Quilts for Cure’s UFO Disposal Service

Hey Quilters!

What happens when you lose steam on a project? Does it get buried in a box or basket, tucked away where it languishes until your next sewing room purge? Then what? Do you stare at it for awhile, unable to move forward with it but unable to (gasp) throw it in the bin? As a solution, I’d like to introduce Quilts for Cure’s UFO Disposal Service!

If you listen to American Patchwork and Quilting’s Talk Show with Pat Sloan, then you know that one of the segments this week was on this very topic– Unfinished Objects. Now that she has inspired you to clean out those baskets, we want to enable you to let go of some of those UFO’s that are holding you back. Whether you’ve only completed 12 blocks out of 25, or your skills have improved leaving a quilt top behind with messy points and wonky seam, or your tastes have simply changed, we want your quilt tops! For a small donation, we will finish the tops and donate the completed quilt to one of the 40,000 US kids currently in treatment for pediatric cancer.

What: Quilt tops (no blocks, please– sew them together into a top) of at least 24×36 inches

Why: To lighten your load of UFOs and to wrap a child who is fighting for his or her life in a quilt of love and comfort

How much money? : A minimum donation of $25 per quilt top is requested. You can either tuck a check into your box when you mail the top or you can donate online here and put a note in the comment box about how many quilt tops you will be sending. All donations are tax deductible.

Where do I send it? : Address your box/polymailer to: Quilts for Cure PO Box 1831 Duluth, GA 30096

What about batting,  backing, and binding? : While you do not have to send anything but your quilt top, we are also happy to accept donations of batting (at least 80% cotton), backing/binding fabric (100% cotton), and thread (Aurifil 50wt or Superior Threads 50wt, cotton or poly). They can be sent to the same address above.

Be sure to follow @QuiltsForCure on Facebook and Instagram and to subscribe to our Newsletter so that you can see all of these once-abandoned projects come back to life to encourage and warm cancer-fighting kiddos!

Happy Quilting,

HollyAnne

PS Be sure to share about QFC’s UFO Disposal Service with your quilty friends, guild, local quilt shop, etc!!

PPS If you’re new to Quilts for Cure, here are some facts you should know: 16,000 children are diagnosed with cancer in the US each year (that’s 42 today, and at least one while you are reading this). About 40,000 children in the US are in treatment for cancer at any given time. Less that 4% of the National Cancer Institute’s annual budget goes toward researching pediatric cancer, even though some cancers, like DIPG have a 0% survival rate. Quilts for Cure exists to provide these kids with quilts now to encourage them as they fight, to educate quilters about pediatric cancer, and to raise money so these kids can have a future through better research, better treatments, and, ultimately, a cure.

Quilts for Cure Action Items

2017 Quilt Along Preview

Hello, Everyone! 

Thank you for your patience– we continue to be busy behind the scenes, and I wanted to take a few minutes to update y’all about what we have coming up and how you can help our cause today and moving forward.

If you’re new to the Quilts for Cure website, Welcome! We are a 501(c)(3) organization that seeks to raise awareness about childhood cancer, honor children who are fighting or who have fought for their lives against this terrible disease, provide children in treatments with quilts for warmth and encouragement, and fundraise for a CURE. We are mobilizing quilters and others outside the immediate experience of childhood cancer to come around these kids and their families as support and strength.

This quilt is shipping out to a 3 month old baby girl who starts chemo this week

QUILTS

You can both request a quilt for a child or donate a quilt to a child by clicking HERE. We are building a network of treatment hospitals across the country, so we will help you donate your quilt to the hospital nearest you or connect you with a specific child’s request.

QUILT ALONG

If you are a quilter, mark your calendars for mid-July when we will begin our first Quilt Along! I’m working on a sample quilt now (you can see it in progress at the top), and am totally in love! It’s a simple block that allows us to play with color, and there will be three size options depending on the fabric and time you are able to invest. Of course, we will encourage you to donate the quilt when it is finished, and we are inviting sponsors to make financial pledges per quilt so that by donating your quilt you will also be securing more money for pediatric cancer research. Isn’t that amazing?? I’m so excited!

This quilt is part of the E Pluribus Unum Project and will honor children from Florida who have fought or are fighting for their lives against childhood cancer

OTHER NEEDS

Financial : In order to get as many people involved in the quilt along as possible, we want to get creative about spreading the word. Plus, we want to make sure that there’s cool swag available for all of you that tells the world about Quilts for Cure and that you are a proud supporter of kids with cancer. In short, we need money to get this show on the road to as many people as possible. Please give now to show your support and help us have a bigger impact!

Eyeballs : Share this post. Help us get the word out about the prevalence of childhood cancer, the desperate need for better treatment options, and the need to rally support around these families. So, please, Share, share, share!

Travel Points : Do you travel a lot for work and have lots of hotel and airline points? We can use those points to visit quilt guilds and organizations across the country and encourage them to join our fight against childhood cancer. Email john (at) quiltsforcure.org to donate your points.

In reality, there are many more needs I could list here because childhood cancer is so big and terrible,  and there’s so much fighting to do. But I’ll focus on these needs for now. Spread the word. Make a donation. Make a quilt. Join the quilt along. Share your travel points. 

43 kids were diagnosed with cancer today. And yesterday and tomorrow. Last week, one of those kids was a three month old baby girl in Ohio. The fear and suffering her family is facing right now is unacceptable. We send a quilt for comfort and as a symbol that we are fighting with her, with them. Join the fight!

You can find us on Facebook and Instagram @quiltsforcure, and please be sure to sign up for our newsletter which will launch soon.

For the kids,

HollyAnne

President and Chair

PS Remember that we are a 501(c)(3) organization, so all of your donations are tax deductible.

Quilts for Cure is a 501(c)(3) Nonprofit!

The 5th #OperationSmiley Quilt is done!

Hello, Friends!

Today’s news is thrilling: Quilts for Cure is officially a 501(c)(3) nonprofit!!

This opens many doors in our future, but the most immediate effect is that we can begin fundraising. Our projected budget for 2017 is about $116,000 which includes operating expenses, raising awareness about childhood cancer, funding the E Pluribus Unum Project, and, most importantly, giving $75,000 toward childhood cancer research through CURE Childhood Cancer.

Official nonprofit status also means that we can accept in-kind donations. Quilt donations are considered in-kind donations, and we are also interested in hotel and airline points so that I travel to quilt guilds to raise awareness about childhood cancer and about what we are doing. All of these donations are now tax-deductible.

Lastly– mark your calendars! Our summer quilt drive and fundraiser will be a quilt along! It will be fun pattern that appeals to all levels of skill. More details soon– I’m very excited!!

ACTION ITEMS:

1) GIVE Make a financial donation to QFC today to help us reach more people and be more effective in our fight against cancer and FOR kids.

2) TRAVEL Help me spread the word by donating hotel or airline points. Email john (at) quiltsforcure.org for instructions.

3) QUILT Make a love-filled quilt for a child in treatment. Find all the details HERE, and email me if you have any questions. hollyanne (at) quiltsforcure.org

4) SHARE As always, please share this blog across your social media channels. We can beat childhood cancer together, and spreading the word gives us a bigger team to do it. You can find us on Facebook and Instagram @QuiltsForCure.

Fight on,

HollyAnne

Introducing the Quilts for Cure Board of Directors

Operation Smiley Quilt #4

Hello, everyone!

Today I’d like to introduce you to the Quilts for Cure Board of Directors! First, though, a quick update: Azalia received her quilt! Thank you so much for responding to the call to action, Mina! Azalia is in the hospital now for her fourth round of chemo, and she has a treasure of a quilt on her bed keeping her warm.

Azalia and her quilt

Now, more business-y things: The Board of Directors met for the first time last week, voted to incorporate Quilts for Cure, approved the Bylaws, and the 501(c)(3) paperwork has been filed at last! If you’ll indulge me, I’d like to introduce us each to you. This information is also available on the “Our Team” page of the website.

HollyAnne Knight, President and Chair of the Board

HollyAnne Knight (me), President and Chair of the Board.

HollyAnne Knight is the creative visionary behind the E Pluribus Unum Project and Quilts for Cure. As an artist, she has worked with many mediums, from watercolors to oil paints to wool and now fabric. She believes that all of her creative experiences influence her quilting, giving her a unique and ever-developing approach and style. Her work has been displayed at both the City of Duluth’s City Hall and at the Atlanta Botanical Gardens. She is a mother of two, teacher, and entrepreneur, which are key to the heart and operations of this project. In addition to creating the E Pluribus Unum Quilts, HollyAnne serves as social media manager, content writer, primary networker, and quilting instructor. She is excited to use all of her skills to bring “more love and less fear” (Claire Brewster) to the the children and families fighting pediatric cancer and to engage other creatives in that mission as well.

Instagram: @stringandstory

String & Story: www.stringandstory.com

Andi Barney, Treasurer

Andi Barney, Treasurer.

Andi learned to sew in 2008, after she had brain surgery and was stuck at home by herself for two months.  She took a beginner class, and off she went! Turns out garment sewing is not her skill set, but once she found out she was pregnant shortly after, making her first quilt for the nursery lit a fire in her that she had never known.  For many years, quilting for others provided an extra income for her family while she homeschooled her son, Aaron, who is now 7.  The Barneys still homeschool, and quilting is just a part of everyday life for them.

In 2009, she was a founding member and founding President of the Atlanta Modern Quilt Guild, and served on the board for 4 years.  She is the immediate Past President of the East Cobb Quilters’ Guild, Georgia’s largest guild, and previous 1st Vice President, Publicity Chair, Quilt Show Publicity Chair, and current Quilt Show Entry Chair.

In 2015, her dear friend Brie Klug bought Red Hen Fabrics, and they became co-owners of the quilt shop.  She is also the owner and certified master technician of Atlanta NW Sewing Machine Service, which is located inside of Red Hen Fabrics.  In addition, Andi and Brie have a pattern and pre-fused, laser cut applique company called M.F.E.O. (Made For Each Other) that they launched earlier this year, and will be taking to market in Spring 2018.  Because they don’t like to sit still, Andi and her husband also have a laser engraving and sublimation company, Lasting Impressions, that they have expanded this year.   All these aspects of quilting have given her many opportunities to travel and do guild lectures and workshops, work with many organizations, and contribute to community service.

Instagram: @atlantanwsewingmachineservice

Atlanta NW Sewing Machine Services – www.vintage-stitch.com

Red Hen Fabrics – www.Redhenfabrics.com

M.F.E.O. – coming soon

Lasting Impressions – www.atlantalaserengraving.com

Vicki Holloway, Secretary

Vicki has spent over 20 years as a nurse. She has worked with many clients over the years, helping them cope with illness and the unintended consequences of being ill. Cancer affects not only the person who is diagnosed but also the family and community of people whose lives are touched by it. In addition, quilting has been a life long passion of Vicki’s. She started out by making simple square quilts with her mother from polyester fabric and tying them with yarn. Vicki continues to quilt every day and believes quilting is a way to give a symbolic hug to someone. A quilt is a physical representation of love and caring. Teaching and making quilts is a way that Vicki enjoys sharing with others and to give hope to those touched by pediatric cancer.  She wants the cycle of caring and giving to continue. It is truly greater to give than receive…. and to be part of something much larger than ourselves.

Instagram: @Vickilholloway

My Creative Corner3: https://mycreativecorner3.wordpress.com

Operation Smiley Quilt #4

Andi and Vicki are two of my BQFs (best quilty friends), and I am so delighted that they are on our board. Quilts for Cure is in wise, generous, and enthusiastic hands with these lovely women on board. Thank you, Andi and Vicki!!

ACTION ITEMS:

1) Sign up for our newsletter. Starting sometime in May, it will be the way I communicate the most regular updates about fundraising, the number of quilts we have distributed, etc.

2) Your Story Does your child have cancer? We would love to share your story on Friday Fighters and find a quilter to send a quilt to your family. Please email me at hollyanne (at) quiltsforcure.org

3) SHARE Please share our website, blog posts, and social media information on your website, blog post, and media information. The success of Quilts for Cure will be in many, many people coming together as a network of advocates for our children. In addition to www.quiltsforcure.org, you can find us on @quiltsforcure on Facebook and Instagram.

Thank you, everyone! Keep fighting!

HollyAnne

 

Exciting Things: QuiltCon and Quilt Donations

Introducing myself to the folks at Michael Miller Fabrics

Hello Everyone!

We’ve been busy busy as usual! As you may know, I journeyed to Savannah last weekend for the Modern Quilt Guild’s annual QuiltCon. I had Saturday on the show floor, and it was a very exciting day of networking and admiring quilts. I hope that I’ll have some exciting new relationships to announce to y’all in the weeks and months ahead. And, if you’d like to read more about QuiltCon in general, I wrote a summary article on my String and Story Blog that includes lots of pictures of amazing quilts.

Brad at Aurifil

Speaking of relationships, I was able to connect with the folks at Aurifil at the show. Aurifil is sending thread from their headquarters in Italy to finish the #OperationSmiley quilts. I loved being able to thank Brad and Alex in person!

The Quilt Alliance is an organization who is dedicated to the documentation of quilt stories. I had brought 3 quilts with me (one #OperationSmiley quilt and two E Pluribus Unum Quilts), so I made video recordings about their significance. When the links go up, I’ll be sure to share!

The second #OperationSmiley quilt top is up on my design wall now, and we are up to a total of 150 blocks– 7.5 quilts! We still have need of 100% cotton batting for completing some of the quilts, so if you have any connections for that, please email me at hollyanne (at) quiltsforcure.org.

Also in the wake of all this excitement, Quilts for Cure is now accepting completed quilts for donation! We are only donating to two hospitals here in Atlanta for now, but we are working on expanding our network. Our goal is for you, dear quilter, to be able to donate to a hospital in your state or region so that you are literally blessing your neighbors. All the donation information is available on our Donate Quilts page.

ACTION ITEMS:

1) Email me if you have any leads on batting donations. Please remember that we’re not a 501(c)(3) yet, so we can’t work with companies that require that at this time.

2) Consider making a quilt to donate. All the information is listed on our Donate Quilts page. 

3) We need children to feature on our Friday Fighters segment. If you would like us to tell you child’s story, please email john (at) quiltsforcure.org.

My view leaving QuiltCon, and all I could think was, “Someday, QuiltCon and the MQG will #gogold!”

Keep fighting,

HollyAnne

Operation Smiley

Welcome to Quilts for Cure!

I (HollyAnne) will be posting over the next couple of weeks about exactly who we are and what we are doing, but, for now, let me give you an overview: We are a (soon to be) nonprofit that exists to raise awareness about childhood cancer, provide every child in the US being treated for cancer with a quilt, and to fundraise for CURE Childhood Cancer’s research programs so that kids can have safer, more effective treatments. In many ways, Quilts for Cure is a bridge and a network, connecting quilters with families who desperately need the encouragement and generosity I see and admire in the quilting community.

We have launched our first campaign: Operation Smiley. When I was in high school, I was teacher assistant to a beautiful girl named Kylie Myers (pictured above). Several years later, right about the time Hubster and I moved back to Atlanta after getting married, Kylie was diagnosed with bone cancer, the same bone cancer her best friend Bailey had just beaten. We didn’t know it then, but Kylie only had about 10 months left to make us all smile while on earth. She kept smiling through her fight, and when she struggled, the amazing Smiley for Kylie community smiled for her. Now, as Kylie’s 15th birthday arrives on February 24th, we are going to spread smiles in her honor to kids fighting cancer now.

Who: All quilters, aspiring quilters, crafty people, or anyone willing to give a bit of cutting and sewing a try

What: 10″ Cluck Cluck Sew Heart Blocks in white, navy, and/or yellow

When: In the mail by February 14th (Valentine’s Day)

Where: Mail your block(s) to: Quilts for Cure PO Box 1831 Duluth, GA 30096

Goal: I will assemble each 20 blocks into a 4×5 quilt top and complete as many as possible in time to take them down to CURE Childhood Cancer for Kylie’s birthday. CURE will distribute them to kids in treatment in Atlanta-area hospitals. How many quilts do you think we can make together?

Tag: @quiltsforcure #quiltsforcure #operationsmiley #morethan4 #curechildhoodcancer @stringandstory @smileyforkylie

As I planned this campaign, I started thinking:

What if someone doesn’t quilt but wants to participate? What if folks want their kids to get involved, but don’t have a sewing machine? What if a class of students wants to make a quilt together? Or a valentine’s party?

So, I reached out to Allison over at Cluck Cluck Sew and asked her permission to write a tutorial using her pattern, and she said YES! Yay!

HOW TO MAKE AN OPERATION SMILE HEART BLOCK WITH STUFF IN YOUR HOUSE:

Heart Block Materials

 

Materials:

2, 1/4 yard cuts of fabric (1/2 yard total; choose two of the following colors: yellow, navy, white; This should only cost $5-6, less if you use a coupon or catch a sale, and each pair of fabrics makes 2 heart blocks)

1 cereal/cracker box (at least 10.5×5.5 inches) per person

Ruler

Pencil

Pair of Scissors

Sewing Needles, thread, straight pins (if you don’t have a little mending kit, you can buy one as shown for about $5 when you buy your fabric)

Iron/ironing board (not shown; Please be careful when ironing; Parents, you may want to do the ironing steps for your kids, depending on their age)

Before you jump in, read all the way through the directions. It will be easier that way. 🙂

Step 1: Press your fabric. It will be wrinkly from being folded on the bolt at the store, and we want it nice and smooth.

 

Step 2: Make your templates. Use the ruler and pencil to make three shapes: 10.5 inches x 5.5 inches, 5.5 inches x 5.5 inches, and 2 inches x 2 inches. Cut them out.

 

Step 3: Trace the templates on your fabric using the pencil (a wooden pencil will be easier than mechanical). You need TWO 10.5×5.5″ rectangles, TWO 5.5×5.5 inch squares, and FOUR 2×2 inch squares. Trace the rectangles on a DIFFERENT color than the squares. Cut out your shapes.

 

Step 4: Lay pieces right sides (the darker colored sides) together as shown. It’s hard to tell with the white, but the FRONT of the rectangles is face-up, and the BACK of the squares is face-up, so the fronts are touching. This is probably the trickiest step because it’s counterintuitive.

 

Step 5: Use the ruler and pencil to draw your stitching lines corner to corner on the squares as shown. Pin pieces together so they don’t move around while you sew. You can see the heart shape start to emerge.

 

Step 6: Sew along the pencil lines. Try to keep your stitches small (about 1/8th – 1/4th of an inch) so that they stay secure. Knot your thread before you cut it at the end, too. As you get going, you can put several stitches on the needle at a time before you pull your thread thru, as I did here.

 

Step 7: Trim away excess fabric 1/4 inch from the OUTSIDE of your stitching. 

 

Step 8: Use the iron to gently press your fabric open so all right (front) sides are facing up, as shown. 

Step 9: Repeat Steps 6, 7, and 8 with the other half of your heart block. 

 

Step 10: Lay the two halves of your heart blocks right (front) sides together, draw a 1/4 inch sewing line as before, and pin along the center of the heart as shown. Be extra careful to line up the top heart point, where I’ve drawn an arrow. 

Step 11: Stitch along the drawn sewing line. 

 

Step 12: Use the iron to press the block flat with the seam to one side as shown. Ta da! You did it!

Isn’t that fun? It doesn’t take long at all, costs very little money, and you, my friend, are contributing to making a child with cancer (and his or her parents) smile and feel loved. If you like, include your name and social media handle in a note when you mail me your block(s), and I’ll tag you in pictures of the final quilt!

Remember, Valentine’s Day is coming, and I think this would be a fabulous party/event craft for upper elementary or middle school kids. If you’re worried about the time it might take, you could cut and pin the fabric ahead of time, and just have them sew along the lines. If you send a group of blocks from an event, mention that in a note, and I’ll be sure to include them all in the same quilt, so they can see the finished product after it’s quilted! A few blocks would also make a lovely family service project one evening or weekend. About 16,000 kids are diagnosed in the US each year, and about 40,000 are in treatment– I think it’s so special that your kids could help these kids feel encouraged.

Last but not least, I’d like to announce the launch of the Quilts for Cure Newsletter, Facebook and Instagram accounts! Please sign up, like, and follow us to stay up to date on this project and others to follow. There are 1000x as many quilters in this country as kids that will be diagnosed with cancer this year. That’s truly a village for every child, so let’s work together to be that village of encouragers!

Thank you for joining forces with us to pursue Kylie’s vision: “For cancer to die, and not the kids.” And until cancer dies, we are going to love and cheer on these kids!

Love,

HollyAnne