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Wednesday, May 1, 2019

Sew for a Cause and a Coupon Code

Do you ever feel like your life lacks...Sparkle?

Maybe what you need isn't a Bedazzler, but just a bit of a shake up.

They say the best way to stop worrying about yourself is to serve another person.

If you are like me and lack the strength or stamina to pull your neighbors weeds, maybe a good volunteer opportunity is just the ticket.

And if it can be a sewing project, all the better!

Here are a few ideas:

 Pediatric Units

Auction Quilt 2019
There isn't much worse than having a child in the hospital.

It's not just difficult for the parents, but the child can be afraid and worried as well.

Many hospitals provide comfort quilts to their young patients, which go home with the child when they are released.

There are often guidelines on what quilts hospitals will accept and when. Call your local Children's hospital or pediatric care unit and see what you can do for them.

Kennel quilts sew along

With recent, and seemingly ongoing, natural disasters there is an uptick of small animals in need of rescuing.

Kennel quilts Sew along
One way to help comfort these needy, lost and often afraid animals is to provide Kennel Quilts or Cage mats to shelters and other places of refuge. The 12" x 18" quilts go home with the pets to provide a sense of security.

The Quilt Pattern Magazine has partnered with a number of pet shelters to provide Kennel Quilts. They are hosting a special online event "Piece for Shelter Pets" on May 17 - 19, 2019. Find more information at the Kennel Quilts website.

You don't have to donate to specific shelters. If you know of a local shelter that has a need for Kennel Quilts, certainly help them first.

There are some rules that need to be followed:

Guidelines for Small Kennel Quilts:
  • Materials used should be 100% cotton (biodegradable) (Do not use flannel for it sheds too much).
  • Pre-wash fabrics (pets can have allergies just like humans).
  • Finished size should be 12" x 18". This fits the most commonly used small kennel used at shelters.
  • When piecing, use a small stitch length (e.g. 14 stitches/inch).
  • Do not use binding as it can be hazardous to pets if it becomes loose. Layer, sew around the edge using a small stitch length, and turn quilts pillow-cover style. Whipstitch the opening with small, tight stitches.
  • Use only simple appliques that are secured with tight stitches along the edges. Avoid using fusibles.
  • Keep the quilting simple and use small tight quilting stitches that won’t catch on pet claws. Do not tie quilts as the ends can get caught in claws or chewed off.
  • Do not use any metallic threads or other embellishments (e.g. beads, charms, buttons, ribbons, lace, trims, etc.) of any kind. Do not add handles or loops to the quilt.

To join this event, and at the same time subscribe to The Quilt Pattern Magazine for a full year, use the special discount code for Seamless Piecing readers: SP

Hospital Gowns for Birthing Mother's in Bulgaria

Hospital gowns for Bulgaria
I recently became aware of a group of sewists who make hospital gowns and send them to a small birthing clinic in Bulgaria.

Historically, women who go to the clinic to bring their babies into the world are stripped naked the entire time they are there.

Those of us who have had babies know that labor and delivery are uncomfortable enough without having to be naked and cold.

The hospital gowns travel to Bulgaria with a humanitarian group of medical people. The most recent shipment went in April.

If you are interested in helping with this program, you may email me personally at rb.seamlesspeicing@gmail.com and I will put you in contact with the organizers.

A simple pattern is provided.

Lifting Hands International

It's hard to turn on a news program these days without hearing about refugee situations around the world.

I challenge you to spend 10 minutes thinking about how you would cope with life in a refugee camp.  You may wonder if you'd have to skills to survives such a situation. I believe I would not.

My heart breaks for those millions of people who have left their homes and lives to try to escape wars, tyranny and the worst conditions people can imagine, only to become refugees in camps that would test the fortitude of any person.

That's where Lifting Hands International comes in. Unfortunately, there is no real solution to the refugee plight as yet, but some relief can be offered. Here is what they say on their site:
We are in need of any kind of blankets. (Please donate new blankets only.) You can make quilts, receiving blankets, fleece blankets, etc. We don't have any size guidelines or regulations. We just need blankets to help keep refugees warm when winter comes! These will be shipped on a large shipping container to refugees living in camps in Jordan, Lebanon and Bangladesh. Email traci@liftinghandsinternational.org for a drop-off location near you.
To see other items that we send, please visit our website at  http://www.liftinghandsinternational.org

Local homeless shelters

If you live in a city with a significant homeless population you know what a daily struggle it is for those folks just to maintain the basic needs of life. When winter comes the struggle is even more desperate. In our area the winters are bitter cold. Calls for shoes, coats and blankets come from shelters all around.  

One of the great things about shelter quilts is they like them to be warm and sturdy, but not beautiful. In fact, the more "unique" the better. The idea is to provide quilts that can be easily recognized, like a fabric fingerprint.
Homeless shelter Win-Win quilts

These "win-win" quilts are your chance to use the fabric you thought you were going to love, but don't.  In addition, they provide YOU the opportunity to practice quilting techniques without risking "ruining" your nice, pieced quilts. In short, they are a chance to channel your inner Picaso and let your creativity run wild in areas you normally wouldn't.

Just Serve

These are only a few of the presumably thousands of organizations, groups and service providers that are in real need of your sewing skills. You can find more opportunities in your area at JustServe.org.
Simply plug in your zip code and you'll get a list of all kinds of service and volunteer opportunities in your area. It doesn't have to be sewing. Within 5 miles of my zip code there are 114  opportunities registered with Just Serve. It's not all sewing of course, there is everything from community gardening to Bingo callers.

If you are ready to expand your soul and bless the people in your community, find somewhere to volunteer.

Serve anywhere.

Best wishes to each of you as you look outside your comfort zone and find someone to serve.

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Please leave comments below or photos on Facebook and follow us on Pinterest.

We'll get back the the Part and Parcel Mystery Sew-along Section 3 next week.

See you next time!


PS. Wanna see where I hang out when I'm not at Seamless Piecing?

The Quilt Pattern Magazine is an online, monthly magazine where I publish some of my designs.
AND... it's not just a magazine. It includes access to a delightful, private, online community, Pattern Pastiche. Get to know of some of the nicest and best quilters in the business, and others, like me, who just want to rub shoulders with them.

Pattern Pastiche is a safe place to ask questions and get mentoring from those who know and care.
AND... If you go there from here you can use a secret coupon code for a discount.
Here's the link. The code is: SP


  1. RB, thank you so much for posting ideas for charity quilt donations. I will be making Kennel quilts for TQPM for their weekend event.
    I have a question about the Dresden plate pillow, which I'm trying to finish this weekend. When I applique the Dresden plate, after doing the quilting-- do I only stitch around the top of the blades, or should I also straight stitch between the blades? What did you do?
    Thanks for your wonderful blogs!

    1. Thanks for your question Kathy. On my Dresden plate pillow, I machine appliqued only the outside points of the blades. The rest of the plate is secured by the center circle which is also sewn by machine. Sewing between the blades may give more definition, but for me it just makes an extra step. And you know how I feel about extra steps. ;-]
      See you at the Kennel Quilt-a-thon!

    2. I ended up using a ring of fusible web behind the plate, to hold it in place while I did the applique stitch around it. When I stitched around the center circle, I could see I really didn't need to stitch between the blades, if it's not necessary. I agree with you about those extra steps. And thanks for responding so quickly!

  2. I finished the pillow! I tried adding a photo to your Facebook page, but I don't know where it went to. Let me know if you got it.


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