Thursday, July 25, 2013

Boxes and Boxes and Boxes

There are seven days left in the 2013 Hopes & Dreams Quilt Challenge for ALS and our UPS and Postal Service workers are very busy bringing in lots of boxes daily.

Each box tells a story by it's label - UPS (our Hopes & Dream Quilt Challenge Sponsor), Priority Mail, Delivery Confirmation, Fed Ex.  All signs that the contents are invaluable and sent with the utmost care.  And then we open the boxes...

...and their stories take our breath away as much as the quilts themselves.  Like the quilt above sent to Hopes & Dreams from Joyce Wassick of Bruceton Mills, West Virginia.  You can see the love poured into each stitch and the extra blocks featuring embroidered hearts.  Then you read the words Joyce sends with this quilt.  "My son was diagnosed in April with ALS. It has been devastating to think of all he will go through.  He is 45 years old with three children.  He is hoping to be able to continue coaching this school year.  I hope this quilt will let someone know they are not alone, and we are praying for a cure."

Joyce's words are echoed hundreds of times.  Each note just as personal.  Each quilt with it's own unique and heartwarming story.  Like this quilt from William Blood of Fountain Hills, Arizona.

William writes, "Dear ALS Patient - Permit me to introduce myself.  I am a retired engineer, having completed a rewarding 36-year career with Motorola.  A few years ago I was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease.  Although the disease severely limits my activities I am still able to design and sew quilts.  Many of my quilts are donated to an organization called Project Linus that supplies quilts to children in need.  This quilt is designed around a southwestern United States theme.  The selection of brown, orange, blue and tan colors along with eight embroidered figures all build on the Southwest theme.  I hope you enjoy using this quilt as much as I enjoyed making it.  Best wishes, Bill."

The optimism, the hope, the strength in making and gifting this quilt to another facing similar daily struggles.  We receive many quilts from individuals facing personal struggles, as well as quilts from individuals who are honoring a relative or friend who have passed from this devastating disease.

Denise Buffone of Freehold, New Jersey sent two quilts to Hopes & Dreams to honor her husbands father.  Denise writes, "It has been my pleasure to make this quilt in the hopes that it will bring someone comfort.  This cause [The Hopes & Dreams Quilt Challenge for ALS] is dear to my heart as my father-in-law suffered from this debilitating disease.  Making and donating this quilt coincides with the 25th anniversary of his passing..."

"...It is my sincere hope that there is a breakthrough to combat this disease, but while we wait, I hope this will bring pleasure to the recipient.  My prayers are with you and all those who suffer with ALS and their families."
It's through this love passed along in the form of a finished quilt that continues to bring hope of the realized dream of a cure for ALS.  And we believe we grow closer and closer with each box delivered.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

23 Days Left in 2013 Hopes & Dreams Quilt Challenge for ALS

We received lots of calls in the summer about when the deadline is to donate a quilt to the Hopes & Dreams Quilt Challenge for ALS.  For the 2013 Challenge, the deadline is 23 days away - July 31.

In the past few weeks we've seen a number of boxes arrive and had members of The Sew Happy Together quilt guild in Dover, PA drive to Quilters Dream to deliver more than a hundred quilts bundled into small groups.

There is still time to enter a quilt(s) into the 2013 Hopes & Dreams Quilt Challenge for ALS.  If you have a package of Quilters Dream Batting you will notice an entry form included with your batting.

You can also find a fill-in/print Entry Form on the Hopes & Dreams website at While you are visiting the website, click on the "Prizes" link to see all the different categories where an individual in each category will win $1,000 in prizes, including lots of Quilters Dream Batting.

Want some quilt inspiration?  Check out the Hopes & Dreams Facebook page where we post a picture of every quilt donated to the challenge.

The countdown is on!  We look forward to sharing pictures of the quilts we have received and look forward to additional boxes and packages in the coming weeks.

Happy Quilting - and a very big - THANK YOU!

The Dream Team
Quilters Dream Batting
Hopes & Dreams Quilt Challenge for ALS

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

A Challenge of Hope for the Dream of a Cure

"To know that even one life has breathed easier because you have lived, that is to have succeeded."

                         Ralph Waldo Emerson

This August 2013 marks the beginning of the 5th Annual Hopes & Dreams Quilt Challenge for ALS.  Many of you know this challenge and read these words with passion.  You have taken of your time, talents and treasures in picking out and purchasing fabrics, threads, needles and batting to design a quilt that you then donate to the Hopes & Dreams Quilt Challenge.

Just a few of the more than 3,300 quilts sent in from across the U.S. to the Hopes & Dreams Quilt Challenge for ALS.

For some of you, this is your first introduction to the Hopes & Dreams Quilt Challenge for ALS.  A little bit about the quilts:  Kathy Thompson and Juanita 'Mimi' Kelly (Josh Thompson's mother and grandmother) owners of Quilters Dream Batting in Virginia Beach, Virginia started the Hopes & Dreams Quilt Challenge for ALS after Josh was diagnosed with ALS.  The challenge is an effort to raise awareness of ALS, to give the gift of a handmade quilt to ALS patients, and to raise money for ALS research by selling selected quilts.

PALS (patients with ALS) love receiving quilts from those donated to Hopes & Dreams.

The response from YOU - quilters from across the nation - is amazing!

In the first three years 3,333 quilts have been donated to the challenge and of those, 2,482 quilts have been given to ALS patients (often with beautiful cards attached). 

But that's not all.

In May, which is ALS Awareness month, the quilts were featured in an art, jewelry and quilt exhibit and sale at Richard Stravitz 30th Street Fine Art Gallery in Virginia Beach.  100% of the proceeds of the sales of quilts and 20% of the proceeds from sales of art at the gallery were donated to ALS Research.  On June 25, Kathy Thompson and Richard Stravitz presented Emory University Neurosurgeon Dr. Nicholas Boulis with a $50,000 ALS Research grant.  Here's the presentation:

Dr. Boulis works in stem cell research and performed the first FDA approved stem cell surgery at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia, as well as all surgeries for the first ever stem cell trial in ALS.  he is training surgeons across the United States and the world in this very specialized surgery and will travel to Italy later this summer to help with their first stem cell surgery.  Dr. Boulis received this research grant to continue to work in MRI guided implementation of stem cells and drug therapy directly into the spinal cord.

Many of the Hopes & Dreams Quilts 4 ALS are at the Richard Stravitz 30th Street Fine Art Gallery (30th Street and Pacific Avenue) in Virginia Beach, Virginia. 

Hopes & Dreams Quilts are on permanent display and available for purchase with 100% of the proceeds going to ALS Research at the Richard Stravitz 30th Street Gallery (30th Street and Pacific Avenue), 3004 Pacific Avenue, Virginia Beach.

We will soon have an online presence on Store where quilts will be available for purchase.  100% of the proceeds from sales of quilts will go to ALS Research

If you are learning of the Hopes & Dreams Quilt Challenge for ALS for the first time, or know of the challenge and want to participate, please visit our website at or "like" us on our Facebook page at

We will be blogging more on the Hopes & Dreams Quilt Challenge for ALS, including updates on people with ALS who are receiving your quilts and the extraordinary research that is taking place that will one day provide the hope of treatment and the dream of a cure for ALS.  You can subscribe to this blog post by clicking on the link below.

Thank you - for your love and support as we find a cure for ALS - one quilt at a time!

The Dream Team