One day while at Gunderson Clinic in Lacrosse with Kramer I met a lady while waiting in the waiting room at the lab. I noticed she was doing crafty things so I purposely sat in the area of the waiting room she was in.
We quickly started talking and real quick exchanged information. We only had a few minutes but I learned that she was a charity quilter that used a lot of denim in the quilts she makes. We made some connections and exchanged business cards. Her name was Sally and she was from Holmen WI.
It was an enjoyable interchange but my life went a little topsy turvy after that. Kramer had his surgery that was unsuccessful and then recovery. about two weeks ago I was cleaning out my busy bag to prepare for the radiation and chemo trips we are now making when I found Sally’s card. Just about the same time, an email came from her.
“DenimQuilts was founded 9 years ago in St. Louis by two friends, Sally Safranski and Julie Treloar. During the first 7 years we brought in about 40 volunteers and made a little over 1600 DenimQuilts. These are unique, personalized quilts made primarily from repurposed jeans, with flannel backs, and a special twist – they are personalized with the interests/favorite colors/name of the receiving child on a jeans pocket attached to the quilt. We’ve branched out to include children in hospice, mothers of those children after the child’s death, bereavement organizations, fundraisers, etc. All DenimQuilts are donated.
In fall 2017 Sally moved to Holmen, WI, just north of La Crosse. DenimQuilts-WI began here – still a part of DenimQuilts. In Wisconsin we’ve made quilts for Gold Star families, children whose homes have burned, children in need thru Amy’s Closet (a Holmen NPO) – and have just started making quilts for La Crosse area children in foster care. The tradition continues – whenever possible we personalize the quilts with names/interests/favorite colors.”
“We accept jean donations all the time – non-stretchy, good ole’ 100% cotton jeans in all conditions, sizes and colors (from non-smoking homes). Volunteers take on roles depending on skills, interest, time, etc. Some cut apart jeans, others cut quilt blocks, some construct tops, some pin, tie and/or bind the quilts.”
“We can always use flannel and batting – both much sought-after commodities. We like best solids, plaids and kid-friendly prints. About 4 yards per quilt (just shy of 4). We repurpose mattress pads and/or need batting, too. We rely on donations for flannel and batting – and of course jeans are never in short supply!”
“We are now approaching 1800 DQs (St. Louis and Wisconsin combined) and are now a registered 501c3.”
Here’s another quilt DenimQuilts made…
“Aside from donations for more DQs, we need more people! Sally is actively building a team of volunteers in western WI/eastern MN to become a strong DenimQuilts-WI. We don’t do meetings – we work at the projects we want, when we want. While Sally is building the Wisconsin team, co-founder Julie keeps things going in St. Louis. Mostly we prefer to work on a drop off/pick up system from our front porches, but do meet with people to get them started and to move quilts to the next step/another volunteer or to deliver finished DQs.”
You can find more about what we’re up to on Facebook (DenimQuilts) and you can reach Sally at (608) 399-5373 (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Are any of you blog readers in the area? Do any of you have time, talents of supplies that you could donate. Sally would love to talk with you.
Sally was a joy to meet and talk with if only for a brief time. I’m sure any of you would love working with her.
I am attaching her address here if you’d like to get in touch with her.
I love reading these stories of turning old jeans into wonderful quilts. If any of you have had a denim quilt, you know they wear and last for a LONG time. Congratulation to Sally and the members of DenimQuilts for the wonderful, successful charity group you have made.