Saturday, November 17, 2012

Do Good - ways to help Superstorm Sandy victims

Watching the Hurricane Sandy coverage has been heartbreaking, but it especially hit home to me last weekend. My husband happened to talk to a client who lives in New Jersey and asks how she was doing. While she was safe, members of her immediate family had lost everything. She was trying to find ways to help them and planning on hosting 80 people for Thanksgiving alone. That same weekend, we had our first big snowfall of the year. Suddenly I didn't take my cozy house for granted anymore.
And I decided to do something. So I pulled out all the random flannel fabric I had in my house and started putting together a few simple quilts. It seemed stupid to have so much fabric and not share something with people who've lost everything. I had tons of pinks and yellows leftover from when my girls were little. These quilts aren't fancy, but they were fast. I made them 'envelope' style (sewed around the edges of fronts and backs right sides together with batting, turned right-side out and stiched the outside edges) and tied the centers. But they're thick and warm, so hopefully they'll do in a pinch.
This quilt is made from a bunch of flannel Fat Quarters from the Playdate collection by Dear Stella.  I love those elephants! (You can find Playdate at Fat Quarter Shop) I hope this will go to a loving home. Again, nothing fancy. I cut each fat quarter into 3 strips 6.25" x 18" long.  Mix up the prints to make blocks of 3 strips and square them up to 18" (17.5" finished). A fast way to make large blocks. 
These baby quilts were made by my daughter. We started them ages ago (as in years) but it since we were going to town with the pink flannels, it felt like a good time to finally finish them. There's one more in this set, but it's still waiting to be finished hopefully tomorrow afternoon. They are made using this method for making 3 baby blankets at once that is super quick and easy - and a great project for teaching beginning sewers. I think she did a great job.

I'm realizing I need to do a better job not only making time to sit and teach my kids to sew, but to also make more time to help my kids my kids be more involved in doing good deeds.
I'm going to put these in the mail on Monday.  If you're looking for ways to help victims of Hurricane Sandy, Victoria of Bumble Beans has organized quilt collections and is actively delivering them to shelters and medical stations where they will go directly to people in need. Also Make It Better: Craftalong for Sandy Relief is collecting all kinds of warm items - including hats, mittens, blankets... Both groups have addresses where items can be mailed.

There are always lots groups in local communities looking to collect charitable projects for those in need during the holidays.  If you are local here in Utah I know of two groups collecting fabric for blankets for service projects - both fleece and quilts. Email me at amy[at]diaryofaquilter[dot]com if you'd like contact info on either of those projects.

If you're aware of other entities collecting quilts and similar donations, please feel free to leave them in the comments.

It feels good to do good.


20 comments:

  1. The quilts are so pretty. And I am sure they will be much appreciated. Such a caring gift to strangers.

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  2. What a great idea, and I'm sure the flannel will be wonderfully cosy

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  3. These are perfect, Amy. I love that you involved your kids.

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  4. So sweet! This is a great idea. I think I need to make time for a few of these as well. :)

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  5. Hi!!! These are beautiful!!! I am sure they will be loved and appreciated!!!

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  6. What a beautiful thing to do. They will be loved, appreciated, and well used I am sure.

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  7. It does my heart good to see so many generous quilty friends helping wherever they can with Hurricane Sandy Relief.

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  8. That is so wonderful that so many people are participating to help out those in need!

    I am feeling also for your husband's client and her family. I wish her and all the people on the east coast a safe and warm Thanksgiving! Hosting 80 people is hard, the most we had one year was around 65-70!

    The quilts are beautiful! :)

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  9. ohhhhh, now I want to make a pink quilt...and of course donate a quilt or two!

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  10. Fantastic. It is so nice to see so much wonderfulness going on in the quilting world to help those affected and others in need.

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  11. Amy, your quilts are beautiful, and they are going to make the recipients very happy!

    I am a resident of Long Beach, NY, and our house took on almost 2' of water - it wasn't just sea water, but also sewage from the nearby plant. Gross. We lost most of our possessions but were able to save some clothes. I haven't had much time to read email, but I've tried to feel a little normal by checking the occasional crafty blog. It's been disheartening to see that I haven't come across any that have mentioned Superstorm Sandy. So it really warms my heart to see that you've done something to help and involved your daughter. And I'd like to add that I'm not surprised - you're always doing charitable things!! And I'm ashamed that I haven't done enough for charity.

    I don't know what kind of coverage the storm really got out west, but it seems like most of the unaffected people here are tired of hearing about the storm. Most Long Islanders were without power for an extended period, some only getting their power back last week (that's almost three weeks without heat or hot water - and our winter started much earlier this year), and they are trying to get on with their "normal" lives and just don't understand what the rest of us are going through. I flip flop between completely understanding (and feeling a little envious) and really resenting them. The rebuilding process is incredibly heartbreaking and frustrating. Unfortunately, as in most times of disaster (or war), a lot of people busy themselves with capitalizing on the misery of others. We've had six contractors in over the last three weeks, and I haven't been able to get one to give us a complete written estimate; it's almost like they are waiting to hear how much we're getting from the insurance before they will commit to pricing. And don't even get me started on the insurance company!!! We're not expecting to get a check from them until the beginning of January, and it's a common tale. One contractor calmly told us that we should expect to be out of our house for SIX months! When I broke down and cried (something I've not done nearly enough of), he told me that "all of this is just stuff" - and that I should be grateful that my children are alive and healthy. Well, DUH! Of course I am grateful! When I heard about the woman on Staten Island who literally lost her 2 and 4 year old kids in the flood waters, I couldn't squeeze my two (the same ages) tightly enough. I am very aware that everything we lost is just 'stuff'. But it is OUR stuff, and we miss our home.

    Anyway, I digress. Sorry for the stream of consciousness! This was all my long-winded way of explaining that you've done something so wonderful, that it brings tears to my eyes. We've been the grateful (though reluctant) recipients of random acts of kindness from strangers. It is such a weird thing to wrap your head around - it feels like a handout, but it's so generous and kind, all you can do is thank them. We've been saying "thank you" quite a lot, but that doesn't convey the gratitude we feel. The rebuilding process is going to be incredibly long, and every time the recipients of your quilts wrap themselves up in them, they will smile, remembering that someone they didn't know cared enough to make them something to keep them warm. You and your daughter are going to make some people very, very happy. :)

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    1. Thank you so much for your amazing comment. You summed up what you are going through so well - and I'm so glad that you did! It's important for us who can hardly imagine that kind of devastation and loss to really grasp all that's going on. It's just so hard to fathom!

      I'm so sorry about your home. I just can't imagine what you are facing.
      Sending love and best wishes and lots of hugs too!!

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  12. These are adorable Amy and I am sure they will be well loved!! They are all the more special that they were made with your kids ;) What a wonderful way to teach them to serve!

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  13. Don't you worry Amy, those quilts will be loving accepted and greatfully appreciated and they will go on to become part of someone else's story. There can never be too many good works done and if we all did a little then there would be a massive chsangein our world.

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  14. What a great gift you have and what a great way to share it.
    by the way, my sail away quilts are coming along very nicely!

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  15. Amy I am doing the same thing this weekend it seems crazy to have all of this fabric around and not do something to give people a little warmth and comfort.Your quilts look so nice and cozy! Our guild in Portland has found two great groups collecting quilts specifically for Sandy relief one is QUILTS AND BLANKETS ASAP! hosted by Moda and Victoria Findlay Wolfe the other is The Rockaway Renegades who are all volunteers committed to helping in Rockaway but also helping vulnerable seniors in high rises who still have no electricity and need help. You can find links and more info on our PMQG blog in our November Charity Quilt drive post.

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    1. Petra, that is so awesome! Thanks so much for the added information about groups collecting for those in need! Just reading Karissa's comment above has made me even more determined to do more.

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  16. Something we all need to be doing! That's for the ideas on quick quilts.

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  17. ¡Felicidades! por tu gran idea, seguro que se habrán emocionado al recibirlas. Un saludo desde España.

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  18. SANDY QUILT BLOCK DRIVE. I stumbled across this link, you can send only one block, lotsa blocks, or be a leader and assemble blocks and quilt...whatever you have the notion to do! http://quiltinggallery.com/quilters-fun/sandy-quilt-block-drive/

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