More Details: Donate a Block–Donate an Organ: Charity Quilt Project

Charity Quilting is a part of quilting that I enjoy.  It is giving a part of me to reach out and bless someone who just might need a hug!

Sometimes there are projects I can do while other times my schedule is just too hectic to become involved.  And we all know there are just so many needs in our community and as one quilter we sometimes have to pick and choose.

The “Donate a Block-Donate an Organ” Charity Quilt Project is one that even if you are busy you can take an hour and make a block.  If everyone that reads my blog makes just one block, imagine how many quilts we can make!


When I woke yesterday morning, I discovered that Carly had been working hard on the details.  She posted on Facebook more details, and suggestions. 

I’ve copied her post here with her permission:

The goal is to create quilts for dialysis centers and other places of kidney health in order to support sick patients and create a smile on their face.

We all know we can do this with fabrics and your time and effort will be appreciated tremendously!

Here is the plan of action:

We need blocks that are 6” square with in the middle a kidney. …. Each kidney should be about 3.5” long and about 2.5” wide. KidneyPics

As you can see they go in two directions, but that’s because in an ideal situation we have 2 healthy kidneys, one for each side. Pick your side! Each 6” square block will have one kidney. I would think we need 35 blocks for one quilt (5×7). The blocks will have 1.5” sashing in between.

I made the first kidney quilt per request of my daughter Eline. She wanted the real colors of kidney used for the organs and a “urine” color for background, so that’s what I did. What choice does a Mom have?

As a group, it may be much more fun to make the kidneys out of all kind of different fabrics. Fabrics of your choice, that say something about you. For instance, it could be a flower fabric, shell fabric, sport fabric, animal fabric….. I’m sure there are patients who love this just as much as you and when all the different blocks are sewn together into one wall-hanging, an instant adult I-Spy quilt is being created, giving patients something fun and colorful to look at while waiting in that clean waiting room… If we all use a cream as a background, sure that will come together nicely. I would suggest we keep fabrics that are related to food and drinks out, as those are sensitive subjects for kidney patients. Most patients are adults, so the fabrics should look suitable for adults as well.

The kidney needs to be appliquéd. Any way of appliqué is fine. You can do it by hand, by machine, needle turn, raw edge, fusible web, whatever. As long as it nicely attached to the background. If you want to write something, you can, but please keep in mind that we need some seam allowances as well. The blocks will be trimmed down to 5.5” later to make sure they are indeed all equal in size (;). Any writing, embellishing should stay within a 5” square as 5” is the finished size of each block. You can make whatever you want as long as it is tasteful.

Customers that live close to the shop can pick up a cream colored background square with the kidney shape. You can use your own, but I will have some available as well. Once they bring it back a team of volunteers will be necessary to sew the blocks together into quilts and bind them. I need lots of volunteers! Piecers, quilters, binders…This is not the job of one person! I am happy to coordinate this, but since I have no idea how many blocks we could expect, a certain carefulness is in place as I really don’t need another job. Quilt guilds, sewing groups, please let me know if you can help out! We can have some social evenings in the shop as we did for the soldiers with some pizza….., but it would also be wonderful if you can put the quilts together at your own meeting places.

Since it is really very easy to make a block, it could be possible that we get lots of blocks and we all know how much work goes into finishing a quilt. I will kindly ask every customer to donate $2.00 per block. Not because you should have to pay for your effort, but because we have to be realistic and a lot of money could be involved in backing, batting, thread etc. if the number of quilts is really going up. I wouldn’t mind to donate for a couple of quilts, but I simply can’t afford donating for hundreds of quilts. If every block maker donates $2.00, we would get $70.00 per quilt which should be (almost) enough for thread, sashing, border, backing, batting and binding. I also think it would be nice if every maker would be mentioned on the back of the quilt, with his/her city and state. I would like to use Printed Treasures for this and part of the money will be used for this as well.

Each quilt will get the same border and sashing. A certain uniformity is nice, as it makes the quilt really recognizable as one of the “Donate a block. Donate an organ” quilts. I used burgundy on Eline’s quilt and it really has the look as if the organs are floating inside the body. Burgundy is also a color that will look nice on most walls in professional areas.

Customers that live further or far away from the shop have 2 options. We want you to be involved and spread the word!! Option number 1 is that they can use this idea and send their blocks in. Use your own choice of cream (not tan) background, appliqué the kidney on it and mail it to us. I hope you will include a $2.00 per block donation as well as other quilters will have to sew your block into a quilt. Option 2 is even better. Be part of this program by making quilts for dialyses centers in your own area and make the entire quilt locally, together with your friends. Use a cream color background. Print the kidney shape and start sewing! Once you have 35 blocks, you will be able to purchase the burgundy fabric at a very discounted price as I don’t want to make any profit on these quilts. Instructions for setting of the blocks will follow. This second option really would make sense as it shares the work involved. No $2.00 donation would have to be collected as all the work is done elsewhere. Send in the pictures of your sewing time, of your finished quilts, of your places of health and we can all share in the fun!

The finished quilts will go to places of kidney health. It can be local, (wherever that may be, depending on where the quilt has been made) but if a customer has a special relation with a center far away (as I already heard some customers would like make this in honor of a family member who has been a transplant patient), and this customer is willing to deliver the quilt to that center, we can definitely work that out as well. We will have to do this as this is also what the doctors have to do in case of a transplant patient match. This project is for everyone, everywhere. We all have kidneys, we all need healthy organs to live. Donors, people that make a good match, can live on the other side of

the country and I think that is just wonderful when a person so far away is willing to give something this precious to another unknown person. Or as my daughter mentioned on Facebook: “Here’s a kidney we can all donate”.

Thank you for making it again possible to do good with fabrics! All questions, remarks, pictures and whatever else that can be shared, will be done on Facebook, so you can all take a look at it any time. Wouldn’t it be amazing to see many places with these quilts? Wouldn’t it be nice to see more quilts in public places, period? Wouldn’t it be nice if some people could relax and smile a little by looking at our work? Wouldn’t it be nice if you can do something good for a stranger by doing what you like? YES!!!

I hope this info will make it possible to start. In the shop I will have the first blocks ready to give away on Monday. One per customer. We can fine-tune as we are going along as I’m sure there’s much more involved than I can oversee in one note. I may have forgotten something and I apologize in advance for any confusion. Just ask!

Wishing you healthy sewing times!

To summarize: Carly is calling for quilters to make 6” square blocks using cream (not tan) solid or tone-on-tone background fabric, and a 2-1/2” x 3-1/2” kidney appliquéd in the middle.  She’s requesting the kidneys be made from fun ‘adult’ fabrics (avoiding food & drink fabrics) and can be appliquéd using any method.  The blocks will be sent to Webfabrics and once collected, 35 blocks will be combined to make a quilt using sashing and a burgundy fabric border.  Volunteers will piece, quilt and bind the finished quilts.  Because this is a block drive, Carly is requesting $2.00 donation per block to help defray the cost of sashing, border, backing fabrics and batting.

I would like to challenge everyone reading my blog, to make a block or two.  Leave a comment here, on Facebook or email me and let me know if you are interested in participating.  I would be willing to take my reader’s blocks and make one quilt (or more) just from us.

You can either send blocks to me and I will make some quilts, or you can send them directly to Webfabrics to be combined with others they receive.

Using Carly’s Kidney Picture, I made a PDF Template of Right & Left curved Kidneys. Click Here to download my Right-Left Kidney Templates.  Download this file to your computer to print it. Print this using no scaling, and check the size of the template.  It should be about 2-1/2” x 3-1/2”.

I’ll be working on a Tutorial for Fusible, Raw-Edge, Machine Appliqué Block, and will post it as soon as I can.

Now, how about heading to your machine and making a block?

Happy Stitching!

Quilt Mouse


About Quiltmouse

I am retired. I love to quilt. I make charity quilts as well as quilts for my friends & family.
This entry was posted in Charity, Donate A Block - Donate An Organ, Quilting and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to More Details: Donate a Block–Donate an Organ: Charity Quilt Project

  1. Prue Hoppin says:

    Count me in for some of the kidney blocks. Guess I really will have to learn something about machine applique!

    Liked by 1 person

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