Thursday, September 01, 2005

I’ve been reading the Quilt Maverick blogs for months now and have wanted to start a quilting blog for myself. Now is the time. Last night I created a quilt using orphan blocks to send to the Hurricane Katrina refugees in Houston. Just the thought that I can be a small part of helping someone recover from this devastation is important to me. Thank goodness I started cutting my strips according to Bonnie’s directions…I’m a true convert now! Having the precut strips available made this quilt construction a pleasure and I’ll be going through the rest of my scraps to make them into useful strips. Here is my quilt so far. I don’t think it’s quite big enough, so I plan to make a piano key border to add to the size. Once again, I’ll tap into my strips. Thank you Bonnie for making me a more productive quilter! Once the border is on, I can put it on my long arm, get it quilted and get it to someone who really needs it.

Here is the information on sending quilts directly to Houston…

Dear friends,Only today did I discover the ghastly scope of theHurricaneKatrina aftermath, and I immediately started trying todecide whatwe could do to help muster aid for the victims. Hereis what wehave come up with. This will be posted on our website( in the morning. I am terriblyconcerned aboutthe urgency of the short-term needs of these poorsouls--25,000 ofthem are being bussed to Houston for shelter andperhaps long-termliving arrangements. Most of them left New Orleanswith nothingbut the clothes on their backs. I know there areother projectsthat are being started for quilts for long-term needs,but rightnow, folks, these people have NOTHING and most of themhaveNOTHING to go home to. They need help NOW! I hopeyou'll want tohelp us provide some of that help.Karey BresenhanHouston---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------QUILTERS COMFORT AMERICAA Cooperative ProjectTo Comfort Victims of Hurricane KatrinaTo quilters everywhere:The devastation caused by Hurricane Katrina on theGulf Coast isbeyond belief. Here in Houston our hearts are heavywith sorrowfor all the horrible losses, and we are preparing towelcome thethousands of refugees that are being bussed to usbecause theyhave lost their homes or have no access to whatever isleft oftheir homes. Like so many other people, we want tohelp. Knowingquilters, we think you want to help, too, becausethere are nomore generous, giving, open-hearted people thanquilters.Therefore, we are launching a two-part drive forHurricane Katrinarelief, and we urge you to join us in this project. We're callingit QUILTERS COMFORT AMERICA.PART 1: Urgent Donations to the American Red CrossDisasterRelief Fund.We will match EVERY donation made by quilters to theAmerican RedCross, up to a maximum of $10,000, on a dollar fordollar basis.In other words, if you make a $25 donation, we'llmatch that withanother $25 donation. If you make a $100 donation,we'll matchthat with another $100 donation, right up to themaximum. To avoiddelays in your donations reaching the Red Cross, andbecause wehave trusted quilters for more than 30 years now, justemail uswith the amount of your donation that you sent to theAmerican RedCross Disaster Relief Fund. Every penny of everydonation--up to$10,000--will be matched by International QuiltFestival. You havemy word on that. Please use this email address: exec5@quilts.comand use the subject line: RED CROSS DONATION.PART 2: QUILTS FOR COMFORTMany thousands of the Katrina refugees are being sentto HoustonRIGHT NOW, and no one knows how long they will have tobe here.Most of them escaped the hurricane's fury with onlythe clothes ontheir backs--nothing more--and they may haveabsolutely nothing togo home to. They don't even know. The Astrodome isready astemporary housing, but there is a serious shortage ofbedding.Part 2 of QUILTERS COMFORT AMERICA is the collectionof quilts ofall kinds to be distributed to the refugees here inHouston sothat they have something soft to sleep on instead ofthe hardconcrete floors of the temporary shelters andsomething warm tocover up with against the chill of otherwise welcomeair-conditioning (we've been in the 90s and 100s forweeks now).Many of us have unfinished projects filling ourclosets andcupboards. Get out one of those projects--twin sizepreferred butno smaller than baby quilt size, please--and finish itup forthis. Use lightweight batting--do whatever binding isthequickest, even a close zigzag stitch. You don't haveto quiltit--tie it! If you have only small projects, addborders. Thinkabout a mother lying on the floor cradling herbaby--that's thesize quilt we need to provide. These quilts are notmeant to beheirlooms, although they will probably be treasuredfor many yearsas a symbol of the caring of strangers. Tie them,machine quiltthem, work in a group with your friends and finishseveral on anassembly line, do whatever it takes to get thesefinished quickly.THE NEED FOR THESE QUILTS IS RIGHT NOW! If you alreadyhave somefinished pieces that you don't have plans for, sendthem too, aslong as they are no smaller than baby quilt size. Ifyou are aprofessional, you may have sample quilts that havebecomeshop-worn or faded but are still clean and very usablein anemergency--send them!--we are IN an emergency! Besure to put alabel on the back of your quilt or sign it with a kindthought andyour name and date. Every piece will go to a refugeefamily drivenfrom their homes by the hurricane.To participate in QUILTERS COMFORT AMERICA, send anemail (subject line: COMFORT AMERICA) tolet us knowhow many quilts you are sending. That will help ushelp the RedCross in its planning. Please do not expect aconfirmation thatyour quilt has been received or any kind of nicethank-you.Sometimes we just have to do things because they arethe RIGHTthings to do--this is one of those times. People needhelp...thekind of help WE can give.Use this address to send your quilt/s:COMFORT AMERICA PROJECTc/o International Festival7660 Woodway, Suite 550Houston, TX 77063Please note: for security, do NOT use the word'quilt' ANYWHEREin your address label!Many of us have also amassed linen closets full of oldbutcompletely usable sheets--perhaps a size you no longeruse, orjuvenile prints that your college age kids don't likeanymore.Clean sheets and blankets are also most welcome toQUILTERSCOMFORT AMERICA. Naturally, everything should beclean and fresh.These folks have lived with enough mud and dirt tolast them therest of their lives--let's give them a clean bed torest in.Please note that we cannot use fabric, patterns,scraps, etc.Quilt Festival will serve as the collection point forthesequilts, and we will deliver them DAILY to the AmericanRed Crossstaffing the refugee centers in Houston, where theywill bedistributed by the Red Cross volunteers. Because weare right herein Houston where more than 10,000 of the refugees willbe, we canmake a difference RIGHT NOW...if you'll help.Time is critical--the need is NOW! People arearriving by thehour, children are bedding down on the cold concrete,bedding isneeded by people of all ages who have lost everythingin thishorrible storm. Please help if you can. If you livein or aroundHouston, you are welcome to hand deliver yourdonations to us.Our address is 7660 Woodway, Suite 550, Houston 77063.You canfind it on Mapquest. Please note that this is oneblock of Woodwaythat runs perpendicular to all the rest of Woodway.Thanks to everyone!QUILTERS COMFORT AMERICA.Karey Patterson BresenhanDirector, International Quilt Festival--Houston andChicago


Finn said...

Your orphan quilt looks great !! I'm so happy that a few others are exploring the ease and joy of working with those poor orphan blocks. You just made my day !!

Carolyn said...

I'm glad I could make your day. I don't have a lot of orphan blocks laying around, I've donated most to charity. I guess it's time I used them myself!