lives of children in foster care in the greater DC region, over the years they have partnered with agencies and have now reached children in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and several territories.

Since QBB’s purpose is to provide under-served children with a quilt they can call their own, we have been partnering with them to provide quilts for some of these children.  We are happy to report that they love the quilts and it allows us to continue with our mission of helping kids during a time when foreign travel difficulties have disrupted our efforts around the world. We are even happier to report that QBB will continue to partner with Comfort Cases throughout 2021, and we will regularly be sharing photos with you!

More than 90% of their work that Comfort Cases does is actually completed by volunteers.  I volunteered for a 2 hour shift and they assigned me to a task that I can do pretty well.  They asked me to fold blankets and quilts to prepare them for packing.  I know how to do that!  It was a great experience and I will do it again, but here are photos of some of our quilts all rolled up and ready to be packed into bags and an example of a backpack and it’s contents.

Linda Spirio – QBB Regional Coordinator

Here are the contributors for the first set of photographs, and you can click on each small photo to see it larger:
Chelsea Morgan, Sue Trzanski, Kate Braus, Anonymous, Carol B, Beth Holland, Donna Sciandra & Linda S, BarbaraCarol E. & Nanette, Deb Carolfi, Donna Crook-Jones & Linda S, Terri Richards, Sandi Morris, Louise Horner, The Truongs, Judith Nuno, Mary Kay, Doris Goins, Grammie Cindy, Beth Shafer, The Sunshine Guild, Florence A., Joanne Neal, Bonnie Salt, Donna Sciancar, Kathryn Zurek & Caroline Pike, Steve & Bonnie, Carol E., Louise Horner, Joy McAuley & Donna Sciancar, Joanne Neal, Carole K., Barb W, Madelyn Murdock, Judy, Dot Gruber, Sandy E., Chris, Angela LaPaglia, Wendy Hughes, Mary King, Gail Romer, Polly Scoville & Wendy Hughes, Jackie Harmon, Sue C., Mary Renchler, Pat, Pam Davis, Brooke, Debi Jackson, Evie Cherms, Janna Price, Kate, Chill Childress, Stephanie Zeller, Mardi Gruber, Brenda Wolfe

Each of these quilts below were made by Adriana V. De Paulo and quilted by LaDonna Helveston:

  Alice Culberson made this top and LaDonna Helveston quilted it:

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  Top by Gail Schultz and quilting by LaDonna Helveston:

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Healing in a Box – Quilts to Ampersand Families

What does a Minnesotan do when it gets cold out? Wraps up in a quilt, of course! That’s why Ampersand Families was so happy to receive our recent gift of 50 quilts.

Ampersand Families, an agency in St. Paul, Minnesota, works toward adoption of older kids — youth and teens — to get them out of foster care and into permanent homes. Their mission statement is “We keep promises by creating permanency, one youth at a time.”

After an adoption takes place, Ampersand offers on-going support of adoptive families, a big challenge during the pandemic when personal contact is discouraged. Ampersand decided to send support boxes to the families. These contain items that the family can use to continue their growth as a family and to foster warmth (e.g., wrapping up in a comforting quilt). Quilts will be included in these support boxes, a very welcome addition according to Ampersand Director, Michelle Chalmers.

“We love the quilts,” Michelle said. “In the next few weeks we will begin assembling the next round of family wellness boxes – we are so excited to be able to include one of these amazing quilts in each box. Anything that delivers warmth is the perfect thing for families here in Minnesota. Further, if quilts are on the heavy side, that extra weight/warmth is so good for our youth who struggle with sensory challenges and self-regulation. You all have delivered healing in a box.”

Some quilts were shipped to Ampersand and some were hand delivered to the Ampersand Families office. Here are pictures of some of the beautiful quilts.  For privacy reasons we won’t be able to show pictures of the families with their quilts. We do genuinely appreciate your generosity; please know that your gift is very meaningful and appreciated.

One more update from Michelle as this post went to press.. “Our team mailed out all 50 quilts last week, mostly big envelopes and a couple of larger boxes for families receiving multiple quilts. We are so grateful for your gift and know that the quilts will be very welcome in this sub-zero time. We’ll do our best to get some folks to send a photo of them holding the quilts up once they arrive.”

From The Northwest and Beyond – Quilts for Israel 2020

Quilts Beyond Borders continued our partnership in 2020 with Doris Mintz of Maasay Yahdav, a service organization in Israel, to provide 300 quilts to children’s homes and hospitals including Beit Singer Children’s Home, Neve Michael Children’s Home, Sharre Zedek Children’s Hospital, Be’ad Chaim Organization, Emunah Achuzat Sarah Organization, and Bet Elazraki Children’s Home.
We were so happy to learn that we would again be sending quilts to Israel to go to children in orphanages there. You can see the 140 quilts below sent by our Northwest group and more photos of the other quilts sent from QBB quilters around the United States will be coming soon. Click on the individual picture to see who pieced and quilted it. Thank you to all the quilters for sharing your time and talents with us!
Susan Schmidt – Northwest Regional Coordinator