Quilt Shops Support Donations


Quilters are generous people and have supported many causes with their quilts through the ages. Here are a few ideas about how quilt shops can support that effort.

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Quilt Shops Support Donations

I just saw the term "quilt activism" and I like it! We know from our long history that quilters have supported their men at war, temperance, foster children, and many other causes. Several internet sites aspire to list the many organizations ready to receive the donations.

Quilt Shops Support Donations


A store in Maine is involved in Project Linus and will give 3 free fat quarters for each quilt turned in. A popular program, it probably does cost them a little, but they can write off the donations on their taxes. This seems like a win-win to me. I know that they also receive publicity because I was able to find this project with an internet search. These local articles also give them good publicity. The store also hosts an annual event where the quilts are hung and voted on. The winner receives a gift basket and gift certificate. On this "collection day", there are also demonstrations in the store. A news story also covered the team from the store delivering the quilts to a hospital in the region.



Quilt shops can also save their scraps for quilting charity groups. I'm always amazed at what determined quilters can do with scraps as small as 2" x 2". The scraps can also be made into quilts using techniques such as mile-a-minute, also called "crumb" piecing.


If that doesn't work for you, what if you donated to the Rummage Sale held by a guild for its members? I am sure there are some rulers, threads, etc. around your shop that just don't sell as well as you'd hoped. Our guild has a table at its annual rummage/garage sale to support our scholarship fund and our military service quilts.


What if you keep a directory of the donation projects in your area? You could keep track of who is accepting donations and what they are looking for. Once finished, you could ask the charity to keep you up to date on their needs, so they don't get lost in the shuffle. Because some needs are short term and some are ongoing for years, it's important to keep the list updated. You could publicize on a special bulletin board or display and even suggest easy kits that you have that would meet the needs.


A sign that I saw while traveling called my attention to another way that shops can help. The shop was selling pillowcase kits for the Girl Scouts. The sign clearly identified the charity which would receive the pillowcases. This is another win-win. The shop may sell some kits and the Girl Scouts (could also be 4H, etc.) can work for others.



Maybe you could adopt a project in your local area. One such project involves seniors who will graduate out of the foster care system this year in Texas. Randall Mitchell of Day1Bags has organized the entire state of Texas into making twin-size quilts and pillowcases for 622 graduating seniors. The state has been organized into regions and each region has a coordinator. A quilt shop could help publicize such a project simply by placing a sign in their store telling quilters how to get involved. Even if a quilter isn't in a guild or charity sewing group, they do shop!


Does your cash register have the capacity to round up? At a fast food restaurant last week, my husband was asked to round-up to donate to their employee scholarship fund. We did! If your cash register has this function, you could ask shoppers if they want to round up to donate to a local cause. Maybe it's a different cause each month, or maybe you only do it for part of the year. But you can make a difference!


Your support of these efforts says something about your quilt shop – something that quilters are going to like!


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The process of assembling quilt blocks from pieces of fabric sewn along their edges to form a whole.

See Also: English Paper Piecing, Assembly Piecing, Machine Piecing, Chain Piecing, Paper Piecing, Hand Piecing
Debi Warner
Author and humorist, Debi Warner, retired after many years as a clinical librarian and information specialist. She has her Master’s in Library and Information Science and achieved a Distinguished level in the Medical Library Association’s Association of Health Information Professionals. She has worked on teaching physicians to use computers and electronic resources. She also worked on several grants teaching the public how to use the National Library of Medicine’s MedlinePlus public database and is co-author of several articles on health literacy. She took up quilting after retirement in 2012 and chaired the Rio Grande Valley Quilt Show in 2019. She currently teaches several quilting classes over Zoom and writes for QuiltingHub.
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