Sunday, November 25, 2018

Successful Donation of 50 Quilts for Kids to Comfort Cases

Preparations for quilt rolling. :)
On Saturday, November 10, 2018, the DC Modern Quilt Guild donated 50 quilts to Comfort Cases, a non-profit that brings dignity and hope to children entering foster care by providing them with a backpack of essentials.  When Comfort Cases founder Rob Scheer entered foster care 40 years ago, he had to place his few belongings in a trash bag.  When he adopted 4 children through the foster care program, they each came to him with the same tattered trash bags, and he was disappointed to see that nothing had changed in 30 years.  Thus, he founded Comfort Cases to try to change that by providing a way for kids to carry belongings of their very own. Especially as kids move from foster care placement to foster care placement while awaiting their forever home.

Ann & Becky are off to a good start!

Eight members of the guild (Dara Tokarz, Anne Brill, Amy Childers, Ann LaVigna, Robin Tilsworth, Jennifer Odom, Becky Lavash, and Elle Irby) participated in preparing the quilts donated by our many wonderful members by folding the freshly washed and labeled quilts in a specific manner and tying them with a ribbon so that they would fit in the backpacks.  We then packed the backpacks by carefully selecting a pair of pajamas, a book, a coloring book or journal, crayons or pens & pencils, a toiletry set, a dental kit, a stuffed animal, and the bookbag itself to coordinate with each quilt.  Participants reported great satisfaction for the opportunity to really think about the child who was going to receive each quilt and what else they might like to coordinate with it.  Indeed, several members decided to purchase other elements of the backpacks to go with the quilts we donate on our next donation day.  Comfort Cases also gave us a great tour of their facility and made the entire process incredibly easy and rewarding because they were so organized.  We finished our task in almost exactly 2 hours, led by their staff person Nate.  

Robin adding the final touches.
Nate showing us how to select items for the backpacks

Afterwards, most of us went to lunch at an excellent restaurant just across the street from Comfort Cases and conveniently located in the Capital Quilts shopping center, where we enjoyed thinking about our experience and brainstorming how we can do more for kids in need.

Bring the food!

To learn more about what goes into a Comfort Case, please visit:

To learn more about the mission of Comfort Cases, please visit:

The production line

We are in the process of scheduling another packing day at Comfort Cases for late March or early April, and we are hoping to photograph, fold, and tie all the quilts so that they will be ready for packing at the meeting immediately preceding our packing day.  Please keep the quilts you would like to donate to this awesome cause until at least the February meeting to help with storage (and please ask me for a label if you are working on one so that we can be sure that they are labeled and freshly laundered before we donate them).  

Hard at work

We have a great deal of fabric, batting, and even backings available, so please contact Elle Irby at ellegtown at gmail if you would like to make a quilt or to be involved in even a portion of the process for our next donation (such as cutting a kit, making a block, piecing blocks together into a top, quilting, or binding).  

Extra special thanks to:
Art Gallery Fabrics with a donation of 37 pounds of solids that were used in their booth at the Fall Quilt Market!  Pam with DelRay Fabrics for a very large donation of fabulous fabric recently.  Equilter for a donation of lots of large width-of-fabric scraps, including lots of kid-friendly novelty prints.

Quilters' Dream Batting for selling us a large roll of high quality batting at a very deep discount.
Tanya Wilson for donating a large amount of wonderful prints from her stash, many of which have already shown up in quilts that were donated in this cycle.  Leah Buckley, Nisha Bouri, and Ann Lavigna, for donating a bunch of wonderful fabric, charm packs, batting, and quilting services.  And last but not least - Sylvia Frankel Johnson and Megan Dougherty (friends of Elle's) for donating tons of fabric, orphan blocks, and even completed quilt tops.

I see you. :)
Peek a boo

The first item the child will see.

Most important in this whole process are all of our members who sewed love into every stitch by participating in donations this year, including:
Each child will receive this note as well.
Gretchen Young
Robin Tilsworth
Elle Irby 
Jennifer Odom
Melinda Newton
Laurie MeyersAngela Stanley
Cassandra McKee
Lisa Rice
Ashley Bander
Diana Owen
Carolyn Lalos
Lynne McKay-Atha
Dara Tokarz
Jane Chick
Jennifer Odell
Linda Fasules
Anne Brill
Ann Lavigna
Alyson Olander
Emily Chua
Cindy Luby
Arlene Salinas
Amy Sheib
Aubrie Holman
Jill Potkalesky
Megan Haidet
Martha Gibson
Denise Davis
Anjeanette Klinder
Amy Childers
You (if you participated and aren't listed here, please e-mail me to be added to the list!)

Elle, Ann, Amy, Anne, Robin, Becky, Dara, & Jennifer
Our charitable totals in 2018:
In addition to this donation of 50 quilts, we previously donated 23 quilts to Comfort Cases on February 2, 2018; 4 quilts to the Blue Ribbon Project, which is a similar project in Annapolis; 16 quilts for the Space of Her Own organization where we made quilts specifically for each girl graduating from their mentor program; and 1 QuiltCon quilt being raffled to support Comfort Cases financially, so we are currently at 94 total quilts donated for children in need this year through the guild.  Several members also donated quilts to Tanya's drive for quilts for hurricane victims in NC and made quilts through other guilds that they are also a part of, so I think it is safe to say that we met our collective goal of 100 Quilts for Kids this year!  Thank you everyone!

Ready to go!

-Elle Irby, 2018 DCMQG Charity Coordinator

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