My guild, the Heritage Quilters of Huntsville, has done this for years. At a recent meeting a few of the agencies we support spoke to the guild about how well-received these quilts are by those who are given one. Veterans, NICU babies, those dealing with domestic violence, children in distress due to family issues, those who have lost their homes to fire, anyone who could use some comfort may receive a quilt. Fire, police and EMTs all carry quilts in their vehicles so they can be given to those who need them immediately.
Our Comfy Quilt coordinators were ready--they presented more quilts to the three agency spokespeople who were there. AND they had a supply of comfy quilts that needed work: some just needed a binding, some needed to be quilted and bound, a few only needed labels. That was smart because, after hearing how important these quilts are to those who have gotten them, all of the projects that needed work were picked up by members.
I selected this top to quilt and bind. It is a simple design, made from a "Jelly Roll"--2.5" strips of fabric packaged in a roll. Each print has some kind of food--I think every food group is represented. The top was done by someone else, the backing was provided, all I needed to do was add batting, baste, quilt and bind it. The strips were the perfect place to practice machine quilting.
First, I "stitched in the ditch", between all the strips. Here is the back after that step was done:
Then I stitched Free Motion Quilting (FMQ) in every other strip. I tried a variety of designs, some I am pretty good at and some I want to get better at. That stitching was quick and it was fun to decide how I would quilt each strip.
In the remaining strips, I quilted with Rulers, more correctly called Templates. Using a Ruler Foot and a variety of Longarm Rulers, I created lots of designs, some straight, some curved. This is a slower process but with careful stitching, the quilting designs can be very consistent in size and shape. It took more work to come up with those designs.
Over the course of 3 days I worked on the quilting, then created and attached the binding by machine. It will be turned in at our next meeting and eventually find its' way to a recipient who, I hope, will enjoy it.
If your organization makes Comfy Quilts, ask some of the agencies who receive them to speak to your group about what they do with them. You will see a definite increase in the participation by your members.