Sunday, February 22, 2015

Unexpected Blessings

An unexpected blessing can touch our lives in many ways. 
Sometimes it can be spoken as a word of encouragement,
and sometimes it can arrive in a box!

Several years ago the Sew*Quilt*Share ministry at our church 
learned that girls in many third would countries miss a week of
school each month because they lack access to feminine hygiene products.
By using handmade cloth feminine pads that are both washable and re-usable, 
these girls have the opportunity to continue attending school. 
The reality of their situation is that an education is one of the few hopes 
these girls have to rise above extreme poverty.

Back in August of 2013, a cloth feminine pad tutorial was posted on 
this blog with hopes of easily sharing the pattern with women who sew in my community.
To help spread the word a photo was also posted to Pinterest.
By posting this information on the internet, 
would others in the online community be inspired to sew as well? 

Much to my surprise there have been thousands of hits to that tutorial 
including many questions and comments from readers, but no real evidence of results. 

And happened!

God began to stir in the hearts of those who sew and "unexpected blessings" began to arrive!

Kathy who blogs at "Household How To" recently sent these lovely pads.
She has been making pads for years and has posted a tutorial
which includes sewings tips you may find helpful.

Great minds must think alike. This package arrived at the church 
on the same day our Sew*Quilt*Share group met to sew pads! 
It was sent by Molly who lives in California!

These colorful pads were sent by Melissa from South Dakota. 
She included a lovely hand written note:)

Brigitte and her "Sit & Sew"group made these lovely pads.
There was much excitement when we noticed the package
 had came all the way from Australia! 

Victoriana from Nevada, and her church sewing class 
sent a total of 200 pads! Thank you for your generosity!

A total of 69 pads arrived from the Smith's in Saint Paul, MN. 
Thank  you!

These beautiful pads were sent to us by Annette in Arkansas.
Don't you just love those rich colors?

This box filled with 167 pads recently arrived from Michigan! 
Enclosed was a letter from seventeen year old Christina, 
Along with the assistance of her sewing mentor Ilene, Christina 
inspired fellow members of the Taylor Downriver Neighborhood Group 
to sew cloth feminine pads as a service project. Thank you ladies!

Casey from Alabama sent a box of pads which included
this heartfelt inspirational note. Blessings to you Casey!
If you cannot read the note, 
please click on the photo to enlarge it.

Donna and Debbie, a mother and daughter from Pennsylvania 
sent these pads made from a variety of pretty fabrics. 

A box recently arrived from Erie, Colorado with 41 pads made
from beautifully coordinated fabrics. There was no
card enclosed or name on the return address. 
Thank you for your kindness! 

Edith in Louisiana sent these lovely pads. She also
enclosed a heartwarming handwritten note:)

Natalie, who attends college in Michigan, recently sent a box of pads
that she made over Christmas break. I received an email from Natalie in which she said, 
"I was so struck by the fact that these girls have to miss school 
because of a natural bodily function - and that there was a way to help them.
I hope I can make a difference for these girls!"

Once she returned to school, Natalie inspired fellow college students 
along with members of the "Tidings of Comfort" quilt club at College Baptist Church to sew pads. 
This box contained 200 pads! 

Imagine our surprise when less than a week later a second box arrived
from College Baptist Church containing an additional 313 pads! 

Our deepest thanks to all who sent an "unexpected blessing"! 

Would you consider sewing 10 (or more) cloth feminine pads to sponsor a girl?
Your gift of fabric and time will make a significant difference in the life
of a young girl in Haiti. 

Please visit these links to learn more : 

May you always Sew in Peace!

Saturday, February 14, 2015

You Can Make a Difference

Did you know girls in many third world countries miss a week of
school each month because they lack access to feminine hygiene products?
 Handmade cloth feminine pads that are both washable and re-usable, 
can provide girls with dignity to continue their education.
A quality education is one of the few hopes these girls have
to rise above extreme poverty.

Since the earthquake of 2010, teams of medical volunteers have been traveling to Haiti
to conduct feminine hygiene education classes at the eight Christian schools
sponsored by Mission Possible. For the past two years, Sew*Quilt*Share
has been partnering with other churches and community organizations to
sew cloth feminine pads that can be assembled into "feminine hygiene kits"
for female students.

Along with basic hygiene information, 
each kit contains:
2 bars of soap, 3 pair of underwear,
100 ibuprofen tablets, 5 safety pins, and 10 cloth feminine pads.

By sharing the procedures our group uses to produce the cloth feminine pads, 
we hope to inspire others to sew for this wonderful cause.

100% cotton flannel is purchased and cut into one yard pieces.

100% cotton batting is purchased, usually by the roll, and cut into 
more manageable 8.5" strips.

Flannel and batting are placed into a gallon size ziploc bag
to form a "kit" that can easily be distributed. This is a great place
to plug in volunteers who lack sewing skills. Several life groups
in our church have met to cut pads as a service project.

The pad pattern is traced onto the flannel fabric and cut out.
The pattern can be found here.

The lining pattern is traced onto the cotton batting and cut.

A total of 20 flannel pieces and 40 cotton batting pieces (enough to make 10 pads) 
are placed back into the ziploc bag, along with a set of instructions
This forms a "sewing kit" which can easily be passed onto those
who will sew the pads together. 


Once the pads are sewn together they are packed into boxes 
and passed along with a prayer of blessing.

The boxes travel a few miles away to our friends at 

Pads from sewing groups like ours, are gathered throughout the year
and then assembled by volunteers into the feminine hygiene kits.

Here are a few of the kits ready for shipment to Haiti. 
Nice job ladies!

Once the feminine hygiene kits arrive in Haiti teams of medical volunteers 
conduct classes to help educate girls about menstrual cycles and proper body care. 
The kits provide girls with information and supplies that will enable them 
to attend school 45 more days each year. 
In 2014, over 5,000 cloth feminine pads were donated for this project. 

The hope is to expand the outreach allowing more girls
to receive a quality education and learn about the love of Jesus.

Please visit these links to learn how You Can Make a Difference!

May you always Sew in Peace!

Monday, October 27, 2014

Sew*Quilt*Share Summer Update

It's been a busy summer of sewing for the ladies of Sew*Quilt*Share!

Many quilts have been stitched together with love and prayers.

Several quilts have arrived from across the state.

Several quilts have arrived from across the country.
Each will be donated in our community to share the warmth of God's love 
with those in need.

How do you wrap up a productive summer? 
How about a little quilt slideshow? 
Click on the box below to view the gallery of quilts.
You can find free patterns for most of the quilts along the sidebar to your right.

If you are unable to view the slideshow, click here and you will be
taken to an online photo album .

May you always Sew in Peace!

Monday, June 16, 2014

Sweet Sixteen Tutorial

"The Sweet 16" baby quilt is a quick and easy project made from sixteen quilt blocks. Each block begins with a 10"x10" square so this quilt sews together quickly. Sweet! Once the half-square triangle blocks are sewn together they can be arranged to form a variety of familiar patterns. The quilt finishes out at 37"x37" making it the perfect size for a donation quilt. So let's get started!

For this project you will need:

8 - white/neutral 10"x10" squares 
8 - print 10"x10" squares
Backing - 1 1/4 yd cotton fabric cut 42"x45"
Binding - 1/3 yd cotton fabric cut (4) 2 1/2" strips. (Please note there will only 
                be a few inches to spare, so plan accordingly.)
Batting - cotton quilt batting cut 41"x41"

Finished size of quilt: 37"x37" square

Step 1: Draw a diagonal line across each of the 8 white squares with a marking pen/pencil. Match each white square with a print square, being careful to match the crosswise stretch of one
block with the lengthwise stretch of the second block. Pin right sides together. 

 Step 2: Stitch a scant 1/4" seam on both sides of the marked line. You may want to double check your machine to be certain the 1/4" seam allowance is accurate.

Step 3: To ensure stability, press seam with spray starch before cutting.

Step 4: Place ruler on marked line, between the two rows of stitching, and cut apart.

Step 5: On each block, press toward the darker fabric.

Step 6: Trim bunny ears from the corners.

Step 7: This is where it gets fun! Lay the blocks in a pattern that pleases you. Here are a few ideas to get you started...

The Windmill

The Chevron

The Half-Square Triangle

Step 8: The following instructions are the same regardless of the layout you choose. 
            Each quilt is made from four vertical “columns” and four horizontal “rows”.

Step 9: Fold column 2 back on top of column 1, placing right sides together. Pin blocks. Stitch 1/4" seam. If you chain piece each block and do not cut the connecting threads, it may help keep your blocks in order as the rows are sewn together.

Step 10: Lay column 3 on top of column 2, placing right sides together. Pin blocks and stitch seam.

Step 11: Lay column 4 on top of column 3, placing right sides together. Pin blocks and stitch seams.

Step 12: At this point all the rows are horizontally sewn together and connected by the chain stitching threads. This helps hold blocks in correct order, however some may find they can more accurately stitch if the threads are snipped.

Step 13: Drape quilt over ironing board and alternately press rows to right or left. This will allow the seams to nestle together and form a crisp seam. Pin rows together and stitch each seams with a 1/4" seam allowance.

Step 14: Press final three seams open to reduce bulk.

Step 15: Square up quilt top. Using your favorite method, to baste quilt top to batting and backing. 

Step 16: Use your favorite method to quilt the top. The examples above were quilted by using painter's tape as a guideline.

Step 17: Trim away excess backing and batting. Use your favorite method to attach binding. Enjoy!

If you end up making a quilt with this tutorial I'd love to hear from you:)

Linking up with:

May you always Sew in Peace!