Summer of Inspiration | Linda from Quilts for Kids

As you may know, quilting has a very high value for me. Not only is it a beautiful art form, it opens up so many opportunities for community and charity. It’s truly a gift that we have to offer the world. Today I want to introduce you to a very special lady that has the same passion as I do. We even had the pleasure of meeting in-person at a recent Quilt show. Linda is the Founding President of a wonderful charity called Quilts for Kids, Inc. and today, you’re going to meet her too!

Quilts for Kids, Inc. is a non-profit organization that collects quilts for kids in need around the globe. Not only do they collect these beautiful acts of love, they personally distribute them to children who are experiencing life threatening illnesses, abuse, poverty, and natural disasters like hurricanes, floods and fires. Not only is this mission good for children in need, it’s good for the earth! The story of Quilts for Kids is truly inspiring and I can’t wait to tell you all about it! What better way than to talk to the founder herself?

What inspired you to start Quilts for Kids?

I’m always curious about people’s inspirations — what sparked the flame? Linda recalls, “I walked into the Philadelphia design center to place a fabric order for a client, the showroom was filled with trash bags full of fabric samples. When they told me they’d be in the trash room today and the Philadelphia landfill tomorrow – that I shouldn’t worry about it – I was astounded. The thought of tossing expensive, beautiful, new fabric into landfill was upsetting.” Ah, the spark! She wondered if the fabric could be made into patchwork quilts, and the idea developed not just into beautiful quilts, but quilts that could comfort a child who was hospitalized and frightened like her own daughter was when she was just 4 years old. And the spark became a flame, at the time Linda had no idea that she would end up touching the lives of hundreds of thousands of children in need across the globe.

I do lots of prep work for these interviews. It’s fascinating what you can find out about a person online! I noticed that in the “about” section of the Quilts for Kids website, that Linda mentioned that no one thought her charity model would work in the beginning. I had to ask her what made her believe that it would work and what gave her the gumption to try it despite the lack of support?

“There were a lot of naysayers in the beginning. Since I didn’t sew I’d have to find others who did. Then I’d discovered that just because one could sew didn’t mean that you could quilt. I had a gut instinct moving me along. I still do. It just seemed like a good idea to keep fabric from landfill and help children in need in the process so I plodded on. My Aunt Barbara was a sewer who took a quilting class at Pennington Quilt works in NJ, near her home. They taught her the skills and she made our first quilt. Shortly after my neighbor made a quilt, also using the fabric samples I’d brought home. I contacted newspapers who wrote articles about us and kind hearted quilters showed up at my home to collect bags of fabric samples that I’d coordinate by colors and patterns for them. I learned to surround myself with positive people and not listen to people who had negative things to say. There ARE a lot of people out there wanting to make a difference and for 18 years they’ve been finding their way to Quilts For Kids, Inc. and helping to make a difference in the lives of hundreds of thousands of children.” Like I said, this girl’s got gumption!

After 10 years running Quilts for Kids from her home, Linda finally found a storefront which allowed for the opportunity to offer daily workshops. Monday through Friday from 10 to 3:00 they do workshops where volunteer quilters can come with their sewing machines and use one of their free kits to make a quilt for a child needing some comfort.

I’m sure you’re wondering just how many quilts Linda and her team of volunteers has distributed in their 18 years of service. Linda doesn’t have an exact number because it’s so many quilts. But she says, “Each year tens of thousands of children receive quilts from We also donate many other things like pillowcases, sheets, hats and so much more.” Tens of thousands per year!? Just incredible.

Donations are made to children from birth through age 22 who have life threatening illnesses, are children of abuse and poverty as well as children who have lost everything to natural disasters like hurricanes, floods and fires. Linda is incredibly grateful for all of the support that the charity receives; “We owe all our success to the sweet volunteers who continue to send us their beautiful works of art that we then wrap around children in need of a cuddle. We also owe a debt of gratitude to those who help fund us with their checks and fabric donations. It helps offset the cost of shipping quilts to the children needing them and buying the fabrics to coordinate with the donated fabrics.

How do you manage to distribute all of those quilts?!

So now, the obvious question is: If you’re giving out tens of thousands of quilts per year…how do you do it? I love logistics, so Linda told me, “We have volunteers across North America who hand deliver our quilts.” Linda explains,”We don’t ship unless there’s someone on the other end who can get the quilts directly into the arms of the children needing them. This might be a nurse or a QFK volunteer in a community affected by floods, fires and earthquakes. We have always been a first responder. When 9/11 happened we were able to get our quilts to over 5,000 quickly by working with the NOVA (network of victims assistance). When Katrina happens we had our QFK volunteers hand delivering the quilts and other items that were donated. The same for hurricane Sandy, Harvey, Irma and Maria. We want to help when and where we can.”

Do you distribute items other than quilts to the kids?

“Yes, when there’s a need we try hard to fill it. When Katrina happened and Philadelphia Wanamaker school took in 2,000 families we worked to get them towels, soap, shampoo and other things like sheets and pillowcases. We also donated quilts.” Quilts for Kids has about 100 chapters of across the USA and many of them like donating chemo hats, pillow cases and things like baby shoes made from a denim manufacturer. Linda beams, “We have very creative volunteers helping to donate what is needed.”

I’m sure there’s so many stories, do you have one in particular that is near and dear to your heart?

Alright, you can’t say that you started reading this post and thought you wouldn’t cry…but I want you to realize how incredible this organization is. So, I popped the question to Linda, and she responded,

“I remember delivering quilts with a group of high school kids who had made very high quality quilts in their school quilting class. I took them to their local children’s hospital to hand out the quilts they’d made. Teens often say life sucks. Well, not to a child fighting a life battle with cancer or another disease. So I took them to the hospital to see first hand how life was for a hospitalized child and while there I heard a young child screaming in pain.
A nurse saw me holding quilts and I got the feeling she wanted me to give one to the child. I noticed two things. The little girl in the room was surrounded by pink and she was rubbing her stomach. I quickly got a pink quilt from one of the kids and quietly went into the room. Her dad was standing at the foot of the bed looking lost as his daughter was screaming in pain. I walked in with a pink quilt, hoping I could help but not certain.
I told her a story how I had a magical quilt for her. And that maybe if she took all the pain into her hand and squeezed her hand so she would pulverize the pain to powder and she could magically blow it and send it through the hall to all the other children feeling like her.
I said it would help them sleep because they too were getting magical quilts. To my amazement she did what I said. I told her I’d cover her now with the magic quilt and she could sleep, if she liked. All this time the room was quiet. The nurse in the doorway appeared with her morphine drip but she was sound asleep with a smile on her face.
The father began to cry…we went out in the hall so we would not wake his daughter and noticed how silent the ward was. The wonderful students had delivered their quilts to all the rooms and those children too, were quiet.
The father said for two months they’d been hearing her scream. She’d had a difficult transplant and had been in considerable pain. He had NOT seen his little one smile in all that time.
He wanted to know what was in those quilts??
….all I did was tell a crazy story and cover her in a quilt and she was out like a light. He said even the morphine didn’t help enough. And yet, he said, here she was sound asleep with a HUGE smile on her face and no medication, only a quilt.
I answered….”it’s simple, really. It’s all the love that’s put into the quilt that she’s feeling”.
It’s the reason why I say there’s only 2 rules when making a quilt.
Have fun.
Fill it with love — because all that love shines through when you wrap a child in your quilt.”


How Do I Start?

Now if that story doesn’t have you ready to sew a quilt for one of these children, I don’t know what will. But making a quilt isn’t the only way you can help! There’s lots of options and opportunities for you to get involved. Here’s just a few:

  • Quilts for Kids will always need fun, kid oriented cotton quilts that are lap or crib sized. They have to be new and not pre-used quilts. Please wash them prior to sending them to us so they are ready to gift right away. You can see all the requirements on the Quilts for Kid’s website.
  • Spread the word! The more people that know about Quilts For Kids, Inc. means that more children can receive quilts!
  • Help pay for Shipping: The charity always needs shipping help. Both for hand delivering them as well as paying UPS and postal fees to ship them. You can donate easily through their website.
  • Fabric Donations: If volunteers have cotton to donate that is appropriate for children from birth through age 22 years (mostly brightly colored, pastels or kid oriented prints) QFK will use that for making a quilt and you’ll even get a tax donation form for donating! Simply box it up and send it to:

Quilts for Kids, Inc.

494 Lincoln Hwy

Fairless Hills, PA 19030

  • Quilts for Kids partners with many companies and are always looking for more! If you work for an office or a manufacturer that might be interested in helping to fund quilts for children in THEIR community, make sure to get them in touch!
    You can reach Quilts for Kids in several different ways:

Phone: 215-295-5484

creative professional interviews

So, how is your summer of inspiration going? So far, we’ve met an amazing designer and now and amazing heart. What are you inspired to do with this? I hope that you’ll find a way to get involved this summer, even if it’s for just a few hours. Make sure to come back next week for an awesome interview with Blair from WiseCraft.

Enjoy reading this post? To make sure you don’t miss a thing, follow me on Pinterest, Facebook, and Instagram and sign up for an email subscription to my blog.


  1. Inspiring interview. I have participated in this in the past but did not know anything about the charity just that I was making a quilt for a child in need and that when I volunteered to wash several quilts what would happen with them.
    What a wonderful project!

Leave a Reply