More Beautiful Quilts from the 3 Giving Grandmas in Illinois

August 6, 2019

The 3 Giving Grandmas, Jean McConaughy, Peggy Krug and Earline Devito, have been very busy this year! They created 20 beautiful quilts for Quilts Beyond Borders. Then they utilized a modern-day version of the Pony Express to transport those lovely quilts. to me. The 3 Giving Grandmas (from Bourbonnais, IL) brought their large box of quilts to Judy (in Frarkfort, IL). Judy transported it to her stitching group and passed it to our mutual friend Nancy (in Naperville), who transported it to me at our most recent Longarm Guild meeting in Wheaton. Great way to save on postage, and since we were all planning to go to those meetings anyway, we didn’t waste gas! I love it when a plan comes together!

Here are pictures of those wonderful quilts.  Click on the pictures to get a close up.  These are made from bright, cheerful, happy fabrics.  Many of them will likely go to Ethiopia with me in September.  I know the children who receive them will cherish them!

Great thanks to Jean, Peggy and Earline for making these wonderful quilts!  And thank you also, to Judy and Nancy for providing transportation!



The Magdalene Project

July 30, 2019

About 6 months ago, I heard about an organization called “The Magdalene Project”, whose mission is to bring hope to people on the streets of Niagara Falls, NY, founded by Joanne Lorenzo. The project is home to Kidz Club, Rose Café, Street Outreach and Hotel Outreach Ministries. On Friday nights volunteers deliver food, toiletries, clothing, stuffed animals for children, and bottled water.

A light went on in my head that said Quilts Beyond Borders could possibly help these women with a snuggly quilt for the winter, and it may be 90 degrees now, but in Buffalo, winter is not far behind.

Joanne agreed, and set up the event for my friend Barb and me to hand out quilts at the Rose Café for about 22 woman. Joanne emailed me the next day.

“There were so many ladies who were appreciative of the quilts you brought!! They are calling and Facebooking me to say Thank you to the ladies who brought them. Thank you so much and blessings!”

I am truly thankful to all of our QBB volunteers that give us the opportunity to make such beautiful quilts of love and comfort. I have mentioned to many how making quilts for this organization has enriched my life and saved my sanity in so many ways. Thank you all!

I especially want to thank Regional Coordinator Karen Matheson for sending the quilts with Diane Carlson who also resides in Connecticut and near Buffalo, NY.  Diane and her friend were kind enough to drop the quilts off the quilts to me.

Hugs, Donna Sciandra

Here are some of the wonderful quilts that were made by talented and generous quilters in the Northeast.  From top to bottom, these quilts were made by Nancy Kane (MA), Judith Nuno (VT), and Bonnie Salt (MA).  Thank you so much, Nancy, Judith and Bonnie!

Here are some of the photos taken at the distribution.


May Fat Quarter Challenge and Amnesty Winners

July 2, 2019
Congratulations to Delleen K. From Gresham, Oregon and the QBB Northwest region.  Delleen is the randomly chosen winner for the Quilts Beyond Borders May Fat Quarter Challenge (FQC). Here is the lovely quilt she created:
image1 (1)
Delleen wins a gift certificate from the Fat Quarter Shop which graciously sponsors the QBB Fat Quarter Challenge.  Check out the Shop’s offerings at!
Click here to find out how you can participate in the Fat Quarter Challenge.
And announcing another winner…. of the  FQ Amnesty Challenge announced earlier this year.  Karisa H. from Yucaipa, CA submitted the beautiful quilt below and will receive a thank you gift for her participation.
Karisa's FQC
Thank you to everyone who has submitted a FQC quilt this challenge year.  We have a few more drawings and it is not too late to send your FQC quilt today!

Sherree Newhouse – Quilts Beyond Borders Arizona Regional Coordinator

Navajo Nation Quilt Delivery Dec 2018 Photos

June 28, 2019
For the last few years, Quilts Beyond Borders has provided quilts to the Navajo Nation (The Forgotten People) in northern Arizona.  We first wrote about this year’s delivery in this January blog post – click to see the pictures of the holiday elf, Marsha Monestersky, who collects and distributes the quilts for the Navajo children and elders.  This past year 600 quilts were sent to Marsha to distribute.
Thank you to the many quilters who provided the quilts for this purpose.  Marsha sent this note and a link to the photos she took of the children and elders receiving quilts in December.   Very much appreciated as you can see from Marsha’s note below…
“ Greetings!  Please share our great appreciation to all the Quilters who have made so many Navajo people so happy. Thank you!!!!
With your help and the assistance of Fabian Bedonie of Big Mountain (Forgotten People Project Director), we gave away quilts at Dilkon Chapter, Indian Wells Chapter, Teesto Senior Center, Lukachukai Senior Center, Rocky Ridge school (K-6 grade), and with the help of Navajo Royalty and a Princess, we gave away quilts at a Holiday party.”
Thank you again and please enjoy these cheery photos!

FQC Winner April 2019

June 3, 2019
Congratulations to Donna Sciandra from Buffalo, NY, a second time QBB Fat Quarter  Challenge (FQC) winner!  Donna was randomly selected to win the April 2019 drawing after also winning the March drawing.  She receives another gift certificate to the Fat Quarter Shop, our challenge sponsor.  See all the wonderful quilting items and new fabric lines offered at the Shop.  I think you need some more fabric for your stash!  Aren’t you getting low?
This does not happen often, but if you submit your FQC quilt early in the year, you are eligible for the drawing each subsequent month with more chances to win, just as Donna has twice.  Find out more about the FQC program at this link.
Donna’s challenge winning quilt was featured in the blog last month. Here it is again:
Two other FQC quilts were submitted for the April random drawing and will continue to be eligible each month the rest of the challenge year. Thank you to everyone who has participated so far this year.
There are several months remaining for the challenge…the next winner could be you!  Get your FQC quilt in today!
Challenge Quilt submitted by Sue T:
Challenge Quilt and one more to keep it company from Dianne Hamm:
Keep those quilts coming!
-Sherree Newhouse, Regional Coordinator

Pretty Quilts from the Pelican Piecemakers

May 13, 2019

I belong to a quilt guild in New Smyrna Beach, FL, called the Pelican Piecemakers. Over the last year they’ve made some beautiful quilts for QBB to give to needy children.  Many of these quilts were made from tops pieced by the quilters.  Other tops were sent to us by a guild named No Strings Attached Guild, the 1st Methodist Church, or Saint James the Less Episcopal Church, and quilted by longarmers belonging to the Pelican Piecemakers Quilt guild.

Some of these quilts were provided to the Volusia County Homeless Students Program, others to needy Navajo children in Arizona.  Others were sent to children in Syrian Refugee Camps, and some to needy children in Israel. With the permission of the quilters, some were sold for fundraising at the International Quilt Festival in Houston.  Some of these quilts may be going with me to Ethiopia this fall.

Here they are:


Susan Amara & Love in Stitches 1st Methodist Church – Pat Compton – Eleanor MacMillan

Amy Johnson 1


Amy Johnson 2


Amy Johnson 3


Beth Freese & Maribeth Frevert


Bettijean Meyer


Brandy Campbell


Brandy Campbell 2


Brenda Pertler


Unknown Quilter – Pelican Piecemakers


Jean Raulerson


Kristy Perkins & Maribeth Frevert


Mary Randall & Carla Triemer


Mary Randall & St. James the Less


Ruthanne Watson

Great thanks to all the Pelican Piecemakers for making these lovely quilts for us, and to St. James the Less Quilters and Maribeth Frevert for making some of the tops!






3 Giving Grandmas Make Beautiful Quilts in Illinois

May 8, 2019

Chicago is called “The Windy City”. While most people think that’s because of the weather, I’ve heard that the real reason for that moniker is because of the hot air blown by local politicians. Whatever you choose to believe, it was certainly a windy day in the very late fall in the Chicagoland area when I started to take pictures of the beautiful quilts sent to me by the 3 Giving Grandmas from Illinois. In spite of a little bit of leftover snow, I really thought it might be the perfect day to put the 30 lovely quilts they’d sent me out on the deck rails in the clear, crisp sunlight.  Well… maybe not!  Here’s the first and last shot I took out there!

Every time I put the quilts on the rails, the wind would start blowing them up and off.  I couldn’t move fast enough to keep them on the rails and get into position for the shot, but my neighbors found it highly entertaining to watch me try.  Finally I gave up and went inside.

All of these beautiful quilts were made by Jean McConaughy, Peggy Krug and Earline Devito, who sign their quilt labels, “3 Giving Grandmas.”  These wonderful ladies made the quilts in all of the following pictures:

Jean, Peggy and Earline, thank you very much for these bright, cheerful, wonderful quilts!  I know the children who receive them will treasure them!




Great Weather for Quilting in the Midwest

May 3, 2019

Today was a great day to do some quilt photography and to catch up on my blogging. Unfortunately I wasn’t able to do the photography outside. Here’s a picture taken from my kitchen window to show you why. The “smeary” spots on the picture are actually raindrops (sleetdrops?) on my window, because it was very wet, heavy snow. In fact, the village where I live sent out a warning to residents to be careful while shoveling their driveways, because the snow is really heavy!

Color Picture of Mid-April in Illinois

However, since it’s a great day to stay in and blog — or quilt — I’ll take this opportunity to show you some of the many beautiful quilts that have come in from quilters in America’s Heartland over the last several months.  Some of these quilts will be going with me to Ethiopia later this year, and some have already gone to children in Volusia County Homeless Students Program in Florida or to needy Navajo children and elders living in Arizona.  The first few pictures were taken recently, inside, since the weather wasn’t going to permit hanging out on the back deck.  My little Pomeranian, Buddy, helped me with the process, making sure I had company going up and down the stairs with every load of quilts!  Names of the quilters are below every picture:

Ricki Dresel


Ricki Dresel 2


Sandra Ohler – Pat Konefke & Cheryl Vu


SJL & Gail Ishii


Assistant Regional Coordinator Buddy

When the weather was a bit nicer late last fall I took pictures of these beautiful quilts outside:

Helen Baczynski


Helen Baczynski 2


Annie & Jazz


Annie H &Liz Carter — Mary Kunkle — Terry Paris


Annie Hartman & Linda Sandler


Annie Hartman & Mary McCaffrey


Annie Hartman & Dawn Hartfield


Debby Connor & Linda Cadzow


Debby Connor & St. James the Less Quilters


Dianne Combs 2


Dianne Combs


Gail Ishii & Norine Stine


Lorie Riopel


Marilyn Miller & Unknown Piecer


Marilyn Miller & Unknown Piecer 2


Nancy Sturgeon


Sandy Smith & St James the Less Quilters

Thank you to all the wonderful quilters and piecers who made these beautiful quilts.  They are very much appreciated by Quilts Beyond Borders and by the children and needy people who receive them.






March FQC Winner

April 29, 2019
And the March 2019 Fat Quarter Challenge winner is…..Donna Sciandra from Buffalo NY.  Congratulations, Donna!  Pictured below is the colorful quilt Donna sent to Quilts Beyond Borders for the Challenge quilt.

Donna will receive a $25 gift certificate to the Fat Quarter Shop, sponsor of our challenge. Check out the new spring fabrics and notions offered by the Fat Quarter Shop.

Check out the 411 about our Quilts Beyond Borders Fat Quarter Challenge and see how you can participate today.

Other quilts received in March and entered into the challenge include the one below from Doris Miller.


Thanks to everyone who has participated in the FQC so far this year.  There are more opportunities to win every month so send in your quilt today!

Sherree Newhouse
Quilts Beyond Borders
Arizona Regional Coordinator

Quilter Spotlight – Jill Ruesch

April 18, 2019

Our quilter spotlight this time is on Jill Ruesch, an amazingly prolific long-time piecer who sews quilt tops and assembles quilt kits for QBB. In fact, in over 10 years of volunteering she has provided us with 500-600 quilt tops sewn with help from her church sewing group, wow! And she has continued to sew despite a life-altering health crisis. Read on to learn more about Jill’s story…



My hometown was Northbrook IL but I just recently moved to GA for the better weather.

I started quilting in the 90’s. Some friends & I took classes at different quilt shops. My friend Anita invited me to a quilt day at her church, St. James, which has been making quilts for QBB since 2008 and is where I was later introduced to Carla during a presentation in 2012.  It touched my heart and I wanted to do all I could .

I sewed and quilted, mostly by hand, for a few years but in 2011 I had a medical issue so that kind of changed things when I not only lost my job but also impacted my fine motor function which made working with hand quilting needles not fun. Then Anita told me QBB was looking for tops and would send them to other volunteers who would longarm quilt and finish them. Since we used to get a lot of donated fabric at church from guilds and other generous people we had a lot of fabric.  

Since I had time, I would help put kits together for the church group as well as sew my own tops. At night I dream of quilts so during the day I put them together. Its fun being creative. In fact I have a Pinterest board where I save patterns I like, then look to see what will work for fabric I have.  Here is the link in case it helps inspire any other quilters out there, I know we are always looking for new ideas and patterns…

People keep donating the fabric, so I keep making the quilts and thankfully QBB takes them.


Thank you Jill for all you do! And for everyone out there who wants to help Quilts Beyond Borders but doesn’t have the time or space to finish a quilt, we hope this has inspired you to jump in and make a quilt top! Read our quilt guidelines here.