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
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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


Quilts for the Navajo Nation

January 20, 2019
Quilts Beyond Borders is once again supporting the Forgotten People of the Navajo Nation in Northern Arizona. Recently 100 quilts for children and elders were delivered to Flagstaff with a sweet Holiday Elf named Marsha who organizes the distribution of quilts each year at school Christmas parties and nursing home celebrations. As Marsha prepared to journey with the quilts for distribution, she was surrounded by boxes and boxes of quilts. Stay tuned soon for some photos provided by Marsha of smiling faces, so happy to receive their own personal quilts!
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Marsha M, the Holiday Elf who organizes distribution of the quilts to the Navajo Nation.

The following quilts were supplied to Marsha by the QBB Arizona Regional Coordinator.  Thank you to the many quilters who pieced and quilted these lovely quilts to bless the Navajo Nation. You can click on each photo to see a larger image and read the maker’s names.

Sherree Newhouse

Announcing the November 2018 winner of QBB’s Fat Quarter Challenge

December 28, 2018

And the winner is … is Beth Holland From Eden Prairie, MN. Congratulations, Beth! And thank you for supporting Quilts Beyond Borders. See Beth’s beautiful scrappy fat quarter quilt in the photo below.

Beth will receive a $25 gift certificate to spend at the Fat Quarter Shop. Many thanks to the Fat Quarter Shop for sponsoring our challenge. Be sure to check out the SEW amazing inventory they have for quilting!

It’s not too late to join our challenge and you could be our next winner. Get the challenge info and quilt dimensions here.

Stay tuned to hear about some Challenge twists we have planned in 2019 and other opportunities to win prizes for sending in Fat Quarter Challenge quilts. Get a fat quarter out, get your rotary cutter warmed up and get started today!

fqc nov18

-Sherree Newhouse

Quilts Baja Bound!

December 13, 2018

Baja Bound is an organization which builds orphanages, camps, churches and affordable housing for the working poor in Ensenada, Mexico, including immigrant families working in the agricultural fields of Baja.  This summer we were asked by some of the people headed down to Baja to participate in the program to provide them with 40 quilts to be given to needy people they encountered.  They gave 4 quilts to children who would be living in the home they built, and gave the remainder to needy migrant children.

You can tell by the expressions on the children’s faces that they’re very happy to receive these beautiful quilts!


Great thanks to Baja Bound and the wonderful quilters who made these beautiful quilts for providing warmth, comfort, happiness and shelter!



Houston Quilt Festival Highlights

December 10, 2018

We had such a blast at the Houston Quilt Festival 2018! We loved meeting so many of you, receiving your finished quilts and tops, and handing out kits.  We received 163 finished quilts and and 74 completed tops, many with backing and binding.  We also gave out 325 kits to make tops, and kicked off the start of a new Fat Quarter Challenge year.  We are planning to bring a bell next year to add even more excitement when completed quilts and tops are returned!

Please enjoy some highlights of our week below…

quilt booth

Two beautiful quilts from a long-time donor from Australia.. From left to right, Carla Triemer, QBB President, Helen Southeren from Australia, Roberta Katheiser.


These two (Effie Stevens and Kathy Kennedy) checked out kits and returned the tops in the same week!

  Kathy Kennedy - IQF 2018 - Rogue Rabbit!

We think the rogue bunny ears and nose added by my camera make this picture even more special!


Annabelle Kimball made another one of her very beautiful strip quilts for us.  The colors and fabrics she chose really make this one pop!    And we thank this generous quilter for the beautiful purple Round the World quilt.  (If you send us your name we’d love to give you credit! )






Last call for November Fat Quarter Challenge Quilts!

November 24, 2018
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Did you pick up a fat quarter at our booth in Houston?  The new year for Fat Quarter Challenge (FQC) quilts starts this month.  Send in your FQC quilts now for the best chance to win a $25 gift certificate to Fat Quarter Shop. The drawing for November quilts will be announced here in early December.
And it’s not too late to get started on quilts for the December drawing!
For mailing information and rules about the FQ Challenge, click here: Join the Fat Quarter Challenge and Win! Remember, each FQC quilter will be eligible for every monthly drawing all year long.
And, if you have a finished quilt using a fat quarter that you picked up from us in prior years, stay tuned!  We’re planning to have an “Amnesty Month” for those who didn’t make the deadline in previous years.  Details to follow!
Fat Quarter Shop
Learn more about the Fat Quarter Shop’s fabrics and other goodies here: