Today, I want to get the Carolina Hurricane Quilt Project underway, and to share the opportunity for you to get involved! The project is to provide new quilts to people on the North Carolina coast whose homes were severely damaged or destroyed by Hurricane Florence, the floods that followed, and then additionally damaged by more flooding from Hurricane Michael. The need is staggering, with thousands of homes damaged or completely destroyed. Figures released in October estimate a cost of $98 Billion for the coastal area stretching from Virginia down to Georgia, with more than $60 Billion in damage from floods and wind of that total in NC. Local authorities report over 600,000 homes were damaged or destroyed along the entire coast of North Carolina and including parts of South Carolina and Virginia. This will be a long term project, lasting until at least June of next year, and likely longer. It takes a year to rebuild many homes, and quilts will be needed for quite some time.
I have made a number of arrangements to help provide new quilts to people who were devastated by this event, concentrating only on the hardest hit area around Wilmington, NC. I have been in touch with several organizations on the coast, and all tell me that the need is incredible. For the six counties most heavily impacted, there are over 4500 homes severely damaged or completely destroyed that have been surveyed, and they haven’t yet assessed the entire area. The number of quilts needed could be well into the thousands when all the affected areas have been evaluated. So, your help is desperately needed. If you can get your friends or local quilt group together to complete a nice size quilt, and ship a finished one, that would be wonderful. Wherever you are in the US, I am asking for your help in making and shipping quilts.
In fact, I would like to challenge every quilt guild and club in the Carolinas that were not affected by the floods to commit to making and shipping at least 5 quilts per club. If my friends and I can do five, surely an entire club can do more. This disaster affected our home state, so let’s come together to help our neighbors. But not just NC, quilting groups all over the US can help. I know that even a small group quilters can make a huge difference. If a group of 8-10 quilters can make a few blocks each, come to a sew-in to help assemble the quilt and then chip in for batting, quilting by a longarmer (at a discount for charity but not asking for free) and shipping, think how many quilts could be made!! Many hands make light work, and many small donations can add up to big results, just like we did for the fire quilt project. Traditional or modern quilts, whatever you want to make is fine.
The ideal size is 72 x 84 or larger with borders, (12-1/2″ quilt blocks 6 x 7 or more) large enough for a full size bed or more – the size you would want if you had nothing and needed to start over. Last year we did queen size quilts 7×8 blocks, 56 per quilt. But if all you can do is a twin, we’ll take it!!
Please add this button to your sidebar with the URL of this post, share it on social media, tell your local guild members, put it in your guild newsletters, post about this project on your blog, and let’s get as many as we can underway. The director of the Catholic Charities organization (coordinating all the efforts with the Red Cross and other organizations) says the need is now, but will extend well into next year so you have plenty of time. Together we can help cover the Carolina coast with quilted hugs.
Shipping Address for Completed Quilts Only!
Carolina Hurricane Quilts Project
c/o Catholic Charities
20 N. 4th Street, Suite 300
Wilmington, NC 28401
If you are within driving distance of Hendersonville, North Carolina, you may leave finished quilts at the local drop off location –
Beginnings Quilt Shop
1038C Greenville Hwy
Hendersonville, NC 28792
Lynn will collect these as they come in. I will pick them up and take them to Hearts With Hands, who has agreed to provide transportation for our quilts to the coastal area. I hope that saving on shipping costs will allow more quilts to be made in the area that is driving distance for a “ladies day out” or a short road trip to come here. Let me know if you are coming in from outlying areas with quilts, I’ll meet you for lunch if I can!
The quilt block shown in the quilts today is in the public domain, so I have done a pdf for you. Easy to do, it is just a nine patch of 4-1/2-inch squares and two half square triangles. Be sure your lights are all lights and not mediums, and the darks have a good contrast, like these blocks.
If a fabric seems too dark to be a light or too light to be a dark, it is likely too much of a medium value to look good. This block has a medium print in the lights, see how your eye goes right to it? It just sticks out as not right.
Replacing that square with a white one, and now the line across the diagonal is sharper.
Send the blocks only to me, and I will assemble them with the help of local friends, quilt and bind them and get them to Wilmington. Do not ship completed quilts to me, send those directly to the Wilmington address above. Also, please do not send extra fabric, I have plenty. The block drive is over, I have enough for eight queen size quilts now. But you can use this block to make a finished quilt for the project if you like.
I am so excited to announce that the amazing Christine of Backside Fabrics located in North Carolina will be providing all the wide backing needed to make five queen size quilts!! Please consider looking at her site, and buying her wonderful fabrics the next time you need a wide backing. The prices are great, and even with shipping is less expensive than using five yards of regular width fabric (no affiliation with Backside, just a very satisfied customer). I have used Backside exclusively for wide backs ever since I found them a couple of years ago. The quality is superb!! Thank you, Christine, for your fabulous support!!
I am also thrilled to announce another amazing lady, Stephanie at Hobbs Batting is supplying all the Hobbs Heirloom 80/20 batting needed for our five queen size quilts here at From My Carolina Home!! Thank you so much, Stephanie, I am truly blown away by the generosity at Hobbs!! You can get Hobbs Batting at Fat Quarter Shop, including all the Tuscany line and also Hobbs at Craftsy including the wonderful Hobbs 80/20 in Black with my links. The batting arrived and is ready for quilt tops!
Beyond the quilts yet to be made, I know I have several new quilts sitting around that I am not using and can spare. Do you have a quilt you’ve made but not used? Quilts made one or two years ago, and stored unused are fine as well, ship those to the Wilmington address. The charities will take any size, however I hope quilts made specifically for this project will be full size or larger, as each household can only receive one quilt, the need is just too great. Traditional quilt patterns, modern quilt patterns, panels with added borders, or anything you have made would be great.
If you have knitted or crocheted afghans, minky blankets, fleece blankets with edging treatments, quilted throws or anything else that could serve as warm bedding, and you can ship to arrive by November 10, Quilts of Compassion will make one trip to the Carolina coast with immediate need bedding and blankets. This trip was made earlier in November.
If you or your quilt group are planning to make a quilt or better yet several quilts for the Carolina Hurricane Quilt Project, please let me know in the comments. You do not have to make this pattern to be a part of this drive, whatever you choose would be fine. I am quite sure that some were already underway before learning of my challenge, and I’d love to know about everyone’s plans and progress. Feel free to post links to your groups, too. Thank you Queen Bee quilters in Delaware (pictured below) for all you are able to do.
So, that’s the plan. Ship now, ship later, blocks as soon as possible, multiple sites to send or drop off quilts, fantastic support by two of my favorite vendors, and we are underway with the Carolina Hurricane Quilt Project!! Please share this everywhere you can. Together we can make a difference, and send quilty hugs to those in need.
What can you do to help? Will your quilt club or guild help? Have you already sent quilts to a relief organization for the Carolina coast?
The next update with additional drop off sites and much more information will be on the blog on January 6th, as we get past the holidays and move to phase 2.
See the first update HERE. I am now putting together a network of longarm quilters to assist top makers with finishing and shipping. See the update for details.