I grew up in Pennsylvania near a Mennonite community. While I am home for the holiday I was lucky enough to get a tour of a facility where the Mennonites make quilts either to raise funds for their own work or to give away both domestically and internationally. Can you believe they make 25 quilts a week just with volunteers who come in to sew? They have an amazing setup. Want to see?
They have this fabulous prep room with a gigantic cutting table and storage for all kinds of fabric that has been donated.
Since so much is made with donated fabric, most of their quilts are scrappy. Scrappy, when done well, looks so great!
They have a long arm machine but primarily use frames for communal hand quilting. So, depending on the size of quilt they have several different frames ready to go.
This Grandmothers Flower Garden quilt was on the frame for quilting while I was there. They are echo quilting (by hand) around each "flower". It's going to look great when they are done!
Not all of the patchwork is done by hand, so they have rows of donated machines ready to quickly put a top together. Wouldn't this be a great way to get together with your quilty friends for a good chat? Check out that log cabin quilt in the center.
I'll just toss this one in because I loved it. Pretty pretty.
So at any point they have several quilts on the go. There were four prepped while I was there. Some for quilting, some for hand tying. Depends on how quickly they want to get something finished and sent out. It was really amazing.
I was totally impressed with their setup and wish I lived closer to volunteer. They send hundreds of quilts out to needy families while still providing a community for the local quilters. What could be better? Well done, Mennonite Central Committee of PA! Wish I could be a greater contributor to your efforts! xx