We hosted a charity booth in Houston at the International Quilt Festival (IQF) which takes place at the end-of-October, beginning-of-November every year. If you’ve never been to the IQF in Houston, I recommend you add it to your bucket list. Hundreds of amazing quilts are juried into the show from around the world, and there are hundreds of vendors and lots and lots of classes covering every aspect of quilting.
At our booth we typically give out information about our charity and kits for people to make tops or longarm quilts for us. This year we gave out a record number of kits — 325 kits were checked out by 196 women. That might sound like a big risk, but we prefer to think of it as an “investment”, and we’ve found it pays off within just a couple of years. We give out enough fabric to make a top, and it is often returned to us with backing and binding, sometimes already made up in a completed quilt, and often accompanied by more tops and quilts! Our 2016 investment is currently up to a 114% Return on Investment (ROI), and our ROI for 2012 and 2013 is over 125%. Some of those kits are returned to us as tops and quilts years later, sometimes at the show and sometimes via the mail when people send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org to find out the address of their nearest Regional Coordinator. This year show attendees brought us 164 completed quilts and 94 completed tops. During the coming weeks many of those quilts will be going to homeless and needy students in Florida and Texas, and children in Syrian Refugee camps in Greece and Jordan. Stay tuned to the blog, and you’ll see pictures of many of those beautiful quits as we get them packed up for delivery.
At the show we also sell products from countries where we’ve delivered quilts and we sell some beautiful quilts which we’ve been given permission by their makers to sell for fundraising purposes. This year we also sold many mug rugs, pin cushions, keychains, bookmarks, iron caddies and other items that were handmade for us by wonderful volunteers throughout the United States. Our charity has no paid staff and every penny we make at the booth goes to getting more quilts to more children. This year the very first quilt we sold was one that was made by the Ladies of St. James the Less and quilted by Debby Conor of the Northern Illinois LongArm Guild (NILAG), two organizations that have made many beautiful quilts for QBB over the years.
Great thanks to all the wonderful quilters, crafters and volunteers who helped to make this year’s fundraising booth at the IQF a success. We would love to meet you next year, and if you have completed a quilt from one of our kits, you can drop it off to us then as well!