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Quilts for Victims of Harvey

Last week we were all drawn together in unity as we stared in awe at the magic of the universe. The eclipse captured the heart and souls of our country.


Eclipse Two for Blog

Not even a week later our hearts are going out to those affected by the horrible destruction caused by Hurricane Harvey. This storm will impact the lives of thousands of people in Texas, Louisiana and Mississippi for months to come. It is estimated that in Texas alone, more than 100,000 homes have been flooded. Many people will have lost everything but the clothes on their backs.

We ask ourselves, “What can I do to help?” People living close to the disaster are taking clothes, food and supplies to shelters and distribution centers. Others are directly involved in the rescue operations. The vast majority of us are not able to do that. But there are other ways we can offer our support.

The immediate need is money to help in purchasing food and supplies.

There are several relief organizations recommended on CNN.

And, of course, the American Red Cross is always prepared to help in such situations.

If every one of you reading this donated at least $10, think of the impact it would make. One thousand donations would generate $10,000 in seriously needed aid.

Those of you who have been to Quilt Market or Quilt Festival are very familiar with the George Brown Convention Center in downtown Houston that is now sheltering thousands of storm victims. Many people who work for Quilts, Inc. are victims themselves.

While the urgent need right now is money, as the waters recede and people return to what is left of their homes there will be a need for so much more.  As quilters we know the warmth and comfort that comes from being wrapped in a quilt and we can all help providing that comfort to the victims of the storm.


stack of quilts


At JINNY BEYER STUDIO we want to collect as many quilts as possible to send to those in need. As we did with Katrina, we will send those quilts to the various organizations in the affected areas that will handle their distribution.

Do you have quilt blocks or tops that have been sitting around and are in need of finishing into a quilt? Maybe you already have some finished quilts that you made to donate to a worthy cause. Please bring those quilts to us and we will see that they go to a family in need.

We are currently planning two “Quilt-In” days at the shop, on September 12th and 19th from 10-4. Bring your own “Harvey Quilts” to work on, or help us make some new quilts. While supplies last, Quilters Dream Cotton has donated a large roll of batting to use in Harvey Quilts and we at the Studio have set aside some fabrics that you can use for backing. These will be distributed on “Quilt-In” days.

If you cannot come to a Quilt-In, stop by the shop at any time to drop your quilts off and please:

  • Donate a minimum of $10 to the Red Cross or other charity of your choice.
  • Bring finished quilts to us for distribution. If you know of an organization that will be distributing household goods to those in need, please send contact information to us.
  • If you are a long-arm quilter and are interested in donating your time to quilt some of the tops, please contact us.

Watch for details on our Facebook page.

I know we quilters can accomplish a lot when we work together. Thanks, in advance, for helping out.


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New York City in Six Hours…a 17 hour marathon!

NY1My friends, Sue and Malcolm Bennett, from Australia, visited us here in Virginia for a few days. Sue is a quilter and has a shop in Waitchie, Victoria. You might remember her from a previous blog post

When I asked what they would like to do, Sue said seeing New York City was on her bucket list. Malcolm had no interest.

So Sue and I decided to take a “girls’ day” and just go. I asked her what she wanted to see. She said she just wanted to see the city, but Central Park, Times Square, the Empire State Building, Ground Zero, the Statue of Liberty…..would all be good. I added that you can’t go to New York without eating at a typical New York deli and that we had to wander through the garment district.

For years I made monthly trips to New York City to work with the artists in the design house where my fabrics were created. I would take the train to the city, work all day and then take the train back home again. The studio was only two blocks from Penn Station so I rarely ventured very far beyond mid-town. But I thought “why not?”

So we plotted, spent some time on the internet searching and made a plan of action.

We left my house at 6 AM on Saturday morning and drove to Union Station in Washington DC. We parked at the station, got out and were greeted with the most spectacular sunrise. The vivid colors were reflected in the glass windows of a building adjacent to the station.


NY3Our train didn’t leave until 7:30 so we had a little time to get some coffee and something to eat. Promptly at 7:30, the train left the station with two excited women aboard. On the way to New York, Sue and I stitched triangles for my new pattern “Thousand Pyramids” (available soon, stay tuned).NY4When the train arrived, we both checked our Fitbits and determined that we already had about 1800 steps. Then we started our whirlwind tour:

11 AM: Arrival at Penn Station. We wound our way through the station and headed east on 33rd Street towards 5th Avenue towards the Empire State Building. When we got there, we couldn’t find the building and asked someone exactly where it was.  We were politely informed that we were standing right in front of it and to just look up. Better yet, the kind gentleman told us to go across the street and down to the corner and we would get the best view.

11:28 AM: We headed north on 5th Avenue towards 38th Street. We had determined that we would go down 38th and check out some of the amazing bead and trim shops along that street.

11:47 AM: Sue and Jinny in one of the amazing trim shops.


NY7 12:05 PM: We finished our tour of the “garment district” and headed north on 7th Avenue to Times Square. We arrived there at 12:15 and just hung out for a little while, watching all the activity.

NY1112:30 PM: We decided the oatmeal bars that we had for breakfast had long since left our systems and we were starving. We had read that Carnegie Deli was one of the best of the New York delis so we continued our walk up 7th Avenue towards 55th Street. When we reached Carnegie’s there was a huge line trailing around the block. I went to the front of the line and asked how long that person had been waiting and was told it had been more than an hour and that there was also a long line inside the restaurant. So we went to plan “B” and called Artie’s (also on the list of the five best delis in New York). They told us there was no waiting at the moment.

12:50 PM: By now we were starving and our legs were getting a little weary and the thought of walking the 27 blocks up to 82nd was a little daunting. We wanted to be sure to get there while they still had space. So we hailed a cab and took off for Artie’s.

NY101:05 PM: We arrived at Artie’s and Sue said she had never had a reuben sandwich. I told her she had to have one while we were there. The sandwiches arrived within 10 minutes and we both were astounded by the size. There must have been a pound of corned beef in each sandwich.


NY181:45 PM: We left Artie’s and walked east on 83rd Street towards Central Park. It was a beautiful day and the weather was perfect. This area of the city is more tranquil than the hubbub in midtown.

2 PM: It was amazing to approach Central Park and see this large area that had been preserved. We entered the park just above The Lake and wandered south, enjoying the beauty around us. We passed the Strawberry Fields, saw horse drawn carriages and in the distance the skyscrapers of the city.

nyc  9 central park

2:30 PM: It was hard to leave the tranquility of the park, but we had to get to the southern end of Manhattan to NY14Ground Zero and a taxi would take a long time so we opted to tackle the subway. And, hey, if you are in New York, you gotta just try it. We made our way to the 72nd Street station, asked at information how to get there and received our $2.50 “senior pass” which was good for the rest of the day. On the subway, Sue, the gregarious one of our “duo” immediately got into a conversation with a couple who were heading in our direction. They got a big kick of the recounting of our marathon tour in progress. They gave us some pointers as they left us two stops before our own.

NY133:00 PM: All giddiness on our part stopped as we walked from the subway station toward the 9/11 Memorial. One could just feel the anguish, hope, determination. We first saw the Trade Center buildings that have been finished so far.

NY12We wound our way around construction barriers to the spot where the two towers had stood, those places now giant waterfalls in the footprint of the towers. The names of all the victims of the terrorist attacks that horrific day are engraved in bronze slabs around each of the fountains. Time stood still for us as each of us as we remembered where we were and what we were doing when we heard the news. My quilt “Windows” was my response to the attacks. The piece in the very center of the quilt is for a friend who was in the plane that hit the Pentagon. A kind gentleman at one of the information booths looked up her name and showed us where we could find it. We both shed our tears not only for her but for all the victims and their families. To see so many names of people, going about their daily routines, who had fallen to terrorists within a short period of time, made an immense impression on us.NY164 PM: It was hard for us to leave the place of beauty that had been carved out of tragedy. Subdued, we walked away and came upon a group of policemen. We asked them for directions to Battery Park. They pointed us in the right direction and we headed towards the park where we would see the Statue of Liberty. When we got there we could see the Statue in the distance and were a bit worried about taking the time to ride a ferry to get closer. Our train was leaving central station at 6 PM and we weren’t sure how long it would take us to get back to Penn Station. So, with the wind still knocked from our sails from seeing the memorial, we enjoyed the park for a while then asked directions to the nearest subway and found our way back to Penn Station.

5:15 PM: we arrived at Penn Station and time enough to sit down for a brief drink and then get ready to board our train home.

final train photo6:00 PM: It took very little time for us to relax and fall asleep on the ride back to Washington…… sewing of triangles took place on the way home.

11:00 PM: 17 hours and just under 20,000 steps later, we arrived back home after a pretty incredible day.

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Special Occasion Quilts

The story I have to tell today is one to which I’m sure many of you can relate. (Please tell me I’m not alone in this.) You’ve been rushing and rushing to get a quilt done for a special occasion and run out of time. You “give” the quilt anyway, but say you need to finish it. Somehow, once the cat is out of the bag there isn’t quite the urgency to keep hurrying to completion.

This, unfortunately, has happened to me too often. Years ago, I made a quilt for my husband’s parents to celebrate their 40th wedding anniversary. I had the top done and only part of the quilting when their anniversary arrived. I showed it to them and they were very excited.

Anniversay Quilt2

Anniversay QuiltWell, it just seemed to take forever to finish the quilting. Every phone call, my mother-in-law would ask if I had finished the quilt yet and I would answer that doing all the quilting by hand just took a long time. Finally, on their 41st anniversary when we called to give them our best, my mother-in-law sounded very frail. She asked if I had finished the quilt. I told her no, but it was coming along.  She sighed and said, “Well, I hope we both get to enjoy it together.” That guilt trip got me going again and I had it finished within a couple of months. They enjoyed it together for many years.

I tell this story because I am now in the process of finishing yet another special occasion quilt. My son and daughter-in-law were married in September of 2005. For a “guest book” I made a quilt top and at the reception all of the guests signed the quilt with a permanent marker. My intention was to do the hand quilting and present them with the finished quilt on their 1st anniversary.

Wedding Quilt

Well, life got in the way, I got involved writing my book, “The Quilter’s Album of Patchwork Patterns,” and did no sewing for the five years I devoted to the book. Then other “stuff” happened and I never finished it.

Now nine years later, they have just moved to a new house and my husband and I are flying to California tomorrow to visit them. About three months ago, knowing we would see them, I vowed to finish the quilt and give it to them for their new home.

Wedding Quilt QuiltingI took the last stitches this morning, cut the strips for the binding and have the material for a sleeve in case they want to hang it. I’ll start the binding tonight while I watch the “Nats” (my beloved Washington Nationals) play baseball and finish it on the plane. Watch Facebook for a photo of them with the quilt.

Wedding Quilt4

As quilters, we show we care by making quilts for others. We mark births, graduations, weddings and other special occasions with our quilts and don’t mind (much) that some of the recipients will never know the amount of time which goes into its creation. Making a quilt with signatures is a nice way to capture the sentiments of people who participated in a special event. Some quilters add photographs with photo transfer or fabrics from clothing. There is so much we can do to make our gift of a quilt extra special.

Editor’s note: If you have made a quilt for a special occasion using Jinny’s fabrics or patterns, we would love to see a picture and hear the story behind it. Please send them to