Posts Tagged ‘charity’

Call for Quilts Going to Russia

May 22, 2012

Orphan Outreach

Quilts Beyond Borders has forged a new relationship with Orphan Outreach, located in Plano, TX. Orphan Outreach’s mission is to improve ”the lives of orphans and at-risk children in Guatemala, Honduras, Russia and India through early intervention, education and evangelism.” This is a similar mission shared by Quilts Beyond Borders, which has motivated the work we have done in countries in Africa, as well as Haiti, and Central America. We are grateful to have an opportunity to team up and help Orphan Outreach with an up-coming mission trip to Russia.

The Request

The organization has asked Quilts Beyond Borders to help fulfill a special need for 24 young Russian women, who will soon be graduating from the orphanage and moving into their own apartment. The 24 quilts need to be 42X60 inches long and the style should be considered for a young woman, aged 17-20 years old. They should also be machine quilted and machine bound in order to hold up to severe laundry conditions.

As well, Orphan Outreach has requested 12 additional baby quilts for those girls who are currently pregnant. These quilts should be at least 36 inches by 48 inches.

Pease include a label for each included quilt you send. The label should read:
Quilts Beyond Borders
Made for You with Love
By (Quilter’s Name)
Belongs to (Space for Recipient’s Name)

The Deadline

We are asking Quilt Beyond Borders volunteers to commit to making one or more of these 36 quilts by Friday, August 31, 2012. This means the quilts need to be finished and ready to send no later than this date. Please email Quilts Beyond Borders  to inform us of your commitment to completing one or more of these quilts by August 31, 2012. We will respond letting you know where you may send the quilt(s) once completed.

We thank you in advance for your willingness to continue your volunteerism with Quilts Beyond Borders. This is a new opportunity and country for Quilts Beyond Borders, and we cannot express our enthusiasm enough. We hope you are equally as excited about enriching the lives of young orphan women and children through your love of quilting.


Quilting by Ramona Yurwitz

March 18, 2012

QBB recently received some finished quilts from Ramona Yurwitz, who resides in Crownsville, MD. Ramona did a lovely job quilting tops from Peggy Weir, the Willoughby Wallace Library Quilters, Faith’s aunt, and Theola Breaux. All of the completed quilts look amazing, and I really like the purple and blue tie-dyed fabric used on the quilt from Faith’s aunt. Truly psychedelic.

Ramona has been practicing her longarming on quilts for QBB, and we are thankful for her help. Quilting for QBB is a wonderful way to help out a great cause and work on further developing your longarm skills. Thanks, again, Ramona.


6 Pretty Quilts from Nancy

August 16, 2011

One of the many lovely benefits of coordinating long arming for QBB is that every once in a while I get to meet someone in my neck of the woods. As some of you know, I belong to several long arming Yahoo groups and I occasionally post that I have tops kitted up and ready for quilting. Over the last 4 years I’ve had respondents from Alaska to Florida, Maine to California, even from Canada. No one from Hawaii, yet, but perhaps that will happen and I can drop off the tops in person, and practice the hulas I’ve learned over the years!

Anyway, I digress. Last month I received a note from a lady named Nancy Sturgeon, who had seen our blog and was offering to quilt for us. That name looked very familiar to me, so I did a little searching and discovered that Nancy and I belonged to the same guild, the Northern Illinois Long Arm Guild! I met Nancy for lunch and dropped off 6 tops, and was delighted at the next guild meeting when Nancy showed the lovely completed quilts at the guild’s Show and Tell. Nancy talked about Quilts Beyond Borders and mentioned the wonderful synergy of doing good for a needy child at the same time as you get to practice new techniques and enhance your skills. Nancy’s talk encouraged two other guild members to sign up to quilt some tops for us, and Nancy picked up 6 more tops to do for us before the next guild meeting.

Nancy did a wonderful job of the quilts, using a different technique for each of them. Click on the thumbnails below so you can see a close-up.

Thanks for doing such a great job of these, Nancy! I know the children will love them! And thanks so much for introducing QBB to our guild!


Quilts received from Sharon and Judy

August 9, 2011

This has been an interesting week, as I have been hearing quite a bit from people who lived in Ethiopia when I did. I attended the American Community School in Addis Ababa from first through third grade, and I hear there will be a reunion in 2013 in Addis for ACS students. Very exciting!

When I was a child in Addis, I was actually a very privileged kid. We lived in a great house with a very large yard, with a formal garden, a vegetable garden, and a playhouse large enough to host my school classes for birthday parties. Like many American kids whose parents worked for Ethiopian Airlines, we went back to the States every summer to stock up on school clothes and toys, and visit relatives. My grandmother, in Kansas, was a quilter, and like many quilters she saw the creation of quilts as an act of love. I’ve always thought of quilts as a “portable hug” because when wrapped in a quilt, you can always feel the love of the person who made it for you.

My grandmother made quilts for my sister and me which we kept on our beds, and which we still have to this day. Paula’s was a Chips and Whetstones quilt, and mine was a variegated 9-patch with alternate pink blocks between each scrappy 9-patch. I used to sit on my bed and find matching squares and triangles, made from my grandmother’s old clothes and from feed sacks. I spent a lot of time checking how those half-triangle squares fit together and checking out the colors that went well together and those that seemed discordant. It was actually very mentally stimulating. That quilt was, and still is, very special to me, both because I loved all the colors and fabrics, and because it symbolized my grandmother’s love for me.

In 2007 and 2008 QBB gave over 500 quilts to girls and boys in an orphanage in Addis. (If you click on the photo links on the left of this page you’ll be able to see pictures of the children in that orphanage.) While I wasn’t able to go on those trips, I know the children treasured those quilts, even more than I treasured the quilt from my grandmother. These children owned nothing else. Even their school uniforms were shared. And because there weren’t enough toys for all the children in the orphanage, the toys they did have were hung from the ceiling so all the children could see them. The quilts that are given to children by QBB are truly valued by these children, and it’s wonderful to see some of the quilts that we receive that will wrap them in love, inspire their sense of color and shape, and keep them warm at night.

Today’s featured quilts are quilted by Sharon Wilt and Judy Vliss (and a couple I did). Piecers include Richard and Martha, Carolyn and Allison.

The first two quilts were quilted by Judy Vliss. Judy is a hobby quilter who quilts for her family and a Women’s Crisis Center, as well as QBB. She believes that “those of us who have been blessed need to give back.” Well said, Judy! The quilts were pieced by Allison and Carolyn, and Judy finished them with big loopy meanders.

The next 3 quilts were quilted by Sharon Wilt, who has a business called Fabric Creations. The Hotwheels quilt was pieced by Richard from Texas, and was quilted by Sharon with swirls. The Cat quilt was pieced by Richard’s wife Martha, and Sharon quilted it with feathered motifs and wreaths in the orange blocks, meanders in the cat blocks. Martha also pieced the Indian center panel quilt, which Sharon quilted with meanders and leaves.

Martha also kitted up three more wholecloths with cheery fabric that was just too pretty to cut up, which Sharon quilted with loopy hearts and swirls.  Martha tells me that she and Richard are “trying to outdo each other” with quilt creation! Fabulous! They’ve done many quilts for us over the last year or so, and I know the children will love everyone of them!

These two quilts were quilted by me, with tops by Richard:

All of these quilts are great as “stashbusters”, and all of them will be greatly loved and appreciated by the children who will receive them. Thank you to all!


3 Cute Quilts Received from Sandy in Maine

July 8, 2011

One of the great things about working with Quilts Beyond Borders is that I get to open packages with lovely surprises all year round, instead of just on Christmas and Birthdays. Early this week the doorbell rang, the dogs broke into yelps of excitement, and I discovered a box on my front porch sent by Sandy Knox in Maine. Sandy had done some quilts for us earlier in the year, but I wasn’t on the receiving end, since they were sent to Carolyn who was headed to Ethiopia and collecting the quilts to take with her. This time I was the lucky one to be able to open the package. Yippee!

Sandy quilted these three tops with meanders, loops and stars, and they look very cheerful and playful. I know the children will love them!

This top was made by Mary S in California, and it really appeals to me that it was quilted by Sandy in Maine. Quilters from the far corners of the US collectively creating a soft and lovely quilt to provide warmth and comfort to a needy child on the other side of the world. Is this a great hobby, or what??

Quilt by Sandy & Mary

The next two quilts tops were not accompanied by information that identified the piecers. If you recognize them, let us know, and we’ll add the names to the labels.

Sandy, thank you very much for the lovely quilting.  I know the three children who receive these quilts will be very happy with them!



Batik Beauty Received from Betty

June 28, 2011

Well, the weather is finally getting hot for the summer, and I’m spending every spare minute in my basement where I have my quilting studio set up. I’m trying to pull together about 50 quilts to take with me to Ethiopia in November.

Fortunately, I’m not doing it all alone. I often get help from my friends, Brenda and Cheryl. And my postman has been rather busy this month as well, bringing quilts and tops. I received one cute top from Lisa in Florida, which is on it’s way to a longarmer. Then I received 5 more wonderful tops from Donna in New York, which are in the process of being kitted up for sending to longarmers.

This week I received a very cute quilt from Betty in Missouri. Betty picked up some material for making it at the Houston International Quilt Festival in 2010, where we had a booth. Here’s a picture of that quilt:

Great thanks to Betty, Lisa and Donna for making my week! It’s so nice to open packages with the fruits of your labors and creativity! I know that the children who receive these lovely quilts will cherish them!

Readers, if there are some among you who have picked up kits from our booth in Houston to make tops, or if you’re among our longarmers and happen to have a pile of un-quilted tops waiting to be finished, or finished quilts hanging around waiting to be returned to us, take advantage of the opportunity to stay out of the summer heat and take the time to finish them up for us. We’d love to be able to take them with us when we go on our next trip to Ethiopia.

If you’re not sure where to send them, please contact me at and I’ll give you my address or the address of another volunteer who will be going with us.

Thanks very much!

Update on Quilt Dimensions

May 26, 2011

Please note that we are updating our Quilt Dimensions page. We are now asking that quilt tops donated to us be 42 x 60 inches. This size is best to fit the children’s beds and it eliminates the sorting and necessity of taking extra quilts to ensure we have enough of the various sizes. We’ve found over time that this is the best size for most of the children — big enough for the bigger kids and big enough for the little ones to have room to grow.

Quilt tops that we’ve received that are smaller than this will be modified to fit these dimensions. Completed quilts that we’ve received in smaller sizes may be donated to disaster relief efforts where the smaller sized are needed, (as we did after the earthquake in Haiti and the tsunami in Japan), or we may still take them to Ethiopia. But we are asking now that all future donated tops and quilts fit the 42 x 60 criteria.

Thanks very much for your attention to this change. And happy quilting!


5 More Cute Quilts received from Nan

May 19, 2011

I just returned from a trip to the Machine Quilters Showcase in Overland Park, KS, feeling excited and inspired, and I found a large package from Nan Soles-Fishpaw, of Sew Easy to Quilt, Inc. in Wimauma, Florida. I opened it to discover these 5 adorable quilts which Nan kindly quilted for us. She did a wonderful job of them, as you can see. Lots of playful meandering, with loops, flowers, hearts, and the unexpected feather here and there. I suspect the children will have a lovely time looking to see what fun designs are hidden in some of the stitching!

I just really love the playful daisies in the first one, and the second one has a few hidden feathers and swirls to spice up the meanders.

This cute little duckie quilt is one from a top by the ladies at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton in Plano, Texas.  This will be cherished by one of the little ones!

This football themed quilt by Sandra P. almost makes me want to be a Vikings fan, and is sure to warm some little boy’s heart.

The last quilt was from a top by Helen U. If you look closely you’ll see some hearts that Nan quilted into the bottom right side of the border. She also created a feather motif in the center block, but it’s hard to see in the picture.

On each label, Nan wrote the following blessing to the child who will receive it, “May this quilt, like love, keep you safe and warm.” What a lovely sentiment! I will take these quilts with me to Ethiopia when I go. (My trip is currently planned for November.) I know the children will love these quilts!

Nan has been quilting for us since 2008, and has probably done about 30 quilts for us altogether. They’re always adorable. She says she’s able to create this type of volume in a pretty short time by using the “toilet paper method” of loading her frame with a really long back and batting and then doing three tops one right after another! I’m going to try that!

Nan is a lady of great talents. I’ve seen photos of some of the beautiful and intricate custom work that she’s done for her customers. We are very lucky to have such a generous and talented lady helping us out! Thank you, Nan!


Thank you, St. Elizabeth Ann Seton’s Prayer Quilt Ministry

April 19, 2011

2010 was the year I retired, and I fully expected to be able to devote most of my time to quilting. However, it seems that I’m not very good at retirement, and I’ve spent an awful lot of time out of the country doing some consulting on behalf of my former employer.

As a result, I’ve only reached the bottom of my stack of “QBB Tops to Quilt” in the last week – and I found some wonderful surprises in that stack!

On our blog today I’d like to feature 5 adorable panel quilts from the Prayer Quilt Ministry at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton in Plano, Texas. These are only 5 of the 60+ quilt tops they made and sent to our longarmers all over the country. We would like to express great thanks to all of the fantastic members of the Prayer Quilt Ministry, especially to the following 3 wonderful people:

  • Carolyn McNally, who brought the idea to the Prayer Quilt Ministry that they make these tops for us. Carolyn also coordinated sending the quilt tops (and labels and many backs!) to the dozen or so longarmers who quilted them.
  • Nancy LaVerdure, who is one of the women who heads up the Prayer Quilt Ministry, and said “yes” immediately when Carolyn suggested they participate in this project for Quilts Beyond Borders.
  •  Susan Combs, who bound many of the quilts as they were completed by longarmers and returned.

The quilts below were quilted by my quilting buddy, Brenda, and myself.  I anticipate taking them to Ethiopia in a trip that is tentatively planned for November.  I know that Carolyn Sower is also taking many of the St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Prayer Quilt Ministry’s quilts to Ethiopia in May.  Soon over 60 orphans in Ethiopia will be snuggling in these beautiful quilts! Thanks SO MUCH to the quilters of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton!

For more information on the Prayer Quilt Ministry, please see St. Elizabeth Ann Seton’s website at this URL:

I encourage you to click on the pictures of the quilts to see them “up close”.


21 more tops headed to longarmers

March 19, 2011

This has been a busy week.  I’ve done Quality Control (QC) on a box of quilt tops I received from Noreen Fling to get them ready to go to longarmers.  That meant checking them for appropriate size, modifying them if required and making backs, binding and labels.  I was lucky enough to have substantial assistance from my good friend, Shirley, without whom I would still be working on those tops!   They’ll go in the mail tomorrow AM.

Some folks wonder where our tops come from.  Over the last year I’ve seen some come from all over the US and as far away as Japan and Korea.   A lot of them have been made by quilters at the International Quilt Festivals in Chicago and Houston, by quilters visiting from all over the world.  Many tops are made specifically with us in mind, and others are sent to us because they didn’t work out for their intended recipient and the quilter wanted to do something with them to get them out of their house!  Sometimes the tops have labels including the names of the creators, but many times we don’t have that information.

When I got the box from Noreen, I decided that probably a third of the tops were made by “toppers” who had us in mind.  They were the perfect dimensions, and the fabric was clearly selected with children in mind.  Lovely!  All we had to do there was add the backing and binding and they were ready to roll!

Another third was probably made at one of the Quilt Festivals.  The piecing was inconsistent with some tops — perhaps made by multiple people working at different times on a single top?  The fabrics were wild, in some cases.  We receive a lot of wonderful fabric donations from vendors, which aren’t always juvenile fabrics.  This gives us a great chance to try some new things, and since our intended recipients range in age from infants to 17 years old, this is a wonderful source of quilts for some of the older children who might want something a little bit more sophisticated.  I did some trimming of edges on these, but on the whole they were the right dimensions and not a lot of work to prepare.

The last third were the group of quilts that were probably donated because someone changed their minds about finishing them for their initial intended recipient and wanted to just give them away to someone else who might appreciate them.  I really enjoyed working with these, because they challenged me the most.  We added borders to most to make them just the right size.  In one case, I took a larger quilt top and turned it into two really cute tops that will make two children very happy!  One top was probably the topper’s nightmare.  It was a trip around the world where some of the blocks and rows had gotten mixed up and the topper just gave up on it and sent it to us.  Out came the seam ripper, and it made me so happy when it was done that I’ll be quilting that one myself!

Anyway, I really enjoyed working with these over the last week.  I loved it when we were able to add borders and binding in colors that would just tie the quilt together and make it sing!   And what a great feeling of accomplishment to see them all boxed up and ready to head to the Post Office tomorrow morning!

For the longarmers, Barbara, Nan, Sandy, Judy, Marcia and Donna, here’s a sneak peak at some of the quilts that will be coming your way.  I didn’t have the names of many of the piecers, so if anyone out there spots a quilt top that you made, please add a comment to this post so we can add your name to the label.

Top by Helen

Top by Sandra

Top by Billie Lynn

Smaller version of larger original

Original center from larger top with new borders

Floral Stripes

Trip around the world

Wild Horses

Cats in the Garden

Car Quilt

Above, with the Car Quilt, is a photo of my pal, Shirley, who stitched many borders and backs, helped me with design decisions, and held all the quilts for photos.  Her toes and fingers are featured in most of the shots.  Unlike many seniors who have quilted for years, Shirley took up quilting just a few years ago in her 70’s!  You GO, Girl!!  Thanks for all the help!

Thanks, also, to Noreen for sending me this box of fun.  Special thanks to the longarmers who are going to receive these, as well as all the longarmers who have taken 54 more earlier in February and March!  You ladies do amazing things on these quilts, and I know that Carolyn will be thrilled when she receives them to take on the trip to Ethiopia.   And thanks to the Toppers, known and unknown!  Your combined magic will make many little children very happy!