Saturday, August 25, 2012

ADD like you wouldn't believe and a Charity Challenge...

Confession time.  Sometimes, I go a little overboard on a few things. But, most of the time, I go way overboard on a lot of things.  Oh, yeah, and my attention span is about as long as a mosquito's.  For example: I try to quilt, knit, crochet, read a book, and write a blog all at the same time.  Literally. At. the. same. time. Clearly, the blog has suffered, but the charity work has not and I will try and redeem myself today.

Let me backtrack a little bit.  I was wasting time on facebook a few weeks ago, and I saw a little ad on the sidebar for the Mother Bear Project.  This organization sends hand knit bears to children in Africa who have been orphaned because of AIDS.  I thought this was a really sweet idea and then I read the brochure and two of the testimonials had me near tears.  Here's the first one:

 "This bear is my only friend," said a child in Zambia.

His only friend!!! :-( and here's the second:

  "One little boy risked his life to rescue his bear.  
He told his sister, 'I have to get my bear. The heart on it means someone loves me.' 
Their house was destroyed minutes later by torrential rains, " said a teacher in South Africa.  

Seriously, rip my heart out, why don't ya? I can't do much, but I like to do what little I can, so I decided to knit a bear.  5 dollars for the pattern and 3 dollars for any extra bears you send.  They sew a red felt heart on it's chest and ship it off to Africa. With stash yarn, I think anyone can afford to make at least one bear.  Will you?  Here's mine, his sister is still in the works:

Then, I was wasting some time reading emails and came across one from Craftsy. (A great site to check out if you haven't yet!) It was from crafter and designer Vickie Howell of "Knitty Gritty" fame (does anyone else remember that show?) and I discovered that she has a son with epilepsy.  She started a non-profit called the Purple Stitch Project to raise epilepsy awareness.  The mascot of the organization is a ninja and he is the cutest ninja I have ever seen.  The idea is simple.  Make a ninja and it is given to a child with epilepsy to let them know they have a battle buddy against seizures.  (There are also patterns for hats and scarfs and other things, but the ninja is my favorite.  The best part about all this?  There are patterns for knitting, crocheting, and sewing! Crafters of all kinds can participate.  Of course, I had to try all three and I love each and every one of them because they are ridiculously cute, but the sewn one is my favorite.  (I wonder how many ninjas are getting annoyed that I keep referring to them as adorable and cute!) Check them out, which one is your favorite?  Which one will you make? Patterns are available for free on Ravelry and Craftsy. P.S. I also learned a cool trick on this one.  When making a knitted or crocheted plushie, use yarn to stuff it instead of fiberfil. Works just as well, and you don't get all those little white fly aways sticking out.  Now, maybe you already knew this, but I though it was genius.

Then, I was wasting some more time on facebook, and I saw a little ad on the sidebar for Downey and Quilts for Kids. I clicked on it, and reading through broke my heart, yet again. So, I decided it might be nice to make one.  I requested a free kit, and started searching the web for good teenage boy fabric.  (The company will send you a free quilt kit and they ask that you include a stash quilt of your own.  They mentioned that they are in need of quilts for teenage boys).  It is really difficult to find boyish fabric that is not babyish, just for the record.  While my other charity projects went so well, this one was somewhat of a disaster.  I found some Riley Blake fabric that was sporty and not at all babyish... the Play Ball line... and it was super cheap on etsy.  I was so excited.  I ordered three of the patterns and when they arrived just a few days later, I eagerly started my quilt.  Perhaps I should have planned a little better, or at least THOUGHT about it before I started because, holy busy-ness Batman! This thing is dizzying!  A solid (or two!) may have been helpful. But, I was just so excited!

Man, just looking at it makes me nauseous. Disappearing nine patch! Ha! Disappearing everything is more like it!  Obviously I can't use this, and yet I don't have the heart to cut it all up or take it apart.  I bought some more fabric, and I'm going to try again.  Luckily, I didn't get my quilt kit from Quilts for Kids until today, so I still have about 6 weeks to make them both.  My lovely friends from the NJMQG helped me pick out some coordinating solids for my new fabric last night at our monthly meeting.  I'm going to do the kit first, since that is all spelled out for me and then maybe I'll have an easier time with this one.  What are you waiting for?  Go order your kit now!

Lastly, I was visiting a quilt shop in south Jersey with my mom.  While at the register, I noticed a brochure for ConKerr Cancer.  Hooray! More charity crafting! This organization gives pillowcases to kids and teens who are in the hospital for cancer treatments.  LOVE LOVE LOVE this idea.  I've had too many family members affected by cancer.  Thankfully, no children, but I know how difficult it is to go through for adults, and I can only imagine how strong and brave children must be to battle it out.  I really got stuck on this one and whipped up six pillowcases.  It was so fast, fun and simple. (Love those little elephants!) Won't you join me?

So, there it is.  My excuse for not blogging.  I'd say it's a pretty good one, even if it did cause my ADD to spin out of control.  You should have seen my craft table...there was about 4 skeins of yarn piled on top of mounds of fabric, scraps and stuffing everywhere!'s the challenge.  I want you, yes YOU,  to make one craft project for charity.  Which one will you choose?  Leave a comment, telling me all about it.  There are so many options out there, and so many people in need. Even if we can only help one person at a time, it's better than not helping at all.  I hope this post has inspired you! I better go get started on that quilt....happy crafting!



  1. I'm hoping to help with some of the Quilt Con charity quilts. Do you have any advice on how to find charity projects?

  2. That's great! I love the idea of quilts for kids in a shelter. I'm hoping to help out with that, too. As far as finding charity projects, I suppose you could check with local non profits and see if they are in need of anything. There may be shelters or hospitals in your area in need handmade love. I honestly stumbled upon these, but I think they are all great. Especially the quilt and pillowcases...the pillowcases are simple and the quilt kits come with everything but the batting and the directions are detailed. Good luck! Let me know if you do a project.