Several weeks ago I read a post over at From My Carolina Home where Carole shared a community project shared between woodworkers and quilters in her area. The woodworking group makes lovely toys and then quilts and stuffed bears are added to them as gifts for local children in their area. She mentioned they could use more of the 18″ quilts if any of us would like to make some.
I love this sort of feel-good project. An 18″ quilt is an easy way to spend a bit of time and use some fun fabric. The first small quilt was made with a leftover piece of a whole cloth quilt I made some years ago. The original quilt was used to display the fabric when I worked as a vendor at a few quilt shows. After this, I cut it into two projects donated to A Doll Like Me.
This left me with one more piece. I squared it to 18″ and bound it with this chartreuse solid. I am happy to use the last bit. This panda print is so cute and I am a tad bit sad it is all used up.
Next I took a box of 3 1/2″ squares and quickly sorted for juvenile prints. Then I cut a scrap of bright green polka dot fabric into squares the same size. Alternating them made a fun, cheerful quilt.
Of course, this larger scale green polka dot makes the perfect backing for the quilt. Finishing it off with a dark purple binding frames the whole thing nicely.
I did a machine stitched binding, which looks cute on the front and not so great on the back. I thought the stitch should extend beyond the edge of the binding on the front but that means it doesn’t lay on the binding on the back. So, lesson learned. I should have stitched the binding closer to the outer edge so the back would have a neater appearance.
Thank you Carole for sharing this fun opportunity to help out with your holiday project. I am so impressed by the wooden toys donated by the woodworking group. They are so sweet and what child wouldn’t want to play with wagons and strollers. Gifts like these will spark the imagination of the child fortunate enough to receive them!
Sharing this just for fun – H is taking a gymnastics day camp this week. But somehow someone brought in parrots to show the kids. She had the opportunity to hold one and went for it. She is an adventurous kiddo.
I don’t think I can really articulate all that this Spread the Love, Quilting for Kids event has meant to me, but I am going to try. This is likely to be a long post…. Bear with me.
When I first read about Amy and her shop, A Doll Like Me, I knew she was special. I knew the work she does is really important and so valuable. But I didn’t know what all would happen when I put out the call to the quilting community to make doll quilts for A Doll Like Me. I didn’t realize how much I would come to enjoy working with Amy. I didn’t know I was going to have the opportunity to become friends with her and get to know about her family and what is important to her about this work she does. Also, I had no idea I would make so many new friends within the quilting community. I hadn’t a clue how much support my family would pour into this project. My sisters that sew, made blankets, quilts and gowns, my family donated financial support to the Go Fund Me campaign for A Doll Like Me. My nephew works for Go Fund Me and he took Amy’s campaign to his management team – they loved it and donated $1,000 to it.
Kindness begets kindness. It has this incredibly powerful, trickle down effect. Let’s take a look at the flow of kindness within this event. I think it is so important.
Amy made a doll for a friend’s child. Kind act #1
Her friend showed it to another friend. Kind act #2
That friend asked for a special doll with a limb difference for her child and Amy made it for her. Hugely Kind Act #3
The friend shared the doll and Amy’s world changed. A Doll Like Me began. Hugely Kind Act #4
Art Gallery Fabric offers me an amazingly generous number of prizes to offer and hopefully encourage participation so Amy would have a large stash of quilts to use in her work. Kind and Generous Act #8
My nephew finds out about these donations from his mom (my sister) and takes it to the management at Go Fund Me. They donate $1,000 to the campaign. Hugely generous and Surprising Kind Act #10
Quilters take this event and announce it at their guilds, their sewing groups, their on-line community and I start receiving emails, lots of emails, asking if they can continue to contribute after the February event concludes. I can’t remember how many groups contacted me but it was at least ten. Kind Acts #11 through 20 or so?
My sister, who lives in the UK, offers to be a collection point so that quilters in the UK can participate without having to mail their quilts to the states. They are mailing their donation to Juanita and she will collect them, package them up and send them to Amy. Kind Act #21
A quilter in Canada offers to do the same thing so the participants in Canada won’t be paying such high postage expenses. Debbie is collecting the Canadian doll quilts and will package them up and send them to Amy. Kind Act #22
Doll quilts start arriving – I have received pictures of well over 200 doll quilts so far. Promises of more are in the works. I have heard tales of how meaningful this has been to so many quilters, how much they have enjoyed taking part in this and thinking of these kids who will have their Doll Like Me and also a quilt to wrap up their baby. So, let’s try to quantify this and say these are Kind Acts #23 – 228. I know there are more quilts in process but this gets the idea across, right?
Quilters ask what else they can do. Amy says ‘well, I would like to have some doll size hospital gowns for kids facing a hospital stay.’ So far I know of fifteen hospital gowns that are finished and sent. Also two more doll outfits. More are in the works, but for now this will be Kind Acts #229 – 246.
See how this works? Kindness begets kindness. Small acts grow, more people get involved, more compassion is extended, and people feel intrinsically rewarded; it feels good to be kind. That warm feeling of satisfaction causes kind acts to happen more and more. One mom is using this project as a teaching tool. She has five children and has committed to making five quilts, one with each child helping her. Those kids will likely benefit and become more compassionate for others, more sympathetic to the needs of others. How will they use that lesson in compassion as they grow? Who knows, but you know it will affect them in a positive manner.
I cannot thank everyone enough. You are all so amazing. Want to see some of the quilts that were made?
I didn’t think it was feasible to upload over 200 pictures so I just made a few collages. So many fun quilts though. I am sorry I couldn’t share every single quilt. They are all outstanding. Included in these special quilts are applique, strip quilts, animals, patchwork, Dr. Suess, Sesame Street, Raggedy Ann, flowers, tractors, and even race cars. Whether modern or traditional, each one is unique and so special.
This community grabbed on to the idea of helping children. It spoke to so many of us. It felt good to do something positive. To have something meaningful to work on as we deal with one senseless tragedy after another in this world we live in.
So many amazing, adorable, hand made quilts in all shapes, colors and styles. These tiny quilts aren’t going to change the world but we are giving something special to a child who needs our love, maybe just a bit more than the other kids.
Look at these sweet hospital gowns, pajamas and clothes that have been made so far.
When I was talking to my friend Mari about this doll quilt event I was dreaming up, I asked what she thought – she said there would be an overwhelming response. She nailed it, didn’t she? Do you know what? One quilter made seventeen doll quilts! She was on a tear (no pun intended!), making one after another; an example of the kindness spreading throughout the community.
Let’s talk about those gorgeous fat quarter bundles offered up by Art Gallery Fabrics! Each person who emailed me pictures of their quilts has been entered once for each quilt they shared with me. Also an extra entry was made if the person made hospital gowns or outfits. You may continue to email me pictures of completed items through February 28th.
Quilt bloggers who have gotten involved can share their posts by linking up below. The link up will remain open through February 28th. When I read through the link ups, I will enter the blogger once for each quilt shared on the post. I hope you will take a few minutes and check out the other posts. I am sure you will come away inspired and gratified.
On March 1st I will have the fun task of picking ten winners via Random Number Generator. I will email the winners and ask for their mailing information. If you are a winner, please email me your information within two days. Otherwise, I will pick another winner. Does this all make sense? If you have questions, leave them in the comments and I will get back to you.
I am so energized by the response from all of you. You are amazing, generous people and there are no words to accurately describe how gratifying this has been. Thank you for all of the time and effort you have poured into these sweet quilts over the last several weeks. Thanks in advance for the quilts promised to A Doll Like Me in the future. I know Amy is overwhelmed by the response and also very grateful.
This morning I want to share my progress on the doll quilts I am making for the February Spread the Love event. If you haven’t yet read about this creative and inspiring event, please hop over here and read this post. Then come back for more!
So far I have two quilts finished, one ready to quilt, and another still in pieces on the design wall. The first one I made was a simple patchwork. I had a charm pack of solid colors from Connecting Threads. I cut the charms into four pieces and arranged them on the diagonal. I had some cute polka dot scraps that are from the Henry Glass line, Modern Tykes which made a cute border. Quilting was simple lines following the seams and a few loops in the border.
I had a cute striped sheet and used a piece of it as the backing. My only regret with this quilt is the size. At 16″ x 18″, it is a bit on the small size.
For this quilt I had some Joel Dewberry fabric that has been sitting on the shelf. A long while back, I started making City Sampler blocks from the Tula Pink book. But I don’t like the blocks. I have learned so much about color since starting that project and I know I will never finish these as a quilt. So I picked one, placed it in the center and built around it. It looks so cute that I will likely make more with these leftover blocks.
The backing is an older Moda print from my stash. This quilt is a bit bigger, 17 x 21 inches, but I still think it is a bit small. I quilted a rectangular spiral with my walking foot. I think these doll quilts are the perfect projects to practice my quilting. Whether it be free motion or walking foot, the small size is just right.
I decided to make this I-Spy quilt next. Last year I won a a set of I-Spy charms from a giveaway over at Val’s Quilting Studio. It was fun to pick through and use some for this little quilt. I arranged several rows of blocks and added a narrow rows of black and red polka dot fabrics. Hopefully the child receiving this will enjoy playing I-Spy and looking for the fun objects contained in the quilt! It needed width so I put a larger border of black on the sides. It still needs a narrow black border at the top and bottom to finish it off. It should finish at 21 x 24 inches and for whatever reason, this seems like a nice, generous size.
I want to thank everyone for your excitement about this project. The gift of your time and creativity will be much appreciated by the families that receive your quilt with their doll. A couple of readers showed interest in also making some doll clothes for Amy. I checked with her and she would happily welcome doll clothes made to fit an 18″ doll. I have seen patterns available both at Jo-Ann’s and occasionally at thrift stores. One thing Amy mentioned is she would especially like pajamas and hospital gowns for the dolls. Remember, she is providing ‘a doll like me’ and some of these children have more than their fair share of hospital stays and periods of recuperation. Having their doll wear a hospital gown would be another way the doll is like the child.
Also, I have set up a process for quilters in the UK. My sister lives outside of London and she is happy to be a central point for any quilts. So, this means if you are a quilter in the UK and want to participate, you would mail your quilt to my sister. She will gather them and then send them to Amy in Wisconsin. I am very happy about this because otherwise, the shipping expense might prevent a quilter from being able to participate. If you know of quilters in the UK who might want to participate, please share this event with them! If you are in the UK and want more info, email me or leave a comment.
Keep the questions coming, either by commenting on this post or emailing me at needleandfoot at gmail dot com. Thanks so much for participating! I can’t wait to see some doll quilts. Have a great weekend!
Linking up with all sorts of blogs. Check the Link Ups tab at the top of the page for more info.