Quilt Dimensions & Criteria

Thank you for wanting to volunteer with us to make quilts! Please read the information below and the links for more information before sending us any quilts, and contact us using the email at the bottom of this page with any questions – We look forward to hearing from you and seeing your beautiful quilts!

Dimensions –  Ideally, tops or finished quilts should be 40-45″ wide by 48-60″ long.  This size works well for small children and when an older child ages out of an orphanage at 17 or 18, it is large enough to wrap up in and small enough to be carried in a backpack so it doesn’t become a burden if the recipient ends up living on the streets.  If you have quilts or tops of another size that you would like to donate, please contact us at: quiltsbeyondborders@gmail.com

Fabric and Construction – Quilts need to be sewn, quilted and binding done by machine, with lines of stitching no more than 3″ apart to handle rugged conditions – used by children, and washed under rugged laundry conditions (unfortunately tied quilts won’t hold up to these conditions).  Fabric can be cotton or cotton blends, preferably not flannel due to its weight/bulk and difficulties in laundering.  We strongly prefer fabric themes that do not include religious imagery, holidays, seasons, Military/police, scary bug/snake images, ghost images, or pigs – this allows us the most flexibility for distribution anywhere and anytime.  Polyester and 80/20 battings are best for their weight and durability. Binding should be completely machine sewn, and labels should be attached by machine.

Tops – Include a fabric label with:


Quilts Beyond Borders
Made for You with Love
By (name(s) of the quiltmaker(s))
Belongs To (child’s name will go here)

The quilter will machine stitch the label on the back of the quilt after quilting.

To help us get your top to a needy child most quickly, it will greatly help us if you will include Backing and Binding fabric.  Cut your backing at least 8″ wider and longer than your quilt top. (4” larger on each side). For example a 42” x 60” quilt top needs a backing that is 50” x 68”. Back can be pieced. Binding strips should be sewn together (2 1/2″ wide x 6 width-of-fabric strips is usually enough, unless your top is larger than those we normally accept). 

Quilting – First, please read this additional information: Information for Longarmers or Quilting on a Domestic Machine . Then, machine stitch the fabric label to the back of the quilt in any corner.

Donating Fabric – We can only accept very limited types of fabric donations. Fabric needs to be 100% cotton, clean, no stains or odors. We can not use graphics with religious imagery, holidays, seasons, Military/police/flags, scary bug/snake images, ghost images, or pigs. We do not use flannel, minky or fleece. Please contact us before sending any fabric, at the email below.

Mailing – When you are ready to mail your items, first check this information: Where to Send Quilts

Any remaining questions contact us at: quiltsbeyondborders@gmail.com

If we have your contact information, we will contact you to confirm receipt of the quilt/top.

Thank you to everybody for your generosity in making these quilts.  They are making a difference in thousands of lives.


31 thoughts on “Quilt Dimensions & Criteria

  1. I received a kit with 2 1/2″ strips of 3 different types of fabric at the 2013 International Quilt Show. I completed the quilt top, made the binding and purchased the backing and sent it on to a long armer as the directions indicated (I never heard back as to if she received the quilt top). i do not remember the name of the quilt pattern but would like to make additional quilt tops from fabric I have myself to donate. Would you be able to send the name of the pattern and any directions for completing the quilt?
    Margaret De Lacy

  2. Margaret, I don’t know if you received an answer to your question above, but the best way to contact us if you want us to send you something is to contact us at our email address – quiltsbeyondborders@gmail.com – and give us your email information. We have many quilt patterns for our kit, so I’m not sure if we can find the pattern you need without some more info, but we’ll give it a try if you can provide more info at our email address. Did you take a picture of it?


  3. Can the quilts be smaller for the baby boxes for crowdrise? And do we put on a label. Are they sent to you? I already make the bedsize ones for a special camp and don’t want to make more of that size but could whip out smaller ones. Do you require that we use your patterns?

  4. The question above was answered privately via email. In short, we don’t typically require quilts smaller than the dimensions above, as those are suitable for babies through children aging out of the orphanage. However, we occasionally do a special project which requires larger or smaller quilts. Our baby box initiative, which required some smaller quilts, is currently closed for 2016, as we have enough baby quilts, however we expect to do it again in 2017, in which case we’ll let folks know if we need some smaller ones. We don’t require any particular patterns, you can do anything your heart desires! I know the children who receive your quilts will love them!


  5. I have 2 small quilts I would like to donate which will be 37 x 43 when finished. Is this a size you can use? If not, I can donate them to another local charity. Doris Goins

    • Doris, Hi! This is definitely a size we can use. We’re currently doing a special project with Salaam Cultural Museum for new mothers among the Syrian Refugees who have escaped to Greece, so your timing is wonderful! Thank you so much! Carla

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    • We will accept baby size quilts because there are about 5000 babies born in the Syrian Refugee camps every year, and we have also participated in initiatives for needy newborns in Guatemala. However we don’t heavily recruit for baby quilts because if we did we probably wouldn’t get any of the larger ones, and we do provide quilts to orphans that are up to 18 years old in many of the places where we deliver quilts. The reason why our larger suggested size is 45×60″ is because when a child ages out of the orphanage we want him to have a quilt that is big enough to wrap up in to keep warm at night, but not so large that he can’t fold it up and keep it in a backpack so it doesn’t becaome a burden to him if he’s living on the streets.

      Thanks for asking, Mary! Happy stitching!

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  9. Hi, I have a question about binding. I usually sew a binding strip onto the quilt by machine and then finish by hand. Would this method be acceptable? I have never finished bindings by machine since it has never been my style…

  10. Well, because our quilts may face very rigorous laundry conditions in many of the orphanages and refugee camps and other places we deliver we really prefer machine-finished binding. It works out well if you stitch the binding strip to the back edges of the quilt and bring it around to the front and then machine stitch it to the front. Using a zigzag or decorative stitch can make it both really pretty and really secure. Thanks for asking. Happy Stitching!

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