Consider donating quilts & fabric for a cause!

Consider donating quilts & fabric for a cause!

26th Apr 2024

Hi all!

In the past two posts, I’ve talked about organizing your quilting area. Did you find a helpful tip or two? Hopefully you’re benefiting from a little more inspiration and relaxation now that you have decluttered surfaces and an organized workspace!

As you were decluttering, did you find some fabric and supplies that made you ask, “What was I thinking?” Or maybe you just found things you’re ready to let go of.

Or did you uncover some quilts or tops that you made back when you were learning a new skill or getting in some practice time?

Better yet, maybe you’ve just been having fun quilting but don’t have a home for your finished projects to go to.

Well, today’s post suggests ways we can donate our quilting extras to help others.

Why Donate

You know that feeling of comfy security you get when you cuddle up under a quilt? Well, wouldn’t it be wonderful if everyone knew that experience?

Receiving a quilt can’t fix everything … cure cancer or a major disease, replace a loved one, soothe a soldier’s troubled mind or broken body, erase the pain of abuse … but it can remind a person in need that others care and want them to feel loved and supported.

Where to Donate

Unless you have a specific cause you want to start with, it often helps to start local.

No matter where you start, please remember … always contact the person or organization you’d like to support first. Make sure your donation fits their needs.

Many organizations have specific requirements that must be met to ensure that the donation meets the shipping specifications (if applicable), can withstand how it will be cared for (e.g., industrial washing) and can be safely enjoyed by the recipient (e.g., no buttons on baby quilts).

Who to Contact

If you want to start by donating close to home, one place you can contact is your local quilt guild.

Quilt Guilds

Guilds may have information on an organization or two that they support. They may also accept completed quilts which they’ll pass on or have work groups that can use your extra fabric … and your time and quilting skills!

Here’s just a few examples for those of you in northeastern or southern Wisconsin:

If you live in the Appleton area, try contacting the Darting Needles Quilt Guild. Checkout the Community Involvement page on their website. You’ll see descriptions of ways you can help with their Warm Hugs and Veteran’s Quilts committees.

If you live in the Green Bay area, try contacting the Evergreen Quilt Guild. They list several donation possibilities on the Service Opportunities page of their website.

If you live in the Mukwonago area, try contacting the Crazy Quilter's Guild.  Their website indicates that they have donated many items for the past 25 years and over 700 items in 2022 - 2023!

If you live in the Burlington area, checkout the Chocolate City Quilters on Facebook. Their group description says that they provide comfort quilts to cancer patients.

If you live near Williams Bay check out the Scrapper's Quilt Guild on Facebook.  Their group donates quilts to Twin Oaks (a local shelter).  

Another point of contact may be your local quilt shops.

Quilt Shops

This information is always subject to change, but I recently received an update from one of my local shops that I’ll pass along as an example.

In a recent newsletter from the Quilt-agious shop in Mukwonago, Wisconsin, they mentioned an ongoing project supporting the Children’s Advocacy Center. Their website also promotes Quilts of Valor, and their shop calendar lists a Quilts of Valor Sew at the local American Legion.

You may find shops in your area that support and provide drop-off points for either local or national organizations looking for quilters to provide assistance.

Going Right to the Source

Another option is going directly to the local organization that you’d like to support.

Here’s a list of places that may accept either your extra quilting fabric and supplies or your finished quilts. Again, always contact the organization first to see if they have a need and to check their requirements.

  • Local hospitals, children’s hospitals or NICU units,
  • Veteran’s homes or hospitals,
  • Local police or fire departments,
  • Women’s shelters,
  • Domestic violence shelters,
  • Homeless shelters,
  • Family crisis or resource centers,
  • Senior centers,
  • Local foster care agencies,
  • Nursing or convalescent homes,
  • Hospice, cancer or dialysis facilities,
  • Local churches (They may have families they’re supporting or groups making quilts for other organizations),
  • Local Veteran’s Administration, Meals-on-Wheels, Salvation Army, etc., or
  • Animal shelters or wildlife rehabilitation centers.

Some additional places that would love to use your extra quilting fabric and supplies may include local schools or community centers. There may also be youth centers, after-school programs or summer camps in your area that could use your extras.

And finally, we’re all aware that there are many regional, national and international organizations that can use the support of quilters.

Giving Back to the Larger Community

Options for donating quilting fabric and supplies, quilt tops, completed quilts and quilting services to this wider audience abound, but it does take some research to discover what each organization can use. Here’s just a small sampling of causes and some supporting organizations:

Organizations Supporting Veterans

Quilts of Valor Foundation (qovf.org)

Quilts of Valor (QOV) is dedicated to creating and distributing quality quilts to veterans. Catherine Roberts, the founder, followed one basic principle: quilts = healing.

QOV has specific requirements for the donation quilts they receive. You can find these requirements and learn more about the organization on their extensive website.

They accept completed quilts, quilt tops, quilt blocks and pattern suggestions. They also can use longarm quilters who are willing to help with quilting donated tops.

Quilts of Honor (quiltsofhonor.org)

Like QOV, Quilts of Honor has chapters nationwide and has specific requirements for the donation quilts they receive. Please check their website.

In addition to completed quilts, they also accept fabric and quilting supplies.

Organizations Supporting Children

Project Linus (projectlinus.org)

Project Linus was established to provide love and security to seriously ill children and those in need. Chapters exist in all 50 states.

This charity delivers ‘blankies’ to hospitals, shelters, social service agencies or anywhere else love is needed. Donated quilts are often distributed within the communities they came from.

Project Linus accepts completed quilts and fabric. Again, check their website for requirements. They also provide patterns for quilters making donation quilts.

Quilts for Kids (quiltsforkids.org)

Quilts for Kids was founded by Linda Arye. Seeing discontinued fabric samples being sent to landfills, she started the charity to save this perfectly good fabric and create something beautiful. The result? Millions of pounds of fabric have been saved and about 30,000 quilts have been donated each year.

When checking their website for requirements, you also have the option of requesting a pre-made quilt kit for which you only pay shipping. Once completed, the quilt must be shipped back to their headquarters in Pennsylvania.