Our Beginnings

Freedom Quilts, Inc. has been comforting families with the gift of a quilt since 2001. Since our founding, we have delivered over 6,700 quilts to families across the country.

Freedom Quilts Began with a Small Vision…

That vision was to make five hand-made quilts dedicated to the victims of September 11th. Betty spent sleepless hours in her living room piecing together those five quilts. With the help of friends and neighbors, the five original quilts were soon completed. But with this success, Betty’s determination only grew. She set out on a new quest… to make a quilt in honor of every September 11th victim.

To achieve her goal, Betty enlisted friends, neighbors, congregations and perfect strangers across the country in an effort to make thousands of quilts for 9-11 family members. And, people across the country heeded her call.

Hearts opened, and quilts came pouring in. The Nielsen’s Iowa farm home was soon transformed into a quilt shop and storehouse. In order to make sure these precious, hand-made gives of love made it to family members, founders Betty and Dennis made several trips across the country to personally deliver quilts to comfort mourning families. Their travels took them to families and firefighters across the east coast and beyond. Visits with family members included stops to Ground Zero, Washington DC, Boston and more.

Learn More About Our Beginningsā€¦

View the 5 Original Quilts

Read Betty’s Personal Letter about Freedom Quilts’ Beginnings

Explore the Freedom Quilts Travelog


Since 2001, Freedom Quilts has grown from the five original quilts that were pieced together
in Betty’s living room to an organization that has given thousands of quilts to families across the country.

Made with love to comfort you.