Quilts for Japan — the story so far

As I type this, a group of volunteers and staff are sorting, stacking and packing the 4,000+ quilts people sent to QN for us to send on to Japan for survivors of the earthquake and tsunami. We are working to get them all packed up before the weekend so they are ready to be shipped next week.

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Packing up quilts for Japan in the Creative Crafts Group TV studio

When we first put out the call for quilts on behalf of Patchwork Tshushin, we didn’t know your generosity would overflow two empty offices and two empty cubicles! Our office building is just that — a one-story building made up of offices and cubicles. We have a lunchroom, a few storage rooms and a TV studio (which would be recognizable to any fans of Sew it All TV). But we don’t have a warehouse on-site, so finding space for the quilts as they arrived soon proved to be a challenge.

We started with an empty office at QN’s end of the building.

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Quilt pattern designer April Rosenthal and her mother delivered quilts from Utah.

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Janet Wermel (L) and Debby French (R) of the Piecing Partners Quilt Guild in Colorado Springs, CO, in front of some of their guild's quilts for Japan

We loved having the opportunity to meet the quilters who were able to drop off quilts in person. And of course we asked them to pose with some of their quilts!

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The empty office was empty no longer and was soon filled to the ceiling.

After that office was filled, we started storing boxes in an office at the other end of the building in addition to the two cubicles.

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The second office, packed to the rafters

Once all the quilts were received, we had to have them unpacked from the boxes they came in. Because of the limits on our space, not to mention the fact that our colleagues at McCall’s Quilting, Quiltmaker, Love of Knitting, Sew News and Creative Machine Embroidery didn’t need us disrupting their work environment, we worked with just one or two volunteers at a time to unpack and inspect each and every quilt. Enclosed with many were notes indicating who had made the quilts and expressing warm wishes for our neighbors in Japan, such as from the 8th graders at F.D.R. Middle School in Bristol, Pennsylvania; the St. Francis Quilters of Ellsworth, Wisconsin; the Prairie Pioneer Quilt Guild of Grand Island, Nebraska; the Milltown Quilters of Ellicott City, Maryland; From Caring Hearts of Space Coast, Florida; the Uncommon Threads Quilt Group of Memphis, Tennessee; the Stitchin’ Sistas Quilt Guild of Louisiana; the Friendship Quilters Guild of Merrick, New York; the MGH Comforters of Boston, Massachusetts; and many other groups, families and individuals.

Here’s just a sampling of the lovely quilts on their way to Japan.

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We’ll have more updates for you soon! Thank you all for your interest in this endeavor and your support for the people of Japan.

About Mary Kate Karr-Petras

Mary Kate is an associate editor at Quilters Newsletter. If you ask her what type of quilter she considers herself, she'll answer, "Slow." Favorite techniques include hand quilting, both traditional and big stitch, but she also loves her walking foot and keeps meaning to get better acquainted with her open-toe embroidery foot.
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One Response to Quilts for Japan — the story so far

  1. Jean Melson says:

    It is nice to know that people care about others. An amazing outpouring of love.

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