Quilters pull together to cover needs of storm victims
A quilt’s primary purpose, down through the ages, is to provide warmth and comfort.
And so it remains today.
In the devastating aftermath of Superstorm Sandy at the end of October, quilters from all over the nation are responding to a call to make — and send — quilts to those in need on the East Coast.
Luana Rubin, co-founder and president of eQuilter.com in Boulder, is spearheading an effort to distribute 5,000 donated quilts to hurricane victims.
“The devastation is so vast, and we are trying to reach people who really need help and don’t have much government assistance,” says Luana, who is working with Timeless Treasures Fabrics, a manufacturer with a warehouse in Roselle, N.J.
Dave Brown, owner of Timeless Treasures, gave out 100 quilts on Thanksgiving Day in New Jersey.
“We are setting up distributors in other hard-hit metro and East Coast areas,” Rubin says.
“The need goes on not for just months, but for years.”
That’s why she initiated this disaster relief quilt drive, encouraging quilters to use their talents to help “others who have lost everything.”
For those who decide to make a quilt for this cause, Rubin has some suggestions:
■ Bed-sized quilts are most needed. Lap-sized and crib quilts will be accepted, but she encourages quilters to send at least twin or full-sized ones.
■ Consider backing the quilt with flannel for extra warmth.
■ Put your name, address and a message of hope on a label and attach it to the quilt back. Even if you don’t hear back from the recipients, they will surely read your message of caring, Rubin says.
Use a permanent waterproof pen such as a Pigma or Sharpie, write on a light-colored fabric, use a double-sided fusible and hand-tack it for security.
■ If you want to donate a pillowcase as well, you can put the quilt inside it as a covering.
Otherwise, please do not donate fleece blankets or crocheted afghans or unfinished quilt tops.The relief quilt drive is only accepting finished quilts.
■ Free patterns are available for Hurricane Sandy quilts at http://www.equilter.com or www. ttfabric.net/patterns.
Quilts can be shipped directly to Timeless Treasures warehouse:
Timeless Treasures Fabrics
161 East 11th Ave.
Roselle, N.J. 07203
Note: If you want confirmation of delivery, then you’ll need to ship the quilt with a tracking number. For security, do not mark the box with the word “quilts.”
Donated quilts also can be dropped off, in person only, during business hours Monday through Friday at eQuilter in Boulder. (Do not ship quilts to Boulder.)
Rubin also wants to assure quilters that their donations will reach hurricane victims in a timely manner. Her company has a track record of working with the Mission of Love charity to deliver quilts to 9/11 survivors, Haiti earthquake victims, Hurricane Katrina survivors, Pine Ridge, S.D., orphans and Japan tsunami survivors.
EQuilter.com itself, which sells quality quilt fabrics and related products online, has raised more than $1 million for charity over the years.
When Hurricane Sandy slammed into the New Jersey coast and wreaked havoc across the Northeast, Rubin once again was moved to reach out to those who lost their possessions.
“My heart is breaking for all of those affected, and I know you feel the same way,” she wrote in her online challenge message. “So let’s see what we can do together.”
I have no doubt that Rubin’s goal of 5,000 quilts will be met, because quilters seem to always respond when needs arise. If you’ve been troubled by the misfortunes of our neighbors to the east, this is a tactile way to show them that others care.
Email Sherida.Warner @GJSentinel.com.