Do Good – Three more ways to help – Spring 2015

It’s time for a new Do Good call to action. The response was so inspiring and amazing from the last cause in December. I was so touched. I’ve recently come across three more ways you can make a difference in a variety of ways – most small and simple and some in ways where you can donate excess you may already have to a good cause.

Serving with Smiles quilt

First of all, about a month ago I met Elizabeth and learned about her organization, Serving with Smiles. This organization was created to provide Humanitarian supplies to some of the most impoverished areas of the globe and at the same time let KIDS be the ones to serve and make a difference by providing opportunities and events where kids are actively assembling the kits, quilts, bags, etc.

I met Liz at a meeting where they taught a group of 8-11 year old boys (mine included) to make beaded geckos. These geckos are then given to children where ever Humanitarian services are delivered and are, in many cases, the first personal play item some of these children have ever received.

Delivery of basic hygiene supplies in Haiti. Image from Serving with Smiles

Delivery of basic hygiene supplies in Haiti. Image from Serving with Smiles

Serving with Smiles is always in need of donations and supplies. I asked Liz for a list of their most common needs. If you have fabric that is looking for a new home and a good cause, you can mail it to Serving with Smiles at:

Serving with Smiles Inc.
125 E. Main Street #423
American Fork, UT 84003

Here is a list of some of their most common needs:

  • Baby Quilts- 2 1/2 yds. cotton or flannel
  • Batting – 1 1/4 yds.
  • Baby Blankets – 2 yds. flannel
  • Girl skirts – 1-2 yds cotton or polyester
  • Baby diapers – 20×27 inches flannel
  • Used Towels for baby diapers- 5×19 inches
  • School Bags- Middle – Heavy weight (denim is great!) fabric – 14″ x 36″
  • Cute, sturdy girl t-shirts.  Sizes 4-16

You can find out more information as well as other ways to donate to Serving With Smiles on their website.

sari bari hope

Image from Sari Bari

Another great cause I just learned about is Sari Bari – Sari Bari provides employment for women in India who are victims of the sex trade or vulnerable to it. These women make handmade goods to sell, earning valuable income and freedom. So beautiful, it makes me teary. Read more about their history here.

 

You can see some of the gorgeous work they have for sale in their online store including everything from quilts to bags to t-shirts.

sari bari image

Image from Sari Bari

Staring May 1, Sari Bari will be hosting an auction selling quilts made from Indian saris as a fundraiser for their beautiful cause. Even if you are not interested in buying a quilt yourself, you could share this cause on your own social media. Click here for all of the details.

Sari Bari fundraiser auction

Image from Sari Bari

Finally, with all of the heart-wrenching images and stories coming out of Nepal, if you are looking for a place to give, may I suggest giving to Choice Humanitarian? This is an organization that is run by native Nepalese humanitarians and has been on the ground and working in communities in Nepal for 32 years. They have the infrastructure and contacts already. I have a good friend who volunteered with them and traveled to Nepal personally for a few weeks this year. They are an amazing organization. You can donate here.

Happy Sunday to one and all. Thank you for being the kind of people and community that do so much to share goodness is your lives, even in small and simple ways. One of my favorite thoughts is “By small and simple things, great things are brought to pass…”

PS  Our Ecuadorean friends have purchased four new sewing machines thanks your help last December! I wrote to request a picture of them with their new machines. I will post an update as soon as I get a picture!

xoxo

Mother’s Day Gifts for Sewers

Easy-DIY-pillow-coverCould someone please explain to me how it is almost May? Wasn’t Christmas just a couple of weeks ago? Life is flying by! May means it’s almost Mother’s Day. (Yay moms!) I was contacted recently by IKEA to see if I would be interested in receiving a bundle of creative supplies and to use them to make something for Mother’s Day. I love IKEA so I said sure! I was pretty curious to see what they’d send.

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A fun box arrived with a basket containing sewing supplies, thread, a white sheet, a pillow cover, and some cheerful knitted patches

mjuknava crocheted patches

Because of teaching this month and a few other deadlines – I decided I needed a quick-finish project. So I opened up the GURLI white-zippered pillow cover (a perfect blank canvas) and the knit patches, called MJUKNAVA and KARRNAVA respectively. Each package had 5 different patches and some coordinating thread..

applique-patchesI pinned the patches to the pillow in a grid of 3 x 3 and hand stitched them in place with the coordinating thread using a simple applique stitch which is easily hidden. I think you could come up with a lot of fun uses for these patches.

Easy-DIY-Ikea-pillow-cover-hackThis was a SUPER quick and easy and colorful project. The GURLI pillow cover comes in a variety of colors available online and in the store itself. The KARRNAVA and MJUKNAVA patches are available in the sewing section of IKEA stores themselves. The sewing section is also a favorite place of mine for buying extra-wide fabric for quilt backs and bags.

Gift Ideas for Sewers and Quilters

If you’re looking for other fun gift ideas for Sewers and Quilters, I’ve updated the list of my favorite things with a few fun new ones. There’s a variety of ideas of things you can buy or make for your favorite sewing fanatic in your life!

Other fun sales this weekend in preparation for Spring and Mother’s Day:

Lady Belle Fabrics is offering 15% off store-wide with the code SPRING at checkout.

Duckadilly (think Liberty fabrics!) is having 10% off storewide with code SPRING2015

And Craftsy is having a big flash sale this weekend on fabric, yarn and kits!

Craftsy

Sewing with neutrals: Denims, Linens and Chambrays

 

neutrals fabrics texture-002This weekend I was playing with a lot of neutral fabrics and lots of texture. This pile is for a quilt for a friend. I started it a while ago and needed to add a few more fabrics. It’s been fun to look for neutrals with texture to make this one interesting.

neutrals-quilt-amy-smart-001I’ve got blocks pieced (I’m going with simple half-square triangles) and ready to start sewing into rows. Because of the really subtle shades in this quilt, I had to lay it out in the day with the natural light to really get it right. I tried one night (while watching MASH reruns on Netflix) and couldn’t do it well enough.
Denim, Linens, and Chambray fabrics from Robert Kaufman

Then, this gorgeous bundle arrived from Robert Kaufman. I’m teaching a class at a social media and creativity conference this week – using my tried-and-true table runner tutorial. Since we’ll have a wide variety of tastes there, I thought it would be fun to go with another neutral look that would appeal to a variety of people.

neutrals-denim-quilt-tablerunner

Since Denim is a huge trend this year – and I’m really loving anything indigo at the moment – I though it would be fun to play with denims, chambrays, and linens.

Robert Kaufman Bradford Herringbone Chambray Yard Dyed Linen

I’ve been eyeing Robert Kaufman’s denims and chambrays for while now, really wanting to make something with them, so I was SO excited when they were willing to sponsor this class! Above are a few of the textiles we’re sampling in the scrappy table runner. At the top are two of the Bradford Herringbone wovens in indigo and tan. Bottom right is the Essex yarn-dyed linen in flax (an old favorite) and indigo (a new favorite), and on the bottom left are two Chambray Union.  The drape on both of these is amazing. They must make gorgeous garments. I’m going to need to buy some more and actually try sewing some clothes.

raw and very refined robert kaufman These two are called Raw and Very Refined. I especially love the texture on the top one.

denim indigo linen handmade table runner

This was a quick version of the table runner – and since I’m gearing this class for sewing-newbies, I didn’t do as much quilting as I usually do. But I kind of like the less-finished effect.

chambray linen patchwork

Such a fun way to play with shades and textures rather than dramatic color contrast. I really want to make something more with all these pretty shades.

Robert Kaufman Chambray LinenIf you’re looking for Robert Kaufman denims, linens, and chambrays, I’ve seen them at Fabricworm, Imagine Gnats shop, Fabric.com, or Hawthorne Threads. Essex Yarn Dyed linens found at Pink Castle Fabrics.

Alison Glass Handcrafted giveaway from Massdrop

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Today I have a fun giveaway to share from Massdrop. I’ve talked about Massdrop before, but if you’re new or need a refresher, here’s the scoop: Massdrop is an online retailer, but not in a traditional sense. They’re more like a broker, helping consumers get a lower price on desirable items by negotiating bulk pricing with the vendors. They list a new offer or two daily, called “drops”. The item is only available for about a week and as more people opt into the “drop” the price will go down.

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You can order the item by clicking Join Now – this means you are committed to buy the product, no matter what drop point is reached. But if you click the “Commit to Join” button, you will only purchase the item if the lowest price is met by the end of the drop. You can also opt out before the drop ends and you are not officially charged until the “drop” ends. You can read more about how it all works on the Massdrop FAQ’s page.

Massdrop collageI keep an eye on the latest drops all the time and I love it for stocking up on items that I’ve had my eye on or use regularly. Just last week I ordered a bundle of Alison Glass’s latest Sun Print fat quarters as well as some Clover flat-head quilting pins that I’ve needed for a while. They frequently have great drops on basics like thread, notions, and other sewing supplies – including sewing machines sometimes. Right now there is an Olfa rotary blade drop – a great time to stock up on blades!

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The reason Massdrop can bring great prices is because they don’t order the product until the drop ends and there is a known quantity of orders. The items are shipped soon thereafter, so keep in mind that your item will be delivered about a week or so after the drop ends. Personally, I’m okay with not having the instant gratification because I like the discount and I’m usually buying something I’ve had my eye on for a while or I’m stocking up on supplies.

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Today, Massdrop is giving away a bundle of Alison Glass Handcrafted 1/2 yards to one of you. (I LOVE this bundle! – It is also available to buy!) If you’d like to enter, click here to sign up for a Massdrop account to get notified of the latest drops. If you’ve already signed up, just leave a comment on this post, letting me know that. Giveaway open until midnight, Thursday April 23 at midnight, MST. (Remember – the COMMENTS link is at the TOP of this post.)

You can also keep up with Massdrop on FacebookTwitter, or Instagram.