The members of the Brooklyn Quilters Guild are generous with their time and skills. We contribute to a number of programs including ABC Quilts, Comfort Quilts, Soldier Quilts, Halo Quilts, the Ronald McDonald Pillow Case Project, and Reach to Recovery Bags and pillows.
Peg Haller and Valerie Burrus-Bess, co-chairs of ABC Quilts, can be seen busily organizing finished quilts and quilt “sandwiches” at each monthly guild meeting. “The idea is to contribute as many quilts as we have members in the guild, and we seem to beat that goal every year,” says Peg.
Members donate finished ABC quilts, tops and backing and the guild supplies batting. There is quite a variety of work, some simple, some quite complex and beautifully done. There are no rules about what the quilts should look like – except that they should be baby or child friendly. The recommended size is 36 inches, but a playpen quilt is 30-in. square. Completed quilts are gathered at each meeting and delivered to Maureen McCormack to be distributed to children in hospitals and other institutions.
“The Easy as ABC quilt program was a total success in 2014-15. Our members made and donated a whopping 339 quilts for needy children. Fantastic! I think of it as giving each of those children a little hug." ~Sarah Vinson
Quilts are collected at each monthly guild meeting. ABC Frenzy takes place each year after the February meeting. Size requirements are at least 30” square, and no more than about 42” wide. Donations are welcome of both finished quilts and finished tops. Cheerful fabrics for the quilt backs are always welcome.
In the winter of 2012, a small group of current and former Brooklyn Quilters Guild (BQG) members collaborated to create and donate quilts to victims of Hurricane Sandy. We began sewing 6-inch squares from our fabric stashes into quilt tops that we had machine-quilted locally by Joe of Supreme Quilting. It didn’t take long before more Guild members pitched in to create or donate quilt tops, apply bindings to finish off the machine-quilted works, stitch official BQG cloth labels to the backs of quilts, or contribute orphan blocks, squares or yardage. By September 2015, our group efforts had resulted in about 60 finished bed-size quilts for Sandy victims.
Many people are still feeling the effects of Sandy’s aftermath and we want to offer quilts to as many as are in need. Additionally, we would like to broaden the scope of our effort and be able to maintain a ready inventory of quilts for people affected by a natural disaster or any who suffer a similar loss or tragedy.
The Comfort Quilts Committee accepts quilt tops or quilts of a maximum of 86” wide and 100” long; 80” by 80” minimum. Donations of backing fabric, batting, and machine-quilting are also needed.
Ronald McDonald Pillowcase Project
The Ronald McDonald pillowcase project, headed by Janet Finello, began in 2010 after she learned of the 1 Million Pillowcase Project and brought it to the guild. We partner with Ronald McDonald House in Manhattan, an 80-room residential facility for families of children aged 5-12 being treated in NYC hospitals for cancer. The pillowcases are bright and cheerful and many feature novelty fabrics. We make them throughout the year for delivery each December for holiday distribution. The staff keeps the remainder for distribution as new families and children arrive.
Since July of 2010, BQG has delivered 897 pillowcases, with many more on hand for our upcoming December 2015 delivery.
Each summer, a new group of Wounded Warriors arrives on the Rockaway Peninsula for a fun-filled weekend of sports and relaxation. The soldiers earn this opportunity to participate by their hard work in reaching specific goals in their recoveries. The men and women are greeted warmly with a parade surrounded by many people waving flags and cheering them on. During the weekend the soldiers have the opportunity to try several adaptive sports, including scuba diving, surfing, kayaking, stand-up paddle and water skiing. There are fishing trips, boat rides and dinners. The Brooklyn Quilters Guild, led by Kathy Clarke and Sarah Vinson, shows our support by making a quilt for each of the Wounded Warriors. We delivered 80 quilts this summer, with the extras going back to Walter Reed Hospital for those who were unable to make the weekend.
Our guild has also donated quilts to veterans in the local VA hospital and the Walter Reed Military hospital in Washington DC.
We will be collecting quilts through out the year for this effort. Quilts should be no smaller than 55" x 65" and no larger than 72" x 90". Please add a signed and dated label thanking them for their service. Patriotic colors are very popular but all are appreciated. Finished quilts are collected by Sarah Vinson at each monthly guild meeting.
Reach to Recovery Bags and Pillows
The purpose of the Reach to Recovery Tote Bag and Underarm Pillow is to bring comfort to mastectomy patients as they undergo their chemo treatments. The useful tote bag also accommodates booklets and supplies during their hospital visits. The project consists sewing of an attractive cotton tote with a pillow inside. The cotton totes should be 17” long, 14” wide, with two 11⁄2” straps. Pillows measure 8” by 12”. A detailed instruction sheet is available HERE.
The Blue Line Quilts HALO program provides quilts to children who have lost a police officer parent in the line of duty. The goal is to create beautiful, comforting quilts that a child can hug, hold, and use during their very difficult time. The quilts should be 48” x 60” or larger. Lap quilt to twin-sized. They should use bright colors, without any emblems or messages.