To Boston With Love



When tragedies occur, quilters and crafters rally together and use creativity to comfort and heal those in need. There have been Quilts for Japan, Pillowcases for Newtown, and many other examples of the love and generosity of our community. Now as we watch the events in Boston unfold, again we are putting our hands together to do something for those affected. “To Boston With Love” is a collaborative effort of makers to bring peace and love from far and wide. What we’re planning is a public exhibition of flags strung into banners that will be displayed in Boston – hopefully by early June 2013. Details are still being ironed out, and given the mayhem it may be a couple of weeks before we finalize the exact location and date. In the meantime we need to get going on flag making!

This is a small project that can easily be made in an afternoon. You may make as many flags as you are up for. The more flags, the bigger the impact. The overall idea is to provide Boston with an uplifting experience from quilters and sewists around the globe. We are inviting other modern quilt guilds to participate in this project and Berene Campbell will be coordinating participants. Please let her know if your guild would like to join us and where you are located, and she’ll keep track of things. Her e-mail address is

After you make your flag, please add it to the To Boston With Love flickr group or if you’re on Instagram tag it #tobostonwithlove

And spread the word! Feel free to put a button on your blog and let others know about the project!

To Boston With Love

Theme: Love, Hearts, Peace (Need some inspiration? Check out this post full of tutorial links!)
Style: Modern
Colors: Uplifting bright colors – see the recommended colour palette below
colour palette 

Option 1: two pieces 6 1/2″ X 8 1/4″
Option 2: one long piece 6 1/2″ x 16″ (see step 1 for design direction)
Both Options: 16″ x 1 1/2″ long strip for the binding /tie (Please do not use bias binding as it is stretchy)

There will be a number of flags on each bunting and we have to take weight into account. We’d also like the flags to hang softly and not be stiff. For this reason please bear the following in mind:
– No batting between layers.
– If appliquéing your design on, please use lightweight materials for fusing.
– If using buttons or any other sewn on items, please keep them to a minimum.
– If using fabric ink use the washable and iron-able kind, and be sure to heat seal it. Please do not use puff fabric ink or the fabric pens that are not iron-able. The same applies for your name on the back. These need to be iron-able.

All guilds should set a delivery deadline for their members based on the fact that all strings of buntings should be in Boston no later than May 31 May 21, 2013.

Please note that there is a REVISED DEADLINE of MAY 21st, 2013. Discussions are in the works with a very prestigious Boston institution, who have requested an earlier deadline, so that the flags might be part of a very special Memorial Day celebration. As a result of this, if your flags are to be in the exhibition opening, we will need them to be in Boston by no later than May 21, 2013. If flags arrive after this date they will still be added to the exhibition, however will obviously miss the opening event. And we need as many as possible for the opening to make a great impact. We realize that this will be an inconvenience for some, however we believe that their reasoning for this deadline is good, and that the event will be far beyond what we had originally imagined it to be. So please keep up the enthusiasm and get them to us as soon as possible.

For VMQG members, your deadline is still the May 20th meeting for now. Please hand your flags in to Berene at the meeting. If you are unable to make the meeting please find someone else who can bring it in for you.

This tutorial is to make a 6″ wide x 8″ tall flag with a 16″ long binding strip to be used as a tie.

Seam allowance is 1/4″.

(click on the photos to view them larger)

STEP ONE: Prepare your design on your fabric
You can either piece, appliqué or embroider a design, or hand-stamp a design on with washable fabric ink.
If you are going with option 2, fold the fabric in half to position your design on a 6″ x 8″ size.  Note the bottom of each side’s design should towards the fold.

Please stitch or stamp your name and town in smallish type on the bottom back corner or up one side. If your flag doesn’t have a back then just pick one side to put this on.
Note: Kindly refrain from using political messages or specific (non-generic) religious imagery or messages.

STEP TWO: Make the flag
Option 1: Place two flag pieces right sides together with the top of the designs both upwards. Stitch down one side, across the bottom and up the other side, backstitching at beginning and end. Snip bottom corners and turn right side out.
Option 2: Fold the fabric in half lengthways with right sides together. Stitch down each side backstitching at beginnings and ends. Snip bottom corners and turn right side out.

STEP THREE: Finishing touches on the flag
Press and top stitch down sides and along bottom close to the edge.

STEP FOUR: Make the tie with binding
Fold binding strip in half widthways and press.
Then fold each side inwards in half again, and press.
Mark the centre of this strip and the horizontal centre of the flag. Slide flag in between the layers, matching centre points.
Topstitch along binding close to edge, making sure you catch all layers, and backstitch at the beginning and end.
Note: Please do not replace the one long piece of binding with two shorter strips attached to the corners. The reason being that the one long piece is stronger when many are tied together, and will not put stress on the corners where the ties are attached when pulled. Please follow the above instructions for one long piece of binding. Thanks!

STEP FIVE: (FOR GUILDS) Assemble the bunting
Each guild needs to assign a member to collect and tie their flags together. Flags should be tied with a double knot with roughly an inch spacing between flags. Please don’t make the knots too tight as we may have to adjust bunting lengths based on location specs when hanging.

SHIPPING DETAILS: can be found HERE, along with details about who we’re inviting to participate.

REMINDER: the DEADLINE is MAY 31, 2013.

Please note that there is a REVISED DEADLINE of MAY 21st, 2013.

Thanks for participating in a great cause. We are so excited to see all the banners hanging up for everyone in Boston to enjoy.

56 thoughts on “To Boston With Love

  1. Speaking for those of us in the greater Boston area, thank you so much Berene and the VMQG for this caring gesture.

  2. What a great idea! I am going to make a flag and have just asked other members of our Santa Barbara Modern Quilt Guild to do the same. Someone will be in touch for the mailing address. Thanks for doing this!

  3. I am totally on board! What a fabulous idea!!
    My guild doesn’t meet again until early May, but I will definitely be sending you a few!

  4. Thanks so much for initiating this project! What a wonderful idea! Living in rural northern Minnesota, I am not a member of a modern quilting guild but am planning to get my sewing buddy on board and we will be sending some flags ASAP! It feels so good to be doing something to show our love and support for the people of this great city!

  5. As a member of the Boston Modern Quilt Guild, I think I speak for all of us Bostonians when I say thank you for this amazing gesture. In talking to everyone around the city, we’ve all been touched by the series of events that took place last week one way or another. The outpouring of support from around the country and the world has been overwhelming. Thank you so much!

  6. Thank you so much!! This tragedy came close to my family…my son, daughter in law and grandson were in the bleachers across from the first blast…they are physically ok, emotionally not so much. I will be sending a flag in!! Also will be running the Vancouver half marathon with one of my daughters, I hope to be wearing a “Boston Strong” tee shirt…if it comes in time… Thanks Vancouver MQG for your support.

  7. truly wonderful idea! Is it OK to post a link to this site on the Facebook Quilt Guild site? I am sure we can rustle up tons of flags for Boston. 🙂

  8. Super idea! As a Wellesley alumna, I have the fondest memories of cheering on the runners at the halfway point right behind my dorm every year. Love of love coming from all of us Wellesley sisters.

  9. So glad that your family is all safe, and also that you’re sending in a flag. Good luck with the half marathon! PS: Check our calendar and if your marathon is around the same time as our monthly meeting, come and visit us.

  10. Looking forward to seeing these flags of love waving in the breeze in Boston. Thank You. Okay if I post a link to your blog from my blog? … 🙂 Pat

  11. Hi Pat!

    You can definitely link to us! i’ve just edited this post, actually, to add the code if you’d like to link using the To Boston With Love button.

    thanks for supporting the project!

  12. Dana, my other guild doesn’t meet again until mid-May, so we’re going to put the word out via e-mail, and collect the flags at our May meeting. maybe that’s an idea for you?

  13. I just wish there was a little bit more time to allow the slow international postage those of us in Oz [oh sorry Australia] would love to take part we have had our share of tradigies and we would love to send our love to Boston to let them know they are in our thoughts also some of us are singles from country towns without guilds [like me] and would love to have taken part regards Boston your in our thoughts on the aussie airwaves [the way our country towns are connected]

  14. Thanks Berene. I have posted it – there are almost 3500 people in this group from around the world and I hope that you get lots of flags from them too.

  15. Hi Sandee
    We actually have a number of Ozzies participating. We would love to have to join us. If you have the time to get your flag made in the next little while I’m sure it will arrive on time. I find the mail from Australia is pretty reliable. You have 38 days as of today, so hopefully you can squeeze a flag in. They are pretty quick to make. And we have a number of individuals who have signed up so you don’t have to be a member of a guild. (Rita from Red Pepper Quilts has already mailed hers off as an individual flag) Thanks for talking the time to write!

  16. We’re joining! Kelly Spear, our VP, posted about it in our fb group and sent out an EMail notification. I am writing the blog post and linking to y’all now.

  17. We are a newly forming MQG, and we have our first meeting on May 7th…but there is already a campaign underway for us to send some flags from the Central Texas Modern Quilt Guild!

  18. I am, unfortunately, not a part of a quilt guild but I am hoping it is still okay if I send 2 or 3 flags your way. Thank you so much for creating a wonderful opportunity for us to express our love and support to everyone in Boston after such a horrible tragedy!

  19. I’m in Oz and using my ANZAC day holiday to make one! It will be in the mail tomorrow! What an amazing initiative to be involved in! Thank you for the opportunity!

  20. It is ANZAC day here and I have just finished my flag to send tomorrow, I hope it arrives in time! Love and best wishes from rural Victoria, Australia.

  21. What a wonderful idea. I just got the info from the Dallas Modern Quilt Guild.
    Please post photos of the flags when they are on display!

  22. I’ve started making a couple of flags and am wondering if they are intended to be viewed from both sides, or it they will likely hang against walls, etc.?


  23. Thanks for letting us know, Kristin! I’ve just gone into the post and edited it so it should work for others. Thanks for sharing about this project!

  24. beautiful people come up with beaufiful ideas which in turn
    will help those see beauty again….thank you berene-your truly awesome!

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