If we each made a quilt everyday for the rest of our lives, we still could not meet the need that exists for charity quilts.
Almost every guild I've ever heard of has at least one charity project, and many independent quilters give away some potion of their work. Maybe quilters just happen to be people who think of others, even if that only includes people in their own families.
The range of projects is amazing. My guild makes quilts for children who are entering the foster care system (and placemats for Meals On Wheels and several other groups who ask for quilts). It seems like everyone likes making the smaller size kids quilts.
One member has just decided to severely reduce her stash, and asked that we use her donations to make some larger size quilts. So we're going to work on some for the older teens who are leaving the foster care system and have to live on their own.
The Veterans Hospital not far from here always needs quilts...as do many medical places. Remember the last time you had to wait for a doctor, wearing just a paper gown? Or maybe you've been involved with chemo-therapy. They keep those clinics really cold! A lap quilt can mean a lot to somebody, both physically and mentally.
Other great ideas I've heard are making doll quilts to go with beds that a local woodworkers group makes to give during the holidays, or making small quilts for the policemen to carry along for a person in need.
I remember talking with a lady who worked at a nursing home. She was lamenting that they had a closet full of knitted afghans! The problem was the laundry couldn't handle those, so the clients never got them...but a lot of effort had gone into the mading. It's always a good idea to ask before you start a charity project, and be sure what you can give will be what is needed & used. Just because another same-type organization loved getting quilts does not mean the place you might think of can use them.
One of the bravest projects my guild did one year was make utility style quilts to be given to homeless people. We gave them to a shelter, to be given to the people who were turned away for lack of room. Who knows how long those quilts lasted out on the streets...maybe a week, a month...maybe not that long. But they did give comfort for at least one night.
People in the guild are always begging for machine quilting classes, and the truth is that you just have to practise. The best thing to practice on is a charity quilt. It will give you the experience you need with handling a bulky item through your home sewing machine. And in the process you'll be creating something of use.
Any time I can find a "win- win" situation I am all for it!
Who needs a quilt?
Everybody does...for all kinds of reasons!