Thursday, September 01, 2005

Quilts for Katrina-Quilters Comfort America

For those of you who want to help with are two great ways. This letter is to the Quiltart list from Karey Bresnehan, Director of International Quilt Festival.

Here is the link to the twin sized quicky quilt that was on Simply Quilts yesterday...just the perfect size!! or
Thanks to Kevin Key for remembering it!

And oh my goodness Dale how could I forget my friend Bonnie Hunt's site with lots of fun easy quilts directions under charity quilts link . I think i see some of my strips in those quilts Bonnie!!! We give her our ufos to make into Linus quilts...the amazing wonder woman!

Dear friends,
Only today did I discover the ghastly scope of the Hurricane Katrina aftermath, and I immediately started trying to decide what we could do to help muster aid for the victims. Here is what we have come up with. This will be posted on our website
( in the morning. I am terribly concerned about the urgency of the short-term needs of these poor souls--25,000 of them are being bussed to Houston for shelter and perhaps long-term living arrangements. Most of them left New Orleans with nothing but the clothes on their backs. I know there are other projects that are being started for quilts for long-term needs, but right now, folks, these people have NOTHING and most of them have NOTHING to go home to. They need help NOW! I hope you'll want to help us provide some of that help.
Karey Bresenhan

A Cooperative Project
To Comfort Victims of Hurricane Katrina

To quilters everywhere:
The devastation caused by Hurricane Katrina on the Gulf Coast is beyond belief. Here in Houston our hearts are heavy with sorrow for all the horrible losses, and we are preparing to welcome the thousands of refugees that are being bussed to us because they have lost their homes or have no access to whatever is left of their homes. Like so many other people, we want to help. Knowing quilters, we think you want to help, too, because there are no more generous, giving, open-hearted people than quilters.

Therefore, we are launching a two-part drive for Hurricane Katrina relief, and we urge you to join us in this project. We're calling it QUILTERS COMFORT AMERICA.

PART 1: Urgent Donations to the American Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund.
We will match EVERY donation made by quilters to the American Red Cross, up to a maximum of $10,000, on a dollar for dollar basis.
In other words, if you make a $25 donation, we'll match that with another $25 donation. If you make a $100 donation, we'll match that with another $100 donation, right up to the maximum. To avoid delays in your donations reaching the Red Cross, and because we have trusted quilters for more than 30 years now, just email us with the amount of your donation that you sent to the American Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund. Every penny of every donation--up to $10,000--will be matched by International Quilt Festival. You have my word on that. Please use this email address: and use the subject line: RED CROSS DONATION.

Many thousands of the Katrina refugees are being sent to Houston RIGHT NOW, and no one knows how long they will have to be here.
Most of them escaped the hurricane's fury with only the clothes on their backs--nothing more--and they may have absolutely nothing to go home to. They don't even know. The Astrodome is ready as temporary housing, but there is a serious shortage of bedding.
Part 2 of QUILTERS COMFORT AMERICA is the collection of quilts of all kinds to be distributed to the refugees here in Houston so that they have something soft to sleep on instead of the hard concrete floors of the temporary shelters and something warm to cover up with against the chill of otherwise welcome air-conditioning (we've been in the 90s and 100s for weeks now).

Many of us have unfinished projects filling our closets and cupboards. Get out one of those projects--twin size preferred but no smaller than baby quilt size, please--and finish it up for this. Use lightweight batting--do whatever binding is the quickest, even a close zigzag stitch. You don't have to quilt it--tie it! If you have only small projects, add borders. Think about a mother lying on the floor cradling her baby--that's the size quilt we need to provide. These quilts are not meant to be heirlooms, although they will probably be treasured for many years as a symbol of the caring of strangers. Tie them, machine quilt them, work in a group with your friends and finish several on an assembly line, do whatever it takes to get these finished quickly.
THE NEED FOR THESE QUILTS IS RIGHT NOW! If you already have some finished pieces that you don't have plans for, send them too, as long as they are no smaller than baby quilt size. If you are a professional, you may have sample quilts that have become shop-worn or faded but are still clean and very usable in an emergency--send them!--we are IN an emergency! Be sure to put a label on the back of your quilt or sign it with a kind thought and your name and date. Every piece will go to a refugee family driven from their homes by the hurricane.

To participate in QUILTERS COMFORT AMERICA, send an email to (subject line: COMFORT AMERICA) to let us know how many quilts you are sending. That will help us help the Red Cross in its planning. Please do not expect a confirmation that your quilt has been received or any kind of nice thank-you.
Sometimes we just have to do things because they are the RIGHT things to do--this is one of those times. People need help...the kind of help WE can give.

Use this address to send your quilt/s:
c/o International Festival
7660 Woodway, Suite 550
Houston, TX 77063
Please note: for security, do NOT use the word 'quilt' ANYWHERE in your address label!

Many of us have also amassed linen closets full of old but completely usable sheets--perhaps a size you no longer use, or juvenile prints that your college age kids don't like anymore.
Clean sheets and blankets are also most welcome to QUILTERS COMFORT AMERICA. Naturally, everything should be clean and fresh.
These folks have lived with enough mud and dirt to last them the rest of their lives--let's give them a clean bed to rest in.
Please note that we cannot use fabric, patterns, scraps, etc.

Quilt Festival will serve as the collection point for these quilts, and we will deliver them DAILY to the American Red Cross staffing the refugee centers in Houston, where they will be distributed by the Red Cross volunteers. Because we are right here in Houston where more than 10,000 of the refugees will be, we can make a difference RIGHT NOW...if you'll help.

Time is critical--the need is NOW! People are arriving by the hour, children are bedding down on the cold concrete, bedding is needed by people of all ages who have lost everything in this horrible storm. Please help if you can. If you live in or around Houston, you are welcome to hand deliver your donations to us.
Our address is 7660 Woodway, Suite 550, Houston 77063. You can find it on Mapquest. Please note that this is one block of Woodway that runs perpendicular to all the rest of Woodway.

Thanks to everyone!

Karey Patterson Bresenhan
Director, International Quilt Festival--Houston and Chicago

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