Archive for the ‘General’ Category

Quilts from St. James the Less, NILAG, Jolene, Marci and Jeanne AND Deliveries to Gaza and Jordan

May 23, 2015

April was a great month for Quilts Beyond Borders.  We received lots of beautiful tops and quilts from a lot of wonderful quilters and piecers.  The ones I’d like to feature in this post are the ones I received here in Illinois from the quilters of St. James the Less in Northfield, IL and the Northern Illinois Long Arm Guild (NILAG), as well as some quilts I received in April from Jolene McClellan and earlier in the year from Jeanne Ayers and Marci Lane.

St. James the Less    First, here are the beautiful tops I received from my friend, Sue Babbs, of St. James the Less.  Sue’s group has been contributing to Quilts Beyond Borders for many years, and the quilt tops they provide are always beautiful, well made, and kitted up with backing and binding to make it easy for us to quickly pass them along to longarmers to finish up and speed them along the way to needy children and orphans.  Here is a picture of Sue the day she delivered the tops to me, and pictures of all the tops I received that day.  These cute tops were made by Jill, Betsy, Linda, Diane, Meredith, Sarah and Sue.   For a closer look at any picture, click on the thumbnail.  To see who made it, hover over it with your cursor and the name will appear in the lower left corner of the screen.

Sue Babbs 2015 03 02 Betsy(2) 2015 03 14 Diane (2) 2015 03 14 Jill (1) 2015 03 14 Jill (2) 2015 03 14 Jill (3) 2015 03 14 Jill (4) 2015 03 14 Jill (5) 2015 03 15 Betsy 2015 03 15 Linda 2015 03 15 Meredith 2015 03 15 Sarah 2015 03 16 Linda 2015 03 20 Linda 2015 03 31 Sue

Northern Illinois Longarm Group    The following pictures are quilts I received from NILAG.   This is the longarm guild to which I belong — a great group of quilters who meet every other month.  For info about this guild, here’s the URL to their blog:

These wonderful quilts were quilted by:

  • Sharon Gaber (top by Meredith, of St. James the Less)
  • Sandra Smith (tops by Sandra Smith and Carmen Zapata)
  • Anonymous NILAG  (3 quilts, including one from a top by Jill of St. James the Less)

As above, click on the photo for a closer look, and hover over to see the names of the quilter and piecer.

Nilag 1 Nilag 2 Nilag 3 Sandra Smith 1 Sandra Smith 2 Sharon & Meredith

Jolene McClellan    Jolene is a longarmer in Wisconsin.  She sent these four beautiful quilts which were made from tops by Teri Goade, Bobbi and Jackie Nickols, Judy Wood and Tracey Murphy.

Jolene McClellan & Teri GoadeJolene McClellan & Bobbi & Jackie Nichols Jolene McClellan & JudyWood  Jolene McClellan & Tracey Murphy

Marci Lane  Marci, a quilter from Texas, pieced and quilted the two cute quilts shown below and dropped them off to us at the International Quilt Festival in Houston last year.  There was a third one as well, but I’m afraid I sent it on to be delivered to a needy child before I had a chance to photograph it!  Hopefully we’ll see a picture of it wrapped around a child when it’s delivered.

Marci Lane 1 Marci Lane 2

Jeanne Ayers   Jeanne Ayers, of Florida, has been quilting for Quilts Beyond Borders for many years now, and always makes adorable quilts for us.  These two are no exception!

Jeanne Ayers 1 Jeanne Ayers 2

Thanks to all the wonderful quilters who made all of these beautiful quilts!  I know the children who receive them will cherish them!  Many of them have already been boxed up and sent to the State of Washington where they were delivered to the Salaam Cultural Museum which is taking them as part of a humanitarian mission to Jordan for refugees from the Syrian war and to Gaza for children in a Cerebral Palsy hospital.  For more information about this mission and for some pictures, keep reading!

Deliveries to Jordan and Gaza

I received a note from one of our Board members, Karen Vander Stoep, summarizing a meeting she had with Rita Zawaidah, the Director of the Salaam Cultural Museum who is leading the effort to get humanitarian aid to Syrian refugees in Jordan.  Here is that note:

Quilts for children in trauma centers, Jordan and Syria
We are in full swing on this initiative with a target of 480 quilts by November.  Such a hefty undertaking, but nevertheless we are moving along.

I had the pleasure of meeting with Rita Zawaideh today.  She’s the one woman icon who is leading the effort to establish trauma centers for refugee children.  One is operating right now in Aman, serving 40 children per day; 3 evenings per week – adult women are treated for trauma and 2 times per month, families are treated.  The full time staff includes 4 social workers, a psychiatrist and a psychologist.

We call it the trauma center, but its name is the Malki Center, named after the wife of a volunteer Dr. She gave $60,000 to erect the building. The Malki Center will be expanded with another site in Jordan; funds have been donated to build that building.

Our quilts are also to be received by what I call “the lost children of Syria Idlib.” 35 children, ages 6-15, living in a cave in Syria. They have no family, no papers so they cannot get out. Rita’s group provides clothing, food, needed aid and walks to the outside when it is safe. I can assure you she is always looking for a way to get them out.

It is such a privilege to know Rita and the endless contributions she makes to the refugee effort. I mentioned that I have often told people, she walks really close to God. She started crying and I wasn’t sure I would get her back. She said, “Sometimes I am quite emotional about what I do.” Well, no wonder.

So to you all, your investment in quilts for refugee children is so much appreciated. I had mentioned they would go on the next container. She says oh no, they go in our baggage, they’re special quilts.

Thanks again for all you do!

Below are pictures of quilts delivered to children in the Trauma Center in Jordan:

TC - Jordan 5

TC - Jordan 1 TC - Jordan 2 TC - Jordan 3

TC - Jordan 4  TC - Jordan 6

You can see that it’s always important for the children to have their names written on the labels that are on the backs of the quilts.   So many of the children who receive our quilts have left their homes with only the clothes on their backs and what they can carry in their hands, so they really treasure receiving a quilt of their very own.

The following pictures were taken in a Cerebral Palsy school in Gaza.  Salaam Cultural Museum worked with the Physicians for Social Responsibility to get the quilts delivered to the children there.

Gaza 2

Gaza 1 Gaza 4 Gaza 3

We have delivered more than 180 quilts to Salaam Cultural Museum since March, and anticipate delivering another 300 before November.  Great thanks to the quilters who created the quilts in the pictures above, and all the quilters and volunteers who have helped us and continue to help us with these efforts!

Best regards,




Ring, ring!

May 5, 2014

Ok, is that title telling my age when I’m talking about a telephone? 🙂 In my defense, it was my cell phone ringing so that at least brings me to the 90’s, right? Anyway, I received the kind of phone call that all regional coordinators dream about! A very nice lady named Becky was calling asking for my address. She stated that she and a friend had asked Carla for some quilt tops last fall that they could quilt for us and oh my! What a great job they did! As the conversation continued, I asked her how many quilts she was sending. She casually replied, “18 I think”. Whoa! That’s REALLY the type of phone calls that regional coordinators enjoy getting! Hot diggity. I was on pins and needles waiting for that package to arrive and it was so much fun to ooh and aah as each one was taken from the box. They certainly had a lot of fun quilting these, I think, as you can see when you do a close up on the pictures. She actually apologized that it had taken her awhile to get them done. No apologies needed! These are wonderful, happy quilts. Some of them even have a really cool binding on them. I’m not sure if they’ll show up in the pictures but kind of like a double binding. Does that make sense? I’m sure there’s a much better name for them but that’s the best I can do right at this moment. Can you imagine trying to pick just ONE of these if you were receiving one? Of course, we send a big THANK YOU out also to the wonderful ladies who took the time to create all these beautiful tops as well. It’s always fun to see the imagination and creativity of the piecers. Today we have everything from panels to strip piecing to wonky log cabins to one that is just a single log cabin block; from brights to pastels to deeper, boyish colors and they all look fantastic.

Special thanks to:

Donna Sciandra

Nyla Gordon

Marilyn Barba

Linda Strachn

Elaine Dekovic

Carol Boethel

Evelyn Carlisle

Carolyn Sower

And Longarm Quilters and Friends Becky Goldner and Barbara Nilles


Barb Nilles  Carol Boethel:Barb Nilles  Carolyn Sower:Barb Nilles  Donna Sciandra:Becky Goldner 2  Donna Sciandra:Becky Goldner 4  Donna Sciandra:Becky Goldner 5  Donna Sciandra:Becky Goldner 6  Donna Sciandra:Becky Goldner 7  Donna Sciandra:Becky Goldner 8  Donna Sciandra:Becky Goldner  Donna Sciandra:Becky Goldner3  Elaine Dekovic:Barb Nilles  Evelyn Carlisle:Barb Nilles 2  Evelyn Carlisle:Barb Nilles  Linda Strachn:Becky  Goldner  Marilyn Barba:Becky Goldner  Nyla Gordon:Becky Goldner



Summary this blog’s activity in 2011

December 31, 2011

The stats were pretty interesting.  In the report, you can see the various countries that are viewing this blog.  Thanks everybody for making this a great year!


The stats helper monkeys prepared a 2011 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Syndey Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 28,000 times in 2011. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 10 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

Musings on Father’s Day

June 19, 2011

Father’s Day is always bittersweet for me, as my dad, Frank Triemer, passed away over 20 years ago.  He took our family to Ethiopia in the mid 1950’s, when I was two, on what was supposed to be a 3-year contract.  He went with the State Department on a mission to help the Ethiopians to build their airline, and after the first 3-year contract he remained there under contract to TWA for an additional 6 years.  I was 2 years old when I arrived there, so I spent the majority of my “Wonder Years” living in Addis Ababa.

Growing up there was, in retrospect, a true adventure, and completely unlike living would be in the US.  We went to American schools, first the Army Dependents school and then a missionary school, and my mother taught at both schools.  We had servants, not because we thought we needed them but because we were assured by fellow American ex patriots that it was the “right” thing to do — good for the people, good for the economy, and good for us.    My father, a man of sensible Kansas roots, made sure that we didn’t grow up being spoiled and “over-privileged”, that we would treat the household staff with respect and appreciate the work they did.   His efforts to make sure we didn’t grow up as whiny brats once led him, when I was whining that I didn’t have the “right” shoes for some occasion, to put me in the car and take me to the Mercato (the shopping area), to show me a beggar with no feet.   He always wanted to make sure we understood how lucky we really were.

My sister and I played with the children of the staff and the little Italian kids from across the street, speaking an amalgamation of three languages.  My father exposed us to cultures other than our own, taking us to countries on four continents to see the sights, hear the languages, taste the foods and experience the differences.   But he was always a proud American, a WW2 Marine who had fought at Iwo Jima, and while he was very proud of our travels and the world view we developed, he made sure we always understood our American heritage and that as Americans we had been born lucky, “the most fortunate people on earth.”

He took great pride and joy in the work he did at Ethiopian Airlines, really loved it and his American, European and Ethiopian co-workers.  His goal was to make sure it became a world-class airline, and I believe he and his coworkers were successful at that endeavor.  I very much look forward to flying on that airline when I return to Addis Ababa in November.   After 9 years in Ethiopia, when our family left there to move back to the States, the flight we took was entirely staffed by Ethiopians, from the maintenance, to the flight attendants, to the pilots.  This was the very first entirely Ethiopian-staffed flight, and it was a great tribute to my father and the work he did for Ethiopian Airlines.

Let’s take this Father’s day to appreciate the men in our lives, our fathers and our husbands.  Over the years I’ve seen a lot of quilters’ husbands with them at shows and shops.  Some of these fellows seem to attend to carry the bags, others are involved in picking out fabrics, and there are even a few who proudly wear the mantle “Quilter” — like the fellow I saw wearing a shirt that proclaimed, “No, I’m not a lost husband!  I’m a Quilter, too!

One of the male quilters I’d like to honor today is Richard Miller.  You’ve seen on past blog posts some of the tops that Richard has made for us.  I honestly don’t know how many he’s made, but I suspect it’s at least 30 in the last year or so.  Richards tops are always beautifully made, cheerful, colorful, and fun for both boys and girls.  He’s assisted in these endeavors by his wife, Martha, who has recently been making some tops herself.   Thanks to both of you!

I got the quilting gene from my father’s mother, and my husband, Cliff, was quite supportive of my picking up what he thought was a “nice cheap hobby.”  Yeah, right!  Thousands of dollars have been spent over the last 10 years, as my first quilt eventually turned into a voluminous stash,  several sewing machines, a mid-arm and a long-arm, and the construction to have the basement re-done as a quilting studio!  After the first year of my hobby, as it was becoming an obsession, Cliff started saying, “but how many quilts do we need?”  As he became concerned that we might run out of family members, I discovered Quilts Beyond Borders, which brought together my love of Ethiopia and Quilting.  How much better can it be than to be able to do something you really love, for children who need and will treasure the results of your work?   And the opportunity for me to do this for Ethiopian children is such a bonus.  I greatly appreciate my husband’s somewhat bemused support of my “nice cheap hobby”, and  he appreciates that I have an outlet for all these quilts!

Another quilters’ husband and father that I’d like to honor today is Rodger Fling.  His wife, Noreen, and daughter, Holly, are two of the founders (along with June Colburn) of Quilts Beyond Borders.  I suspect that Rodger initially thought, like Cliff did, that this charity would be a nice activity for his wife and daughter to be involved in.  While Cliff has the good fortune that I’ve only expanded my hobby to every square inch of the basement, Rodger’s entire life and house has been taken over by quilts.  At last count I believe Noreen had about 400 in various stages being prepared for transporting to Ethiopia, transporting to long armers, being kitted up for sewing at shows, being bound, etc., etc., etc.   Rodger recently completed building of shelves for holding and organizing some of these many quilts — which will probably free up many of the flat surfaces so they can be used.  For still MORE quilts!   I suspect when Rodger is finally transported to the pearly gates, on clouds of quilts, there will be a very BIG halo waiting for him.

I asked Noreen to tell me a few things about Rodger’s activities with QBB.  She replied, “Rodger is a big part of QBB. He has been involved with nearly all phases of QBB.  He started in 2007, cutting fabric, helping to sandwich fabric, batting and backs, and going to Houston International Quilt Show for two weeks.  Rodger  spent hours adding volunteer names to our the QBB data bank and he keeps our bank accounting.  Together we package quilts for shipping,  he gets to move everything.”

So, today on Father’s day, let me give a big “THANK YOU!” to Richard, Rodger, the fathers who made us who we are, and the husbands who put up with and support this magnificent creative obsession!

Now, let’s all go quilt!  Regards,


How to subscribe?

April 22, 2011

Carolyn and I have been asked how one can subscribe to the QBB blog.   Hmmmm…. I did some research, and read a whole lot of alphabet soup.   Here’s the very easiest way.

Scroll to the bottom of a post that you like, and click on “Leave a Comment”.  You will be presented with several fields where you can enter the name you’d like us to call you, your email ID (which won’t be shown on our site or in your comment when we receive it) and a place where you can write a comment. We’d love to hear from you if you’d like to spend time writing a comment, and we’ll be happy to respond to questions. Otherwise, it’s ok with me if you just type in, “just subscribing,” or something like that.

After that, there are two check boxes. The first is to be informed of any follow-up comments. The second is the important one to check if you’d like to be notified by e-mail every time we put up a new post. Once you check that second little box, you’ll be subscribed.

Thanks for your interest! Regards,