This year I have committed to sew 4 quilts for QUILTS OF VALOR… and 4 Wall Hangings for The House Quilt Project. Since I have asked for donations, a few people have contacted me asking for my background and my philosophy on donating quilts. I have found it easier to simply re-post an earlier post I have written on this subject… Originally written May 2, 2013… and send them here.
Another donation quilt has left the building. Of all the quilts I have sewn in my life… I think this one is my favorite by far. It was difficult to give away, but I know the family who receives it will also love it. Besides, I can always sew another one.
Someone asked me the other day, “Why are you donating these quilts? What do you get out of it?”
I’ll tell you… One morning after Hurricane Sandy hit my neighbors at the Jersey Shore, a light bulb went on over my head. For YEARS I have been collecting (OK, hoarding is more like it) quilting fabric. Every time I went into a store I walked out with a yard (or two, or more) of sumptuous cotton in every color of the rainbow. This particular morning, as I was thinking about all those families that have lost EVERYTHING… I thought of my fabric stash.
With the light bulb at first flickering… then building into a bright, blinding light… I realized that THIS is what I have been waiting for. This exact moment!!! I would use my stash of beloved fabrics to sew quilts for these families. I would wrap them up in warmth while giving them a new possession to begin gathering their life back into somewhat of order.
AAAAHHHHHH! I heard Angels sings… REALLY… I did!!!
I design, measure, cut, piece, sew, quilt and bind each blanket myself. Using only top quality fabrics and batting… and thread all the way from Italy!! I think of the families while I sew. I don’t know them personally, but I imagine their surprise when receiving them.
All of these quilts are given anonymously. I try to drop them off when no one will see me, or mail them from some obscure place. Why?? The answer is simple… I don’t want any thanks, or awkward moments. I sew, I give… it’s a simple system.
As a member of The Quilt Alliance I have to admit, not sewing a label on the quilt makes me cringe a little. The Quilt Alliance is a non-profit organization, which promotes the history of quilts and their makers. They are indexing and interviewing quilt makers for posterity. Sorry Quilt Alliance… the history of these quilts will remain a mystery.
To answer the question, “What do I get out of it?”… That’s easy… I get a warm fuzzy feeling in my heart the size of Texas. I am thrilled beyond belief to be able to do this and bring joy to families who have endured so much hardship. If you have ever slept under a quilt, or snuggled in one when you were not feeling well… then you know that the quilt is not really what I’m giving these families. I’m actually giving them a hug and the peace of mind that ‘everything will work out just fine’. Comfort… in my own little way I am giving them comfort. Well… at least that is what I HOPE I’m doing!!!
I would also like to take a moment to thank the many people who have donated ‘for the cause’. Individuals have donated fabric, quilts shops have given me discounts, and 50% off coupons have kept the cost of batting at a reasonable level. Without the help of others (who wish to remain anonymous also) I couldn’t do what I do. So… THANK YOU from the bottom of my heart!!
If YOU know a family that would benefit from one of these quilts… please drop me a line. I have fabric by the yards just waiting to be sewn!!!
As I mentioned… I do this anonymously. I don’t mind you all knowing I do this and who I am… but let’s not spoil the intrigue for the families… OK? If you hear of someone you know getting one of these quilts, I hope you will not give me away 🙂 Thanks for understanding.