Winter 2018 - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Quilts for Good
Photos of the Rainbow Quilters group at work during one of their twice-monthly meetings.
People helping people…through the art of quilting! We’re highlighting
just a few of the generous quilters and groups using quilts to give back
But first, we have some great news to share! At the most recent Quilt Festival in Houston, we offered tote bags from previous years’ shows for only $1, with all proceeds going directly to the Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund, established by Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner and Harris County Judge Ed Emmett. In total, $13,712 was raised through the sale of tote bags and additional donations from Quilt Festival attendees. A huge “thank you” to all who purchased a tote bag or donated!
Quilt for a Cause: Sewing a Cure for Women’s Cancer
Among the quilts on display as part of the “In the American Tradition” exhibit at Quilt Festival in Houston was a lovely creation by quilters Pat Curtis and Suzanne Irving. The quilt, Petals and Plumes, was a “hand-sewing experiment” by Curtis, who says she used reproduction fabrics to achieve a truly vintage look.
Since it’s founding in 2003, the group has raised over $860,000 and donated 99% of those proceeds to Tuscon-area organizations in support of research, training, and assistance for uninsured and under-insured women. Early recipients included the American Cancer Society and Tuscon Medical Center Foundation’s Joel Childers M.D. Fund. More recently, proceeds have been split between Tuscon Medical Center Foundation and St. Elizabeth’s Health Clinic. Funds have been used for training OB/GYN doctors on the latest surgical procedures, breast cancer screening for uninsured and under-insured women, and purchasing state-of-the-art equipment for the Center’s GYN surgical center.
Following the first “Quilts for Good” feature we included in Friends@Festival, we heard from quilter and Midland, Michigan resident Femke Huisman, who told us about a charity group she started several years ago to create quilts for men, women, and children in her local shelter.
The group started as an informal gathering of fellow Dutch-speaking friends (Huisman, herself, is originally from the Netherlands) in her home with a few crafts and coffee. The group soon expanded, and the now 20 volunteers meet twice monthly in the basement of Huisman’s home to make quilts for others.
The group’s name, Rainbow Quilters, alludes to the idea that rainbows represent new horizons and hope, and a “message of hope” is sewn onto each quilt that reads “trace the rainbow through the rain.”
10-Year-Old Sews Quilts to Help Homeless
We don’t know of many 10-year-olds who quilt, let alone make hundreds of quilts in a year to be donated to homeless persons. But that’s exactly what Vancouver, Washington resident Lucy Crouse has done!
In a recent article in The Columbian, Lucy’s mom, Holly Crouse, says of Lucy, “She’s really happiest when she’s doing things for someone else.” So, as she honed her sewing skills, she naturally looked for a way to use those new talents to help other people.
Petals and Plumes by Pat Curtis and quilted by Suzanne Irving.
Lucy Crouse, 10, with quilts and stuffed toys she
created for Second Step Housing. Photo by Amanda Cowan/The Columbian.
In the last year, Lucy donated 105 quilts to Vancouver’s nonprofit Second Step Housing program, in addition to 54 “stuffies” and 30 pocket pillows that the remarkable girl also created for the program’s holiday gift shop. Second Step Housing gives the quilts to every child, and many adults, who move into their transitional housing program.
What’s more, however, is that both Lucy and her sister have autism. In fact, according to Lucy’s mother, it’s because she has not always been or felt included that has inspired Lucy to want to show kindness and inclusion to others.