From the Northwest & Beyond

January 26, 2017

A beautiful array of 40 colorful quilts traveled by container ship to the Syrian Refugees in Jordan. They  arrived in November and were delivered to the children in December just in time for the winter. Temperatures can dip into the 40’s and the refugees continue to live in tents so the added warmth of our quilts is greatly needed and appreciated.

Half of the quilts were pieced and quilted by the same quilter. They are Kay McKinnon, Cindy Huddleston, Delleen Kompkoff, Anya of MT, Christine Holdridge, Ellen Janes, Virginia Wilcox, and Elyce Wiense. The remaining quilts were pieced by Christine Brugman, Theola Breaux, Castle Rock Quilters, Vicki R., Ann Drake, Pat Johnston, June Berry, Donna Sciandra & Joy, Mary Barnett, Ellen Janes, Leona Ross, Thayer Garrett, and Susan Schmidt. These quilts were quilted by Ellen Janes, Beth Miller, Heidi Oliver, Marie Anderson, Jessica Newton, Tomme Fent, Gerrie Thompson, Becky Goldner, Pat Blem, Mary Craft, and Delleen Kompkoff. You can click on the picture to see who made each quilt.

Thank you to so many committed quilters who continue to support us by making quilts for children in need around the world!


Susan Schmidt   Northwest Regional Coordinator

Ethiopia 2016

January 23, 2017

In September 2016, Carla T., Julie N., Shad H. and I, Ann D. traveled to Addis Ababa, the capital city of Ethiopia. Between the four of us and some previous travelers 270 quilts were taken to Ethiopia and waiting to be distributed to orphans.

After a couple days of acclimating to the new time zone and the altitude of 7,000+ feet, the three of us went to an orphanage called Sele Enat Mahiber.  sela-enat-mahiber-orphange

This orphanage houses around 70 children from birth to age 18.  Disabled children are also accepted and cared for here.  When we arrived, the babies were sleeping.  We placed the quilts on the sides of their cribs.  We noticed that some of the babies were wearing sweatshirts and jackets in their cribs.  The nannies dressed them in that manner to keep them warm.  The nannies had been praying for warm blankets for the babies.  The buildings are concrete block construction and no heaters are available.

As we tiptoed through the nursery, some of the babies began to awaken.  They have beautiful big brown eyes.  Such precious babies.

Thanks to many, many quilt makers the nannies’ prayers were answered.  The babies will sleep much better now with warm quilts to cover them.

The older children met us in a basketball court section of the orphanage.  They seemed excited and happy to receive a quilt of their very own.


After a wonderful day spent in this orphanage, we went on to Selamta.  This agency helps to support orphans in homes of 6 to 8 children with one or two moms.  The children are not necessarily related to each other, but do become like brothers and sisters.  The moms are not always the birth moms to the children either, but again, they become families.

Thanks to so many quilters with generous hearts many children will be warmer in Ethiopia.  We were blessed to be able to share with these children.  A big thank you goes out to each of you who helped to make this possible.

When we weren’t handing out quilts, we spent our time teaching six women to sew.  They are all “moms” for Selamta.  Someone donated three sewing machines to Selamta several years ago.  We were able to oil and clean the machines, teach the women how to do that, also and teach them how to sew.

They each made a pillow case with a flange and a cuff.  Not a simple job.  The women were excited to learn and learned quickly.  Eventually they want to start a business so they can be independent.  They also made a drawstring bag.  Another group of volunteers will teach them how to make soap.  The drawstring bags may be a way they can market the soap.

It was difficult to leave these beautiful women who were so eager to learn a new skill.  We were blessed by their cheerful attitudes and desire to learn.  Who knows, someday they may make their own quilts.

Ann Drake, Regional Coordinator in the Western US.

Quilts Sent to Ethiopia

January 19, 2017

If you know the history of QBB then you know that Ethiopia was the first country we delivered quilts to. It was exciting that the beautiful quilts below  traveled with QBB staff to Ethiopia this past September 2016. The children there are sure to cherish and love the quilts made by so many talented quilters. Seven of the quilts were made by Anya from MT, the Quirky Quilters, Janet McLeod, Ellen Janes, Brian Williams, Delleen Kompkoff, and Mary Fons. Yes that’s right, we are so grateful Mary Fons is sending a quilt for one of the children.

The remaining quilts were pieced by Donna Sciandra, Susan Schumacher, Louise Bird, June Berry, Carol Jean Hubbard, Sue Hunt, Theola Breaux, Karen Okerstrom, Leona Ross, Joan Callaghan, Bonnie Cromwell, Hong Chang, and Susan Schmidt. Our long arm group continues to grow and I am grateful for all of their help! The quilting was done by Robin Reilly, Mary Craft, Catherine Eith, Penny Evers, Kayleen Davis, Kim Walsh, Tomme Fent, Sherri Wallaert, Laural Hertel, Rhonda Adler, Heidi Oliver, Gerri Thompson, Pat (RFQ), and Becky Goldner. You can click on each picture to see who made the quilts.

Stay tuned because we will be posting about the trip to Ethiopia and some pictures from that trip.

Susan Schmidt   Northwest Regional Coordinator

More Quilts Sent to India

January 16, 2017

Finding an hour to sit at the sewing machine last summer was a challenge amid the house guests, gardens, grandchildren  and massive amounts of groceries. I hear our quilters say “I try to sew at least a little bit every day.” It’s not always easy. These pictures are a testimonial to  the dedication of the QBB quilters who work all year to “keep us in quilts.” The need is great, and ongoing. As the old saying goes, “Give a busy person the job.”

These quilts were also sent to Orphan Outreach in India, and were made by some of our more prolific volunteers; ladies who always seem to be able to find that extra hour, no matter what else is going on in their lives.  The quilters and piecers are as follows going from left to right:

Picture # 1 all made by Sheila Hughes.


Picture  #2 Pieced by Whitewright Texas Church of Christ, quilted by Karen Matheson

Pieced by Sherry, quilted by Charlotte Kieliszek

Pieced by Marsha Johnson, quilted by Charlotte Kieliszek



Picture #3 Pieced by Marsha Johnson, quilted by Charlotte Kieliszek

Made by Susan Elliott


Picture #4 Made by Barbra Buckley

Made by Donna Motyl


Karen Matheson, Regional Coordinator Northeast

Quilts Sent to India

January 12, 2017

It was off to India this past September 2016 for these quilts going to children living in orphanages there. The bright colors and patterns are sure to bring happiness and joy to little hearts. Five of the quilts below were made and quilted by the Quirky Quilters, Quilts for Christ Ministry, Delleen Kompkoff, and Ocean Shore Quilters. The remaining quilts were pieced by Castle Rock Quilters, Theola Breaux, Donna Phillipe, Judy Wood, Karen Okerstrom, June Berry, and Donna Sciandra. The long arm quilting was done by Annie O’Brien, Mary Craft, Jessica Newton, Becky Goldner, Laural Hertel, and Tomme Fent. Thanks to all these ladies for helping us reach children across the world and comforting them with a quilt. You can click on each picture to see who made it.


Susan Schmidt  Northwest Regional Coordinator

FQ Challenge for December 2016

January 7, 2017

During the month of December, I received 2 quilts for the FQ Challenge.  The quilts were from Donna Dellacamera from Unionville, CT and the other was from Doris Miller from Alabaster, AL.  Using a random # generator and including any other quilts submitted since the beginning of our 2016-2017 challenge, the winner was Donna Dellacamera.  Congratulations!  Donna will receive a $25 gift certificate from the Fat Quarter Shop.  We want to thank the Fat Quarter Shop for providing this award for our winners.

I had been waiting for a sunny day to take photos of the two quilts submitted but it has been rather dreary in VA for the past few weeks.  Today was a great day with the snow in the background on the mountains, however, it was 15 degrees and a wind chill of about 5 degrees.  However, it was worth it to take pictures of these two darling quilts that will be loved by a child somewhere.

Thanks again to Donna and Doris for their quilts.  Remember, the earlier you submit a quilt the more chances that you will have to possibly win the Fat Quarter Shop $25 gift certificate.  Both Donna and Doris’s names, along with our winner Diane from November, will continue to be eligible for the upcoming monthly drawing through September of 2017.  So if you are entered in the FQ Challenge, it pays to get your quilt in early.

Happy New Year to all and stay warm, from chilly Virginia, Tina

The Navajo Nation of Bennett Freeze 2016 Quilt Delivery

December 29, 2016

Smiles were overflowing when over 300 quilts made by  QBB volunteers were given to children and elderly from the Navajo Nation of Bennett Freeze.  This year marked the img_1642fourth year that QBB has provided quilts to this area of the Navajo Nation.  Marsha Monestersky has coordinated the delivery and provided the information below.

“This year, almost all the quilts were given out in Leupp in the southern portion of the Navajo Nation, also in the Bennett Freeze area consisting of more than 1.5 million areas (including Hopi Partition Land impacted by the Freeze, a total of 2 million acres). And we focused more on the youth while also serving some elderly.

Polly Peshlakai and I wore Santa hats as we gave away more than 200 quilts at Leupp Boarding school to youth from kindergarten to 12th grade for kids living in a vast reach of remote areas in the southern portion of the Navajo Nation in homes that do not have running water  

and electricity and are not able to travel back and forth to to attend school.  In addition  with the principal of the school and the secretary, we boxed up quilts for teachers to give home schooled children. 

In addition, we gave away about 50 quilts at the Leupp senior center and to elderly in their homes in Leupp.

To give you an idea of how big the Bennett Freeze is, at 1.5 million acres, it is bigger than Delaware, which is 1.251 million acres.

Thank you Quilts Beyond Borders! You are helping Navajo youth and elderly feel loved.  You are all sooo amazing! 

With our great appreciation,
From these photos, it’s so easy to see how giving can be more wonderful than receiving.   My heart just melted seeing the smiles on the children’s faces and how some of the elderly were immediately wrapping themselves in the quilts.  Kudos to all of our volunteers at QBB!
Happy Holidays!  Tina
NOTE:  Edited to correct comparable size.  Prior typo on the decimal point!  Oooops! Sorry! 

November FQ Challenge Winner

December 7, 2016

Congratulations to Diane Hamm from Ellington, CT for winning the first month’s drawing.  I just love how someone can take a FQ and use their stash to complete a beautiful quilt.  I recently moved to my dream farm in VA, so I thought it would be fitting to photograph this quilt with my goats and mountains in the background.


During the Houston International Quilt Festival, we hand out a fat quarter and quilt pattern for participants to take home and return a finished quilt to us for a child.  When you return a completed quilt, you are entered in a monthly drawing for a $25 gift certificate from the Fat Quarter Shop.   Thanks so much FQ Shop!  Additionally, if you turn in a quilt in one month, you will still be entered in the monthly drawing each successive month until the program ends in September.

Normally this post would feature all the quilts returned in the month for the FQ Challenge.  As it turned out, I only received Diane’s quilt, so as the old saying goes, the early bird gets the worm.  If you are participating in the FQ Challenge, I would encourage you to get that quilt returned soon for more chances to win.

Happy Holidays! Tina



Quilts for Mary’s Place, Seattle, WA

November 16, 2016

Recently we provided 200 quilts to Mary’s Place, a shelter for homeless women, children, and families in emergency situations.  We just recently received this request and through the generosity of our volunteers, we provided them the quilts in a matter of a few weeks.  One of our former officers and Regional Coordinator, Karen Vander Stoep, coordinated the project.  Here is what she had to say:  “Thank you seems small compared to the reality of 200 absolutely gorgeous quilts. They really are stunning. I can imagine the delight these will bring to the kids. The combined efforts of my favorite quilting friends at Trilogy Quilters in Redmond and Quilts Beyond Borders nation wide, is truly astounding. Thank you from my heart and soul.”  This is a picture of Karen with some of the quilts below.


Some quilts sent from our Northeast Regional Coordinator Karen Matheson and her volunteers. (Sorry about the first picture not rotating.)  From Karen:

Quilts sent with love and warmth seemed like a good thing for us to do.  Left to right pictures, left to right quilts….and why that first picture is vertical I don’t know and I can’t seem to turn…Thank you all for your dedication and excellent work!!   Karen Matheson

Picture #1: three quilts by Sheila Hughes.
Picture #2: three more by Sheila Hughes
Picture #3: Made by Susan Elliott;  Pieced by Marsha Johnson, quilted by Terri Desmond; Pieced by Mary Wilkes, quilted by Terri Desmond.
Picture #4: Made by Pat Wildman, designed by Marki Ware; two pieced by Kelly Chladil, quilted by Terri Desmond.
Picture #5: Made by Sandy Morawski; Pieced by Marsha Johnson, quilted by Charlotte Kieliszek; Pieced by  Hong Chang, quilted by Deb Jacoby.
Picture #6: Two pieced by Marsha Johnson, middle one pieced by Quilting for Christ Ministry; all three quilted by Charlotte Kieliszek.
Picture #7: Pieced by Sherry, quilted by Charlotte Kieliszek; Pieced by Hong Chang, quilted by Barbra Buckley; Made by Donna Dellacamera.
Picture #8: Pieced by Quilting for Christ Ministry, quilted by Charlotte Kieliszek; Made by Sheila Hughes.
Picture #9: Pieced by Kit Gibby, quilted by Terri Desmond; Made by Nancy Moore for “Fat Quarter Challenge.”

The following quilts are from the Northwest group of Regional Coordinator, Susan Schmidt.  Here are a few words from Susan:

The quilts below will help keep the children warm during the cold Northwest winter and their bright colors are sure to bring joy to the children. Thank you to all the piecers and quilters for the lovely quilts. Quilts both pieced and quilted were made by Catherine Eith, Belinda Moore, Mary Barnett, Helen Zielke, Margie Adelman, Bev Hoskanson, Judy Salinas, Virginia Wilcox, Ellen Janes, Elyce Wiensz, Nancy Beckham, Kay McKinnon, Annette Jung, and Cindy Huddleston.

Piecers are Ocean Shore Quilters, Leona Ross, Barb & Becky, Marci Roberts, Joan Callaghan, Nanny K, Carol Jean Hubbard, Donna Sciandra, Christina Brugman, Ann Drake, Jill Dailey., Susan Schmidt, June Berry, and Castle Rock Quilters. Quilting was done by Laural Hertel, Barbara Karlsten, Becky Goldner, Mary Lou Fredrickson, Mary O’Mara, Jolene McClellan, Penny Evers, Annie O’Brien, Beth Miller, Delleen Kompkoff, Gerrie Thompson, Kayleen Davis, Kim Walsh, and Catherine Eith. You can click on the pictures to see who made each quilt.

Susan Schmidt  Northwest Regional Coordinator

Wow, that’s a lot of wonderful quilts!  Thanks so much to everyone.

Tina, Regional Coordinator












Quilter’s Spotlight: Mary Fons

October 22, 2016

I’m sure many of you are most familiar with Mary Fons from her work with her mother, Marianne Fons on Love of Quilting.  Mary has also made contributions to Quilts Beyond Borders, recently sending a quilt along with us to Ethiopia for a child there, and also creating a lovely quilt for us to sell in our booth at the IQF in Houston.

We asked Mary to send us her picture, and a picture of a favorite quilt.  Here they are!

Version 2   dutch-summer-flat-shot

Hometown & State:  Winterset, IA
Years Quilting:  8
Favorite Quilting Style:  Contemporary
Quilt Guild or Group:  Chicago Modern Quilt Guild
Your Website or Blog: — click on “PaperGirl” tab or just go to

Why do you volunteer with Quilts Beyond Borders?    When I learned of QBB, I just knew I had to donate a quilt (or two!) I have made quilts for Quilts of Valor here in the U.S., and that is a charity important to me and my mother, too. But we live in a global village and after reading of the work of QBB, I felt a tug on my heart and knew I’d have to contribute.

How did you learn about Quilts Beyond Borders?    I learned of QBB at Quilt Market, didn’t I, Susan?? Now I forget!   (Note from Susan:  “I met her at a quilt show in Puyallup Washington and talked with her about QBB.”)

How did you learn to quilt?   My mother is an accomplished quilter and quite famous in the quilt industry, but I actually learned mostly on my own. Quilt-making was my mother’s work, not a hobby, so my sisters and I didn’t really see making quilts as something we wanted to do! We did many other creative projects, instead. But when I was 28, I woke up with the desire to make a quilt, so I just started doing it. You could say it runs in the family.

Where do you get quilting inspiration?   Antique quilts knock me out. I use antique quilt blocks as inspiration. I find a block I love, play around with it in this or that fabric and setting, then design my quilt from there. I like modern quilts and art quilts, but I make contemporary quilts in that I use traditional blocks and designs but employ updated fabrics and put my own spin on things.

What’s your favorite quilting tip or technique?   Here’s how to wash a quilt:

  • Go to the laundromat so you can use the big, front-loader washing machine. The agitation is better in those machines than on a spindle machine at home.
  • Take your quilt, enough quarters, a soft detergent like Dreft or Orvus paste, and an old towel to the laundromat.
  • Put your quarters in. Put your detergent in. Put your quilt in. Fold that old towel several times and lay it at the base of the machine.
  • Push “start.”
  • Get down on your knees on that old towel and pray, pray, pray the entire time your quilt is in the washing machine that nothing bad happens. 😉

What else should we know about you?   All people who are creative and make things are valuable. But quilters are extraordinary makers.

We spend time, money, and tears, sometimes, on our creations and most of the time, we give what we make away. Quilts are expressions of love. They are functional art. Paintings are great, but you can’t take a nap under a painting. Most sculptures aren’t soft — and they usually come with a “do not touch” sign even if they are.

But quilts are to be used, touched, loved, washed, and worn out. I always tell someone who gets a quilt from me, “Do not put this in the closet for safekeeping! Use it. Wash it. Love it. Spill stuff on it. If you wear it out, don’t worry: I’ll make you another one.”


This is the pretty quilt that Mary has made for us to sell at the International Quilt Festival in Houston the first week of November.  We have no paid staff, so all proceeds from our sales go toward getting more quilts to more needy children and orphans.   Stop by and see this lovely quilt at our booth in the 1700 aisle at the show.