“You can’t take away the darkness – But you can add to the light!”
– Pat Sears
Some children in foster care are fortunate to be placed with families who are able to provide generously at Christmas time. But many years ago, it was apparent that other children were left out during the holidays, especially those who had just been placed in protective custody, and those who were in shelter care. Also in need were those moving from one family to another, or those who were moving back home around Christmas. The Omaha Quilters’ Guild became aware of the need and in 1992, created the Children’s Emergency Fund. The project originally focused on sewing Christmas stockings but has since grown into a multifaceted, annual event. There are four ways for members to participate in the project.
Our members make stockings and there are donations of stocking stuffers. The Angel Bags are filled with age and sex appropriate, unwrapped gifts to be delivered to Child Protection for distribution by the caseworkers.
We also have a mini-raffle where members make and donate items to be raffled to each other. The Caring Friends Auction draws friends together to make quilted projects, again to be auction to each other at our annual Christmas dinner. All the proceeds from these fun events benefit CPS.
The December meeting is one of the highlights of the year as members enjoy good food, good friends and a feeling of well-being. It’s a great reward to use our talents and enthusiasm for such a meaningful cause. We each are reminded that working together, we can do so much to bring light into the life of a child.
For more information concerning this annual project contact Pat Sears at email@example.com
If you would like to contribute to this worthy cause but are unable to attend our Holiday gathering, please send a check payable to the Omaha Quilters’ Guild with a notation of “CEF” to Omaha Quilters’ Guild, P.O. Box 24614
Omaha, NE 68124
“Love is in the Quilts” spoken by Angie Reed
The Omaha Quilters’ Guild makes quilts for disadvantaged children through various area charities. Guild members have the opportunity to volunteer their time to piece, machine quilt, or tie tops and the guild provides the fabric and batting. The members provide the time and love to this worthy project.
In January, we gather together at the regular Quilt Guild meeting to assemble quilts as a group for these charities.
Helping Hands is known to deliver groups of quilts to agencies for distribution to newborns and people in need. Occasionally, they get a direct call from a concerned individual, a teacher or health care worker that knows of a family that is quietly doing the best they can with what they have. Recently Helping Hands supplied 3 quilts to a mother, father and 2 young boys who were sleeping in their jackets because they didn’t have enough blankets to keep warm at night. This committee, with their good deeds, has to be the “heart” of our guild.
This year, the Helping Hands Committee is meeting on a regular basis to help assemble quilts. Just drop in – there is plenty of room for everyone. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org if you have questions.
Help make a quilt for someone who needs one. You will be welcomed!
Helping Hands meets on a regular basis to work on quilts for charity. We supply the machines and materials, so all you need to provide is you and your time. We meet from noon to 5 pm on most Tuesdays. We do not meet on the day of any OQG general meeting.
A Quilting Place,
11019 I Street, Omaha, NE 68137
September to May, the 1st, 3rd and 4th Tuesday of each month
From noon to 5 pm
June, July and August, every Tuesday from noon to 5 pm
Visit the Helping Hands Facebook Page to keep informed!
Organizations helped by Helping Hands
Community Connections is the umbrella under which most of our community outreach programs operate.
Although the other committees under Community Connections continue to operate, an overall coordinating Chairman is needed. This position is a truly giving one where you can clearly see the results of your good work.
The Boystown Project, the on-going Hospice projects, Quilts of Valor, and numerous other local and national charitable causes are served under this category.
In addition, donation quilts for charitable auctions are handled by this committee. Do you know of a group that would benefit from the donation of a quilt for their auction? We try to help non-profit groups if we possibly can.
Reaching beyond ourselves enriches our lives. Please join us in serving our wonderful Omaha community.
ConKerr Cancer has a mission to brighten the lives of sick children in hospitals through homemade pillowcases. You can help. Read about them by printing this flyer LINK ON WEBSITE and making a pillowcase. Take your choice of pillowcase patterns. There is one in the flyer and one called Hot Dog Pillowcase that was donated to the cause. Or, you can use your own pattern. Visit their website www.ConKerrCancer.org.
The Omaha Quilters’ Guild was given the unique opportunity to reach thousands of people each year with the beauty and magic that are quilts. We try hard every year to attract growing numbers of people to our quilt show but we don’t come any near the number of people that will see our work at Boys Town.
This very special project to recreate the quilts of the boys’ dormitories at Father Flanagan’s Boys’ Home helped us promote an appreciation of quilts and quilting that will enhance our reputation as a guild.
We replicated the types of quilts that were made by the Mothers Guilds in the 20’s and 30’s from loads of donated wool and cotton from our own personal collections. They were gratefully received and are on display each year during the Christmas holidays.
Members of the Omaha Quilters’ Guild also created the quilts displayed in the Father Flanagan House museum.
The Mother’s Guild of Boystown was formed from the enthusiasm of the original Boystown Museum Project. There was such tremendous support from the guild from Boys Town that we just didn’t want to stop the momentum. Fr. Boes was so impressed with our efforts that he has given us his blessing to continue the work begun decades ago by women around the country to provide quilts for the children of Boys Town. This small group’s focus is on creating quilts to be used for purposes of fundraising and for the children and family teaching couples. The mission has been left very broad so that there is room to grow. Some of the ideas that were discussed were quilts for recognizing family teaching couples at the annual recognition night, quilts for the various fundraising auctions at our sites around the country (did you know that there are 19 sites across the US?) and quilts for the children.
Many of these goals have been reached and the group continues to find new missions. If you are interested in joining the Mother’s Guild of Boystown, contact Jan Fry email@example.com
Throughout its history, the United States has remembered its military heroes. The Home of the Brave Quilt Project was started to continue that proud tradition. It is a nationwide movement dedicated to honoring our fallen heroes of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan by making and presenting hand made quilts to a Fallen Soldiers family. We use the quilts to honor and show our gratitude for their soldier’s service and provide a measure of comfort to their families. We honor our living Soldiers with Quilts of Valor and our fallen Soldiers family with a Home of the Brave “Soldiers Quilt.” We’ve taken our inspiration from quilts made during the Civil War. During the Civil War, a volunteer organization called the U.S. Sanitary Commission was formed with the purpose of raising funds and gathering supplies, as well as overseeing the sanitary conditions of the military hospitals. The Women’s Auxiliary of the U.S. Sanitary Commission was particularly important in making and donating clothes, bandages and quilts. All donated supplies were stamped “U.S. Sanitary Commission” on the back and documented in the Commission’s records. In 1861 a general call went out for the donation of quilts and coverlets for soldiers. The Sanitary Commission requested that the quilts measure 48 by 84 inches, as these quilts were given to soldiers to carry as part of their bed rolls and were used in military hospitals on the cots of wounded soldiers. In 2½ years, the Women’s Auxiliary made and donated over 250,000 quilts. They frequently carried the names of the makers and messages of hope and support. Of these quilts, only seven are known to exist today. Quilts were lost because of the wear and tear from use during military campaigns, others were burned when field hospitals were moved, and many soldiers were buried wrapped in their quilts. Only one of these quilts is currently on public display, it is at the A.K. Smiley Library, Lincoln Memorial Shrine in Redlands, California. We have fashioned our Replica Civil War U.S. Sanitary Commission quilt on this Album Quilt.
The Home of the Brave Quilt Project is a grassroots movement. While some donations have been received, each quilt is made with supplies donated by the maker or quilt guild. Each area or state coordinator sustains their cost out of their own resources. Because it is a genuine grassroots movement, this quilt project has struck a national cord, receiving recognition by many military and political figures as well as noted quilt institution. There have been 6,333 Fallen Heroes since March 20th 2003, the beginning of Operation Iraqi Freedom. The State of Nebraska has lost 70 of their Children, 67 men and 3 women that have given their life for our country and our state. The home of the Brave Quilt project has given 4,370 quilts to 3,683 families. Hugs and Prayers are hard to hang on to, a quilt is not”.
At this time, OQG is accepting only Album Blocks for the Home of the Brave Quilt Project. Contact Melinda Armstrong, Eastern Nebraska Coordinator, Home of the Brave Quilt Project. She is a member of OQG and is in the book.
This project was born from the outpouring of generosity of guild members to Pat Varner’s request to make quilts for the patients at the Denver Area Hospice in memory of her sister, Beverly, who lost her battle with liver disease in January 2005. Beverly was an avid quilter and worked on her designs and quilts up to the day she entered hospice. She was a friend to many in the guild and was also a member of the Nebraska State Quilters Guild. This project touched off many memories from members who had similar experiences such as Pat with hospice. They approached her to research Omaha’s Hospice House, The Josie Harper Residence, to see if they would accept quilts for their patients. The officials were thrilled with these future prospects.
There are not enough words to explain the power of a quilt in a situation such as this. It can be a life-altering moment as many of you have experienced. If you any questions and/or interested in finding out more about this project, contact Pat Varner. She’s in the membership directory.
The minimum size for hospice quilts is 54 inches wide by 76 inches long.
In 2008, inspired by Jackie Heyne and Sandy Philgren, the Omaha Quilters’ Guild began a committee to participate with “Quilts of Valor.” This national organization’s purpose was to recognize soldiers who were injured in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars and present them with a quilt. Over the years, this group’s mission has expanded to serve all veterans who have been touched by war.
From the start of this project, the Omaha Quilters’ Guild has been committed to keep this effort local. We have worked closely with various veterans groups such as the Omaha VA Medical Center to identify our “local heroes.” We have now given out close to 200 quilts to our soldiers and veterans. It is a heart warming experience to see how much the veterans appreciate the recognition of their service and receiving the gift of a quilt. It is truly a blessing and privilege to see how our passion for quilting can touch another life.
Our preferred size of quilt is a minimum of 64 inches by 72 inches. This is a good size for a lap quilt. You can make it bigger if you wish. Our main colors are red, white and blue. These can be the bright, clear colors. We also use cream and the more antique reds and blues for fabrics. Flags and stars are always winners!!
There are many ways that you can participate with this project. We meet every 4th Saturday at “A Quilting Place” from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm. A Quilting Place is located at 11019 I Street, Omaha, NE. You can come for part or all of the day. Just bring your sewing machine and basic sewing supplies. Kits and fabric are always available to work on. You can also check out kits to sew on your own to make blocks or a top. You can help us by doing the quilting or applying the binding. You can also make pillow cases for us. We will also have blocks available to make at each guild meeting. We can always find some way that you can help with our quilts for veterans.
For questions, call Kerby Selmer at (402) 639-2512.