Saturday, March 9, 2013

Quilts Beyond Borders

Have you heard of this organization?  It is remarkable and was founded in 2007 by delivering 230 quilts to orphans in Ethiopia.  Since that time, they have sent over 2,600 quilts to Ethiopia, Haiti, Japan, Thailand, Costa Rica, Honduras, Guatemala, Uganda, Burundi, Cameroon, and Russia.  Currently they are working to send quilts to the Forgotten People organization that services Arizona Navajo people living, in many cases, without electricity and running water. They are cold.  This is shameful!

Whether you prefer to donate your charity quilts locally or globally, you have to admire their Mission Statement:

To provide quilts to children in need, especially orphans living in under-served areas of the world where the warmth of a quilt is needed at night.

I don't have permission to share "before and after" pictures from their brochure that shows spartan bunk beds lined up side by side (the children appear to have to crawl into (or up to) their bed from the foot.  There is no room between the beds.  The "after" picture shows wonderful colorful quilts draped at the foot of each bed.
If you've ever been to a major quilt show, you know the charity organizations' booths are normally at the very last aisle of the quilt exhibits.  They are not in high traffic areas -- by a long shot.  While in Houston last fall, we walked by the QBB booth and were drawn to the packets of fabric, finished quilts, and a few items for sale.  In reading their brochure, this was the paragraph that drew me in and led me to sign up to make a quilt (or quilt top) within the next year:

More than 140 million children in the world today have lost one or more parents.  Sub-Saharan Africa is the home to an estimated 50 million orphaned children. More than one in three orphans will have lost  a parent to AIDS.  In Ethiopia alone, there are currently about 5 million orphans.

I was all in!  It was reaffirmed when I read that besides their school uniforms, this will be the only personal possession of many orphans.  Heartbreaking!

This is an organization that makes it as easy as possible on us quilters when it comes to donating.  You can donate unwanted fabric.  You can donate a quilt top (42"x48" to 42"x60").  You can donate your long arm quilting.  You can donate $15 which pays to send 6-8 tops to a volunteer longarmer.    They will also take frequent flier donations, publicity, researching grant opportunities, and sales of quilts for fundraising.
Seriously -- you don't have to send a finished quilt.  These three tops will be going to a longarmer next week along with some leftover scrappy binding.  

I know many quilters are called to serve and donate locally and I understand and admire that.  I make two small baby quilts for the local hospital every month.  A small church quilting group I belong to is making pillowcases (with members furnishing pillows) for local children who are removed from their homes and put in foster care.  I know many of you make quilts, layettes, and pillowcases for local organizations.  What I don't always understand is the position that it's "either - or".  Why can't it be "both" with the generosity of quilters being spread locally and globally?

I am not looking for an answer because this is a personal matter.  We quilt for so many reasons - creativity, gifts, inspiration, peace, energy, fulfillment, art, healing.....I suspect we rarely need to quilt to keep our families warm these days.  But there are opportunities throughout the world help keep others warm.

I would encourage you to see if you have a quilt top (or quilt) you've fallen out of love with or fabric you are tired of or scraps or a pattern you want to try -- to look at QBB's website and see if you feel moved to help them out.  Postage to ship it is the only expense.
This very simple brick quilt is their recommended pattern (3" strips cut across fat quarters) and these are the fabrics that I picked up from their booth.  The two Scrappy Trip Around the World tops (pattern by Quiltville) are from my 2.5" strip bin that exploded when I opened it.  It's certainly more under control but I have enough 16" strips to make at least one more.  The smaller strips are being subcut for another Cross Quilt.  I need to get something in my quilt room under control!

Even if you don't donate to this wonderful organization -- I would suggest you look at their website for a reminder of why quilters are special and we should all be proud to use that title in describing our art.

Keep piecing!  Jan


Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for sharing about this organization! As a newer quilter, I'm excited that I can donate just a quilt top. This is yet another reason that I'm so glad I've joined the quilting community - so many ways to get involved in amazing causes. I love your quilt tops and the children who receive them will really treasure them!

Carol said...

I'm checking in to your blog through your link from Judy's Design Wall post this morning. Loved your Scrappy Trips and your colors are wonderful. But like the commenter above me, I am so glad to learn of the organization so have checked out that link as well. Would love to do some tops for them. Was glad to hear about their presence in Houston as I go to that show every year and will definitely be locating them. I wasn't sure where to locate the pattern you wrote about, using strips from fq's for the Bricks quilt. Or maybe that comes from Houston at their booth, as I have not found it. I know I have one top that would be the right size, batting and backing are also ready.

Jill said...

I'm off to check out the website now Jan! Thanks for sharing this.

Thanks for linking to a Round Tuit!
Hope you have a fabulous week!
Jill @ Creating my way to Success

Katie @ Creatively Living said...

Such beautiful quilts! Thanks for sharing them at Monday Funday!

JoAnn @ SweetPepperRose said...

Love the quilts - beautiful squares, not sure if I'd have the patience!

Janine said...

Your trip-a-long looks fab. And thanks for sharing your charity info. Sending a top certainly makes the shipping costs less daunting :)

audrey said...

Thanks for posting about this! I'm going to have a looksie through my fabric right now! :)

Kat said...

Thanks for sharing with us about this great organization!

Sue Daurio said...

What a great cause. Love your scrappy trips.

Allison said...

your quilts are lovely! thanks for linking up to TGIFF!, and for sharing about Quilts Beyond Borders :)

Jen Crutchfield said...

I found you from the linky on Be Different Act Normal and I will check out Quilts Beyond Borders. Thanks!

Connie said...

Thank you for sharing about the wonderful organization! Thanks for sharing.
Freemotion by the River Linky Party Tuesday

Sarah Craig said...

Jan, thanks for sharing this on Whoop Whoop Friday! What a great organization, and certainly one to keep in mind as we search for places to benefit from our handicrafts. Whoop whoop!!

Anonymous said...

hopped over from
Amanda Jeans blog, like your idea of both not either or, we all have plaenty of fabric to spare for a good cause, thanks for bringin this one to everyones attention

Live a Colorful Life said...

Thanks for sharing the information on this organization. and thanks for linking up!

Pinkadot Quilts said...

I love all those tips and I NEED them!

Susie Buetow said...

I've heard of this and have participated in sending to them! Great job and love your projects.

Thank you for sharing them with us in our Crafty Showcase. We love seeing what you link up each week!

New linky:

Have a super week! Susie @Bowdabra