Five Years of Needle & Foot

Yep – it was five years ago today I published my first post here on the blog. Seems I blinked a few times and suddenly it is 2019. I have published 512 posts, made hundreds of friends, learned many lessons about quilting, life, and community. It has been incredibly rewarding and even though blogging isn’t the popular force it once was, I am still here.

The blog has grown into a really satisfying business for me as well as a creative outlet. I have enjoyed hosting a number of community service projects such as my Share the Love campaign where we all sewed doll quilts for Amy and A Doll Like Me. Collecting quilts for Mercy Hospital in Sacramento has been and continues to be a heartwarming experience as quilters from all over the country send quilts for families who are dealing with the death of a family member. Mercyful Quilts has been more successful than I could have imagined.

Blogging (for me) is such a great way to keep a journal of my projects, business, community service endeavors and even the silly stories of my family. I enjoy conversing with Needle and Foot readers and hope I provide some entertainment as well. A few days ago I received a note from a reader and she told me this, “Please know that as a caretaker for my husband who is disabled by brain tumor and stroke, you and Sew Preeti Quilts and the Academic Quilter help keep me sane. (I miss Crazy Mom and Finish it up Friday humongously.) Some day I may be able to participate, but for now, please don’t quit.” This reader has no idea how much her note means to me. For many, sewing does much to keep us sane. It is therapeutic and creative, both of which are so important. So dear reader, not to worry, I am not going anywhere.

Five years deserves to be celebrated. This year I have two ideas! First of all, I would like to do another charitable giveaway. In prior years, I have asked readers to comment and tell me about their favorite charity. Using Random Number Generator, I will select a winner and contribute $50 to that reader’s charity. It is really interesting to read about the organizations other people are supporting. So please enter (only once) in the comments and tell all of us about the organization that is meaningful to you. Of course this is open worldwide – enter whether you reside in the US or another country.

Second idea is this – The traditional gift of the fifth anniversary is wooden. As you might know, my husband makes gorgeous wooden items. I will draw a second winner and that person will receive a beautiful wooden point turner. These point turners are perfect for opening the corners on a pillow, tote bag, zip pouch and more. One lucky commenter will be picked to win a handmade point turner.

Both giveaways are picked from the same pool of comments. Winner will be drawn on Friday, June 7th. Good luck to all! Thank you so much for continuing to read and interact with me here at Needle and Foot. Our community is an incredible source of creativity and kindness in this world and I am grateful to be a part of it.

59 thoughts on “Five Years of Needle & Foot

  1. Teresa Palmer

    I would love to make quilts for Mercy. Can you please provide me with more information. Blessings

  2. Wendy Tuma

    Happy Blogaversary, Bernie! I’m so glad you are here, and that I found you. I enjoy our chats back and forth, and you know that someday I hope we get to meet! My favorite charity – hmm, that’s a tough one, since there are so many good ones out there. I’ll go with Amy’s A Doll Like Me, because I think her concept is so amazing.

  3. Lori Smanski

    Wow, time sure flies. Congratulations. What wonderful give a ways. We used to support two children in Ethiopia. One boy and one girl. Our two children got into the whole idea. And for about 20 years our family wrote letters back and forth and prayed for them. Our daughter would write to the girl a lot. And even our son would write to the boy a lot. (Our son was in preschool when we started) When they both went off to college we stopped hearing from them. Since we have not moved, we still pray for them and hope that they will one day write and let us know how they are doing. Now as empty nesters, my husband and I just support missionaries in our church. Wheaten Bible Church of Illinois.

  4. Deb E / CA

    What a great idea – a giveaway for a favorite charity and thank you to your husband for making the second giveaway…those are very handy! My favorite charity is Sierra Wildlife Rescue – who helps injured animals & birds (often injured by humans!) recover by the many kind, loving people who volunteer there. I’d love to win either one. The charity can definitely use the $ and who doesn’t love something handmade?? Deb E

  5. Barb N

    Bernie – a hearty CONGRATULATIONS! I know writing consistently is a challenge, but you have succeeded admirably! You have an infectious nature that gives and makes others want to do the same. Thank you! Here’s to 5 more years! As for a favorite charity, I like Camp Rainbow Gold. It’s an organization that supports youth with cancer and their families. Each summer the kids attend a week-long camp in the Idaho mountains, a arduous undertaking with medical staff on hand, medications, limitations, etc. But it makes the kids feel like kids again! Each year our quilt guild makes more than 200 pillowcases so each camper has a souvenir to take home with them. The organization also does other events throughout the year, but the Camp is a highlight. Anyway, that’s where my heartstrings go.

  6. Meloney Funk

    Congratulations. I love reading your blog. It helps me to be part of a community and that is a wonderful thing. I don’t know why blogs are not as important anymore. My favorite charity at the moment is Covered in Love. I quilt quilts for them when they have larger quilts. I’m doing things with my guild too, but the CIL would be the charity I’d like a donation to go to.

  7. Susan R Spiers

    Congrats on Five years! A wonderful giveaway! A favorite charity for me is St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital ( I contribute when I can, children are our future! Thank you, Susan

  8. shirley bruner

    My favorite charity is March of Dimes. we have a set of twins that were born prematurely and another baby that was, too. that charity helped enormously. the parents of these babies walk in the March of Dimes March for their children and I help support them by my donation to their cause.

  9. Betty K

    I support a group in East Texas that makes quilts for dying hospital patients. The families get to keep them after the patient passes. I also make cat mats for my local animal shelter. My goal is to turn in 4 each month. I enjoy reading your blog and wish you 5 more years, and then 5 more years, etc.
    Betty K in Taylor, Texas

  10. Preeti Harris

    Congratulations on the blog anniversary, Bernie. Your blog has been an important anchor in the blogland. I am heartened by the Mercyful quilts and “A Doll Like Me” initiatives. The overwhelming response from the quilting community is so reassuring and moving.
    My favorite charity is Akshayapatra. I first heard about them in 2012 on NPR. Here is the link – I was so moved by the news article that I had to pull over because it is not advisable to drive when you are bleary-eyed with tears.
    For so many children in India, the choice to go to work or go to school is made easier when the school provides a hot mid-day meal. For several children who do go to school, it is difficult to concentrate if they are hungry. Poverty and poor education are so inextricably linked together – one leads to another and vice-versa. A simple solution as a hot lunch not not only keeps kids in school but also ensures they are learning better.
    I believe that it was my education that enabled me to get out of my troubled marriage and rebuild a new life for myself. For this reason this charity, that encourages kids to go to school, is so close to my heart. I could go on and on.

  11. Kate lecluyse

    I make quilts for our charity : ” KnuffelQuiltjes” here in Belgium,
    We donated in the past years over 1000 quilts,
    For children who need an “extra “hug due to illness or other reasons,
    Thanks for the chance,

  12. Quiltdivajulie

    Congratulations Bernie – five years is a big deal in blog land. My favorite charity? I’ve supported many through the years but currently my go-to for monetary donations is Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital in Memphis (world renowned and filled with internationally excellent surgeons and specialists and based on no one should be turned away for lack of funds or insurance). For quilting, my go-to these days is Mercyful Quilts and/or Jack’s Basket (quilts for downs babies).

  13. Pat

    Happy Blogiversary! I really enjoy your blog and your shop. Thank you for all the fun and inspiration and fabulous fabrics. I have three favorite charities. The first is where I donate my quilts locally. It is a halfway house for women and children who need a transitional living place and help to escape abusive relationships. I will not give the name, as this safe haven needs its location protected in order to protect the people it helps. I will list my second favorite charity because they need people to know where they are to adopt the animals they shelter. It is Salem Animal Rescue League in Salem, NH, the no-kill shelter where I have adopted my quilty kitties. SARL is a part of a larger animal shelter system which transports dogs and cats from shelters in other parts of the country which are overcrowded. Two of our cats where transported north as little kittens two years ago during the hurricane flooding in Florida. My quilty kitties and I like to give back whenever we can. Here is their website … Thank you for being the caring person you are, Bernie … 🙂 Pat

  14. Brenda Alburl

    Congratulations on five years!! I’m happy to have found you recently and look forward to more years to come! My favorite charity is The Wounded Warrior Project and also love Quilts of Valor. Thanks for the opportunity to win!

  15. jean fletcher

    Wonderful gift away! Thank you for this opportunity to let you and others know about Wells In The Desert, who go to dry places, like Africa, where women and children have to walk miles every day just to get dirty water for their needs. This charity drills wells where they can get their CLEAN water and have daily lives getting other things done. Like gardening, learning, making clothing, etc. The wells may be situated between a couple of small communities, but still closer and safer than the dirty water farther away.

  16. Tracie

    Happy blogger anniversary! Of course my favorite charity (lately) is Jack’s Basket. It’s important to me that all life is celebrated, and they do it so well. I’m thrilled that a simple baby quilt can positively impact the beginning of a baby’s life.

  17. Barbara Matzat

    Such a nice blog and way to celebrate your fifth anniversary. I Have loved the work of A Doll Like Me. It’s just such a wonderful way to minister to children. Thanks for introducing me to that.

  18. Linda (txquiltgal on IG)

    Happy Blogiversary Bernie! I’ve enjoyed your blog for a long time. I went back and read your first post and chuckled about your husband’s sarcasm in helping you pick a name! I’ve never met you, but I’m betting you are quick to smile, a good listener, kind, and generous, and that you make everyone you meet feel like your friend.
    I don’t have a charity, but if I had one it would be rescue-cat or dog related. So if I win, you could donate to your local no-kill shelter.

  19. Roseanne

    Hi Bernie! I am so glad you’re hear, that you’re planning to stay, and that I found you. Congrats on five fabulous years of blogging with many more to come. I have loved participating in A Doll Like Me, and will join in on the Merciful Quilts. I have a charity that I’m passionate about although I give to my church’s ministry often. If I happen to be selected, I would love to support A Doll Like Me. And if I’m selected for the wooden point turner, I would be delighted. So thank you for the opportunity and here’s to five more wonderful years. ~smile~ Roseanne

  20. Joan

    Happy Blogaversary! Not only a great day for you, but for us also. You are a wealth of information and inspiration. I love supporting St. Jude’s Hospital for children.

  21. Janet Fedor

    Congratulations on 5 yrs. I have only recently found your blog, very inspiring! My current charity is Dress a Girl. The library in our summer home town has a group that cuts, sews and mails the dresses.

  22. Debbie

    Happy 5yearaversary! That point-pusher is beautiful. My favourite charities are anything to do with cancer and heart-and-stroke, as those nasty diseases have affected my family greatly.

  23. Joni

    Thank you, Bernie, for 5 wonderful blog years full of inspiration and sharing! You posts are a bright spot in my day. I would like to choose A Doll Like Me for the charity. We do something similar for a special needs summer camp in my area. Campers get a doll, cuddle quilt and a pillowcase. Such a wonder to see their smiling faces when they are given their camp presents!

  24. Teri

    Happy blog anniversary! I truly enjoy reading your blog. My favorite charity is the Red Cross as it does so much is so many areas.

  25. Katie

    My favorite local charity is Guardian Angel’s Suitcases4Kids. They’re a local charity to me that take donations and provide pretty much anything you can imagine to families that take in foster kids. The original idea was to give them something more than a trash bag to haul their few belongings in from one place to another, but has grown so much. My local guild tries to donate at least a few quilts to them for some of these kids. They get to come in and pick items, so it’s fun to imagine the face of that child that sees my quilt and just lights up. I know if their name gets chosen, they will put the donation to good use! Thanks and happy blogiversary!

  26. Katherine Landreneau

    Hi Bernie!
    Congratulations on your five years of blogging!
    I’ve enjoyed reading your stories of home and life interests. I’m not sure how I “found” you but I’m glad I did! 😊
    I especially enjoyed your blog post about Julia and her 4-H project last year or the year before, not sure. (Time flies!). That was such a heart warming, well written post! I still think about it at times. So worth reading!!
    I agree with you about sewing/quilting’s therapeutic and sane-keeping ability! It is a gift from God to me.
    One of the charities I like to participate in is Samaritan’s Purse. There are so many ways available to touch people’s lives all over the world. They do wonderful work.
    Thank you for your work to make this world of ours a nicer place to live in.
    God bless you and your family!

  27. Kaholly

    Has it only been five years? WOW! You’ve had such an enormous impact on the internet quilting community, it seems as though you have been around forever! Happy Blogaversary! I think it is only fitting for me to choose A Doll Like Me as my charitable choice. It is because of you that we are all aware of this champion for children. (I mailed a package off to Amy just before I left Texas). What a wonderful way to celebrate! Thank you, Bernie!

  28. Jayne P

    Congratulations on 5 years and hope there are many more to come! I am a breast cancer survivor (now 10 years on) so if I am selected as a winner I would be happy for you to donate to a cancer charity in the US.

  29. Deb Simich

    Happy 5-year anniversary Bernie! So glad you can continue your blog around the busy family life you have. Always enjoy reading about you, your family and your quilting world. Thank you and wishing you many more years in blog land. My favorite charity is Project Linus.

  30. Vasudha

    Congratulations on your anniversary, Bernie. What a beautiful way to celebrate your anniversary.
    My favorite charity is It’s A Sensory World is in Dallas, TX, provides sensory-based programs for children with developmental disorders like autism, ADHD, Down, cerebral palsy, etc. They have some wonderful programs for children of all ages and all abilities. I am always awed by their positive outlook and complete dedication in making a difference in the lives of these children.

  31. Jinger D Snapp-Laplace

    Congratulations Bernie! I do believe we started at the same time, also hard to believe! Your blog has definitely flourished and often reminds me that I really should get back to mine.
    My favorite charity is the Alzheimer’s Association. My beloved grandmother passed with Alzheimer’s and my mother is now struggling with dementia. We need so much more research!

  32. Angie Terry

    One of my favorite charities is Sts Joachim & Ann Care Service. It was started in a garage by a couple of people from my church. It has grown to be the primary assistance program for individuals, families, elderly, in a three county are of Missouri. It is greatly supported by the community and is blessed with >100,000 volunteer hours each year! They provide housing and job search assistance, as well as help with utilities, and offer weekly grocery basics. The do school supply drives, shoe drives and “adopt out” mitre than 500 families to caring groups and individuals at Christmas. It is an incredible organization, helping many who are struggling.

  33. Carole @ From My Carolina Home

    Congratulations on your blogaversary! It is hard to choose just one charity as I work with several, but I’ll say the Safelight domestic violence shelter here in town. It is one I do a spa bag project for every year, and I am getting geared up to do it again this summer.

  34. Pam Ralston

    I’m so glad you’re blogging and Happy 5 years! I feel like we are friends IRL as I follow your posts here and on Instagram. My favorite charity is called PXE International. It’s an organization that educates, supports, and researches people with the disease. It’s a genetic disease that slowly progresses, often changing people’s lives in debilitating fashion. When I was diagnosed, the fear of going blind was so frightening, as eyesight is often affected. I will never forget the kindness and support I felt when it’s founder( Sharon Terry) called me personally to help me understand it all. I’ll always support this organization and have benefited personally from their work. Thanks Bernie!

  35. Tamara Carlisle

    The community need most on my heart is our homeless youth. We make bluejean quilts for MY HOUSE in Wasilla, Alaska. It totally blows me away we have over 800 homeless KIDS in our community. It warms my heart to be able to help keep some of them warm during our harsh winters. Some of them are living in cars and we have heard one of our quilts has saved a life a time or two. We are a small group (4 people) and we donate 50 – 75 quilts a year. Small beans but making a difference where we can.

  36. Louise Hornor

    Bernie, I always enjoy your thoughtful and fun posts! Over 500 posts is a real commitment to the craft of blogging. I’m glad you are here to visit in the quilting blogosphere! I support a number of charities by donating quilts to them, but where I would ask that the $50 be donated to is the American Red Cross. We have volunteered for the organization extensively and have seen first hand how important their work is helping the victims of disasters. Thank you for the opportunity to designate a recipient!

  37. Anja @ Anja Quilts

    Congratulations! I enjoy following your quilting adventures. I support our local children’s hospital, IWK Health Centre, which supports children in three provinces. Your husband does beautiful work.

  38. Barb Peterson

    Thank you for your support of charity works. My favorite charity is St. Vincent DePaul society, who support the needs of the poor.

  39. Kirsty @ Bonjour Quilts

    Congratulations on your blogiversary! 5 years of anything is pretty special, and I’m so glad it has been such an enjoyable time for you. I love your charity gift idea, very clever. My pick is any charity helping returned soldiers.
    Here’s to another 5 years (at least)!

  40. Danice

    Congrats Bernie! I always love reading your blog and seeing your awesome creations. Like you, I care deeply about family, friends and charity work. Keep up all of your wonderful work. Here’s to many more happy years!

  41. Rita Calloway

    I made a doll quilt for ‘a doll like me’ and it still brings me happiness and satisfaction. That would have to be my favorite charity. Congratulations Bernie on five years, and hopes for many more. I do enjoy your blog.!

  42. Cecilia

    Congratulations on your five years! One of my favorite charities is Project Linus. I would love to win one of the beautiful tool your husband makes.

  43. Debra

    Congratulations on your five year blog anniversary! I enjoy reading all your posts, from quilting and sewing to your family, especially the pig project updates. I have several charities that I am involved in, either making complete tops for them or my finishing specialty-hand sewing binding and labels. I guess I would have to pick Quilts of Valor as I have made and presented 6 quilts to family members.

  44. Lizzie

    My favourite charity is Cancerwise in Chichester, England. They have helped me and others so much I cannot express it in words.

  45. Liz Horgan

    Congratulations on 5 years!!
    My favorite charity that I sew for is MD Anderson Cancer Center. Every other year-odd years-they have an online quilt auction with money raised going toward ovarian cancer research. My husband’s sister in law passed away from ovarian cancer in her early 40’s leaving her husband and 3 young daughters. I make a quilt–finishing it now–and donate every other year in Paula’s memory.
    Thanks for all you do for us, and here’s to another 5+ years!

  46. MaryBeth Little

    I love the Tragedy Assistance for Survivors group. They host camps on Memorial Day weekend for children who have lost a parent in the military. They provide a quilt or blanket to each child who attends. I make at least one quilt/year for this group. Thanks for the giveaway.

  47. Rebecca Grace

    Happy Blogaversary, Bernie! My favorite charity is A Child’s Place. They work to support the needs of the 4,000 homeless children in Charlotte-Mecklenberg who are enrolled in public schools:
    (from their web site):

    Children experiencing homelessness live in unstable conditions that include shelters, pay-by-the-week motels, doubled-up or tripled-up with others and in cars. Because of the instability they experience, these children are:

    Hungry twice as often as other children;
    Sick four times more often;
    Two to three grade levels behind and twice as likely to repeat a grade; and
    Experience emotional and behavioral problems three times more than their housed peers
    The national graduation rate for homeless children is below 25%.
    (Source: National Center on Family Homelessness)

    A Child’s Place works to remove these barriers. Our purpose is to enable client homeless children to have the same educational opportunities and advantages as other children.

    Most of our client families are working poor, and virtually all of them live well below the poverty line. For them, homelessness is not a way of life, but a time in their lives. By minimizing the impact of this difficult time on the academic progress of children, A Child’s Place contributes to the likelihood that they will be promoted each year, graduate from high school and ultimately break the cycle of poverty.

  48. Ali

    Great idea – my fav charity is our local food bank. My youngest son got a chance to volunteer there and was blown away at the magnitude of the need and the incredible number of people involved! Happy Blogoversary!!!

  49. Kathleen Scargle McCormick

    FARE – Food Allergy Research & Education is the one I am thinking of. My son had food allergies and it was a great help to me!

    1. Kathleen McCormick

      And by the way, I sent this too fast, congratulations on this wonderful anniversary. You do a lot for the quilting community and we are grateful.

  50. lee

    Happy 5th year of blogging! Reading your blog is a joy! I love Quilts of Valor for our veterans. Thank you!

  51. Robbin Golden

    Royal Family Kids Camp is a national one-week residential camp for foster children ages 7-11. It is staffed 100 % by volunteers, is no cost to the camper or their family as it is run completely by donations. I have been making quilts from it’s inception here in South Carolina nine years ago. As the camp has grown, I have many friends who lend their talents to making the quilts.

    Happy Fifth Anniversary and many more!

  52. Emily

    Happy Blogiversary, Bernie!!!! I think I found you a year or so ago and I love seeing what you make and the glimpses of your family life. I like and support many charitable organizations, but my first choice is always organizations that focus on getting food to people. In Charlotte, NC I support Loaves and Fishes.

  53. Allison

    Congratulations on achieving your 5th Blogaversary. I hope you celebrate many more. I think blogs are still the best way of fostering a community across the internet. 🙂

  54. Patricia Ludwiczak

    Congratulations on your anniversary – that’s a real milestone. I really enjoy your blog which makes me feel like part of a community that shares and lifts spirits at the same time. Thank you! I love A Doll Like Me, and have made 20 doll quilts for them with lots more to come. It’s so relaxing and a quick finish – I love thinking of the children who will have a quilt for their little friends. I also make quilts to donate to our local women’s shelter, and for foster children who so often move on with nothing of their own. Isn’t it interesting how many quilters open their hearts to others!


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