My on-going philanthropic effort is to support the Bay Area Crisis Nursery. This charity is strictly a local one; it doesn't have a national support base such as Project Linus. I wanted my efforts to remain local and this organization is simply wonderful.
From their website:
The Bay Area Crisis Nursery (BACN) was started in 1981 by Sister Ann Weltz. Sister Ann believed that child abuse and neglect need not ever occur if children had a safe haven when their parents temporarily couldn't cope.
As a teacher in two very different economic areas in the San Francisco Bay Area, Lafayette/Orinda and West Oakland, Sister Ann noticed that families in both areas had crises and stresses that rendered them temporarily unable to cope with caring for their children. They couldn't focus on solving the problem and adequately care for their children at the same time.
Sister Ann discovered the crisis nursery model for tackling this issue when she worked for a summer at Casa De Los Ninos in Tucson, Arizona. Determined to bring the same program to California, she finished one more year of teaching and returned to Casa de los Ninos.
After two years, she returned to the Bay Area and began knocking on doors looking for a house and support for the program. She found a house in Concord that could pass all the necessary inspections and raised over $300,000 to start the Nursery. From its first admission in 1981 BACN has grown to over 1,000 admissions annually, with two homes for children, aged birth through 5 and 6 through 11.
I don't have any particular schedule for delivering the quilts; they are donated as they get done. This allows me to work on them as time permits without the additional stress of needing to produce "X" number of quilts in a specific timeframe. Not only does creating these quilts make me feel good, but it fills a true need. I think of them as my Los Sobrantes quilts ... using up the leftovers. :-) When the kids leave BACN, they may take a quilt or blanket with them.
I also use these quilts to get practice on Lizzie, my Tin Lizzie longarm quilting machine. There is nothing like practice to make you more proficient at whatever it is you are practicing! I don't particularly want to practice on a king-size quilt (too much real estate) but kid-size quilts are practically done before I start. :-) I can practice new techniques and quilt designs without fear of ruining a client quilt or devoting a substantial amount of time on a larger quilt, only to find out that whatever I did didn't turn out as I had planned. I always try to do my best, but if something doesn't turn out quite right, I know that the kids won't mind not having a perfect, award-winning quilt. It'll still keep them warm even if the quilting designs have bobbles and "idiosyncracies". :-)
As I complete the charity quilts, a new entry will appear below. There is no regular timeframe for these quilts .. they get done as they get done.
Drunkard's Path and mosaic blocks
Friendship Star (apricot)
Friendship Star (blue)
The Friendship Stars in the "Apricot" and the "Blue" quilt were originally in the same top along with other alternating blocks that were intended to be appliqued. That project never made it off the ground so I disassembled all the Friendship Star blocks to be re-purposed for these charity quilts. I still need to figure out what to do with the partially appliqued blocks. :-)
9-Patch-Pizzazz (Lily Pond)
Sawtooth Star 1
Sawtooth Star 2
Big Banana Border
Sashed Disappearing 9-patch
Unnamed Blue and Apricot