Charity Quilting in Nonthaburi

A riot of color over two feet high is piled on the sofa in the den. Each quilt has a label that reads “This quilt belongs to _____ Made for you with love Bangkok Quilt Group.” When the count reaches 90, the quilts will go to children living in an orphanage in Petchabun. This is the tenth year that local quilters have contributed their time, talent, & materials to create gifts of love & comfort for under-privileged children.

I took my first quilting class in 1998 when Doris Gregory was offering classes in the community. I read about Project Linus and the ABC Quilt project and wanted to start something similar here. Another quilter, Rinda Skaggs, also liked the idea and this is the beginning of charity quilting in Nonthaburi.

In 1999, community service hours were a new requirement at ISB. There was still a home-ec room and teacher Sylvia Eikenberry dusted off the school's sewing machines and welcomed us into her classroom on conference days to sew and tie quilts. Both moms and students worked on the quilts, some students even learning how to use a sewing machine and rotary cutter. Students were able to earn community service hours and we had lots of volunteers as there weren't many community service opportunities then. Until my daughter graduated in 2004, we continued to host charity quilting days on the ISB campus. Since then, a few students have made quilts from pre-cut kits that we provide.

The fabric, batting and embroidery floss for our quilts are purchased with donations made by members of the Bangkok Quilt Group. In the early years, we did receive donations from the St. David's Society and the American Womens Club. We also receive fabric donations when people are cleaning closets in preparation for their next move. Periodically, during the school year, we have what we call kit-cutting days where we spend the day selecting patterns, cutting fabric and packaging it into bags (kits) which are eventually sewn into quilts.

To date, we have donated nearly 800 quilts. Besides quilts for children, we also send quilts with the high school students working on the Habitat for Humanity projects during Week Without Walls. Our first donation was 15 quilts to the HIV/AIDS babies at Baan Nor Giank. Most of our donations have been 15 to 30 quilts, however, in 2005, we took on the challenge of providing quilts for Children of the Forest in Sangkhlaburi. What started as 60 quilts eventually grew to 227 quilts. We were able to reach the goal of 227 because we had some quilters who were committed to making four quilts or more per week.

Our quilts have been sent to all parts of Thailand as well as Cambodia, Laos & Pakistan. Within the local community, quilts have warmed the beds of children at Sang Tawan, Rainbow House, Sparrow Home and the Mormon Daycare Center in Klong Toey. What we hope to receive back from each group where quilts are donated, are photos of the children with the quilts. It is the joy we see in their faces that makes it worthwhile. In a recent note, we were told that a 3 year old, upon seeing the quilt on his bed said, in perfect English, “How beautiful! Is that for me?” When I went to help distribute the quilts at Children of the Forest free school, some children wrapped themselves in the quilt and some immediately stored them away in their book bags. We had to cajole them to bring the quilts back out so that Anna Jison could take a photo.

As a quilter and mother, I believe that every child should have their own quilt. It is not just about the warmth, but the love & comfort that each quilt provides a child. If you'd like to help with our charity quilting project, please contact me at

Article published in the November 2009 Nonthaburi Neighborhood Reach newsletter in Thailand.