Lutheran World Relief’s Quilt & Kit Ministry is highly regarded throughout the world because of the quality and consistency of the Quilts and Kits we share. Your careful adherence to the instructions in this guide will ensure that all LWR Quilts and Kits are:
LWR works closely with our overseas partners to determine the best contents to include in Kits. Your Kits will do the most good possible when containing only the items listed in these guidelines.
Consistency of Quilt sizes and Kit contents helps our partners plan properly for distributing a shipment, and keeps international shipping processes cost-effective and efficient. Disparity in Kit contents can cause costly delays.
When all Kits contain the same items, recipients are treated equally and fairly which is important for those who have already experienced a great deal of injustice or tragedy.
For Quilts and all Kits, please also follow these guidelines:
Please give new items only, except where otherwise noted. Sending top quality items shows the greatest care and respect for the dignity of the recipient. Quality items also withstand the harsh conditions that many people who receive these supplies are facing.
Please do not donate items with any religious symbols, messages or your congregation’s name. LWR provides Quilts and Kits based on need, regardless of religious creed. Religious references may be misinterpreted by the governments of the receiving countries, jeopardizing the delivery to the people who need the items most.
Please do not donate any items decorated with a U.S. flag, patriotic or military symbols, or references to the armed forces, including camouflage. LWR and our overseas partners have access to areas of the world others do not because we are impartial humanitarian organizations. If our intentions are misinterpreted as being politically motivated, our work, our partners and the people we assist could be endangered.
Please give new items only, except where otherwise noted
Please do not donate items with any religious symbols, messages or your congregation’s name.
Please do not donate any items decorated with a U.S. flag, patriotic or military symbols, or references to the armed forces, including camouflage.
1Place a piece of fabric measuring 64" × 84" right side down on the table, followed by a filler measuring 60" × 80", and then another piece of fabric, also measuring 60" × 80", right side up on top of the filler.
2Tie the layers together using crochet or similar cord, or machine-quilt them together.
3Bring the edges of the 64" × 84" piece over the top, pin and machine-stitch the edge, using a zigzag stitch if possible.
LWR Quilts should measure approximately 60" × 80". Full-size Quilts best serve adult recipients and children as they grow older. Please donate only full-size Quilts.
Tips for Affordable Quilt Filler
It’s important that all Quilts donated to Lutheran World Relief are made to provide warmth—Quilts are not sorted in the warehouse by weight. Even in tropical countries it gets cool at night and local people feel the coolness more acutely than a person in a colder climate. We have found that no matter where the Quilts go, people use them for warmth. For that reason, affordable, suitable filler is a necessity.
Thanks to everyone who wrote and emailed with your ideas for Quilt filler:
“We ask the rest homes and motels in the area to save us the sheets and light blankets that they can no longer use,” wrote Muriel Greene from Tescott, Kansas.
Calvary Lutheran Church in Brookfield, Wisconsin, also requests sheets from area motels, as well as bed spreads, pillow cases and drapes. Sheets that are in good condition are dyed to be used as backs for the Quilts. (The quilters also get outdated samples from drapery and upholstery shops to make beautiful Quilt tops.)
A special memorial fund was established at Christ the King Lutheran Church in Delafield, Wisconsin, to assist with the purchase of Quilt batting.
Jackie Mortenson from the “Quilt Squares” of First Lutheran Church of Crystal in Brooklyn Park, Minnesota, suggests watching for 50% off coupons from JoAnn Fabrics and other fabric or craft supply stores for good savings on Quilt batting. Also, the women’s group at First Lutheran includes the quilting project in their annual budget to purchase supplies and sells some of their Quilts to raise money for batting (this is also a good way to raise funds for LWR’s Quilt & Kit Shipping Fund). The Quilt Squares have also received funds from Thrivent Financial for Lutherans to assist with their costs.
Velma Keerbs from Mallard, Iowa, wrote to explain how her group uses shirts and t-shirts for filler by cutting away sleeves and collars to create a large piece of fabric to work with.
Step 1: Cut away sleeves and tops of shirts, including yokes and collars. (If necessary, also cut the bottom off flat.)
Step 2: Sew the armholes shut and open the shirt out flat to sew together with other shirts to make a piece large enough to fill the Quilt. This method of recycling used clothing is great for items that are torn or stained and not suitable to donate to LWR! In the past, Velma’s group has also received pieces of sweatshirt fleece from a local factory.
Note: it may be necessary to use more than one layer of the clothing filler to provide adequate warmth, depending on the weight of the top and bottom.
Sandy Johnson from Faith Lutheran Church in Derby, Kansas, recommends well-washed old mattress pads for filler. "Just cut off the elastic around the outside and it's ready," she wrote.
Several quilters, including Eleanor G. Disselhorst, shared that they purchase reasonably priced Quilt batting from Oklee Quilting Supply in Oklee, Minnesota. You can contact Oklee at 1-800-777-7403. Ask for their 60" wide batting for mission quilts.
More ideas are always welcome!
LWR Quilt & Kit Ministry
700 Light Street
Baltimore, MD 21230
Quilt tops and bottoms can be made from whole pieces of fabric or any type of patchwork pattern of smaller squares. Twelve 21-inch squares or 48 eleven-inch squares sewn together using a half-inch seam allowance make a 60" × 80" top.
Recommended fabrics for Mission Quilts include cotton, cotton blends, twill, corduroy, polyester knits, fleece and donated upholstery and drapery samples (no fiberglass). Please ensure that there are no stains or holes before using in a Quilt.
Use crochet or similar cord for tying. It is easier to thread and pull through than yarn and is more durable. Ties should be no more than 8 to 10 inches apart.
Make a fundraiser part of your Quilt project and donate the funds needed by LWR to ship your Quilts overseas! Just $2.25 per Quilt covers shipping costs. Please make this donation to the Quilt & Kit Shipping Fund.
You can now log on to our Quilt & Kit Tracker and print out a special barcode to put on your shipment of Quilts & Kits. That way, you and your congregation can track your gifts as they reach those in need all around the world.
Packing & Sending Mission Quilts
Pack completed Quilts and Kits, like items together, in boxes. Label contents in LARGE, BLOCK LETTERS on the outside of the boxes.
Use strong cartons secured with packing tape, not to exceed 40 pounds.
Do not use plastic or paper bags to pack donations.
Include the name and address of your congregation on each box, label contents and send prepaid to or drop off at the LWR warehouse closest to you:
Lutheran World Relief
601 Main Street
PO Box 188
New Windsor, MD 21776
Lutheran World Relief
398 East Richmond Street
South St. Paul, MN 55075
The warehouses accept items year-round. Call ahead for driving directions and hours of operation if you are personally delivering your donations.
Looking for a volunteer project in the New Windsor, MD area? Visit the Brethren Center’s website to learn how you can help pack and prepare LWR Quilts and Kits for their overseas journey!
Join an Ingathering
Each year, dedicated volunteers coordinate LWR Ingatherings — local collections for LWR Quilts & Kits. Groups and congregations pool their donations and share the costs of getting the Quilts & Kits to LWR.