Archive for May, 2011

Update on Quilt Dimensions

May 26, 2011

Please note that we are updating our Quilt Dimensions page. We are now asking that quilt tops donated to us be 42 x 60 inches. This size is best to fit the children’s beds and it eliminates the sorting and necessity of taking extra quilts to ensure we have enough of the various sizes. We’ve found over time that this is the best size for most of the children — big enough for the bigger kids and big enough for the little ones to have room to grow.

Quilt tops that we’ve received that are smaller than this will be modified to fit these dimensions. Completed quilts that we’ve received in smaller sizes may be donated to disaster relief efforts where the smaller sized are needed, (as we did after the earthquake in Haiti and the tsunami in Japan), or we may still take them to Ethiopia. But we are asking now that all future donated tops and quilts fit the 42 x 60 criteria.

Thanks very much for your attention to this change. And happy quilting!



5 More Cute Quilts received from Nan

May 19, 2011

I just returned from a trip to the Machine Quilters Showcase in Overland Park, KS, feeling excited and inspired, and I found a large package from Nan Soles-Fishpaw, of Sew Easy to Quilt, Inc. in Wimauma, Florida. I opened it to discover these 5 adorable quilts which Nan kindly quilted for us. She did a wonderful job of them, as you can see. Lots of playful meandering, with loops, flowers, hearts, and the unexpected feather here and there. I suspect the children will have a lovely time looking to see what fun designs are hidden in some of the stitching!

I just really love the playful daisies in the first one, and the second one has a few hidden feathers and swirls to spice up the meanders.

This cute little duckie quilt is one from a top by the ladies at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton in Plano, Texas.  This will be cherished by one of the little ones!

This football themed quilt by Sandra P. almost makes me want to be a Vikings fan, and is sure to warm some little boy’s heart.

The last quilt was from a top by Helen U. If you look closely you’ll see some hearts that Nan quilted into the bottom right side of the border. She also created a feather motif in the center block, but it’s hard to see in the picture.

On each label, Nan wrote the following blessing to the child who will receive it, “May this quilt, like love, keep you safe and warm.” What a lovely sentiment! I will take these quilts with me to Ethiopia when I go. (My trip is currently planned for November.) I know the children will love these quilts!

Nan has been quilting for us since 2008, and has probably done about 30 quilts for us altogether. They’re always adorable. She says she’s able to create this type of volume in a pretty short time by using the “toilet paper method” of loading her frame with a really long back and batting and then doing three tops one right after another! I’m going to try that!

Nan is a lady of great talents. I’ve seen photos of some of the beautiful and intricate custom work that she’s done for her customers. We are very lucky to have such a generous and talented lady helping us out! Thank you, Nan!


Added Some Bling

May 15, 2011

I found some extra time in preparing for my trip and spent it blinging up the doll.  This is just a sample to show the girls what they can do with their dolls.  Hopefully the attraction to bright, shiny things is universal.


Making Travel Plans

May 10, 2011

I’m busy trying to get ready for the trip to Ethiopia.  In addition to delivering quilts to the orphans, we will be teaching sewing to some of the older children.  In my head I had only been thinking  of girls, but Noreen said there may be some boys too.  So if anybody has any suggestions for easy sewing projects that boys might be interested in and that I can prepare in a relatively short time, I would love to hear them.  In the meantime, I am continuing preparing dolls where the girls can sew clothes for them.  Noreen said that on a previous trip, some of the girls were making dolls with old clothes.  I bought some muslin dolls which turn out to be made out of polyester.  Since you can’t really dye polyester, I had to paint the dolls.  I have one completely done and included a picture of one after it has been painted.  I want to sew the hair and and make the faces before I go.  Then the children can make the clothes.  I’m bring sparkly fabric and trims, ribbons, beads, sequins and buttons.  I figure if you want to keep the children interested in sewing, it will help if it is fun for them.  And, what little girl can resist a bit of bling.  However, I’m still stumped on projects for the boys.  All the sewing will be hand sewing, so it has to be something interesting, but simple enough with hand sewing that they can finish it before they get bored with it.

Ideas, please.



Tops by Younger Quilter

May 7, 2011

Allison made the 6 tops (yes some of them will need to be enlarged), but for a high school girl, I think she did a fantastic job!  These were made with salesman samples donated by Andover Fabrics.  Thank you, Allison, for making these 6 tops.

The red and black quilt was pieced and quilted by Jo Ann.  The child who receives this quilt is going to love it.  Thank you, Jo Ann, for your effort to bring warmth and comfort to children who own nothing.

The striped top was made by me a couple of weeks ago.  I had pink fabric from a vendor’s booth drapes from the Houston Quilt Show and was making up kits with the fabric.  I added some of my striped fabric to it to spark it up.  I wanted to see what the kit looked like made up since we plan to again give out kits at the Houston Show in November.  I’ll probably bind this top with a bright color to nicely frame the whole thing.

Enjoy the pictures.


In Praise of Piecers!

May 6, 2011

I wanted to share pictures of some of the quilts that I’ve quilted that were pieced by others.  In all cases, please click and take a closer look, because the small pictures in the article just really don’t do them justice!

The first two are by Janet from St. Louis, Mo. She initially contacted me to get some information about Quilts Beyond Borders for her guild, and she followed up by sending me a box of beautiful tops (12 or 15 I think!) that she’d made herself for our children. Most of them I sent to other longarmers to do, but these two I was lucky enough to get to do myself!

The next three are by Debra from Watervliet, MI.   Debra was the first piecer to send me quilt tops back in 2008, after someone gave her my address.  Since then, she’s sent me 5 more every year, and I love to receive them.  They’re always beautifully pieced and very original.  Over the years most of them have gone to Ethiopia, but we also sent one to Haiti and two to Japan, so we have children in 2 hemispheres, 3 countries, snuggling in Debra’s quilts.   Do you see the little appliqued running guy in the second quilt?  So cute!

The final quilt is by the “Unknown Piecer!”  We have a lot of tops that come in with no names.  Many of those are done at the quilts shows where QBB has a booth.  This one was fun to do, and gave me lots of “blank space” to practice feathers and “fancy stuff.”  Whoever you are, thanks for the opportunity to quilt this!  I envision this one going to a teen-aged girl who is going to love the romantic cabbage roses in the fabrics on the front and back.

My role with QBB is as the longarm coordinator, and sometimes I find myself so busy “coordinating” that I don’t have time to quilt some of these beautiful donations that we get, but I’ve been very lucky to be able to facilitate delivering hundreds of wonderful quilts to almost 100 talented and generous longarmers who have added their own special magic to the tops we receive.  Many of the longarmers are new, so it gives them a wonderful chance to practice their new craft and try new things.  Others are experienced and some even rather famous in the quilting world for their quilting accomplishments — books, dvd’s, teaching — and they are so incredible to share their talents with us!

I’m hoping to get some time over the next couple of days to quilt some very cute tops received from Richard and Martha (Thank you!!), and will show them in an upcoming blog post.  In the meantime, I want to say thank you, thank you, thank you to Debra, Janet, and all the piecers and long armers who do such loving work!  We appreciate the donation of your precious time and materials, and the children will treasure the quilts.

Thanks, everybody!!


Two More Quilts

May 1, 2011

Thank you, Barbara, for quilting these lovely tops.  You can’t see it it in the pictures, but Barbara did a fantastic job quilting these.  They are going to hold up for a long time under the harsher conditions they will be subjected to in the hands of children and under the basic hand scrubbing washing methods used at the orphanages.