About Firehouse Quilts

♦ When and where was Firehouse Quilts started?

Firehouse Quilts started in Highlands Ranch, Colorado in August of 2003 after realizing our local fire department did not have a quilt program for the children they see on their emergency runs.

♦ Is Firehouse Quilts a nonprofit group?

Yes, in 2005, we incorporated in the State of Colorado as a nonprofit organization.

♦ Who is eligible to receive your quilts?

Any fire department in the state of Colorado is eligible to receive quilts for the children they see on their emergency runs.  In some of the rural areas, we also give quilts to the police/sheriff’s department because they may be the first responders on the scene of accidents.

Some Victim Advocate offices have requested quilts for children in crisis.  In 2007, we added twin/full size quilts for the women in the Douglas County Women’s Crisis Center.

♦ Do you charge the recipients for the quilts?

No, there is no monetary charge for the quilts at all.  They are donated with the hopes that the children receiving the quilts will get a sense of love and safety from them.  From each fire department, we DO ask for an embroidered patch from their district and the opportunity to take a picture at the station when our FHQ volunteers deliver the quilts.  We like to see the firefighters displaying  the quilts in front of one of the fire trucks.  These pictures are used in our quarterly newsletters and periodically appear in our local newspapers.

♦ Is your question not answered?

Email your question to:  firehousequilts@q.com

About the Quilts

♦ How big are your quilts?

We originally started out with 45″ square snuggle quilts for the children.  We try to keep the size for the snuggle quilts about 45″ square for a couple of reasons:

  • It’s big enough to wrap around a good sized child
  • It’s the perfect size to fit in the cubby holes in the cab of the firetrucks

We call them ‘snuggle quilts’ because they are made for the children to snuggle up with, not necessarily to be used as a bed quilt or even a lap quilt.

After receiving requests from the Women’s Crisis Center for bed sized quilts, we began making twin sized (approximately 68″ x 86″) in addition to our snuggle quilts.

Each quilt is enclosed in a clear plastic bag to keep them clean until they are given to the children.  A quilt label on the back says, “Made especially for you by the volunteers of Firehouse Quilts.  Wash cool and tumble dry.”

♦ Are the quilts pieced?

Yes, most of our quilts are pieced and we make kits available for local volunteers to use.  We are currently using a variety of very easy patterns in our pre-cut kids, among which are:

  • Fence Rail (Rail Fence)
  • I Spy
  • Pinwheel

The first two are very easy, straight seams and quick to finish.  The pinwheel is also easy to put together, but the points need to be matched as you go so that is a little more advanced.

If you want to make and donate a quilt (either twin or snuggle size) to our group, you may use whatever colors and pattern you like.  Truly the only restriction we have is the size of the snuggle quilt and we love receiving completed quilts to give away.

We also use fleece for receiving blankies when it is available for infants and toddlers.

♦ How are they “quilted?”

Our snuggle quilts can be quilted in many different ways:

  • Machine quilted
  • Hand quilted
  • Tacked by hand or machine (no buttons please)
  • Tied with yarn or embroidery floss

These quilts could be used roughly and washed often, so the quilting must be closely stitched, especially the hand tied or tacked.  Stitching lines should be no more than 4″ apart.  Some of our volunteers just make the quilt tops and return them to be quilted by others volunteering to do that portion of it.

If you want to learn to machine quilt at one of our sew days, there are several helpful ladies just waiting to walk you through the steps.

♦ What dimensions do I use for different sized quilts?

As you will see, there are no exact measurements; it is a little different just about any place you look.  The approximate dimensions below are for FHQ quilts:

Snuggle Quilt:  45″ square
Lap Quilt: 38″ x 58″
Crib Quilt:  50″ x 65″
Twin-sized Quilt:  68″ x 86″
Double/Full sized Quilt:  80″ x 90″

All quilts received for donations that are smaller than any of these dimensions are donated to Denver Health Medical Center for their “Newborns in Need” program.  This is a low-income hospital and the new mothers at this facility receive a “Baby Bag” when they take their baby home.  Our small quilts are included in the baby bag.  There is a need and a place for every size quilt we receive.

Sew Days

♦ How often do you meet to sew?

We now have two sew days a month at the Highlands Ranch Recreation Center at Northridge, 8801 S. Broadway in Highlands Ranch.

Our sew days are work days; you must bring your own sewing machine and be familiar enough with it to sew on your own.  If you can sew, but are new to quilting, practice sewing a straight line using a 1/4″ seam allowance before coming to sew day to be as accurate as possible.

On the first Wednesday of each month the hours are 4:30 p.m. to 8 p.m.  Late afternoon and early evening hours make it easier for our “working” volunteers to participate in the social aspect of a sew day too.

On the third Thursday of each month we are there from 12:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.

On both days we sew, quilt, cut fabric, assemble kits and just have a lot of fun meeting other wonderful volunteers.  Most of the time we have a minimum of 20 people show up to help out.

Always check date/time/location before traveling to sew day.

♦ Do I need to bring anything to sew day?

If you want to sew, bring your sewing machine, gray thread, scissors, pins, ripper, etc.  I usually tell people to think of the supplies you need to use around your machine when you sew at home and load them up to bring them with you.  Please be sure to mark your supplies with your name so they are not misplaced.  A lot of the scissors and other supplies look alike.

If you are planning on cutting fabric and assembling kits, it would be great if you could bring your cutting board, ruler and rotary cutter.

♦ What is supplied for us at a sew day?

Irons, ironing pads, cutting board, ruler and rotary cutter, donated fabric, quilt top kits, quilt labels, batting, backings, scissors and extension cords are provided for you at all sew days.  These supplies are shared by all the volunteers present at the sew day.

We also have a quick Show and Tell at the sew days and a time for announcements to the group.