Make a Fabric Postcard, Save an Animal's Life

Quilters are a generous group, always looking for a way to use their talents to support a worthy cause. Recently, I interviewed three artists whose kindness, caring, and generosity is reflected in the work they do for others. One of them was Pokey Bolton, the founder of Quilting Arts Magazine.

fabric postcard by pokey bolton
Pokey Bolton's fabric postcard featuring two of her pets.

In our interview, which is featured in the October/November 2013 issue of Quilting Arts, we chatted about Quilt Festival's Pet Postcard Project. The fabric art project is entering its second year raising funds to support Friends for Life, Houston's premier no-kill animal shelter.

Vivika: Pokey, I've always admired your passion for art quilting and love for animals. It is no surprise that your "pet project" is a pet-inspired fundraiser benefiting a no-kill animal shelter in your hometown of Houston. How did you get involved with Friends for Life and why did you start the Pet Postcard Project?

Pokey: When I moved to Houston in 2011, I was surprised by the sheer number of homeless animals I found wandering the streets, most of which were not spayed or neutered. I was also saddened to learn that there are so few no-kill shelters in the area where these animals could find assured safe haven and the security of a future in a loving home. So when I discovered Friends for Life and how it was trying to expand its influence in the city of Houston, I knew I wanted to somehow help.

Vivika: Last year you announced the project with the ambitious goal of raising $10,000. Hundreds of quilters responded to your call for art, and the fundraiser was an incredible success. Thanks to the generosity of quilters and animal lovers, you more than doubled that goal. It must have been an incredible feeling to see the outpouring from the quilt community.

Pokey: It was, and receiving nearly 1,000 fabric postcards from quilters around the globe, which all sold before the close of the show, was incredibly gratifying. We will be hosting Quilt Festival's Pet Project not only at this fall's 2013 Quilt Festival in Houston, but also next year in 2014, so we hope that everyone reading this interview will make a pet-themed fabric postcard! This year's goal is to raise $40,000.

fabric postcard techniques by pauline salzman
Pauline Salzman uses easy fabric art techniques
to make these pooch postcards.
You could whip up
a bunch in an afternoon.

The deadline for submitting your postcards is October 22. You can get all the details on Pokey's blog.

Animal-themed postcards are not required, but are encouraged. You can learn how to capture your pets' fun and loving personalities with the easy fabric art techniques Pauline Salzman teaches in her video Fabric Postcard Pets, now available on Craft Daily.

P.S. What's your favorite way to quilt for a cause? Leave your comments below.

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3 thoughts on “Make a Fabric Postcard, Save an Animal's Life

  1. Our group makes baby quilts from donated materials, that we donate to local agencies. We also make cancer caps, heart pillows for breast cancer patients, and tote bags for homeless shelters.

  2. Hi…I feel I need to comment on this animal postcard project. I work for an SPCA in Pennsylvania. We take in over 6000 animals a year. We do not have the luxury of being what you are calling a “No Kill Shelter”. Those shelters turn away all of the animals they do not want for one reason or another including feral cats, and vicious dogs. We take in over 4000 cats alone and find homes for many of them. But some of the animals brought to our doors cannot be adopted or humanely kept for the rest of their lives in a shelter. The HUMANE thing to do is to euthanize. Animals turned away from No Kill Shelters are lucky if they are brought to us. The unlucky ones get dumped out of the car left to suffer horrible deaths on their own, or the feral cats get left to reproduce at alarming rates (3 cats can produce 12,000 cats in 5 years!!!) We are the ones the animal control officers bring the strays to. We are the ones that get the 8 baby rabbits from the one rabbit adopted at the local no kill shelter who will not take the babies their rabbit gave birth to. We are the ones spending thousands of dollars on a single stray animal brought to the emergency hospital in the middle of the night. We are the ones answering almost 1000 initial complaints each year of animal abuse. We are the ones prosecuting those cases (at our expense) and caring for those animals as we work through the long drawn out court processes. We are the ones who get the 106 cats from the hoarders in one day. We get the dogs with Parvo, the cats with Ring Worm, the dog that has bitten his owner.

    The only way to solve this problem is through spaying and neutering which is why we spend almost $50,000 a year subsidizing very low cost spaying and neutering for cats in our area and why our goal is opening our own low cost clinic.

    Even if we and other shelters had room, staff, and money to house the thousands of unwanted animals in our area, there are certainly not thousands of adopters out there.

    The problem cannot be solved with making blanket statements pro No Kill Shelters (virtually all of which do euthanize if you read the small print) which says that the rest of us are Kill Shelters. We all need to work together. We are ALL helping animals.

    The No Kill movement is so intense that some shelters have switched to no kill and send their animals to other shelter to be euthanized so they can keep their new moniker. Others have started refusing all strays and now these animals have no where to go.

    It is not an easy answer.

    I LOVE Quilting Arts Magazine. I LOVE animals …as does everyone who I work with here at the SPCA.