Lift your spirits: stories of charity quilts, shared by you

Martingale's Share the Warmth Charity Quilt Drive
In September, as part of our second Share the Warmth Charity Quilt Drive, we invited you to tell us about your charitable giving in the form of quilts—and you responded with great passion. Today we are honored to compile your ideas for giving to charity-quilt organizations into a list that all quilters can use to help those in need. You’ll find the list below.

But first, we’d like to share your stories about making quilts for others. Here are just a few that we received.


From Barbara: “I just had to share this photo. I am so proud of this group of friends, members of the Piece Corps Quilt Guild of St. Joseph, Missouri, who made and donated 90 quilts and pillowcases to the Cameron Veterans home. They have been working on the project all year and decided that Veteran’s Day was a good day for the first delivery. We plan to continue to make quilts and pillowcases until all 200 beds have red, white, and blue quilts. Not only did quilt members take the time to piece and quilt the quilts but they also paid for the fabric and supplies out of their own pockets.”


From Carolyn: “I am with the Marco Polo Quilters Guild in Saint John, New Brunswick, Canada. Our guild has made a commitment to placing a quilt on all 80 beds at the Veterans Unit of our regional hospital. We have donated 29 bed-sized quilts as well as 40 lap-sized quilts, and we have another 10 under construction. The veterans were very happy, especially because we named them ‘Thank-You Quilts.’ An outline of a poppy is placed on the bottom right corner of each quilt in recognition of what these men and women have done for us. One of our local branches of the Royal Canadian Legion, Branch 69, has generously helped us with money to purchase the material to help their comrades.”


From Diana: “For many years as a member of a quilting guild I have made and donated countless quilts. Our guild supports a battered women’s shelter (Hidden Valley House), makes quilts and gifts for babies and newborns of lower-income mothers (Gently Hugged), and quilts to cover preemie isolettes (Kaiser Hospital Neonatal Intensive Care Unit). We have made hundreds (perhaps 500?) quilts for preemies alone. All of this is amazing, but when you consider that our membership has never topped 100 this is extraordinary!

I have added to my charity sewing Quilts of Valor. Since September of last year I have made ten quilts for them. This sewing is especially poignant as our family has been touched by conflict throughout the years and has made great sacrifices.

I have been quilting for many years and find the process of sewing for the greater good has so many more benefits than just the steps of sewing. It fills the heart as no other material gift can do. You give of yourself as well as your stash. Please keep up the support for this far-reaching hobby.”


From Ros: “I am a quilter and a member of the Murrumburrah Quilt Group (a group in a small rural town in New South Wales, Australia). I am also the publicity officer for the Harden-Murrumburrah branch of Can Assist, an organization that assists cancer patients in rural areas of New South Wales. In January this year, with the blessing of my branch of Can Assist, I arranged with my fellow quilters from the Murrumburrah Quilt Group to make quilts for the cancer patients that are registered with us. By August we had 24 quilts made. The photo (above) shows a number of the quilts made with the makers of the quilts. We’ll be making more quilts for newly diagnosed cancer patients who are registered with Can Assist, and this will be an ongoing project. Our branch of Can Assist’s motto is ‘You’ll never walk alone.’ I like to think that providing quilts to our cancer patients is one way of enforcing that motto.”


From Marian: “I have been making many things for charity. Every year I make the same hats and mitts, both knitted and sewn, for a local group that takes them to Zimbabwe every spring. I also make blankets from my fleece scraps and help with blocks for our quilt guild. One year we made 75 blankets for Project Linus, and we make many quilts for children as an ongoing project. We are starting to make chemo bags for patients as well. We live in a small town in southern Ontario, Canada, and I never stop sewing!”


From Donna: “I belong to three quilt guilds and we make comfort quilts and teddy bears in all of them. I go to about six comfort-quilt workshops a year, which is a blast. I’m the binding lady. Many quilts are tied in the workshops and I sit and put the binding on them.

I don’t have many photos because all the quilts are gone but I did retrieve one from a from a previous newsletter. Most photos I have from workshops are of members hard at work, not the quilts.”


From Barbara: “This is a quilt that our little quilting group made for Victoria’s Quilts (a charity group donating quilts to cancer patients going through chemotherapy). There are five of us who get together weekly to share our love for quilting. We decided on a block and we all raided our stashes and made several blocks each. Then one sewed the blocks into rows, another did the border, and another did the quilting.”


From Donna: “I work with a group called Sewing Endeavors for the Children. We meet every Tuesday to make layettes and other miscellaneous items for our church and other groups. Each layette has two receiving blankets, two gowns, a fleece sweater, six cloth diapers, and two washcloths that we make. This year we made 525 layettes. The Christmas stockings we make are filled by area churches with age-indicated items. This year we made about 1000 stockings.”


From Karen: “Our quilt guild in Sarasota, Florida, is the Friendship Knot Quilters’ Guild. This year our philanthropic project is making wheelchair quilts for the residents in wheelchairs at the Pines Retirement Center in Sarasota. Out goal is to make 87 quilts. I made one for a male resident (left). The only requirement is that it measure 36″ x 48″.”


From Linette: “I belong to a group of ladies (and one gentleman) on Facebook who have been making quilts for donation. We just finished up sending 12½" blocks for two Quilts of Valor quilts. We have reorganized into two groups to make quilts for Quilts of Valor and Quilts for Comfort.

I also organized a block drive for a fellow quilter whose husband was terminally ill. I collected donated blocks in her chosen colors and assembled the top (right). Another member quilted and bound the quilt, and our recipient received the quilt on what would have been her husband’s birthday, if he had lived. Before he died, we had sent enough blocks for her to make her beloved a lap quilt to use in the hospital.”


From Jeannie: “I belong to a wonderful group of ladies that donate beautiful quilts to Bear Cottage in Australia. I also make quilts for the dogs and cats at the RSPCA. Each quilt is given to a dog or cat. When the animal gets a new home, the quilt goes with it. We have animal facilities in shopping centers where dogs are in large glass enclosures so the public can visit and pick their next pet. It’s wonderful to visit them and see my quilts on display, happily used by all the dogs and cats. It’s better than winning a blue ribbon at a show.”


From Nita: “Last year I started my own little charity quilt project. I want to give quilts to kids who need to know that they are important in the world. I’m calling them Because You Matter Quilts, and they are given to kids who are in the child welfare system. These are kids and teens who are having a hard time and who could use the gift of a handmade quilt to wrap up in for the simple reason that they matter.”


From Lisa: “I work for a cancer doctor who treats patients who have an ultra-rare cancer called Adrenocortical Cancer, or ACC for short. This cancer, being so rare, doesn’t get easily funded by the federal government, so it takes other resources for research funds to help find a cure for this awful cancer. I started a Facebook page that takes donations of quilts and auctions them, with 100% of the funds going to ACC cancer research. I give a thank-you ribbon to each donor of a quilt and each winner of an auction, thanking them for their support of ACC research.

I have attached a flyer of a quilt I made that recently went up for auction. Any quilts donated would be greatly appreciated.”


From Sheila: “I made nine preemie baby quilts in various sizes, from 12″ square to 30″ square, for larger babies. They were really fun to make. I went through my fabric scraps, started with half-square triangles, then kept adding fabric strips until the blocks were large enough to cut them 9½" square (only because that’s the size of my square ruler!). Then I sewed them together pillow-style on fleece, turned them right-side out, sewed around the edges (closing the opening), and did straight-line quilting with my walking foot. I donated them to Quilts of Compassion.”


From Pat: “Our Quilt Guild, Country Quilt Divas, is only four years old, but we have MANY years of experience in our group of 30+ members. We have tried to give back to our community in an effort to share our love of quilting and community! Currently we make quilts for Quilts of Valor, Relays for Life, and a local nursing home/hospice care facility, just to name a few.

Got to share a story with you. One of our members, Fay, was visiting the nursing home one evening. A nurse aide came up to Fay and said, ‘So many patients have these blankets!’ The nurse told her how special the quilts have been to the patients and staff. She asked, ‘How do you get one of those quilts? I want one.’ Fay pointed to her volunteer badge and said, ‘You need to be in hospice to receive one.’ The girl told her, ‘No thanks!’


From Carrie: “I am a member of a quilt guild that donates quilts for preemie babies at our local hospital. Most of the quilts go home with the baby when he/she is strong enough to finally go home. Our guild has been doing this a very long time. This year our chairperson in charge of preemie quilts has challenged each member to make five preemie quilts. Our guild also donates nap blankets to school children and a local nursing home. Quilters are very generous people.”


Thank you all for sharing your heartwarming stories of giving.

Below is a list of places where YOU have donated quilts. We hadn’t heard of several of these organizations, so thank you for telling us about them—it’s our great pleasure to spread the word!

Disaster Relief

Children in need

Veterans

Illness

Local giving
Connect with organizations near you that accept quilt donations.

  • Animal shelters
  • Children’s hospitals
  • Fire stations
  • Fundraising and benefit events
  • Hospice care
  • Hospitals with a veteran’s unit
  • Police departments
  • Veteran homes
  • Welfare agencies
  • Women’s shelters

And don’t forget…YOUR LOCAL QUILT GUILD. So many of you told us about how your quilt guild makes projects for local groups in need. Find a guild near you at quiltguilds.com.

All quilters who emailed their stories as part of our Share the Warmth quilt drive were automatically entered to receive one of two $50 gift certificates to ShopMartingale.com. The randomly chosen winners are Carrie from New Brunswick, Canada, and Ann from Washington. Congratulations to you both!


Do you know of a charity that you’d like to add to the list? Please do so in the comments!


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