President-elect Obama has asked Americans to participate in a national day of service on Martin Luther King Day (January 19). He and his family will be doing volunteer work, and I thought it would be great if quilters would participate by working on charity quilts that day. Just do whatever you have time for -- cut some fabric scraps into squares for a charity quilt, piece a strip quilt, tie a top you made for charity but never got around to finishing. Quilters are so generous with their time and talents that I'm sure many of you already have projects underway. It'll be fun to dedicate some time on MLK Day to charity quilting, especially because you'll know that lots of other quilters out there are doing the same.
Need a pattern or some ideas to get you started? Mary at Mary Quilts has many free patterns for simple but beautiful charity quilts, and Bonnie at Quiltville has lots of scrap patterns, many of which make wonderful donation quilts.
Julie of Me & My Quilts gathered fabric for about 15 pillowcases to donate to ConKerr Cancer, which distributes them to children with the disease. Members of my guild stitched them into pillowcases and we're sending them in. This photo shows about half of them. If you don't have much time but want to make something to donate, these pillowcases are easy to make in a short time.
This Heartstrings quilt was made at a local Project Linus worknight and quilted by a member of my guild. They are wonderful group projects! Maybe you can get a few friends together to work on one of these on MLK Day. Directions are on the Heartstrings Quilt Project website.
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There are also some good quilting patterns on the Project Linus website, and Michele at Quilting Journey has compiled a list of 2,500 free quilting patterns.
I hope you'll think about participating. Let me know if you do! Together, we can make a difference.