Sunday, July 28, 2013

Moore Love Quilt Project: Wrap-Up


A heartfelt THANK YOU to all who donated to our Moore Love Quilt Project. The outpouring of support and quilts has simply been amazing and we can't thank you enough.


 To date, we have collected over 400 quilts!


I happened to pick out one of the quilts that a guild member gave a co-worker who lost everything in the tornado. A couple of days later, I just happened to be at the business the night she received them.  With tears in her eyes, she thanked me for the quilts. She was so grateful as they reminded her of the trunk of quilts her grandmother made that she'd just lost. The workmanship on the quilts she received were beautiful, "just like my grandmother's workmanship", she said. I felt completely unworthy, and yet so fortunate, to be the one accepting the gratitude that was really meant for the generous quilt maker.

A thank you note from a quilt recipient.

Where the quilts came from:
  • From independent quilters and quilt guilds around the nation (including Hawaii), and as far away as Australia!
  • A group of 3 and 4 years olds from New York. Their artwork was transferred to fabric and used as blocks.
  • From a daughter who finished and donated a quilt in honor of her mother, who started the quilt but was then affected by Alzheimer's Disease.
  • From a woman who had a family member who survived the devastation at Plaza Towers Elementary.
  • From a woman who saw one of the teachers talking about protecting the children on T.V. and thought, "I'd love for her to have a quilt", and then made one.
  • From quilters in Florida who lost their own homes in Hurricane Charley and gave as a way of saying "thank you" to those who so generously gave to them.
Personal notes accompanied many of the quilts.


Where a few of the quilts went:
  • A sweet boy who lost his mother and home. Weeks later, when he received a quilt, he was still in the hospital recovering from his own injuries.
  • A woman who lost her home and a trunk that held quilts made by her grandmother. The chest is still unaccounted for.
  • A woman who stayed at one of the schools until all the kids were reunited with their parents.
  • A Moore music teacher with two small children who lost her home and car. Quilts passed down in her family were lost, so receiving quilts had special meaning.
  • A man (see photo below) injured in the tornado because he was still recovering from knee surgery and was unable to climb into shelter.

While collecting all these beautiful quilts, I learned a few things:
  1. Be prepared. As quilters, we should always have a quilt or two on hand that can be given away. The day after the Moore tornado, while we were in the middle of a meeting discussing what we should do to help, I received a notification text from our Facebook page from quilters in Birmingham, Alabama that said: "We have 40 quilts! Where can we send them?" Just like that, before we even knew what we were doing!
  2. Create the best you can. I was constantly amazed by the workmanship of the quilts we received. Several times I found myself saying, "I can't believe someone would put that much work into a quilt and then give it away to a stranger!"
  3. Give generously. Not only were the quilts beautiful and well constructed, they were also numerous. People didn't just send one quilt (which is wonderful enough) but often two or more quilts were in each box or box-es, plural. I received three boxes from one woman and one 43 pound box from another that contained 13 quilts!
Label on one of the quilts.

Once again, thank you so much for donating your quilts. I know the recipients are all feeling the love and support that each quilt represents.
We've tried our best to photograph each and every quilt received and invite you to peruse our Moore Love flickr page.


Thanks Again!
OKCMQG


4 comments:

  1. My quilting group attempted to donate 9 quilts for this project. One of the quilts was queen size and the others were large throws. The quilts were left at the quilt shop that you mentioned on your page. We later found out that another group had taken our quilts and had dismantled some of them, to change them to use them for their own charity. When I called the quilt shop, the owner told me that they did not have any organized plan for giving out the quilts, but they , in the quilt shop knew people that had been affected by the tornado. I did get 7 of our quilts back , but we had to re-quilt several of them. They had been tied and the group that took them did not want tied quilts. We were upset that we drove to Oklahoma City to drop off the quilts and the quilts were not used or donated as they were intended. We have since given several to a family whose house burned down.

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    1. Gail, I'm so sorry this happened and completely understand your displeasure. I know the quilt shop had their own collection going and quilts for two different projects going to the same place was probably not the best idea. I'm sure they had a difficult time keeping them separated, and I have no idea what their plan was. I, personally, had several tied quilts delivered to me, so we were accepting them willingly. While it's all very disappointing, I am glad that you were able to fix them and give them to a family that obviously needed them. We really appreciate the work that went into the quilts and your concern for the people of Moore. Please pass along our sincere apology and gratitude to the rest of your group.

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  2. Sews with Gail/anonymousJuly 28, 2013 at 7:46 PM

    It was not another group collecting quilt only for tornado victims, they went to a group collecting quilts for babies/young children..............obviously these 58 x 72-74 inch quilts were not baby size or colors. One was a queen size. I personally was told they didn't want tied quilts because babies might 'worry' the ties loose. I talked to them by phone and believe they were given the quilts but collected them for themselves from the back room at the quilt shop to use for their project. (more like they were donated so they assumed the quilts were for their use). They were such a mess after the tires were removed. I finally cut the binding off the last one needing to be redone and we re-sandwiched it and it will be machine quilted soon. Lots of work had to be reworked by our small little group (5-6 ladies)and we were highly disappointed they didn't get to go to the tornado victims. Lesson learned. Thankfully Gail's daughter could pick them up to be returned to us so they could/can be used for others in need.

    As a guild just thought you might like to know not all quilts got to you that were meant to so you may need to rethink how/where your collection/distribution is handled.

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    1. Sews with Gail/anonymousJulyJuly 28, 2013 at 7:50 PM

      "I talked to them by phone and believe they were given the quilts.............................." I meant they weren't given the quilts (as in someone handed them to them or told them they were there for their project)

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