The Joy of Quilting

April 14, 2018
One of the great joys of quilting is that it is so uniquely personal, so calming, so solitary. But sometimes the greatest joy is in the fellowship – enjoying a shared passion while you work together for a common cause.
This past week women of the Dunn’s Corners Community Church Presbyterian in Westerly, Rhode Island gathered for the first of three scheduled sewing workshops designated specifically for Quilts Beyond Borders.
I am the Northeast Regional Coordinator for QBB. During a trip to Westerly last summer I was invited to the Dunn’s church to talk about the QBB mission. Plans for workshops quickly took shape.
Last week I brought posters of kids who have received our quilts with me, along with fabric, rotary cutters, boards and a sewing machine. When I got to Fellowship Hall I saw a charming and organized set-up, piles of fabric, lots of machines, and faces filled with enthusiasm. I didn’t know these women, but now I do. We made kits, sewed tops and ate the most delicious Italian Sausage and Cabbage Soup – thanks to Lois Gardner who organized the event and made the soup.
I look forward to sewing with these women again in May and June, when once again we will laugh, share stories, sewing tips and chocolate, and enjoy working together for a very worthwhile cause.
Karen Matheson

Students Quilt for QBB

April 6, 2018

The gift of giving is ageless. This beautiful quilt was made for Quilts Beyond Borders by students of The Blue Mountain Union School, a small pre K – 12th grade public school in Wells, River, VT.  Nancy Kane, a dedicated QBB quilter, is a teacher at the school. During the month of January, mini-courses are taught instead of the regular classes. Nancy and another teacher offered quilting to students in grades 9-12.

Nine students, three boys and six girls, took the challenge, learned to sew on assorted donated sewing machines of various models and vintages, and produced this quilt, “With only two broken needles,” writes Nancy. After completing this group-effort quilt, the students all made a tied quilt for themselves. The students’ quilt is on its way to the Syrian refugees. Student Quilt

Quilts for the Maya Midwifery Center in Guatemala

April 2, 2018
These beautiful photos are of quilts headed to the Maya Midwifery Center in Guatemala, with a little help with the photos from Karen’s puppy, Lily.  These quilts were brought to Guatemala in early January.

This is part of an ongoing Quilts Beyond Borders initiative for this Center. The Maya women were so touched by the quilts we gave them previously, wondering, “Why would these people do this for us?” Maya women are exceedingly talented in weaving so they really do appreciate the effort and talent we put into the quilts. There is a good website, if you care to learn more about the organization that serves the Maya women in Guatemala.

Click on each picture for a larger image, and each caption shows who pieced and quilted each amazing creation.

Karen Matheson – Northeast Regional Coordinator

Quilts for the Streetfire Ministries

March 28, 2018

This past weekend twenty quilts were sent with Pastor Peter Preiser and a group of teenagers from the Simsbury United Methodist Church in Simsbury, CT, to “Streetfire Ministries” a shelter in Middletown, CT for homeless and displaced persons.  The teens and Pastor Peter also helped serve a meal there on Saturday. You can find information about Streetfire here: Streetfire Ministries. We received the following response from the organization: “Thank you for all of your help with the quilts.  Our street congregation was absolutely thrilled to receive them!”

We are especially pleased to share with you not only the quilts as they were being organized for delivery, but photos of the distribution itself, showing grateful recipients (It is still quite cold in CT!) and dedicated teenagers helping with the event. Thank you to all the volunteers who made this possible, and please enjoy these pictures below.

-Karen Matheson, Northeast Regional Coordinator

Picture #1: Quilt made by Barbra Buckley, CT;  made by Bonnie Salt, MA; made by Jean Dougherty, CT; two made by Sheila Hughes, MA; pieced by Palm Island Quilters, FL, quilted by Fran Fink, MA.

Picture #2:  Quilt pieced by Jean Unger, PA, quilted by Fran Fink, MA; made by Nancy Kane, NH; pieced by Nancy Kane, quilted by Pat Wildman, MA; made by Randee Majka, MA; made by Susan Elliott, CT.

Picture #3: Three quilted by S.Matheson, CT, pieced by Donna Motyl, CT, Angela Church, CT, a friend of Josi Klein, CT; pieced by Maureen Hylsard, CT, quilted by Deb Jacoby, CT; made by Jan Baker, CT.

Picture #4: Quilt made by Donna Sciandra, NY; three quilts pieced by Barbara Kwityn, NJ, quilted by Michael Elinski, NY (new volunteer! great job, Michael!); quilted by Fran Fink, MA, quilted by Barbra Buckley, CT.

A River of Quilts

March 15, 2018

Here in SoCal we don’t have many rivers and the ones we do have are pretty dry.  However, there is a river of quilts that runs full all the time.  Thanks to so many wonderful people who love to make quilts for others, the river flows here and then out to other parts of the world.

The Sunshine quilters met in Omaha, NE for a retreat in June of 2017.  Many quilt tops were made by Sunnies from Florida, Minnesota, Nebraska, Colorado, Oregon, and California.  People took tops home and quilted them and sent them to our river.  From these generous quilters, the river flowed to refugees from Syria, the forgotten Navajo people and to Guatemala. Thank you!

Ann Drake – Western Regional Coordinator

February Fat Quarter Challenge

March 8, 2018

March has rolled in like a lion!  I am ready for some spring weather, but I guess we need to wait a bit longer for it.  For the month of February, we had one quilt returned for the challenge.  Donna Sexton from Escondido, CA made this cute quilt below.


Our winner for the February challenge was randomly chosen and it was Doris Miller from Alabaster, AL who sent her quilt in January.  Congratulations Doris for winning the $25 gift certificate from the Fat Quarter Shop.  QBB thanks the Fat Quarter Shop for sponsoring our contest.  Please check out their website because they have such a great selection of items for all your quilting needs.

Remember, the sooner you turn in your fat quarter quilt, the more chances you have of winning the monthly drawing.  You may even win more than once because your name is entered each month in the drawing.

Regards, Tina

From the Northwest and Beyond – Final 2017 Refugee Quilts Sent and Received

February 20, 2018

kerak 1

Pictured below are the final 57 quilts sent on the October container ship for refugee children. They safely arrived and were distributed to the children in Jordan and Syria.

Thanks to everyone for the beautiful quilts! I am grateful for your help and support in providing quilts to the Syrian children. The reports back are that the children and parents love them and appreciate your generosity. Click on the pictures to see who made and quilted them (There were 3 quilts included that were missing labels and if any of them are yours let me know).

We also have pictures below from the distrubution to children in Kerak Jordan. Rita Zawaideh from the Salaam Cultural Museum who coordinated in-person delivery, tells us, ‘The children and parents loved the quilts! Thank you all for the beautiful quilts donated in 2017!’

Susan Schmidt – Northwest Regional Coordinator

Photos from Rita:

January Fat Quarter Challenge

February 16, 2018

Today I needed some bright quilts to make me smile because the weather outside is so grey and dreary.  I received two quilts this month and both will make you smile.  Before showing you the quilts, I want to congratulate Donna Sciandra for the $25 gift certificate from the Fat Quarter Shop.  Donna sent in a FQ quilt during the month of December and you can see it on this blog post.  Congratulations Donna and thanks to the Fat Quarter Shop for sponsoring our monthly prize.

This month I received a quilt from Doris Miller of Alabaster, AL and another from Moira McSpadden of Garland, TX.  And what has become the trend, both of these quilters are part of the Sunshine Online Guild.  Their quilts are below:

Just a reminder to everyone that the odds of winning a monthly prize are high since only a few quilts have been turned in so far.  So before the wonderful weather gets here and we all want to spend time outside, why don’t you finish that FQC quilt.  Remember, the earlier you turn in your quilt the more chances to win since you are entered in every month’s drawing after that, and you could win more than once.

Cheers, Tina

Easy Quilting Patterns and Tips

February 5, 2018

Are you an aspiring or new quilter with a resolution to make and donate a quilt in 2018? Or maybe you picked up a fat quarter or quilt kit packet at the Quilts Beyond Borders booth at the International Quilt Festival and don’t know where to start? Well, we are here to help!

First, please take a look at the links on this site for QBB’s guidelines and requirements, start here: Dimensions and Criteria.

There are many free resources for beginning quilters on the internet, ranging from tutorials to videos. Here are some of our favorites:

  • This blog from Diary of a Quilter offers several helpful instructional links for each step of the planning and quilting process.
  • The website All People Quilt has hundreds of free quilt patterns, instructions and tips, including patterns for using fat quarters or scraps that won’t break the bank and are simple yet beautiful.
  • Here is some inspiration for transforming the 5-inch ‘charm squares’ we distributed at the IQF into a beautiful custom quilt.
  • This video from Professor Pincushion provides a detailed step by step tutorial on how to sew a simple quilt.

Once you are done piecing the top, we hope that you want to take on the next steps of quilting and binding! Remember that Quilts Beyond Borders quilts may be used and washed in harsh conditions, so any quilts sent our way must be machine quilted and binding sewn by machine as well. You can find more information about quilting for us on the right column of this page under “Pages

Here is a video from Missouri Star Quilt Company, which has many great videos and tutorials online, on how to bind a quilt using a sewing machine:

When you have sewn your quilt top or completed the quilt, please email us at for instructions on next steps and where to send your masterpiece! Thank you for deciding to make a gift of love through QBB, and please share your favorite quilting resources, patterns and tips in the comments!

Holiday Quilt Delivery to Navajo Nation

January 25, 2018

An Arizona angel named Marsha delivered 500 quilts from Quilts Beyond Borders (QBB) to the Navajo nation in northern Arizona in late December 2017.  Marsha received boxes and boxes of QBB quilts and stored them in her friend’s living room until she and her elves could take two weeks to visit children and seniors in their schools, communities and private homes, planning her visits to coincide with holiday parties at Chapter Houses and Senior Centers. She appreciates Quilts Beyond Borders and said “the quilts for the children and elderly bring such happiness and hope” as well as provide a warm blanket for the cold Navajo reservation nights.  As she shared these quilt blessings, she said “We saw so many happy children and elderlies”.

This is the 5th year we have been distributing quilts with help from Marsha of Forgotten People. Please enjoy some photos below!

Sherree Newhouse, Southwest Regional Coordinator