Tag Archives: Donation quilts

Sending Quilts to Texas?

The hurricane disaster in Texas may displace people from more than 100,000 homes for at least several weeks. They need housing, food, water, and some way to replace all the goods lost to water damage, or simply washed or blown away. Should you send replacement items? Should you send quilts?

It’s tempting, isn’t it? A quilt is a tangible item to show your concern, to offer both comfort and warmth. I’ve already seen a number of requests for quilts for Texans. I’ve also seen one of those requests in a Facebook group called a fraud, and deleted after the group moderator couldn’t affirm its legitimacy.

In the past I’ve made quilts to give post-disaster. But unless a disaster is local, I won’t do it again. Why not? Very simply, if a community is facing the scale of tragedy that Houston and other Texas cities are facing, figuring out how to deal with unsolicited stuff creates more trouble than the stuff is worth. As Abby Glassenberg says in her post from 2013,

The truth is, though, that direct donations of goods, especially in the wake of a disaster, can truly cause more harm than good. Boxes and bags of blankets and clothes and stuffed animals pile up on the floors of warehouses, waiting to be inspected, sorted and distributed. The flood of donations commonly creates a second crisis of sorts.

Read Abby’s whole post for more information and some good advice.

NPR.org also covered this topic in 2013. Did you ever see photos of all the donations of teddy bears and other comfort gifts after the Sandy Hook killings? Did you know that many donations sent to Haiti ended up in waste piles on the beach, some of which are still there?

The urge to give is strong. In Texas, however, they may need things like toiletries, school supplies, and clean water more than quilts. Whatever they need, it’s probably better to donate cash, unless you live in Texas or nearby and have connections that will directly serve those affected.

If you still want to give things, consider making those donations to organizations in your own locale. My quilt guild gives between 100 and 200 quilts a year, as well as other items like bibs, burp cloths, pillow cases, and placemats. Almost all those donations are distributed within our county. We know what organizations need, because we work with them on a continuing basis. When their needs change, they tell us.

And there are a number of national (and international) organizations that distribute quilts, as well. Two of them are Project Linus and Quilts of Valor, but there are many others. (I am not endorsing either of these, or any others, as I don’t know enough about them to do so. Please do your own research to decide where you’d like to contribute your time, money, and efforts.)

Quilters are very generous. Our impulse is to give, and to give something with love and concern stitched in. Please do. But give quilts locally and to well-respected, continuing organizations that are structured to distribute quilts. Otherwise, financial contributions are generally more helpful.


A Memory

This morning in Facebook, a “memory” of the day included two pictures. I finished this little quilt in 2010.


This is actually the second attempt at making a quilt from these parts. If I remember correctly, this began as the back for something else. I started to free motion quilt on my DSM and it went badly. After picking out all the stitches, I decided that the front was not well-enough pieced (by someone else) to keep, and I trashed it. But the back fabric was much better quality, and whatever start I had on it was worth revising.

Here is the little cat in the window.


I donated the quilt to my guild, and it was passed on from there.


Leftovers ==> Donation Quilt

I have the quilt top done, having found just the right border fabric in my stash. The background of it is blue with a touch of green, making it work well with the blues in the centers of the blocks. The olive green leaves add to that match. Also there are orangey-gold star-shaped flowers, which repeat the cheddar orange in the blocks.

I cut the available yard of border fabric into six strips, each 6″ wide. I pieced them into the four border strips needed. The top finishes at about 53″ square. It’s a nice size for a lap quilt. I’ll donate it through my guild and it might become a donation for our local VA hospital.


This might give you a better idea of the colors:


I also pulled a bunch of fabrics from my brown stash to piece for the back. I have blues to mix in to brighten it.

Son is gone already. We had him here for a whole 49 hours. It was too little but we take what we can get. Next week he deploys overseas for the summer. I am feeling pretty sad, to tell the truth. But that is the way of things, yes?


VA Hospital Quilts

At the beginning of the year I committed to making at least four quilts for donation through my local quilt guild. I especially wanted to make some for the local Veterans’ Administration hospital.

They have requested quilts that are approximately 48″ x 60″, which is a good size for a lap quilt. (Your local hospital may have different needs. If you want to make quilts to serve them, please check with yours directly.)

Recently I finished two quilts to donate. Both were completely made from stash. The first uses a very simple arrangement of 6″ 4-patches and half-square triangles. That part of the array is 48″ square. To make it longer, I added the unpieced borders on two edges.

The second uses a disappearing 9-patch block. Have you ever made one of these quilts? The usual idea is to make a BIG 9-patch, and then cut it into four equal square blocks. Each quarter has an original corner patch, as well as a portion of the original center patch.

I modified that idea by elongating the 9-patch. I cut patches as follows:
4 Corners: 6″ x 8″
1 Center: 6″ x 6″
2 Left/Right Centers: 6″ x 6″
2 Up/Down Centers: 6″ x 8″

Assemble the 9 patches into a 9-patch block. (!!) Cut it through the center in both directions to make 4 equal blocks. Each block will finish at 8″ x 10″.

I made NINE 9-patches. When each was cut into 4 pieces, I had 36 blocks. These were arrayed in a 6×6 layout to make a quilt that measure 48″ x 60″.

I used red for the center patches of the 9-patches, which gave them punch as the accent color. I used black prints for the corner patches, and gold prints for the L/R and U/D patches. The binding is from scraps of red binding I had leftover.

I like this quilt a lot. It was very easy to make and fun to arrange.

I’ll be pleased to donate these at my next guild meeting. With these and three others I’ve donated this year, I’ve met my goal.

A VA Hospital Quilt Fit for Valentine’s Day

I love red chains, and 9-patches are the easiest possible way to build them. A lucky inspiration was the fabulous Hawaiian print used on the border. In all they make a cheery lap quilt to donate to our local Veterans’ Administration hospital.


The backing fabric was donated to my guild and I volunteered to use it. It is … no polite way to say this … UGLY. But it is good-quality cotton fabric with a lovely soft hand. And it has a patriotic theme with the Continental Congress. It is, in fact, the perfect thing to back some VA quilts. Note I said “some.” Yeah, there is a lot of this fabric left!


Here’s a closer look at the design.