Let me tell you something about quilts. The amazing thing about quilts is that you can never have too many of them. I know, because I’m currently sitting under 5 of them. Six, if you count the table runner I’m working on hand binding for a wedding this weekend. Now, I love sewing bags as well as my own clothing, and I give bags as gifts a lot of times. But really, it’s difficult to give someone clothing, there are too many details that go into getting a good fit. And while bags are popular, how many can you carry at one time? Very few people rotate their bags often, so they only have a few that they love. But quilts on the other hand, will always be put to good use.
My mom has been quilting for a long time now, so every time a special event comes along (birth, wedding, birthday, graduation, Christmas, just cause), she will make a quilt. As I have started to quilt more, I tend to do the same thing. Why? Mainly because I love sewing, but I don’t always need to make more things for myself. I also have a giant stash of fabric, but some of my pieces aren’t large enough to make a garment or a bag. Plus, quilting is actually pretty fast, depending on the pattern. Since I have about 10 quilts myself, my husband has one, and the dogs have three between them, I’ve decided to put my sewing efforts towards charity quilts.
A few weeks ago, I was clicking around on the internet (as one does), and I ended up on Stacey’s blog. Stacey, of SLOStudio, is a modern quilter in Ottawa, so I was really pleased to have stumbled onto her blog! She had a post about her local MQG chapter collecting Maple Leaf quilt blocks for Fort McMurray, so I got right to work. Fort Mac is in Alberta, Canada, and was ravaged by a wildfire in May. The entire town was evacuated, many people lost their homes, and they’re not sure if or when they will be able to return home.
I also shared the info with my quilt guild, and being as awesome as they are, our activities programmer made it a challenge to collect as many blocks as possible. We collected 26 at our meeting this past Sunday, and more will be mailed later. I can’t wait to personally deliver them in Ottawa! This block is so easy to put together, and the colors represent the Albertan flag. Check out some of the beautiful maple leaves we made:
Unfortunately, we have quickly moved on to another group charity project; making quilts for those affected in the recent shooting in Orlando. One thing about quilters, they sure know how to come together and organize a relief effort. This particular project is being spearheaded by the Orlando Modern Quilt Guild, and they definitely have their act together. They will welcome blocks, backing, binding, or completed quilts, with a goal of at least 103 completed quilts. These will be donated to the families of the victims, the survivors, then on to the first responders, police, doctors, and then LGBT community centers and organizations. And again, my amazing guild is stepping up to the plate to help out. We are hoping to put together at least one quilt, more if possible.
The block pattern that was suggested was this heart block from Cluck Cluck Sew. (And just an aside, if you’re not familiar with Allison’s blog, definitely give it a read. She’s probably my favorite blogger; I love her projects, her patterns, her fabric lines; all of it). The hearts represent love for all, and the quilts will be made in rainbow colors. I can’t even tell you how much I love this idea, and I hope that it will being some comfort to those affected, knowing that they have support worldwide. This is what’s so great about the quilting community, and a lot of credit goes to social media as well. Things can be coordinated so quickly, and internationally. It really, truly, is amazing.
I have one other charity quilt that is SO close to being done, but I will have to wait to share that another time.
If you’re a quilter, or even just someone that sews, please consider contributing some blocks to either of these causes. It would be appreciated so much! To follow either of these efforts or to post on Instagram, use the hashtags #quiltsforfortmac, #quiltsforpulse, #orlandolove, and #stitchedwithlove.