Letter from Our Founder

Linda Hannawalt
When we formed the collaborative in January 2011, we honestly didn’t recognize how much demand there would be for a place like this: a one-of-a-kind creative space where underserved community members can learn how to sew; where struggling craftspeople can develop entrepreneurial skills and access quality retail space to sell their goods; and where volunteer quilters and neighborhood residents can sew and socialize together while producing quilts, pillowcases, and other handcrafted items for those in need in our community.

Similarly, we didn’t realize how much demand there would be among Bay Area hospitals, cancer centers, and women’s shelters for handcrafted bed quilts, wheelchair quilts, preemie quilts, and pillowcases to comfort those in need. With many programs disappearing and the need increasing, it became very important for the Collaborative to respond with new facilities, equipment, and services for communities in need. It has been said that quilts comfort, heal, and express love, but more than that, quilting is and has always been a community-building experience, and the world needs a stronger community today more than ever before.

That’s where the QuiltWorks Collaborative shines. We work in tandem with the San Francisco Quilters Guild, faith based organizations, other Bay Area non-profits, our schools, businesses and community based organizations to leverage the resources, energy and generosity of Bay Area volunteers to:
  • Unite people from diverse backgrounds, ages, classes, and ethnicities to foster community through volunteering, sewing and quilting;
  • Recruit and train volunteers to make and distribute quilts and other handcrafted items for Bay Area newborns, children, homeless families, seniors, AIDS patients, wheelchair patients, veterans and others in need;
  • Give students educational opportunities not currently provided in public schools;
  • Allow students to fulfill community service requirements;
  • Provide adult education opportunities to low-income San Franciscans;
  • Offer entrepreneurial classes and resources to help low-income fiber artists earn additional income with their skills;
  • Offer job training and workforce development in ThriftStitch and FABSF to help clients develop skills to prepare for employment in the retail industry.
Our mission is big, but so is our heart. As one of our volunteers said, "Please consider supporting the QuiltWorks Collaborative by making a financial donation, shopping at ThriftStitch, attending an upcoming FAB Friday fundraiser, or volunteering to sew, teach, or help out with our day-to-day operations. You’ll be happy you did." 

Linda Hannawalt