Charity Quilts…A New Plan.

I wrote a blog post not long ago about fabric that had been sent to me.  In the post I wrote that the box had lots of partial projects.  Lots were left over from projects the owner had started.  Often there were 9 blocks and some scraps.  There were a few red, white and blue blocks.  There was what looked like the start of a Missouri Star Disappearing Pinwheel project.  Lots of things the owner didn’t love anymore or didn’t want to mess with.

Following that, I got notes from several people.  They explained their projects and what they were doing in the charity quilt world.  Here’s one note I got from Ronda in Sioux City.
Hi Jo,

   I actually met you and your daughter, Kelli, in Storm Lake several years ago at the Bonnie Hunter retreat.  I am a Bonnie fan as well, and have made many of her quilts.  Right now I am working on Rectangle Wrangle from her Scraps and Shirttails II book.  I have been reading your blog ever since we met in Storm Lake.  I am envious of your thrift finds.  When I went to find men’s plaid shirts for my quilt, the best deal I could get was $4 each.

   I just donated two large lap quilts to a fundraiser to send disadvantage kids to a day summer camp where they can learn how to get along with all other races and interact socially with kids not like themselves.  Both of my quilts together brought in over $1000.00 for the camp.  I was so excited!  Both quilts were made from my stash ~ super scrappy ~ and I quilted them myself, so not a lot of expense went into making them.

   I also make quilts that I donate to our guild to give to what we call Sunshine Quilts.  They are given to our local fire department, police department, and sheriff.  Then they are given to children who suffer any type of trauma, whether it is fire, where they lose everything, or being taken from the home because of abusive parents, or any other reasons.  I would take any and all of whatever you want to get rid of and turn it into something useful.”

Well that sounds like she is doing AWESOME work…that got me thinking.

As a child, my mom always told me “Use your head and save your feet”.  I’ve went on to say that my own kids over and over.  I thought I had the concept mastered after 50 years of living but looking at all the goodies that are sent my way, I can see that I’m not.  So many great goodies are sent my way but there is so much and I can’t use it all.  I end up sorting it out and finding homes for it all.  I have enjoyed doing that but more and more I am finding that it would be so much easier if the donaters sent the goodies right to the person who could use the goods.

For example quite some time ago a blog reader sent me this….

Recognize it…It is Blue Ridge Beauty from Bonnie Hunter.  Find it in the first Leaders and Enders book.  WOW.  It’s over half finished.  It has sat with me.  I had good intentions but I’m busy with my own things and have found that my time at the sewing machine, I want for myself and my own piecing whether that be for gifts or for myself.  I’m happy to give away time at the quilt machine, but not at my domestic machine…so why did I hang on to this donated project..I had good intentions.  This NEEDS to move on to someone who can finish it.  I ended up sending it to Ronda in Sioux City.  This quilt could likely bring lots of money at the next auction to help kids to go to camp.

Kelli and I are starting a new program via the blog.  We are asking people to send in information about their quilting charity cause- or their group’s quilting cause.  For example if someone makes quilts for project Linus and they are always looking for children’s fabric or if someone does QOV and are looking for fabric or if someone would like to receive kits and will make them up then donate them to a benefit auction for kids camp or something like that.   We are then going to list them on our charity page.  Then we’ll encourage blog readers to send things directly to the people who can benefit from their donation.

I am so over loaded with things.  I am finding my house to be a “warehouse” and I am more of a distributor than I am a quilter.  I appreciate it.  I’ve loved doing it but I think so much better can come of the donations if they go to the direct people who can use them.  I love that people want to be helpful…I love being part of a greater cause but somehow I have to find a way to step back and be able to take a breath.

I’ve gotten to the point that I feel guilty if I do my own stuff….I’m sure many of you who do charity quilting can relate.

If you have a group or cause that is need of donations PLEASE fill out the form below.  On the form you can request anything pre-cuts, small scraps, kits, unfinished projects, orphan blocks, thread, craft supplies….ANYTHING you think a quilter/crafter might have that would be useful to your cause.  For example one lady said that she is in need of lace as she makes burial sets for infants who didn’t make it full term.  All the burial clothes are sewn and lace is needed in the making of them.  People will also need to fill out a little information about your group.

This information will be gathered and I will post it on a page here on the blog.  It will list the name of the group, what they do and what they are looking for.  People who want to de-stash or clean out their sewing room, can find a worthy cause to donate to, contact them via email and the donations can be sent directly to the group or person that needs them.

Our hope is that if you are a Lutheran group that makes charity quilts and you are looking for flat sheets for quilt backings, we can post that information and a blog reader might see that and donate to your cause.  We are hoping that there might be a group that supports a home that helps people with addictions and maybe there is a quilter who had a family member that suffered with addiction and that quilter might send things to help their cause.

I know so many of you have things you no longer love…had a loved one pass and have no idea what to do with their quilty things…or just want to down size.  I know how good it feels when I clean the closets…I’m sure the feeling is the same for you.  I know I always feel better about that when I know the no longer wanted items go somewhere where I know they will used.

Link for Charity Workers Who Need Supplies:  HERE

I had this idea and Kelli was so good to put the document together for this.  I couldn’t be happier about it.

While she was working on that, I asked her to also set up a form for my volunteer binders.  I have been totally unorganized in keeping track of the names and addresses.  It’s hard.  Some people want only certain sizes…some can (or can’t) work on a quilt from a smoker…there are lots of things I need to work around.  If you have been a volunteer binder in the past or if you want to be one now, please fill out this document.  HERE  This will allow me to keep track of it all one form and I won’t have to dig through old email to find the information I need.

While we were at, we decided to make a form for anyone willing to do the machine quilting of charity quilts.  You can find that HERE.

Binders and charity groups who receive goodies/quilts will be asked to send a picture of a completed project to me at  I would really like to continue to blog about the good works you all are doing.  Donators appreciate seeing the good that their donation has helped to make.

Thanks so much to everyone who has worked on charity quilts, donated fabrics, volunteered to bind, sent money for postage, donated thread and batting or cheered us on from afar.  Many hands do make light work…and I think together we can make many more projects.



19 thoughts on “Charity Quilts…A New Plan.”

  1. What a wonderful way to move items along to those that put it to good use. I have sent you items/fabrics and I would love it if you feel better about moving those items along to someone who can truly use it now.

  2. Just went over to look at the firm to volunteer for long arming quilts. Have s couple of questions. Doing the quilting, are we able to donate the quilt to our chosen charity? Is there a place to specify what our charity would be? Thanks!

  3. Hi Jo, I tried to click the link for the binding volunteers and it gave me the form for longarmers. I really enjoy sewing on binding but don’t have a ton of free time so I’d be interested in one quilt at a time. I’m grateful for the charity quilt work you do and think your new plan is fantastic – you will enable so much more good works this way than you could possibly have accomplished on your own. I read your blog daily so I’ll check back to see if the link is working later on.

  4. That’s a wonderful idea. I’ll have to start going through my finished tops that need to go somewhere and UFO’s that I no longer have interest in. Maybe after sorting through my stuff, I can finally organize. Thanks for sharing.

  5. Great ideas! I hope it gives you more time to do your gift and personal quilts. Thank you for you concern for so many charities.

  6. This is a great idea, Jo!
    Now, hopefully you’ll feel better about enjoying your own projects again!

  7. Through the years I have wondered when you would realize that you cannot do all things for all people, and that you would have to “delegate”. Great move on your part.

  8. What a great idea. I am learning to long arm and as soon as I have a handle on it, I will fill out the form. There is only so much we can do for our selves and family and it feels so good to do for others.

    Great idea. Will save a lot of postage also and expand the “helping” network.

  9. What a wonderful plan! I’m sure there will be a kink or two which will need to be fine tuned, but bet it will work perfectly in a flash.

  10. I think this is a fantastic idea. I need to organize my room and I know there are partial projects that I no longer have a desire to finish along with fabric that no longer has a purpose for me. I look forward to seeing this information.

  11. Cheryl in Dallas

    Great idea!

    I sure hope that people who specifically want SCRAPS will sign up as I want to share a lot of these little bits and pieces with someone who will use them.

  12. What a great way to disseminate information and get quilt supplies to people who can turn them into finished quilts and from there get them to people who can use them!

  13. What a great idea! I have filled out two of the forms as our group would very much like to increase our donations to Hospice. Not only do patients receive quilts, but children who have lost a parent receive one. “Helping” you would greatly help us!

  14. this is a post that is so timely for me- been lagging about sending a box since you seem to get so many. Now I’,, be able to send it to the right spot. thank you

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