Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Quilters With Heart!

This morning I woke up to an email from Julia, the subject line stating “Scrappy Nut Here!!”

I wasn’t sure if she was referring to me or herself, but just the title made me smile and I quickly sat down with my tea to read what she had so sweetly taken the time to write:

I just was forwarded your wonderful link and have enjoyed reading it so much!

One thing I have realized also - and I have been a quilter since 1965 and am 68 yr old - it there is NO WAY on earth I could use all of my scraps...no way. And I do not have a long arm, so you can see my point better.

WHAT TO DO WHAT TO DO??? After a dear friend died, I was the one who was asked by the family to handle the 'quilt stuff' and dispose of it as I saw fit. She had quilted for over 50 years! MERCY ME, you should have seen what I had! Thinking of Mary, my friend, whose heart was generous and kind to all, I decided to package up scraps and supplies and send them along up to the extremely poor super rural Mountains in Northern TN and Southern KY. That got the ball rolling.

My husband and I volunteer at an ALL volunteer local food pantry. If you can not buy food, how can you buy quilt fabrics of any quality? This idea started a new chapter in scrap-giving.

Still with TONS of Mary's fabrics, I made up small boxes and large newspaper plastic bags of scraps to place on our pantry's FREE TO ALL SHELF. You would have thought gold nuggets were on those shelves. Ladies started to cry! One lady walked back to say, God Bless you all, I have not been able to get fabric for years!

So on it goes now, I have a laundry basket sitting next to my cutting area and scraps go into that. Then into those plastic bags (which are free each day!) and on to folks who realllllly can use them!

Yes, I have cut some fabric up for my own projects. But have decided the Lord has blessed me with good things, and I should share those with others when I can.

God bless you


Julie, you are the one who has blessed me with this story. Thank you SO MUCH for your giving heart to help quilters find their joy when they have so little! You have blessed them abundantly. The one thought that got me to tears was the lady who walked back to say “I have not been able to get fabric for years!”.

There are so so so many ways to give, and “loving your neighbor” doesn’t only mean the person immediately next to you, but can be in your same town as well as across the world.

There is something that giving does --- instead of leaving you with less, it fills us with more. And the other “holes” in our lives somehow seem less significant, less deep or empty.

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This box was sent off to Golden, Colorado yesterday! It’s contents? Two humble little quilts on their way to Japan. And while working on these quilts, There were two tornados that hit very close to home here, one in Virginia, and one in Sanford, NC ---creating quite a bit of devastation as well. I had to quiet my heart that I was doing the right thing sending these so far across the world, when there is need for love and comfort so close to home.

It feels like the “Old man with the star-fish” story, you know? “You can’t make a difference” he was told….his reply as he threw one back into the ocean—“I just made a difference to THAT one!” And because my heart was turned toward the people in Japan as I was finishing these up, that is where they are going. From the moment I started putting these together, these quilts already BELONGED to Japan.

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The color is bad on these pics….nothing like hotel room lighting to turn EVERYTHING a sickly shade of yellow! But here is the bargello bound in scrappy greens and ready to send. It’s a tandem project between Tammy from MD and myself. She supplied the top, I removed the skulls (LOL!) quilted and bound it. Thanks for teaming up with me Tammy!

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The sampler was also a “group” project of sorts…((Ewwww..this yellow lighting is bad too!)) I won the blocks in a block lotto, so they were made by many friends. Randy pieced the center for me from the blocks, using my double pink fabric. I bordered, quilted and bound it. Together, quilters can make a difference!

Here is the address to send your quilts to:

Send new quilts of any size from baby to adult to:

Dana Jones
Quilters Newsletter
741 Corporate Circle, Suite A
Golden, CO 80401

• Mark your box: “Quilts for Japan.”
• Send quilts as soon as possible and no later than April 30, 2011.
• Enclose your name, address, phone number, and email address with the quilts.

Oops…forgot to do the last bit myself! I did put an address label on the outside, but I forgot the phone number and email address?!?!? Oh well ----


  1. Bonnie, I had to share your story with my aunt, who is going through my grandmother's material stash after she passed away last month. She would have been 98 next month and had been quilting since a very young girl. To say there was a little bit of material in her house would be a huge understatement. What a great idea to donate the scraps. This is something I will keep in mind as I start to really build my stash and scraps.

  2. Thank you for sharing Julie's message to you. If Julie wouldn't mind I'd love to have her email because I have three overflowing bins of scraps that I'd love to send her for her food pantry.

  3. Amen sistah Julie and Bonnie! Sweet story!

  4. I read your story and I have a lot of respect for your great idea and your work. I don't live in your country but i follow you in Holland. I hope you can read my comment.

  5. What a beautiful story. And YAY for Julie for being so generous and kind to those in need. My sis in law and I put a box together and sent it on to Dana. I am so thankful that Quilters Newsletter is handling shipping these quilts across the ocean.

  6. I love Julie's story...wonder if they would do that at the food pantry in my town? Though you really don't have to look far - we have a couple of quilters in our guild who have been out of work for over a year. Several times they have been quietly sponsored/scholarship-ed into workshops. Quilters are good folks!

  7. What a great story! and timely, too. My sister's mother-in-law died recently, and she informed me that only a VAN could haul all the fabric Nita left behind.I'm in KS, sis is in CO, but I have a friend whose husband goes there every week for work so all that fabric will come to KS bit by bit. Since I belong to two guilds that both do charity projects, it will go to good use.
    Bonnie, I just reserved a space in a workshop with you in September! I. Am. So. Excited!!!

  8. Quilts for Japan-a lovely gesture. How about quilts for the tornado victims in the US? Have you heard of anyone starting something up?

  9. Bonnie, I've got tears in my eyes after reading the note from Julie. I feel much the same way as you about home or abroad (Japan in this case). In my opinion once you set a certain direction you should stay that route. (You took out Chinese word fabric and skulls.) Help is needed across the globe. You are certain to find time for helping at home. Sandi

  10. What a touching story! I'm sure your quilts will make a difference in Japan and others will make quilts for those closer to home who lost all in the toradoes. Thank you for sharing!

  11. What a glorious story. It made tears come to my eyes and the hair raised on my arms. That Julie is so wonderful. Thanks to you Julie, I am going to see if I can donate my overwhelming stash to a program like that. I will have to do some research.
    I have donated probably 100 yards of fabric to Project Linus. And an entire roll of too fluffy batting. ( they sliced it thin...a great idea )
    Our guild has been on a Project Linus quilt making spree. We had a three day retreat last weekend. I made 6 quilt tops and quilted them on Monday and Tuesday. They are all done and ready for giving. But some of the ladies were on "overdrive". Two of them actually made 10 different quilts and had them all quilted too after the weekend was over. As I was leaving they were both going to make just one more apiece to have 12 done! All of us were working on charity projects. I did take a personal project but it never even made it out of my truck. They are soem great ladies!

  12. What a nice idea! I get rid of craft supplies on freecyle- you know how you think you're going to do something, and you dont? Well there are a lot of stay at home moms and retired folks who can only get their supplies from places like freecycle.org and it feels good to know someone is getting them who wants them.

    I have one quilt ready to mail- have to be on Saturday- for the Japan effort.

  13. Love that story! What a really fantastic idea for spreading quilty love of a different sort.

    I'm sending my box off to Quilts for Japan too. Like you, the timing was right, even though I just finished the quilt and love it---it belongs to the people of Japan.

  14. Madeline3:41 PM EDT

    I too, was in the process of sending quilts to Japan, when one of my other charity groups who make quilts for nursing homes, asked me why I was sending them to Japan instead of giving them to the locals. (We also have just had tornadoes this week, so I was asked again) I made the point that the people in Japan have lost EVERYTHING, they have no place to go and no way of getting help, that at least the people here have that. And the people in Japan may be dying from radiation, and they need to feel the love that is being sent their way through quilts.
    I routinely let everyone I meet know that when their loved one dies, and the family doesnt know what to do with the stash of a sewer, to call me so I can find a home for the stash. I give fabric, embroidery supplies, craft stuff, everything to various people or groups I know that will look at it as a gift from heaven. Most of it gets used in charitable projects, so it keeps on giving. I hope the ladies who have passed on can look down and see someone else enjoying the stuff they hung on to because it needed to be used by someone, somewhere, and was too useful to be thrown away.


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