Stop Hoarding Quilts –Find Homes

STOP HOARDING QUILTS!

I know we talk about ‘collecting’ fabric and never using it.  I’ve blogged about that in the past.

Let’s be honest, quilty friends.  We also make a lot of quilts that never get used. I sometimes hear quilters talk about al the quilts stored in their closets with no ‘forever’ home to go to.

I hear quilters say:

I don’t take workshops or buy patterns anymore because I have too many finished quilts and WIPs in the closet.

I don’t make quilts anymore because [sad laugh] my family aren’t interested in them.

When I’m gone, most of my quilts will just go to the dump after the yard sale.

(OK, that’s maybe the saddest statement of all…..)

Do you have a quilt like this that needs a good home? 

Or, should I ask, how many quilts that need a home do you have?

These old or new quilts might be traditional OR modern.   They might be made from older fabric, so what!  It could be large lap or small crib size…all will be welcomed by someone in need!!

The truth is that there are many types of community organizations that will accept and use these quilts.  Some help children who have to be removed from home in an emergency.  Some help families moving into shelters or supported housing.  I’m NOT talking about special responses to a disaster–those tend to get a large response when they are mentioned on social media.

I’m talking about organizations that have day-to-day needs.

So, dig into that closet.  Find a quilt that needs a home and then connect with your quilt friends for places to donate them.

For example, I went to my closet and I found 2 quilts.  #1: I found a sample quilt that I made for my Turning Corners Pattern. #2: Another quilt that I made as a sampler for my lectures but I don’t take it any more.

So, I am donating these 2 quilts (along with 4 quilts that I made specifically for our charity effort) at the October meeting for my Guild.  I am not a fast quilter but I think I may be at 9 for the year?

Here I am at our August 2019 meeting with 3 quilts that I donated. See that cute elephant applique on the quilt on the left? My long armer added that to the quilt. She has skills!

So please, please let go of a quilt or two or three that will sit in your closet for another year.

Or, finish a workshop quilt –maybe just take those leftover blocks and add some big borders to finish it–forget about the original pattern!!  If you need a pattern to help you use up leftover blocks or other stash, check out my Stash Jazz pattern here.

Striped Blocks Workshop Quilts

Here are 2 quilts that I started in a workshop on Saturday and finished piecing the tops yesterday (definitely a land speed record for me).  Our guild had a workshop on Saturday afternoon on making blocks from striped fabrics.  Both quilt tops are going to be longarmed and then donated to our Guild charity effort next month.

Remember…a quilt that is loved is better than a quilt sitting in the dark or in a bin.

GIVEAWAY! CLOSED

If you read this far, then here’s your chance to win a bit of fabric from my stash.  USA ONLY PLEASE.  Comment on one of the two statements below by October 6, 2019 at 12 noon Eastern.  I will randomly choose a winner and send that quilter a FQ bundle of prints and solids from my stash that will hopefully become part of a charity quilt someday.  Here are the comment questions–comment on one or both [do NOT post your email address in your comment]:

  1. Option 1: What types of organizations do you personally donate quilts to?  Specific name is OK or just a generic title is OK.

  2. Option 2:  How many quilts have you personally donated in 2019 to a charitable group or how many quilts have you retrieved from the closet to donate.  Remember –disaster relief does NOT count for this ‘poll’.  This is about supporting ongoing community efforts.

Comments that say ‘good idea’ or give general support to the idea of charitable giving are NOT eligible.  This post is about stepping up and taking personal ACTION.   Thanks from the bottom of my heart!!

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23 Responses to Stop Hoarding Quilts –Find Homes

  1. Dawn Kelly September 25, 2019 at 9:35 am #

    Unfortunately, I have not donated any quilts yet in 2019. I am a fairly new quilter and only have UFO’s in my closet. Since I started quilting & joined a guild in 2017, I donated to them both for the QuiltShow small quilt raffle and for the Dolly quilts program. That guild makes quilts every year for the Senior Center which gives a quilt with a teddy bear or doll to the pre-schoolers in their reading program as a ‘graduation’ present. I do have one partially finished and will make it a priority in October to finish and mail it back to them since I’ve recently moved 950 miles away. I can think of at least one quilt kit in my closet which I would be glad to make and donate. I’ll get in touch with the local guilds to find out who they donate to. I have heard of rescue stations taking quilts and will check with them as well. Thanks so much for this post. You’ve got me thinking. This would be a great way to practice FMQ and not worry about the end result.

    • Carole Lyles Shaw September 25, 2019 at 10:14 am #

      As a new quilter, I am glad to hear you respond to this post. I think that developing a habit of giving back is important no matter how long we have been quilting. UFO’s especially can take up a lot of space and might even distract us from the joy of quilting. Good for you!

  2. Susan Burns September 25, 2019 at 9:44 am #

    Quilts of Valor, wall hangings to a local nursing home to make rooms more cheerful, my guild donates to Family Services and our Police dept to use in accident or domestic violence situations when needed, a local Vetrans home, made hospital gowns and pillow cases for local hospice care patients, quilts for kids.

    • Carole Lyles Shaw September 25, 2019 at 10:17 am #

      Sounds like a very comprehensive list! That’s great Susan.

  3. Ann Watzka September 25, 2019 at 11:08 am #

    It was a big year for me this year as I committed to making a Quilt of Valor for all the veterans that are part of the Fire Department I work for, so that was 13 quilts alone. I have also donated 2 others… one as a fundraiser for our local childrens museum and another to the no-kill animal shelter. Thanks for the chance at the giveaway. I love your work and hope to attend one of your workshops if they are ever closer to my home. Take care, Ann

  4. Joy McAuley September 25, 2019 at 11:08 am #

    Hi Carole, This year I have donated to Quilts Beyond Borders, Pine Ridge
    Indian Reservation, a migrant community in Maine….think that’s it.

  5. Shasta September 25, 2019 at 12:30 pm #

    I have made quilts for Quilts for Kids and there is a local group that makes quilts for a variety of needs. They meet every Thursday and I am currently making quilts for them and have spent a little time helping them package up some quilts to take to the cancer clinic.

  6. Sherry V. September 25, 2019 at 3:11 pm #

    I have made 2 quilts for Project Linus through our guild. I have also donated through the Hands to Help Challenge.

  7. Annabelle Hammer September 25, 2019 at 4:44 pm #

    Thank you for bringing up this issue, Carole. I suggest that quilt-hoarders contact their local Project Linus chapter. https://www.projectlinus.org/. I am the Project Linus Fairfax County/Northern Virginia Chapter Coordinator. I and my fellow coordinators would LOVE to receive well-made quilts for sick, traumatized and needy kids. We supply quilts, afghans and fleece blankets to hospitals, clinics, family homeless shelters, Title I schools, grief counseling camps, Ronald McDonald Houses, county government programs covering family and health services, such as foster and adoption programs, and even lone and separated migrant children. Some chapters will even accept quilt tops and have volunteers finish them off. In fact, I am also the longarmer for my chapter. Please consider donating to this worthwhile charity.

  8. Anita Erskine September 25, 2019 at 4:47 pm #

    My guild Sunshine Quilters of San Diego donates “cuddle quilts” to a specific homeless shelter for women and children. I try to contribute at least 10 quilts each year.

  9. kris September 25, 2019 at 8:24 pm #

    i make quits for the local Quilts for Kids. I usually try to make 12 a year. I also sometimes retrieve a quilt from my stash to give to other things like this years flooding in our state.

  10. Denise Briese September 26, 2019 at 6:04 am #

    Carole: I have donated several quilt tops unfinished to a quilter for her various homeless shelter organizations. I have given to project linus as well!

  11. aquiltingdesigner September 26, 2019 at 8:42 am #

    https://lwr.org/quilts-and-kits
    I quilt with the Lutherans 2 Mondays a month. Most Lutheran churches make quilts 60 by 80 that ship overseas to third world countries or people in need. Most churches will accept your sheets, blankets, fabric and scraps. Holy Trinity Lutheran Church in Fort Walton Beach, Fl made over 150 quilts in the past year. In fact, our church led the way among all the Lutheran churches in the area with number of quilts made. We also make and donate personal care kits and fabric kits for sewing.
    I also make charity quilts for Silver Thread Quilt guild. Not sure how many I’ve donated this year but I know it is somewhere between 15 and 20 for both agencies. I have also donated countless yards of fabric, sheets and pillowcases. I routinely shop the thrift stores to find fabrics we can use at church. This past monday we had 13 lovely ladies tying, pressing, sewing and sorting! Thank you for the opportunity.

  12. Stearns Carol September 26, 2019 at 8:47 am #

    I commented previously but forgot to mention that Silver Threads Quilt guild made 600 plus pillowcases for an elementary school in Panama CIty, Fl this year. I made 30 or more myself. And donated fabrics toward the effort. Panama City was a direct hit for Hurricane Michael a year ago in October, a cat 5 storm. The community was and still is devastated and trying to recover. We made and donated last year to the effort, quilts and pillowcases and whatever else we could do. It could have been us that go hit with the storm as we are about 2 hr drive from Panama CIty.

  13. Sue Smith September 27, 2019 at 9:21 am #

    I donate to the cancer treatment clinic in Tacoma where my daughter had her treatments. I have helpers and we donate about 16 each month. With another group we donate to JBLM hospital for newborn babies. I quilt most of these on my longarm.

  14. CHRISTINE WISEMAN September 28, 2019 at 7:46 pm #

    Thank you so much for writing this piece. I certainly need this push to finish up several tops. In the recent past, I had finished, or nearly finished, quilts ready to gift. Two were gifted to cancer patients as a sign of love and support for their journey. Making quilts is my God-given gift that I need to share. Thanks again!

  15. zippyquilts September 30, 2019 at 1:26 pm #

    Hi Carole, I have donated 8 quilts to the women’s shelter in my area so far this year. Some were made for the purpose and some came from the quilt closet. I have also donated red/white/blue stash to the local Quilts of Valor group. I do keep some quilts to use when I do trunk shows, etc, but often donate the ones I make for use in teaching because they are from commercial patterns rather than original designs.

  16. Stephanie Moss October 2, 2019 at 7:15 am #

    In March, I donated a improvisational scrap quilt to a silent auction that was raising funds to build homes in Haiti. I was still snipping strings off it an hour before the event. Luckily, I knew the lady who won the bid and was able to keep the quilt for a few more days to finish it properly. The quilt did not go for as much as I had dreamed it would, but I can tell it found a good home, and I enjoyed supporting such a good cause.

  17. kaywelch October 3, 2019 at 9:28 pm #

    I donate to QOV (2 in 2019) working on my 3rd & 4th; Warriors Heart (2 in 2019); Community Service (primarily for kids in need) (3 in 2019 & working on my 4th & 5th); our guild also makes placemats for those receiving Meals on Wheels (6 so far in 2019) 6 more ready to bind; and we also make presentation cases (aka pillow cases) for all QOV and Community Service quilts. I also make quilts/wallhangings for local nonprofits where I lived previously for their fundraisers, but unfortunately this year I haven’t been able to timely. My calendar is marked for 2020. Our guild is very generous – this year we donated 85 QOV quilts to a veteran group having a reunion here and also 26 to veterans of an Honor Flight, plus our regular monthly presentation(s) to Viet Nam veterans that meet monthly and other requests that have been received. I don’t have a count of our community service quilt total for the year so far. The placemats are at over 200 for the year – ready for the Thanksgiving presentation. I find most quilters are so generous with not only giving quilts but also helping each other. Some of the best people I have ever known. I better get busy on my projects – thanks for the renewed energy, inspiration, and encouragement to find quilts homes.

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