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Book Review: Quilting for Peace

Quilting for Peace

By Katherine Bell
Abrams; $19.95

Like many people, Katherine Bell felt overwhelmed by the events of September 11. “Hope is the antidote to fear,î” she decided, and hope led her to write this helpful book, which will guide many quilters to take constructive action themselves. In 25 essays, Bell surveys various charitable groups, featuring everyday people who saw others in need and acted with positive (and sometimes very far-reaching) consequences. Each essay ends with a “How You Can Help” sidebar and tips for the reader.

The book’s fifteen projects tend to be quick and simple, to encourage quantity where quality is not a primary concern. Some of the featured organizations, with the assistance of small armies of volunteers, have donated more than 10,000 quilts. In addition to quilts or comforters, you’ll find directions for a ìgreenî shopping bag, baby items and an ingenious sleeping bag for the homeless. The author does encourage quality over quantity when making quilts for military personnel to honor their service.

For most quilters, this book will probably be most useful as a resource about charitable organizations, ranging from those who support the homeless to animal adoption groups. Some groups need donations of materials and supplies, others ask for finished items. You’ll also find information about starting your own charitable project.

Bell’s ultimate message is that, by donating quilts or other items, we send the recipient a message of love and respect. A donated quilt may have a profound effect on the mental and/or physical health of the recipient. It also helps the maker feel useful, whether her individual contribution is small or vast.

I strongly recommend this book for every quilt guild’s library:

Reviewed by Eileen Doughty,

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