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.

Introducing Leopold the Longarm

Leopold the Longarm, quite at home dominating my sewing room

Hello everyone!

As you may have seen on social media this weekend, I have some terribly exciting news! A generous quilter named Sally donated a Tin Lizzie 18 longarm to Quilts for Cure, and we picked it up and set it up on Saturday!

Close up of Leo with a practice piece/baby quilt loaded on the frame, ready for quilting

For those of you who don’t quilt, a long arm, sometimes called a “quilting machine,” is a large sewing machine set on a frame so as to quilt very efficiently. When quilting on a domestic (“normal”) sewing machine, you have to push and shove and scrunch the bulk of the quilt through the harp or throat (the space between the needle and the machine), and that slows things down a good bit (hence why I’m still quilting the #OperationSmiley quilts all these months later). With a longarm, the machine moves across the quilt, and it’s much faster.

Practicing stitches and motifs

This longarm, who I’m affectionately calling Leopold, is a game changer for Quilts for Cure. It will make it easier to complete quilts and get them out to kids in treatment. It will make it easier for me to test ideas for Quilt Alongs (like the one coming soon). And, if y’all are game, it might even give me the courage to tackle another #OperationSmiley next February.

Completed practice piece which will be a baby quilt for donation

I’ve been working hard on my machine quilting skills, so Sunday I put them through their paces to see how things translated into working on Leopold. I was so pleased with the results, that I’ve squared it up and will put a nice blue binding on it to make a baby boy quilt. Yesterday, I finished piecing #OperationSmiley quilt #8 and loaded it up. By george, I’m spoiled already– the whole thing was quilted in just an hour or so! I can’t wait to bind it, and get going on #9!

Operation Smiley Quilt #8

 

 

I hope y’all are as excited as I am! Thank you, Sally!!

ACTION ITEMS

  1. Make a Quilt to give to one of the 40,000 children in treatment for pediatric cancer in the United States
  2. Give money to Quilts for Cure so that we can make more quilts and contribute to research for a cure
  3. Spread the word with everyone you know about Quilts for Cure– share on your social media, with your quilt guild, etc.

Oh, and a quick update on Abri– Her family received the most marvelous news this weekend that she has NOT relapsed! It’s a bit complicated as to why the original test results were  misleading, but this is wonderful, wonderful news. As she is still facing several surgeries to repair her leg and replace the bone that Ewings Sarcoma destroyed, two fabulous quilters, Amy and Jen, are collaborating to make her a quilt to keep her cozy through the rest of her recovery.

More soon!

HollyAnne

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

 

Friday Fighter: Amazing Kate Amato, Age 11

 

#AmazingKate

Dear Friends,

I knew that Quilts for Cure would someday exist for about two years before I knew exactly what it would be or when it would get started. In February, we launched with #OperationSmiley in memory of the beautiful Kylie Myers. This week, we held our first board meeting and filed the 501(c)(3) paperwork!

In that two year interim between Kylie’s passing and launching Quilts for Cure, I continued to learn about childhood cancer and the beautiful families it devastates. Today’s fighter, Kate Amato, was one of the fights I followed. I cheered for Kate, and now I continue cheering for her family.

Kate was diagnosed with alveolar rhabdomyosarcoma, an aggressive soft tissue cancer, in 2014. She fought hard for two years, winning the hearts of over 20,000 people on her Facebook page. Her smile, her humor, and her generosity are captivating. On November 30, 2016, we all joined her family’s grief as Kate’s battle ended.

Kate and Caroline

Today, Kate’s family continues to fight. Her younger sister Caroline is an outspoken sibling advocate with TheTruth365. Kate’s family is also in the midst of an important Kickstarter Campaign called Kate’s Crusade. Kate’s Crusade is a proposed video game for kids fighting cancer. Studies show that visualization can affect reality, so the premise of this game is that kids can take ownership of their cancer fight, picture their treatments working, and maybe even impact their real-life battle.

Kate loved animals!

ACTION ITEMS:

1) COMMENT: Leave a note of encouragement for the Amato family as they continue to fight against childhood cancer in Kate’s memory.

2) GIVE Pledge $10 to Kate’s Crusade or give $10 to CURE Childhood Cancer in Kate’s honor. When you give, be sure to include this information: “In honor of Amazing Kate Amato #quiltsforcure.”

3) QUILT We have hospital partners in several states who are ready to receive quilts for their patients. In addition, we often receive quilt requests from individual families, and we pair them with a quilter. Get on board by visiting our Give a Quilt page or emailing hollyanne (at) quiltsforcure.org

Fight on,

HollyAnne

Friday Fighter: 4 year old Katie Green

Katie the Miracle

Happy Friday, Fighters!

Remember the little girl I mentioned last week who is getting the quilt with all the different colored hearts? I’d like to introduce you to 4 year old Katie Green who is fighting hard against Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia.

Katie is a miracle baby, born 17 years after her older sister. She’s a happy kiddo who loves to play with the other kids in her extended family. She loves blue and purple, Paw Patrol, and dinosaurs! Katie was diagnosed last summer on June 21, 2016. While her prognosis is good, cancer is still a huge battle.

Katie in the hospital this week

But let me invite Katie’s mama, Susan, to tell you a bit more about her precious baby’s story:

“She was born with three heart defects and had to be started on digoxin and Lasix at only three weeks old. She was unable to nurse and had to be on double strength formula just to get her enough calories. While they were waiting for her to get strong enough for heart surgery, her heart started to heal itself. Her cardiologist was amazed. Her ASD and pulmonary artery resolved themselves as she grew. She still has a VSD but it has shrunk considerably and in May of 2016 the cardiologist declared she would not need heart surgery. 
In June of 2016 she was diagnosed with leukemia. With intensive chemo she went on to remission in  Aug 2016. She continued treatment and in Jan 2017 she started maintenance chemo which will continue thru Sept 2018. We are very hopeful that she will overcome this too.”
 Katie, we are so thankful that you have a good prognosis! Your quilt will be ready soon, sweet girl!
Katie’s quilt in progress
ACTION ITEMS
1) COMMENT: Leave a message of encouragement for Katie and her family. You can follow Katie’s journey on Facebook at Katie’s Krusade. 
2) GIVE: Make a donation to CURE Childhood Cancer in Katie’s honor. Under the notes option on the donation page paste this message: “In Honor of Katie Green. #QuiltsforCure”
3) QUILT: 44 children in the US will be diagnosed with cancer TODAY. Make a simple, heartfelt quilt for one of them this weekend.
Also, if you ever have questions about how to get involved or how to share you child’s story, just email me at hollyanne (at) quiltsforcure.org
#LoveBeatsCancer
HollyAnne

Updates and How to Help

Hearts made by Naomi’s Mama

Hello Friends!

I wanted to pop in to touch base about what is going on at Quilts for Cure, ongoing project updates, and give you some action items for the week.

#OperationSmiley: Once again, I want to give a BIG THANK YOU to everyone who has sent blocks, fabric, batting, thread, and more. I have one more corporate sponsor, Stash Fabrics, that I will blogging about soon, so keep an eye out to learn about them and send your thanks. We currently have 1 quilt completed, 2 at Red Hen to be quilted, and 1 that needs to be basted. Then, I have a gorgeous pile of blocks that will become 5-6 more quilts. One generous quilter, Gale Fisher, made a whole quilt and is having it quilted. While the yellow, navy, and white hearts will go to two hospitals here in Atlanta, this last quilt will serve a special purpose and go to a four year old girl, Katie, with leukemia whose mama emailed me this week. Thank you, Gale! (More about Katie soon! 🙂 )

Florida in progress

E Pluribus Unum Project: The Georgia quilt is finally basted and ready for quilting! I’ve entered this quilt into a local show and should hear back in the next couple weeks if it will hang! Even though the back will not be showing, I would like it to be full of the names of Georgia childhood cancer fighters. Please help spread the word and ask families to email me their children’s names. I’m continuing to connect hexies for the first Florida quilt, and I’m already planning the first South Carolina quilt. Mathew Boudreaux, aka @MisterDomestic, generously sent some gorgeous scraps last week that will be perfect for incorporating into these quilts.

Gale’s quilt in progress for Katie

Donation Quilts: In the last week we have received two requests for quilts from families fighting against childhood cancer. One was Katie who I mentioned above, and the other was Nicholas who I mentioned last week. Gale is finishing the quilt for Katie, and my new friend Becky in Indiana has agreed to make a twin sized quilt for Nicholas. Thank you both so much!

501(c)(3) Status: Our incorporation finally cleared (huzzah!), two amazing women have agreed to be on our board with me, and we will have our first meeting very soon. After the board meeting, we will finish filing for nonprofit status, then kick off both our newsletter and our fundraising.

Upcoming Quilt Along: While Quilts for Cure always encourages quilters to make and donate completed quilts year round, we also love doing projects together. This summer, we will do a Quilt Along with a simple yet fun and flexible block. We will make just one block each week, and I’d encourage you to donate the finished quilt thru Quilts for Cure. I’ll share more next month, but I couldn’t resist a little teaser so y’all can save some summer quilting time for this!

More hexies for Florida

ACTION ITEMS:

1) SHARE Post the E Pluribus Unum Project blog post to your social media accounts and ask folks to spread the word. I want to fill the backs of all these quilts with the names of brave young cancer fighters, but their parents can’t email me their names unless they know about the project. Would you like me to honor your child on a quilt? Email me his or her name and home state at hollyanne (at) quiltsforcure.org

2) QUILT As word continues to spread, I have no doubt that we will receive more specific requests for quilts. Go ahead and get started on a project, and let me know what age/gender it would be best for. Then, when a request comes, I can connect you with a special cancer fighting warrior right away! Plus, we are continuing to network with hospitals, so there is always a way to comfort an encourage a child with cancer through quilting.

3) RECRUIT Plan to participate in the Summer QAL and invite your friends and guild members to do the same. The key to Quilts for Cure is community– the community of quilters coming together and coming alongside families in the cancer fighting community. Together, we will beat cancer because #lovebeatscancer.

Get to work, y’all!

HollyAnne

 

Make Quilts!

#OperationSmiley Quilt 1

Hey Everyone!

I have a few quilty things to talk about today.

First, I finished the first #OperationSmiley quilt! I haven’t counted up all the blocks recently, but I’m confident we will make 10 quilts. I took the components of quilts 2 and 3 to Red Hen today where they will be completed by students. I have pieced the main part of quilt 4, and will add borders tomorrow. I hope that I will also get it sandwiched and basted so that I can get back to quilting a column each night– both for progress on the quilts and for regular free motion quilting practice.

Second, I’m am searching for a willing quilter who lives in or near North Carolina. I received a message from a grandmother this week requesting a quilt for her 15 year old grandson, Nicholas, with an inoperable brain tumor. I think a twin sized quilt (70 x 90 inches) would be just right. If you are interested, please email me at hollyanne (at) quiltsforcure.org, and I’ll get you more info. Also, please help spread the word!!

Finally, don’t forget that Quilts for Cure is accepting completed quilts. You can find out more info on our Donate Quilts page, or email me at hollyanne (at) quiltsforcure.org.

ACTION ITEMS:

1) Spread the word to help us find a quilter to make a twin sized quilt for Nicholas. If you’re interested, please email me at hollyanne (at) quiltsforcure.org

2) Gather your orphan blocks, UFOs, and do some stash busting, and make a quilt for a child with cancer!

3) Tell your quilty friends and guild members about Quilts for Cure in person and on social media. Share this post!

Go gold,

HollyAnne

PS Kylie’s mama was on the Hallmark Channel this morning with their kitty Liza. Check it out HERE.

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, Update 2

The first completed #OperationSmiley quilt top

Hi again, Friends and Fighters!

We officially have too many #OperationSmiley quilt blocks for me to hang on my design wall. Last week, I had 91 hanging, but we’re at 129 and counting now! Over 30 quilters have participated from over a dozen states, and at least four of them are adult cancer survivors.

129 quilt blocks all in a stack. It’s a thick stack!

As you found out on Friday, we are benefitting from the generosity of several companies as well. In addition to the beautiful fabric from Fat Quarter Shop, we are receiving thread from Aurifil, some batting from The Warm Company, and more batting and fabric from Craftsy. On top of that, my friends over at Red Hen Fabrics are going to help me get all 7+ quilts quilted. Isn’t that exciting?!

This means a few things for #OperationSmiley:

1) We will be finishing these quilts with beautiful, top-of-the-line materials.

2) Instead of delivering finished quilts the end of this week in time for Kylie’s birthday, it will probably be another month until they are all done. Materials are still en route, and we will be completing more quilts than I expected (which is a thrilling thing).

3) I will try to have a completed quilt (see quilt top above) to take with me to Quilt Con in Savannah this weekend to show our sponsors and to spread the word about Quilts for Cure.

I cannot thank y’all enough for your generosity and support!!

90+ Heart Blocks on my Design Wall

Action Items:

1) Visit the Smiley for Kylie page this week and leave a Happy Birthday for Kylie. On Friday, be sure to wear yellow and #shareasmile in her honor.

2) Do the #TruckerToughChallenge on Facebook or Instagram to show support for sweet Trucker Dukes. He is in a lot of pain and needs our encouragement!

3) Make sure that you’re plugged in for all Quilts for Cure Updates: Like us on Facebook, Follow us on Instagram, and Sign up for our Newsletter (coming soon). Even better, invite your friends to get plugged in, too. Our mission to honor and encourage kids with cancer will only succeed if we all work together.

Keep fighting,

HollyAnne