April Fat Quarter Challenge

May 3, 2016

Each year at the International Quilt Festival we give quilters the opportunity to participate in our Fat Quarter Challenge.   The participants sign-up to receive a fat quarter and a block pattern which they use as the basis to create a quilt for the needy children that are served by Quilts Beyond Borders.  The finished quilts roll in each month, and it is fun to see where they come from and occasionally we receive notes with them as I did this month from Marci Roberts of Idaho.  She writes, “I hope these are good enough, I’ve only been sewing a short time.”  They are wonderful Marci and so are the other quilts we have received.  The winner of this month’s drawing for a $25 gift certificate from the Fat Quarter Shop is Marlene Glickman of Clearwater, FL.  Congratulations!

The FQ Challenge quilts below are from Pam Finnegan, Woodlands, TX; Marlene Glickman, Clearwater, FL and Carolyn Goodling, York, PA.

Thank you on behalf of the many children around the world who will enjoy them.

Karen V.

Odyssey of Ozington and his Quilt

April 26, 2016

Quilting for charity is a wonderful experience where you can practice new techniques, spend some time doing something you love, and make a needy child or orphan very happy as a result of your work. At QBB we try to post pictures of as many quilts as we can on our blog when we receive them. We also try to take photos of deliveries whenever we can, and post them to the blog so you can see your quilt delivered to an excited child. Sometimes the orphanages don’t allow pictures or sometimes the groups that transport quilts for us get so excited giving out quilts that they forget to take photos, so it doesn’t always happen. I’ve always thought of our posting pictures of the deliveries as sort of “the end” of the story of making or receiving a top, getting it to a longarm quilter, finishing it up, packing it up, and giving it to a child.

Every once in awhile, though, I get a reminder that the creation and delivery of the quilt is just the beginning. We got one of those earlier this year, when we received a message from an adoptive mother that said this:

“I have long wanted to thank your organization for providing my son with a lovely quilt while he was in an orphanage in Ethiopia. We brought it home as a keepsake 3 years ago now and it is a lovely reminder of human generosity and kindness. I hope you know these lovely quilts go to beautiful children who deeply appreciate them. Thank you sincerely from my family to all of you, Jessa R.”

Wow!! Just reading the comment made me tear up! And since I’d gone to Ethiopia 3 years ago, with a couple of friends and about 200 quilts, I wondered if Jessa and I had been there at the same time. Jessa and I started corresponding, and quickly discovered that we were there the same week. While she wasn’t at the orphanage at the exact time we were there, we had posted a picture of her son, being hugged by one of my friends as he received a quilt, on a blog post I posted in May of 2012, when I returned from that trip.  https://quiltsbeyondborders.wordpress.com/2012/05/11/img_1215/

(You can see more details of our 2012 trip by searching on “installment”, as I posted “Installments 1-7” about the trip.)

Here’s the picture of Jessa’s son, Ozington, with my friend, Linda Visentin McDaniel, on the day we gave out the quilts and a couple of pictures of Ozington and his new parents.

Oz - with LindaOz - with Mom - JessaOz - with Mom & Dad

Jessa made a beautiful video of their trip to Ethiopia to get Ozington and has shared it with us at this Youtube URL:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V4yCFnFr0xY

Jessa keeps in touch with several other couples that she met, also adopting on the same trip. They get together frequently, so she sent my blog link to them, and pretty soon she said they were all very emotional: “A lot of emotions from wanting to squeeze our kids extra tight to being so thankful for the kindness of strangers.”

Here are some pictures of Ozington’s little friends, who were also adopted by Canadian couples, as they received the quilts in the orphanage.  The following pictures show my friend, Brenda Barnett with Rumi, and the other picture shows Chance.  As it turned out Ozington’s little pal, Chance, was originally photographed with the quilt that Ozington eventually took home with him – I guess some trading went on after we left!

Jessa also sent us some pictures of the children, still pals, now at home in Canada

Jessa also sent us a picture of Ozington’s quilt label, so we know that his quilt was pieced by the Sisterhood of the Thimble in Martinsburg, WV, and quilted by one of the longarmers in the guild I belong to in Illinois, NILAG member Emma Everett.

Oz - Quilt Label

Ladies, thank you for doing such a lovely job on this quilt! It has traveled back and forth across the Atlantic, and all these years later it is still treasured by the little boy who received it!

Oz - With Quilt in 2016

Great thanks to Jessa Rodenburgh for sharing her story, pictures and video with us.  We wish you all great luck, love and happiness together always!

The Quilts are Blooming!

April 15, 2016

Finally here in Maryland, the weather is beginning to look and act like spring.  It’s so nice to be able to take pictures of quilts outside.  Today we have a beautiful bouquet of quilts.  Most of these will be going to Ethiopia this fall.

When you scroll over the pictures you can see the names of the volunteers involved.  The quilts from Katy Sweigart (MI) and Melissa Snyder (IN) did not have piecers’ names on the labels on the back of them so we are assuming that they pieced and quilted the quilts themselves or they received the quilts from us with no labels with piecers’ names included.  Sometimes identifications get separated from the tops if we’re getting a lot at once (like we do at the Houston IQF) and sometimes the piecers just don’t identify themselves to us. Please let us know if you know who pieced these, so we can give credit where credit is due!   Also featured is a quilt from Barbara Baker (MI) and two pieced by Barbara Peterson (NYC) and quilted by me.

A quick note about labels on the quilts.  We ask that you could provide labels on the back of the tops and quilts for a few reasons.  First we like the children to know that a specific person(s) made the quilt for them;  we also leave a space for the child’s name to be written on it.  Many times these quilts are their sole possession, besides the clothes they have, so being able to have their quilt marked just for them is important.  Also, it helps the Regional Coordinators if a label is already attached to the quilt and saves us some time.

The labels can be as simple as a piece of muslin (the one below is about 3×5 inches) and written with the information using a permanent ink pen such as a sharpie or you can use a printer.  Here are pictures of some labels.  Just remember that the labels need to be machine stitched onto the quilt, please don’t be concerned about hiding that stitching; it’s more important for the label to be affixed permanently.

Thanks everyone for providing these quilts to make some children feel loved and warm.  We’re looking forward to a beautiful weekend and hope the same for you.

Cheers, Tina

Quilt Your Heart Out Podcast & More Photos

April 13, 2016

Probably two months ago, one of our Regional Coordinators, Susan Schmidt ran into Mary Fons and told her about Quilts Beyond Borders.  Well Mary was very excited about our organization and she and her mother, Marianne, will give us a shout out on their podcast tomorrow, April 14th.  Here’s a bit from Mary’s letter to us:

“If you’re not familiar, the QYHO podcast is new and is hosted by me and my mom, Marianne Fons. It’s a call-in advice show for quilters and each week we feature a “social media shoutout.” You’re our “social media shoutout” on the April 14th show! We told our listeners (many thousands already) about QBB’s mission and directed people to your website/blog (via ours, quiltyourheartout.com) simply in hopes they’ll be as interested and inspired as I was when I learned about your work.”

So please visit their site www.quiltyourheartout.com  and you will be able to send in questions and listen to their podcast.

Recently I had the chance to quilt some quilts from one of our prolific quilters, Joy McAuley, from MD.  I am always amazed how people can put together scrap quilts cause I have the hardest time doing that.  As you can see, Joy, took lots of fabric pieces to make the squares.  Two of these larger quilts will be headed to Syrian Refugee children and the rest will be going to Ethiopia.  Can you tell it was a windy day while photographing these?

Quilts for Orphan Outreach from Dec2015 and March 2016 FQ Challenge

April 6, 2016

Due to some technical difficulties with blogger, we have been having problems posting photos, etc.  However, we are working through these issues and will start posting more photos from prior deliveries.  With that said, here are some beautiful quilts that were sent to Guatemala.  First I would like to mention the piecers and quilters that donated their time and love to work on these quilts.  (Some do not have the full names listed because they were not listed on the quilt label or information from the box it was shipped in.)

Piecer’s:  Theola Breaux, Shelley North, Katherine Markle, Cheryl M., Mary H., Audrey Murphy, Betty Cunningham, Sherry Brooks, Kim Bennett, Falecia Bruton, Connie Harrison, Nancy Miller & Ann D.

Quilters:  Jean Clarkson, Hollie McNeely, Rheta Grove, Melodie Bachelder, Jeannie R.

Pieced and Quilted:  Alice Bott, Joyce McCorquodale, Ruth O. & Christ Ministries, Judy Wood & No Strings Attached, Tammy S. & The Sunshine Quilt Guild

All of these quilts are absolutely lovely and we know the children that received them will love them.

Now for the March Fat Quarter Challenge, the winner for March is Martha Drabiski of Elkton, FL.  Congratulations on winning the $25 gift certificate from the FQ Shop.  We also received quilts from Trudy Pickle, Austin; Kay McKinnon, MI; and Deb Heen, ND.  There are times where we need quilts quickly and they are immediately sent to the children.  So unfortunately, we do not have photos of Deb’s or Trudy’s quilts, but trust that the children are already loving them.  And some of the quilters that submitted FQ challenge quilts also sent some extras, always a nice surprise for us.  Here are some quilts from the March entries.

Just a reminder that if you submit a FQ Challenge quilt, you will be entered in the successive month’s contest until we end it for this year.  So if you entered in March and didn’t win, don’t worry, you still have a chance to win each month through September of this year.

Thanks everyone for creating these lovely quilts that will become a cherished gift for a child.

Cheers, Tina


FQ Challenge Winner Feb & Some More Eye Candy

March 29, 2016

I don’t know about you, but this year has raced by and yet I can’t seem to get my act together. This post is late, but do not think we don’t appreciate the work of our volunteers because we do.

So without further ado, let me talk about the February FQ Challenge quilts that were received and who the winner was. This month we received quilts from Marge Mongan (Rockton, IL) and also Maria Plott. Marge picked up 2 fat quarters from our booth in Houston last fall and returned those 2 quilts in addition to an extra. It’s nice how the quilts multiply. It also happened that Marge won the contest in February. And remember, once you have submitted a quilt for the FQ Challenge you are entered in the subsequent months entries for the year.  We also want to thank Maria Plott  (Madison, NC) for the beautiful quilt she submitted.

Also below are quilts given to us by Audrey Murphey, Sandy Morawski (Bloomfield, CT), Julie Stump (Delmar, NJ), Betty Thomas and Donna Yates (Union, KY).  Thank you so much.  These quilts will most likely be traveling to Ethiopia or to the Syrian refugees in Jordan.

If you click on the individual photos, the name the quilter will appear in the large photo once you’ve clicked it.

Thanks everyone!  You have helped us make the lives of children feel loved.

Regards, Tina

FQ Challenge for January 2016

February 29, 2016

For the month of January we received many beautiful quilts that were entered in our fat quarter challenge.  The winner of the January drawing was Liz Clark of Los Gatos, CA. Liz has been a quilter for QBB for many years.  She will receive a $25 gift certificate from the Fat Quarter Shop.  We really want to thank them for sponsoring our contest.

Others who also sent quilts during January were Donna Kanealii of Mililani, Hawaii; Lynn Emch of Highlands Ranch, CO; Martha Drabiski of Elkton, FL; Sandy Swon of Gladstone, IL; Donna Dellacamera of Unionville, CT; Pat Kye of Elkton, FL and Donna Sciandra (2 quilts) of Buffalo, NY.  Just a reminder that all of these quilters will be entered into our future monthly drawings for the gift certificate.  The sooner you get a quilt to us, the more chances you will have to win.

I wish we could have seen all the quilts, but so many had countries calling and were rushed of to duty. The quilts that we did photograph are from Pat Kye, Martha Drabiski, Donna Kanealii and Lynn Emch.

Thank you all for generous use of time and talent in creating these beautiful quilts. You are what makes our merry-go-round….. go ’round.   Thank you, Karen V

Bennett Freeze 2016

February 9, 2016

We had a wonderful result with our Bennett Freeze Forgotten People initiative last year.  Once so many of you sent your quilts, the work began in Arizona.  Many volunteers helped sort and distribute quilts to quite a few happy recipients. They gave away quilts all during the month of December to several different groups. Women’s shelters, senior citizen centers, and families with young children were all visited and given the warmth and love of one of your quilts.Our contact person sent me an email the beginning of January saying that there were a few people who walked away empty handed from the last giveaway they had😦 and she asked if I had a couple dozen more to send. Since the generosity of all of you is so amazing, I was able to do that quickly so we sent well over 200 quilts this year! One thing she mentioned was that these quilts truly let these folks know that they are not forgotten and that they are loved. She tried to capture that in these pictures and it’s fun to see the different expressions.

grandma 2 chargers quilt checkerboard recipient grandpa with chevrons sunshine lotto block






veggie quilt what's in the box! IMG_2343 IMG_2399 IMG_2398






IMG_2397 IMG_2433 IMG_2430 IMG_2404 IMG_2389






IMG_2381 IMG_2356 IMG_2365 IMG_2451 IMG_2433






IMG_2427 IMG_2426 blue quilts little girl thumbs up hello kitty grandma






happy smiles town quilt sunshine lotto block string patchwork quilt sane:sart 4






sane:sart 2 IMG_2418 IMG_2417 IMG_2416 IMG_2415






IMG_2414 IMG_2413 IMG_2412 IMG_2411 IMG_2402






IMG_2401 IMG_2395 IMG_2392 Baby on a quilt Baby on a quilt 4






Baby on a quilt 3 Photo baby w quilt











Thank you all so much for all you do! I hope these brightened your day as much as YOU brightened THEIRS!

Do Quilts Really Flirt?

January 20, 2016

“Hey there, cute one. Have I met you before? You are looking particularly beautiful.  Moda prints, right!?”

“Yes!” And you have to be Kona. Mmmm, love those dark and dusky cotton colors. I don’t think we have met. Where have you been hanging out?”


“Oh man, if you only knew. All this travel, cooped up in tight boxes with so many others. And it was worse before I even started traveling. Originally I am from Australia, the product of many poor rejected pieces of plain old fabric, tossed in a box in a closet somewhere in The Outback.  Have you heard about The Outback? It’s really out there. But fortunately people who have to work hard to make a living still have big hearts for helping those even less fortunate. Eventually I was pieced together, after having my parts (oh, sorry, didn’t mean to sound so off-color) exhumed from that forlorn box, and sewn into a quilt top destined for an organization called Quilts Beyond Borders.”

“Really? Quilts Beyond Borders, did you say? You aren’t even going to believe this, but I, too have a label attached to me that says those very words! Are you SURE we haven’t met?”

“Honey, you are so darn pretty with all those pretty pink flowered prints, I would have remembered you! And I would probably have fallen in love with you, too, as some little girl is going to do when she gets you for her very own.  I assume you have been traveling, too, sweetheart?”

“Oh yes, Mr. Kona, I have really been around. Oh gosh, I didn’t mean that to sound the way it did. I am really NOT that kind of girl…..But, yes, like you, I started out as a bunch of rejected, uneven, unmatched flowery pieces of fabric. Eventually a very talented lady in Buffalo, New York in the USA (do you know where that is? Not close to The Outback at all!  In fact, Buffalo is on the other side of the world from The Outback!) Anyway, this talented lady is very dedicated to Quilts Beyond Borders and makes all kinds of quilt tops out of us rejected scraps. Scraps, ugh.  Isn’t that an awful word? I prefer to think I was created from little beauties-in-waiting.”

“I travelled as a little quilt top from this lady’s studio in Buffalo to another place in the United States called Connecticut where I was fixed-up – oh gosh, there I go again, with some fancy quilting stuff, folded back up, packed in another box with others just like me, and shipped off, yet again to a place called Massachusetts. In Massachusetts I was stretched from stem to stern on a monstrous machine. Geez, I hated that machine! Wasn’t it in the olden days that people stretched the bad guys on monstrous machines as a form of punishment? Well, anyway, I survived that ordeal, and turned out to be just fine, in fact, quite beautiful, I’m told, in the end.”

“But you are right, I wasn’t close to being done with all this traveling yet. This time I was jammed in a box with so many others like me to what I thought was my final destination.  But, to my chagrin, I ended up back at the house in Connecticut where I just laid there, folded on a shelf (where no one could appreciate my beauty or genuine warmth) waiting to hear about my next stop. I was not happy about that. It seemed to me it was about time for me to arrive in a child’s arms, as I had been promised so long ago.”

“I hear you. Wow, you know what, I think we really might have met a long time ago because I, too, spent some time at that house in Connecticut. I got sent from Australia to Connecticut and then, you are not going to believe this, I went to Canada for a while – and ended up stretched out on one of those monster machines! I agree – ouch!! But it did me a world of good. Like people getting face lifts, I suppose, quilts don’t look right until they get all that Work done….The Connecticut lady thought it was so cool that she was the intermediary between Australia and Canada. Big deal, I thought. Let’s get on with this.”

“Right, my friend, and so now, after all that, here we are, finally meeting, stuffed in a box, very close together. Mmm, this is so romantic. Doesn’t get much cozier than this. We both look pretty spiffy, too. I’m so glad I don’t look a wreck now that I have met you.”
“This IS fun, but I am really excited to think about the end of this trip because I think, at last we will be in the arms of a couple of little children. And I think you and I might be together – forever. Do you think we could get cots next to one another? Let’s see if we can work that out.”
Karen Matheson
Northeast Regional Coordinator
Connecticut/Rhode Island

2015, What a Year We Had!

January 10, 2016

Well we’ve all been busy and this blog post is late, but I promise, it’s a good one! I want to tell you about how we ended with our commitments during 2015 and also share some pictures of quilts that have been sent and received.
Let’s first talk about some of the quilts that were sent last year. Most of these quilts below went to Syrian refugee children in Jordan and to the Navajo of Bennet Freeze. I want to thank Joy McAuley for piecing and Linda Brammer for machine quilting these tops.

The second set of photos are quilts that have been delivered to the Downs Syndrome School in Guatemala. The smiles on the faces of these children should convince you that your quilts are cherished.

We do ask that the organization that makes the delivery try to take pictures of the children with the quilts. Many times this is easier said than done. There are times that the receiving organization will not allow the children to be photographed; other times it gets so hectic and photos are not taken. Please be assured that the quilts are going to the children, so you have no worries there. If you have Facebook, we recently shared some photos from the Salaam Cultural Museum (Syrian refugee children) and pictures of some of the Navajo. Do not worry though, we will also do a blog post with these pictures if you don’t have Facebook.


Last year we had been asked to commit over 1100 quilts and we were able to deliver nearly 1200 quilts! It just astonishes me the generosity of our volunteers. Here are the raw numbers, the first number was the target, the second number was what we committed, and the third number was what we sent.

Salaam Cultural Museumtrauma centers & refugee camps, Jordan, Lebanon, Gaza:  480 / 578 / 571
Downs Sydrome School – Guatemala:   120 / 120 / 148
Micro Orphanage Haiti:  20 / 20 / 25
Christ the Center Ministries Primary and Nursery School – Uganda:         168 / 150 / 168
Forgotten People – Bennett Freeze:  200 / 200 / 215
Peruvian Orphanage:  60 / 60  / 35 (note group could only take 35)
Pathfinders in South Dakota:  14
TOTAL  1176 sent

Finally, without you, our volunteers, there is no way we could provide the amount of quilts that we do to children throughout the world. Thank you so much.
Regards, Tina


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