The Heartstrings Quilt Project

The Heartstrings Quilt Project

The HeartStrings Quilt Project is an online group of quilters who make and donate string quilts to local charitable organizations. Coordinated by long-arm quilter, Mary Johnson, the project began as a casual exchange of postings to the Stashbuster Yahoo group in December 2006. Focused on making the most of their fabric stashes, several members expressed an interest in making
and donating quilts to charities. Originally, they intended the project to be a short-term initiative, but due to strong group-member interest, it was enlarged to accommodate quilters of all experience levels from across the globe for an extended period of time.

Members established a separate Yahoo group, the HeartStrings Quilt Project, and developed guidelines to get other quilters involved.
A new website was also created so that anyone could access information about the project and make a contribution. The result is a network of quilters—mostly in the United States but also in Australia and across the globe—linked by their love of quiltmaking and the joy that comes from creating something for those in need.  The volunteer who completes the quilt donates the quilt to a cause.

Early on, the group decided to keep the program simple to minimize costs; focus on quilts rather than fundraising; accept contributions of blocks, assembled tops, and quiltmaking help; and give participants the flexibility to help as little or as much as they wanted. In doing so, the group aims to meet the needs of their members’ communities, not one single cause. Because each participant can help a cause they feel passionate about, the result is a stronger commitment. The HeartStrings Quilt project donates hundreds of quilts each year to individuals as well as to groups such as Project Linus, Quilts of Valor, Ronald McDonald House, local shelters, cancer support causes, and children’s hospitals.

Due to its informality, this grassroots group has taken on a life of its own, and quite often, Mary is unaware of quiltmaking activities until she receives a note from someone telling her what they did. Last year, Mary herself completed 75 group quilts and assembled eight tops.

For more information about the HeartStrings Quilt Project, visit the group’s website at or Mary’s blog at