An update on California Fires – Call for Quilt Blocks (and quilts) – Thomas Fire Relief Quilts

Today I want to share insights about the fires in California as well as a way you can help.   Helpers are also needed to increase awareness of how quilters can help.  I have seen grassroots efforts rally to send fabric to those that lost their homes, lost their stash.  Great intentions, but having lived thru prior fires that devastated homes of quilting and creative friends, I realize that this is not the time to send a quilter, or creative person supplies.  Those impacted by recent fires are still dealing with shock, loss, and trying to figure out the steps to recover.  While there are many ways to help, sadly after prior devastation, I’m not a fan to the Red Cross, but I have a way which I hope will inspire many quilters to help.  We just need to get the word out.  

To start, some background info:

We’ve had quite a few fires recently.  Most are still under investigation for the casue (e.g. arson, accident, etc), but Californians know that when these fires started, everyone was at great risk, because we had a lot of rain last year that created more brush in open areas, yet the summer and winter season has been unusually warm,  and lack of rain. Then, the fires pretty much happened during a period we call “Santa Ana winds” where the winds are blowing East to West, bringing higher temperatures and very strong winds to the area, helping fires spread quickly.

The Thomas fire has now become the largest fire in California’s history, with 280,000+ acres and 1,063 structures burned, and two deaths.  Devastation is larger than we’ve ever seen. Fortunately, while the Thomas fire is still burning, it is now ~89% contained and should be completely out in early January, according to the latest update from Cal Fire.   All of the other fires are now fully contained (doesn’t mean they are all out, just not spreading).  Firemen continue to closely monitor and work the area, to contain these fires.



With the strong Santa Ana winds, the fires were intense and spread quickly, taking out neighborhoods, ranches, and beautiful open acreage.

Fanned by strong Santa Ana winds, the Thomas Fire continues to burn near Ventura, CA.(Photo by Andy Holzman/SCNG)



Many  had to evacuate taking with a few items they could carry or pack into a car.


The fireman worked hard to save homes, even save animals that were left behind.

Skylar Fahlman surveys the damage along Via Arroyo after the Thomas Fire swept through the area Tuesday near Ventura.(Photo by Andy Holzman/SCNG)

Some have been able to get back into their homes, whereas some are just starting the process of sifting thru the remains to see if there is anything left that can be salvaged.


Cory Iverson of Escondido, a 32 year old Cal Fire fighter died fighting the fire.  He left behind a pregnant wife and two year old daughter.  A GoFundMe page has been created to raise money  for this young family.

Clearly families and businesses will be impacted for a very long time.  Right now, many are still in shock, and plenty are going thru the grieving process, while some are already working on plans to re-build.   There are so many that could use help.”


The Ventura Modern Quilt Guild has a call out for “quilt blocks” that are simple to make and can be made from fabrics in the stash of many quilters.  The guild plans to make these blocks into finished quilts to give to the victims of the Thomas Fire.  Of course, I’m sure they’d accept finished quilts, longarm quilting services, fabric donations, my recommendation is to send blocks that they’ve asked for, and contact them directly if you are interested in doing more.


They have a 12 1/2″ block desk called the “Perkioment Valley Block”, that they are using to make Thomas Fire Relieve Quilts.  I hope you will join me in making these blocks to help the victims of this terrible fire.


Here is a link to the Ventura Modern Quilt Guild’s call for block donations, which has more info available.


We hope and pray all the victims of the Thomas fire, like other fire victims will recover.  But it is a long hard process and for many life will never be the same.  Thus, a good quilty hug could certainly help bring good cheer to those families impacted by this terrible fire.  Again, I hope you’ll join me and make blocks that will be used to make quilts for these people. Maybe you belong to a quilt sew-cial group and/or quilt guild and you can rally your quilting friends to join in and help.  Every stitch, every block, is made with love and will help.


Completed blocks can be sent to:

attn:  Ventura Modern Quilt Guild
1794 E. Main Street
Ventura, CA 93001

6 thoughts on “An update on California Fires – Call for Quilt Blocks (and quilts) – Thomas Fire Relief Quilts

  1. Probably the single biggest reason (besides traffic) we do not live in CA any longer and seriously curtails any thought of returning. FIRES!!!! The weather is nice…. but the unpredictability of a raging fire is nothing I want to live through again. I will try and get a few block made and sent in the next few days.


  2. Thanks for the insight and the links. I will get busy on this idea this week. Certainly I can quilt one and maybe get some blocks done. My neighbor’s son lost his home and everything they owned in Santa Rosa. I quilted a quilt for another friend whose sister lost their home. I already have some commitments for QOV and the local hospice, but I surely can fit in just one more.


  3. Pingback: QuiltCon 2018

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