Monday, December 17, 2012

A Request for Hugs

12/18 Updates in green.
12/19 Updates in purple. 
1/2/13 Updates in garnet

You may know that The Taunton Press, the publisher of many wonderful books and magazines, including my own, is located in beautiful Newtown, Connecticut, just down the street from Sandy Hook Elementary School. The Taunton employees were fortunate not to be directly impacted by the events of December 14. But as I write that last sentence, I know in my heart that we have all been affected, but most especially those who live, play, work, and connect in Newtown.

Anyone who has ever made or received a hand-made quilt knows what power is created when fabric, batting, and stitches combine in a quilt. And so, I'm asking you to send a hug and a prayer to the folks in Newtown.

I have said that a quilt is a reusable hug. Specifically, I'm asking for quilts. Not because of the devastating loss caused by a natural disaster, but to help heal a broken community who may just need a reusable hug right now.

I need your help. Here's what you can do.

 - Go to your stash. Find a quilt that is almost done - it only needs a binding or some last quilting stitches, or maybe a border to finish it off. And finish it up.

 - You'll be sending a bit of yourself along, so think kind thoughts while you make those last few stitches. Those good thoughts will translate to healing and hope for the recipient.

 - Don't worry about whether the quilt is kid-friendly or themed for any one person or another. These will be distributed to folks of all ages. Quilts in all sizes will be accepted. Child and lap sized quilts are especially welcome.

 - Spread the word. I realize it's horrible timing. And the turnaround seems dreadful. But I also suspect that you might have one or two quilts that are nearly complete, a few stitches and away it goes. There's nothing like a deadline to get things done. . . . am I right?

 - I'm planning to deliver quilts personally on January 3, 2013 - so there isn't much time. If you are in the Syracuse, NY area, Calico Gals, Mission Rose Quiltery, and Patchwork Plus Quilt Shop have agreed to be collection points for Newtown quilts. I'll be leaving early on the 3rd, so quilts must arrive at the shops before January 2, 2013.

 - If you are not in the Syracuse area, please send quilts to:

                      The Taunton Press
                      Attention: Renee Neiger
                      63 South Main Street, PO Box 5506
                      Newtown, CT 06470-5506
(Please ship quilts so they arrive at The Taunton Press no later than January 7.)

 - If you want to help stuff the CRV, you can send quilts to me directly:

                      Joan Ford
                      Hummingbird Highway
                      3795 Gray Ledge Terrace
                      Syracuse, NY 13215
(Quilts must arrive at this address no later than January 2 to earn travel miles on the Hummingbird Highway!)

My friends at The Taunton Press will make sure the quilts reach their new homes.

If you can't get your quilt(s) done in time for the January 3 date, don't stress! Another address will be provided very soon where quilts shipped after the 3rd may be sent. Please check back to this blog post for an address and any additional updates.

Can you help? I hope so. Nothing will replace what has been lost. But a needle and thread can do wonders to ease the soul.

I have a question . . . How many hugs fit into the back of a Honda CRV? Let's find out, shall we?

January 2, 2013. All quilts arriving in the Syracuse area are ready for their journey. Many thanks to all for your beautiful work and heartfelt messages. The car is not quite packed yet, but it's going to be pretty darn full!

As I'm sure you have heard, many, many gifts of all kinds have been arriving in Newtown since the events of December 14. The world weeps for this New England community. Therefore storage spaces are full. As promised (above in purple), one last deadline has been identified for this project. 

Please finish up any quilts you have in progress and get them to Renee at Taunton's address above by January 7. At that time, Renee will work with a local agency to deliver quilts to Newtown families and first responders. Any quilts received after January 7 are not likely to stay in Newtown.

If you cannot make the January 7 date, consider completing your project and making a local donation in the name of the Newtown families.

A huge thank you (and a big hug) to the folks at The Taunton Press, especially Renee, for helping to coordinate these efforts for all of us. . . .

Questions? Send me an email.

Merry Christmas! Happy Holidays! Happy New Year!


  1. Just heard about your quilt drive from my mom, Sheri Noelting. My brother and I shared it with our Facebook friends and encouraged everyone to pass the info along! What a wonderful idea...

  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

  3. Joan, I'm so glad you are doing this. When my mom called me this morning and described her idea, it really touched me how passionate she was and I told her to do it. After she found out you were already doing this, she called and told me and I was so happy because now we had an opportunity to follow such a strong prompting to provide quilts who will act as much more than just a blanket to those who receive them. My sister Melissa and I are sharing an event page with all this information(since we are not quilters ourselves, :)) I've also put it on twitter. God bless in this effort. Please let us know if we can help in any other way. -Grant Noelting-

  4. Yes, I will send as many quilts as I can get done this weekend. Thanks for doing this. Tanya in MO

  5. Here is the link to my favorite quick quilt pattern for children

  6. Hello!
    We linked to your post via
    Lets Spread The Word!!

  7. I'm pretty certain that I have something that I can throw a binding on and send off.

  8. I delivered two today to Calico Gals. And I'm in Canada! Let's stuff that Honda!!! Jackie

  9. I just read that Project Linus has collected/distributed 700 quilts to the Sandy Hook area .... where does that leave the quilts collected by you?

    Partial notice from above link:
    Project Linus is wonderful

    I am the North Wales coordinator and today I received an email from Head Office, it makes me proud to be a quilter.

    "Sandy Hook Elementary School - 700 blankets needed right away
    Blanket Need for Connecticut Filled - THANK YOU!!!
    From: Mary Balagna , National VP
    December 14, 2012

    Dear Linda,
    Thank you to everyone for the blankets you have committed to send to Connecticut . Thank you also to those who offered blankets after we reached our goal. I will let you know if we need more.

    We are simply overwhelmed by your response. I sent out the initial request for 700 blankets at 10:04 CST and we filled the need by 11:00pm CST. That's less than an hour.

    Not sure if you will have access to the above link.

    1. Yes, thank you for the information, and I understand your concern, which I share. I became aware of the Project Linus request shortly after I posted this blog item.

      All I can tell you is that we are working with a women's group located in Newtown whose members are familiar with the area and its residents. Using their local knowledge, I'm certain they will do their best to deliver the quilts where there is the greatest need.

      I have requested quilts of all sizes for this effort, not only those for children. With so many people affected, I don't necessarily see this as a competing effort, but a cooperative one.

      I will do my best to share as much information as I can as the situation unfolds.

    2. Thanks, Joan, I will mail my two quilts tomorrow to Taunton Press. Hugs from Canada, xox Terry

  10. I'll be sending a quilt directly! I just finished one up to donate, thank you for sharing the info!!! :)