Quilter Spotlight – Jill Ruesch

April 18, 2019

Our quilter spotlight this time is on Jill Ruesch, an amazingly prolific long-time piecer who sews quilt tops and assembles quilt kits for QBB. In fact, in over 10 years of volunteering she has provided us with 500-600 quilt tops sewn with help from her church sewing group, wow! And she has continued to sew despite a life-altering health crisis. Read on to learn more about Jill’s story…

—–

JillRuesch

My hometown was Northbrook IL but I just recently moved to GA for the better weather.

I started quilting in the 90’s. Some friends & I took classes at different quilt shops. My friend Anita invited me to a quilt day at her church, St. James, which has been making quilts for QBB since 2008 and is where I was later introduced to Carla during a presentation in 2012.  It touched my heart and I wanted to do all I could .

I sewed and quilted, mostly by hand, for a few years but in 2011 I had a medical issue so that kind of changed things when I not only lost my job but also impacted my fine motor function which made working with hand quilting needles not fun. Then Anita told me QBB was looking for tops and would send them to other volunteers who would longarm quilt and finish them. Since we used to get a lot of donated fabric at church from guilds and other generous people we had a lot of fabric.  

Since I had time, I would help put kits together for the church group as well as sew my own tops. At night I dream of quilts so during the day I put them together. Its fun being creative. In fact I have a Pinterest board where I save patterns I like, then look to see what will work for fabric I have.  Here is the link in case it helps inspire any other quilters out there, I know we are always looking for new ideas and patterns… https://www.pinterest.com/jill5710728/qbb

People keep donating the fabric, so I keep making the quilts and thankfully QBB takes them.

—–

Thank you Jill for all you do! And for everyone out there who wants to help Quilts Beyond Borders but doesn’t have the time or space to finish a quilt, we hope this has inspired you to jump in and make a quilt top! Read our quilt guidelines here.

Advertisements

Quilts to Ohio Headstart Program

April 10, 2019
Fifty quilts from our Northeast Region were delivered to at-risk children in inner city Dayton, Ohio who really need our messages of love and warmth. The children are in a Headstart program in Dayton, facilitated in part by Pastor Richard Freudenberger of Christ Lutheran Church in Dayton, OH.
Pastor Freudenberger said, “Last week I took half to Headstart children. They were thrilled. I gave out the remainder to needy families at church. Two went to new born babies. One went to a little girl who arrived from Central America recently and isn’t used to this weather.” He also provided us with a few pictures of the quilts being delivered, faces are not shown for privacy reasons.
Thank you to all the quilters who created these beautiful gifts for the children to enjoy! And special thanks to our furry spokes-model, Lily, who helped to show off the quilts in the photos below… The makers of these quilts include: Leesa Plude, Angela Church, Donna Motyl, Jan Baker, Susan Samuel, Penny Rawden, Peggy Thomsen, Diane Carlson, Palm Island Quilters, Edna Stewart, Frances Fink, Linda Ferraro, Bonnie Salt, Missy Zlotocha, Daria Mauro, Jean Unger, Sharon Gower, Lee O’Connor, Michael Elinski, Pam Belanger, Jean Dougherty,  Hong Chang, Linda Dranchak, Marsha Johnson, Terri Desmond, Sylvia Newton, Nancy Kane, Alice Aldrich White, Susan Elliott, Paula Place, Dyan Taber, Donna Sciandra. As always, you can click on each image below for a larger view.
– Karen Matheson

 

 

From the Northwest and Beyond – More Navajo Nation Quilts

April 4, 2019

Quilts Beyond Borders provided 500 quilts to the Forgotten People of the Navajo Nation for their 2018 Christmas Delivery. You can read more about the holiday delivery in our January 20th blog posting. The Northwest and Beyond Quilters were happy to provide 310 quilts from our region and you can see below the quilts that were sent. You can click on each picture to see the names of the piecers and quilters.

These quilts went to children and the elderly to help keep them warm during the winter season in Northern Arizona. I know that everyone was delighted to get such beautiful quilts. Thank you so much to the many quilters who shared their talents and time to provide such colorful and special quilts!

 

Susan Schmidt  Northwest Regional Coordinator

February FQC Winner

March 31, 2019

Congratulations to Cathy Labath from Long Grove, Iowa. Cathy is the randomly chosen winner for the February 2019 Fat Quarter Challenge. She created a lovely colorful quilt which is certain to be loved by a special child.  You can see a photo of her quilt below.

Cathy will receive a $25 gift certificate to spend at the Fat Quarter Shop (FQS) which is the Sponsor of the QBB Fat Quarter Challenge.  Check out the FQS website and get something soon to supplement your stash and notions!  They have an amazing supply of items for your quilting needs.

And … don’t forget our ‘amnesty challenge’ for all you past FQC challenge participants who signed up for the FQC in a previous year and did not get your quilt completed on time.  It’s not too late!  There will be a special prize drawing in May just for you.  So get out that fat quarter and start (or finish!) that quilt today!  Submit your quilt by May 15 to be included in a  special drawing.  Click here for more information on the FQC rules.

Cathy’s FQC quilt…lovely!

2-19 FQC Winner Cathy

Below are pictures of Fat Quarter Challenge quilts received in March and eligible for the drawing next month.  Thanks to all of you who support Quilts Beyond Borders with your quilts which help keep a child warm at night and comforted the rest of the days.

Sherree Newhouse

March 19 FQC submittal Delleen Kompkof

Delleen Kompkof

March 19 FQC submittal Gail Knighton

Gail Knighton

The River Flows On…

March 27, 2019
The river of quilts continues to ebb and flow! Recently my storage area was overflowing with quilts.  Friends helped me box and mail 51 quilts for the Syrian Refugees last week.  In January, 28 quilts left for a children’s home in Mexico.  The storage area was not completely empty when more quilts arrived.  I am eager for the next delivery request to arise and I can send out more quilts.
The pictures below are of quilts that have flowed through my house recently and will go to multiple initiatives. The names of the quilters are listed below along with the photos.  I am so thankful to all of you who entrust your quilts to me until such time as there is a call for them.  You are very special people to make quilts for people you may never meet and may never hear say “Thank you.”  Your generosity amazes me and I wish I could give each of you a big hug along with my thanks.
There is never much time between requests for quilts, so keep up the good work and enjoy the show of quilts below.  Maybe you will see one of yours here.
Ann Drake,
Regional Coordinator, Southern California

 

From the Northwest and Beyond – Jordan Container Delivery

March 13, 2019

These 217 quilts have had quite the incredible journey traveling by container to Jordan and the Syrian Refugees. They left Seattle in September, took a side trip to Shanghai China and then finally on to Amman Jordan where they spent a month in customs. Just in time for winter, they were off-loaded at the end of January. They traveled to a distribution center and then on to their final destination, to several refugee camps supported by our partner organization, Salaam Cultural Museum. We have heard reports back about how grateful the children are for the beautiful quilts they received. Thank you all for sharing your talents and caring for children who so badly need the warmth of a quilt! You can click on each photo below to see a larger image and the name of the makers.

– Susan Schmidt

 

January Fat Quarter Challenge Winner

February 25, 2019
image1 (1)

Congratulations to Kathleen Rountree of California who was randomly selected as the January 2019 winner of the QBB Fat Quarter Challenge! A photo of Kathleen’s beautiful quilt is posted above, and the other challenge entries received so far this year can be seen below.

 

Kathleen will receive a $25 gift certificate from the Fat Quarter Shop. See the Shop’s great selection of fabric, notions and gifts here.  Thanks SEW much to the Fat Quarter Shop for sponsoring the QBB Fat Quarter Challenge!

The Fat Quarter Challenge has a winner every month.  Click here for more information on the FQ challenge.  And it’s not too late to enter the Amnesty Challenge!   Click here for information on how to enter the Amnesty drawing if you picked up a fat quarter from us in a past year. You can hover your mouse over the photos below to see the maker’s name.
 – Sherree

We LOVE our Volunteers! Longarm Quilter Spotlight

February 14, 2019

Our Spotlight Quilter this month is Dr. Michael Elinski, who is an enthusiastic longarmer who helps us complete quilts by quilting and binding them.. Read on to learn his unique story and his important reminder to all our wonderful volunteers who donate quilt tops and quilt kits…

 

I taught myself to sew in 2012 by watching YouTube videos, taking online sewing classes, and reading sewing and quilting books. At first I quilted on a domestic sewing machine, using “stitch in the ditch” or simple patterns.  Often, I sent out my large quilts to long arm quilters, because I wanted a nicer, professionally finished quilting job.

In 2017, I was offered a very affordable longarm quilting setup, and began to practice on the frame and a Coronet 16” long arm quilting machine. I was then encouraged to start quilting for Quilts Beyond Borders to continue learning while doing some good work for a fine benevolent nonprofit organization.  That is when I met QBB Regional Coordinator, Karen Matheson, after being directed to her from the Quilts Beyond Borders email.  Her encouragement and the educational material she shared truly helped me start and built up my confidence.

The first package of 5 quilt kits arrived in January 2018 and seemed a bit overwhelming to me, but I quilted and bound them.  I’ve been long arm quilting now for just over one year, am feeling more comfortable with the process, and I am motivated to continue quilting for QBB and helping people in need, with the ability to provide them with a quilt to wrap around themselves, when times are down.  For the recipient of the quilt, I hope the quilt represents the feeling that someone in the world cares for them, when they really need a hug.

The quilt means that you are not alone in the world and that you must never give up on hope.  I especially enjoy quilting for the children who are among the recipients of these quilts, trying to make their quilts look and feel as cheerful and loving as possible. My favorite part of quilting is the ability to make a quilt from the very beginning of the process to the final binding.  I love the assembly of the quilt top, batting, and backing, so that the handmade quilts become the symbol of love which they are meant to be, quilted by long arm machine with a joyous design and finally bound, so that it lasts for years to come.

My passion for quilting also comes after decades of chronic illness which forced the agonizing decision to give up my lifelong medical profession due to pain and medication side effects.  Now that I quilt, I feel more worthwhile.  Quilting also helps me maintain my health. I am grateful to still be helping others, after I had to make this dramatic transition in my life.  Quilting makes me feel whole again.

However, there are some challenges while supporting Quilts Without Borders.  Some quilts kits I receive do not come with enough backing material for me to properly mount the quilt on my frame.  Therefore, I need to spend more time sewing fabric extensions on the backings to reach the quilt frame bars.  As the Quilt Dimensions and Criteria page on the QBB site states, each quilt kit needs backing and batting at least 8″ wider and longer than your quilt top. (4” larger on each side). For example a 42” x 60” quilt top needs a back and batting that is 50” x 68”. This example photo of a quilting frame setup should help you visualize why the backing and batting need to be larger than the top:

example quilt on frame

The other challenge is that many quilt tops come to me with the binding strips not sewn together.  That means another hour of sewing to make the binding usable.

If these two issues were resolved, QBB could likely increase the number of quilts that are completed each year.  That would mean more people get a hug from the quilt that keeps them feeling warm, loved, and cared about.

——-

Michael, we appreciate you and all the wonderful work you’ve done for Quilts Beyond Borders!  Happy Valentine’s Day!

December 2018 FQC Winner, and 2019 Amnesty Challenge News!

January 31, 2019

Congratulations to Gail Hardy from Palm Desert, CA!  Gail is the FQC winner for December 2018 with a colorful pinwheel quilt which is certain to be loved by a special child.  See a photo of her quilt below.

Gail will receive a $25 gift certificate to spend at the Fat Quarter Shop (FQS) which is the Sponsor of the QBB Fat Quarter Challenge.  Check out the FQS website and get something soon to supplement your stash and notions!  They have an amazing supply of items for your quilting needs.

And … we are kicking off 2019 with an Amnesty Challenge. What is an Amnesty Challenge,  you may ask? Here it is:  If you signed up for the FQC in a previous year and did not get your quilt completed on time, it’s not too late!  There will be a special prize drawing in May just for you.  So get out that fat quarter and start (or finish!) that quilt today!  Submit your Amnesty quilt by May 15, with a note it is for the Amnesty Challenge drawing, and be included in the special drawing after May 15.  Read more info on the Fat Quarter Challenge here.

 

gail hardy fqc

The River Continues to Flow

January 26, 2019

Many beautiful quilts have come and gone through this river.  They are a blessing from start to finish.  When fabric is purchased, it blesses the maker with income.  It blesses the purchaser with a wonderful sense of what will be.  Who will this fabric be for?  How will it be made?  Will it become a bed sized quilt or a throw?  Is it for a boy or girl? Oh, the possibilities.

Then, the quilter gets the blessing of sewing a thing of beauty, knowing it will keep someone warm and give them comfort.

The people who see the photos of the quilts will be inspired by the work of others and possibly steal their idea to make yet another quilt.  Lots of quilters love it when other quilters decide to make one like theirs.

Finally the recipient is blessed by the quilt he or she receives.  Just look at the faces of the people with a quilt wrapped around them.  What could be better, than a gift that blesses all who touch it.

The Sunshine group has contributed many quilts to this river.  Many of the members work with each other to make lovely quilts.  Some members make blocks and contribute them to members who make tops.  The toppers often send the tops to someone who does the quilting and yet another person may put the binding on the quilts.  Some folks make the quilt from start to finish.  Either way, wonderful quilts are made and donated to Quilts Beyond Borders.

Individuals like Joan and Stu who found QBB on the internet have made some terrific quilts.  They nearly always send three at a time.  It is a joy to see the big bags (sometimes with pink dots) on my front porch!

Thank you so much to everyone who contributes to this river.  You are all super-heroes in my book. Please enjoy the photos below, you can click on each for a larger image and to see the maker’s names.

Ann Drake, Regional Coordinator, Southern California