The Notebook Really Helps…And A Question

While getting organized for the new year, I found an old project.  It was really an idea that I forgot about.  For about one year (several years ago) I had the idea that any practice blocks I made would be all from this bag of fabric.  Then, when I was ready, I would have an orphan quilt that was coordinated.  Well, seven blocks into good intentions I forgot about it and it went into a pile somewhere.


Using my handy-dandy notebook, I drew up a sketch, adding quite a number of 2-1/2″ squares.  Most came from my tub of cut scraps, a few were from the fabric bag.  It was nice to try out ideas.  Erasing is much easier than unpicking. 🙂


Five of the blocks are in the quilt–the large center block and the four matching blocks in the corners.  One block will be in the pillow.  One was declared a dud and cut up into 2-1/2″ squares.

I did end up altering the original plan a little, but all in all I am really happy with the final top.  It is about 50″ x 60″.  A nice couch throw.  I plan to donate it to the local women’s shelter fundraiser this year.  Last year’s donation went so well that I really want to do it again.

I am planning a pillow, too.  A matched set seems like more of an attraction than just a plain quilt.  Together they make a room seem decorated.


Now, my question…last year I paid for the quilting.  I am wondering–and I am really interested in hearing from any quilters out there–is it OK to ask a longarm quilter if they would be willing to donate the quilting?  I know making quilts is a hobby for me, and for many people longarm quilting is a business.  What is the protocol, if there is one.  Your input appreciated.

18 thoughts on “The Notebook Really Helps…And A Question

  1. I make a lot of charity quilts . I’m like you I enjoy doing it. I most times knot or do a simple stitch on the ditch with my machine. I do handquilt some but that takes more time. I have asked Project Linus on a few that just needed to have some lovely quilting on it , they took care of that for me. They received the top though. I do believe that there is a generous heart out there somewhere.

  2. I sometimes make donation scrap quilts and occasionally ask a long arm quilter if she would be willing to donate the quilting for a small donation quilt. You can also look for a Project Linus group, or a guild in your area that does donation quilts on a regular basis and see if they will take tops to quilt for donations.

  3. Yes it is okay to ask……..a friend quilts all the charity quilts for her church at no charge…..they give her all the supplies needed. These are prayer quilts and preemie quilts.

  4. All you can do is ask. If you find someone who is new at it and still practising, your top could be a practise one. A few of the ladies I have met here, have a set number of charity quilts they do each year.

    You might want to ask through the shelter, if any of the staff are quilters or have a qulter in the family who would be interested in finishing the top.

  5. It’s okay to ask. Some will, some won’t. I never minded being asked, though there were a few times when I couldn’t because there were too many quilts in the queue. Pick someone you feel comfortable asking to do that. I love the top! It came out absolutely wonderful, and it DOES look very coordinated!

  6. First of all, Deanna – your quilt is wonderful!! I, like you, do a quilt each year for the Children’s Justice Center here in Logan. It is a place for kids to go when they have been abused, physically or sexually. I always ask a local long arm quilter (different ones each year) to donate the quilting. Most are happy to do so and if it is their business, it gives them a tax write-off if they are so inclined.

  7. Oh my gosh, I love this quilt. Would you be willing to share the pattern? Pretty Please. I think that most long arm quilters would be willing quilt it for you as a donation (or maybe a very small fee). My mother always told me it never hurts to ask.

    1. Thanks for your kind words about my orphan block quilt. I wish there were a pattern to share. The closest thing is the diagram you can see in the picture of the notebook. Each square represents 2″. Maybe at some point I will draw up the pattern formally, but hopefully that will help you a little. If you have questions, feel free to ask.

  8. I think most people would be willing to donate their time and talent. However, if you feel uncomfortable asking them to donate their time, why not leave it up to them by asking “What would you charge to long arm my quilt which is going to be donated to………….” Now you are letting them make the decision to long arm your quilt for free or to charge. There are so many generous folks out there I think you will find their time and talent will be at no charge.

  9. Just let the longarmer know it’s a charity quilt….Maybe they’ll volunteer to do it for free… Maybe not…. I longarm for a hobby, so I volunteer to do charity quilts for my friends… There’s a longarmer close that is in business to do their ‘for pay’ quilts..she has lots of overhead expenses that I don’t have, and doesn’t make enough as it is in my book.

  10. How fun to finish something that has been sitting around for a while. I need to refresh my UFO list and make an effort to work on one a month. Seems I just keep starting new projects. The UFO’s I have are all smaller pieces from classes I have taken, and there is often a love hate relationship with the project….love to have time to work on it…..hate that something else takes away my time etc. If you belong to a guild, you may have a ready list of long armers who would help with a charity quilt. In my bee, we do lots of baby quilts for a charity, and we use those quilts to do our VERY BEST free motion quilting. I do fine at “stitch in a ditch” or “outline quilting” or “diagonal across the quilt in straight lines”. FMQ is a leap for me, and when I work with another quilter, we help each other plan the FMQ and it is good practice.

  11. Girl for all you do for people I think a quilt or two would not hurt a long arm quilter too much. If they have a business it’s a write off for them at tax time.

  12. I just told my quilter that the quilt was going to be donated (and to whom). I really didn’t have any experience with this but she voluntarily donated her time. It was a great way to leave the door open to avoid hard feelings. I sent her a picture of it hanging at the supermarket with a sign on it showing that it was being raffled off AND I included her name in the credits. 🙂

  13. Although I am not a professional quilter, I’m thinking what harm would it do to ask? They will say yes or no. Tell the person what you plan on doing and make sure she gets credit….. it would be advertising also. Such a worthy cause. It never hurts to ask…. at least in my book.

  14. Beautiful quilt! I really like the way the blue borders set everything off.

    IF I had a long arm machine, knowing the quilt is being donated for a cause, I’d offer to quilt it. Perhaps there is someone in the organization you’re donating to that would be willing to do the quilting?

  15. the quilt is beautiful and I do remember that quilt you donated last year and how much it earned..that was awesome!!! I have asked the gal who quilts for me to give me a break (or do it for free) quilts that I donate but she would go 10% off and that was it..which helped…but it doesn’t hurt to ask…I wish I had someone in my area as passionate about doing things for others as I am..not trying to sound like a miss-goody-two-shoes but it is hard to find anybody who wants to do anything for others anymore..that is why this quilting world is such a great bunch of people..we are always at the forefront of doing for others and for groups…are there no church groups in your area who will hand quilt things for charity?? I just found out about a group and am going to contact them one of these days..

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