National Volunteer Week – Part 2

We’ve been sharing information about ourselves this week to celebrate National Volunteer Week. We appreciate all the contributions of our members whether they make blocks, make quilts from start to finish, or work on any of the steps in between!

Lori has the same reasons for joining many of us did and writes

I joined this group because it fit what I wanted to do. Donation quilts and dent my stash. At least ONE goal is working! I’ve been a member a long time. Project Linus, QOV, nursing homes. I’ve made string quilts, happy block quilts, whatever caught my eye. But when I donate a quilt I attach a Heartstrings label.

Stephanie is our coordinator in Australia and writes

I love this, and enjoy the challenge of creating warm hugs for those who need them, from the things other people decide they don’t need. Most of these I quilt on my plain Jane domestic machines.

Sometimes when I have spare money, I have a batch quilted by a long armer who gives me a nice discount for community quilts.

I am still a frenzied maker of blocks, and have completed the 365 challenge every year since Tresica first posted the photo of her 365 and inspired us with that challenge.

I have donated to many different places/causes over the years here, both local and overseas.

My current list includes Aussie Hero Quilts, a cancer hospice, a children’s shelter, and a women’s refuge.

Previously, Quilts for Africa, lots of QAYG blocks to Jan Mac for East Timor and local places, bushfire and flood relief quilt drives (different times/places – Australia is a land of extremes), Royal Flying Doctor Service, Ronald McDonald House, various shelters/hospitals and several seriously ill people that people have contacted me about.

This week I am working on a child’s shelter quilt and couple of small bereavement quilts for a local hospital for the sad times when a young child comes into the emergency room and loses their battle right there.

AnnG in MN writes

After making string quilts on my own, and taking a string quiting workshop, I was just searching the internet for more string quilt ideas – I was in love with them (and still am). Having found the HeartStrings web site, I was excited to start making blocks. I love uncontrolled scrappiness, and would much rather make blocks than assemble or quilt the tops, and since I give away almost everything I made, the charity focus is a good match. Over the years, I have continued to make mostly string blocks, but love Happy Blocks too. I’ve assembled a handful of quilts, and finished a couple, but usually I just send my blocks to Sue and my tops to Mollie, or take them with me to the WI/MN sew-ins. I’m happy to be able to contribute to so many causes supported by our members.

Mary in WA writes

I really enjoy all the photos and conversations sharing what we do. I retired in 2013 and am relatively new to quilting. My stash is limited but I’m working on it, lol. I’ve joined 2 local groups and have participated in the charity giving, one gives to the neo-natal and the kidney unit at our local
hospital. They are always looking for ‘boy’ quilts so I concentrate my
efforts on those. The other group gives to a safe house for abused and
battered women and their kids. They have fewer ‘restrictions’ on what
they will accept so most of my beginner projects go there.

I’m learning that I prefer scrappy quilts and HS blocks are so much
fun, I think this is my nitch.

Glad to be a part of this group and sorry to be too far away to
participate in the sew-ins.

National Volunteer Week – Part 1

As part of National Volunteer Week we asked HeartStrings volunteers to share how they contribute to HeartStrings and where they donate their quilts.

Mary in Ohio writes

I’ve sent in blocks several times but i mostly make quilts for my area now we have a shelter that is always in need of quilts. I’ve made 20 heartstrings quilts and taken them to the shelter they always enjoy the colors and the style of the pattern. I do sew for project linus in my area and a several small local shops that sell and give to the needy in the area.

Kathy hosts our sew-ins in WI and writes

I was feeling a calling to do charity quilting as Mollie first threw the idea out there to make HeartString blocks into quilts and to donate them locally, if possible, instead of paying postage costs to get them somewhere else. As we talked about at last Saturday’s WI/MN Sew-in, I’ve been hosting those events for 7 years now along with Rhonda’s assistance. Over the years the HS quilts have gone to silent auctions at church and the library, benefits for those with medical issues, local homes for the homeless/families in transition, local hospitals for new babies, hospice organizations for patients (with an emphasis on quilts for veterans), local version of Toys for Tots, QOV, Alicia, and more. Right now I have a quilt on the altar at my church. Our pastor challenged us to give something up for good this Lenten season. All I could think was giving up chocolate/sweets forever? No way! Well, he was thinking taking something you are willing to part with and making something good come from it. I gave him a HS quilt and showed him how we make these quilts.

How fun is it to teach kids to quilt? Chris writes

I joined Heartstrings shortly after the group began (I think). I have made several quilts and donated them locally to different organizations and people needing quilts. I am a 4-H leader and this year we will be doing a quilt camp. The youth will be using the Happy Blocks pattern and each will make a quilt for themselves as well as extra blocks to be made into a quilt that will be donated to the Festival of Trees for Primary Children’s Hospital in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Jackie in NJ also teaches others to make HeartStrings quilts and writes

Right now most of my donation quilts go to Quilts for Kids. I go to many of their workshops and have taught string quilting and QAYG to many of their volunteers. I also donate through my guild’s charity program. We give kids quilts to all the local hospitals and small quilts to the NICUs. We give bed quilts to nursing homes and the VA hospital. We also give individually to those suffering hardship or loss due to fire, health issues, etc. Lastly, I usually have some tops and finished quilts to give to the ladies at the Maine sew-in for their nursing home and veteran needs.

I love being involved with people who love to quilt for charity!

Alycia is a not only a HeartStrings member but coordinates donations for Quilts of Valor in her area. We help support her efforts by sending her HeartStrings quilts and blocks.

I have taught how to make string blocks to over 400 children, all the guilds I visit, and even some veterans! Most all my charity quilts go to Quilts of Valor, although a few went to the Fire victims here in CO two years ago. My dad was the fire chief, and some little kiddos were left homeless… so I made some string quilts with Buzz Lightyear flannel sheets as backings…

I even made a controlled string quilt and entered it in our local fair. Now that was fun – to hear all the comments. A few visitors said it reminded them of their grandmas quilts.

I do Machine quilting too. it’s fun to try different textures on these string quilts.

Another Happy Block quilt

Linda and her group made this gorgeous quilt. You can see more photos on her website and instructions to get you started on one of your own are here.

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Red/White/Blue

Linda just finished 3 Quilts of Valor…can you guess which is my favorite?

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Tired of winter?

Pull out those bright strings and brighten up your day while making a HeartStrings quilt for someone in need.

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More Happy Blocks

The New Year’s sew along is finished but we’ll continue to make Happy Blocks during the month of January. If you’d like to make some and send them in for group quilts, check the instructions here.

I love how Stephanie laid her blocks out in this one.

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We’re making Happy Blocks!

Cathy made a top with hearts!

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And Betty made a twisted version.

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Are you ready for Happy Blocks?

We’re having another holiday sew along and we’re making Happy Blocks. It’s been a few years since since our first Happy Block project and it’s time for another.

We’ll start on January 1st, New Year’s Day, and sew through the weekend but feel free to start early! Stephanie has already made a set of blocks and it’s not even Christmas yet. We’ll continue making blocks through the month of January and you can send them in for group quilts, assemble a top and send the top in for completion, or finish the quilt yourself and donate it locally.

Here’s a photo from the last project to inspire you – this was a group at a WI/MN sew-in assembling blocks sent in.

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Happy Block Instructions

And if you’re making the top or entire quilt yourself and would like a grown up version using a package of Charm Squares … I have instructions for that too. Instructions for my Charmed Squares quilt.

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Do you sense a theme here?

Cathy has finished a 3rd top for our current Black and White project … She used another polka dot fabric for her centers and I love how all of hers turned out.

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There’ still one more week to participate … The Black and White project ends on October 31. Details are at this link.

More quilts from our Black and White project

This one is from Joyce

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This one from Sarah

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And this one from Cathy – don’t you love the polka dots!

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Remember, our project continues through the end of October and if you’re sending in blocks you should use a red center with your black and white prints. If you’re making the entire set of 48 or completing the top yourself you can use any color to accent the black and white!