I've hesitated in writing this post because until I started writing this blog, there was a part of my quilt making that I kept pretty quiet: making quilts for donation. It was something I did privately, and I somehow felt that if I told others about it, it was sort of bragging about charitable giving. But I've decided to share my stories about donating quilts, because if my story prompts just one other person to make a quilt to donate, then there will be two more people blessed with a quilt--the recipient and the quilter.
I made my first donation quilt a little over two years ago. After Hurricane Sandy, a call went out from Luana Rubin of Equilter to make as many quilts as possible for people who had lost their homes and belongings. The quilts would be collected and distributed by the owners of Timeless Treasures. I had recently won an online fabric giveaway which, coincidentally, was a big bundle of blue and white winter-themed fabric from a line by Timeless Treasures. The name of the line and designer escapes me right now, but it was beautiful. When I read about the victims of Hurricane Sandy and the quilt collection, I knew immediately that I would use that fabric to make a quilt to donate.
I combined the fabric bundle with just one other blue print fabric and some white-on-white prints to make the second largest quilt I had ever made. I didn't have time to design my own pattern, so I found one called Summer at the Beach at England Street Quilts. It seemed perfect for my fabrics, which I guess would make the quilt Winter at the Beach. It sewed up quickly, but then what to do? I had been a hand quilter for a long time, but the only large quilt I had ever made took me years to finish. So I decided to do what I usually did with baby quilts at that time--I tied it using polyester batting, a blue flannel backing (flannel had been suggested for warmth) and blue and white perle cotton. I had a hard time not handquilting the quilt, so I included just a little in the center, with the words "Hope, Comfort, Strength" and the year.
So with that introduction, here is the quilt (I'm not sure of its exact dimensions, but I'm guessing about 75 by 95 or a little more)
I finished the quilt at the end of November 2012. I sent it off to Timeless Treasures to be distributed. A short time later, I saw a picture online of a woman carrying my quilt away from one of the distribution sites. It was such a neat feeling to know that the quilt had found a home.
And here's a little side note. Several months later, I received a thank you package from Timeless Treasures--it was a set of fabric squares, that I made into a sewing machine cover. Now, whenever I sew, I remember the importance (and joy) of quilting for others--not just myself or family and friends.
And here are two big effects of making that first donation quilt: I decided that I needed a way to quilt quilts more quickly for donation. It started me on a search for a treadle machine. I found one the following summer and have been happily quilting on it ever since. Also, I pledged that if I ever won fabric in a giveaway again, I would use it for donation quilts. I was able to make several quilts that way this past year and have enough fabric to make several more this coming year. Yippee, and thank you to everyone that makes this possible!!
If you've never made a quilt for donation before, I urge to you give it a try. You will not regret it. I direct most of my quilts to a favorite organization in my state, but there are many out there, and there are many opportunities to comfort others with quilts. And if you make donation quilts, I am so happy for you. I love reading about them in yours posts!
I'm linking up today with My Quilt Infatuation for Needle and Thread Thursday.