Friday, June 26, 2015

LQS Support - MidSouth Sewing & Fabric

I had the pleasure of meeting some of the sweetest women this week!
I visited a "new to me" local quilt shop called, MidSouth Sewing & Fabric. I've been looking for a shop I will fill comfortable with servicing one of my beloved machines and this shop had been highly recommended to me by several trusted seamstress friends. I had a bit of time without the kiddos, and took advantage of it by stopping in. Boy am I glad I did too!!!!

The shop is adorably decorated and fully stocked with gorgeous, high quality, designer fabrics. I could truly spend hours looking at & stroking every print! They even have a "Yard Sale" section with fabrics priced as low as $5 a yard!
 Additionally, they are Authorized Dealers of a variety of high-end machines, including Juki and Brother. Yes, I spotted a couple to add to my wishlist very easily! ;)

They also provide a variety of embroidery services and regular classes, and if this picture doesn't make you want to join the fun, then I don't know what would! :) I can't wait to get to know this crew better! And maybe I'll slowly begin to overcome my intimidation with quilting as well!
 Well, if getting to spend my morning getting to know these sweet ladies and stroll through their lovely shop at a complete leisurely pace wasn't enough, there are those HUGE boxes that they are standing by. Yep. They sent those home with me FULL of beautiful, embroidered gifts for children in foster care! Take a peek at what was inside.....
21 of these absolutely squishy & adorable "Nap Time Buddy" pups!
Another 21 of these sweet bears with jackets embroidered with the perfect little quote, "Don't Sweat the Small Stuff"!
 20 heart embroidered ball caps...
21 T-shirts.... 
AND, 21 beautiful, plush stockings that I will be stuffing full for donation near Christmas!!!
 The T-shirts and ball caps are being dropped off with my friend Becky who coordinates donations for our foster care closet as our local TFI:The Forgotten Initiative advocate. The stuffed friends have been added too (and piled high!!!) my donation boxes for the FLUFF Project and will join the other donations that will find their way to a special child in foster care with our next delivery!

I am so very excited and thankful to have made this local connection within the sewing/quilting community and so very grateful for their generous gifts! I know each will be well received and appreciated....and those animals will get lots of love I'm sure!

If you are in the greater Knoxville area, I definitely recommend taking the time to drop by this lovely shop! They participate in a variety of activities and shop hops, so there's always something fun to join in on. You can find them in "The Gallery" Shopping Center on Kingston Pike, near West Town Mall. You can also find them online HERE!
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Friday, June 5, 2015

A Bit of Encouragement!

Had to share some heart filling encouragement with all of you!

First, I received a message from a friend who is a fellow foster parent and sits on a review board. When a child's case is up for review they have to be at court for this hearing. Court is a rather intimidating place that typically doesn't say "Fun times ahead!" to most. ;) Well, here's the message I received....I'll let it speak for itself.

"Kristy, we had Foster Care Review board tonight and I wanted you to know that you all made 5 girls very, VERY happy tonight. One of my cases was a sibling group of 5 girls ranging from 2 to 12. They all took a ballerina tonight and they were just so excited and happy. They are beautiful dolls and you did a great job. Please share this."

Very happy & full heart upon reading that!

Then, I received this letter in the mail from the Juvenile Court Judge....
My favorite part is the last bit....
"Thank you for your organization, Hopeful Threads' continued support of our program. Your stuffed animals are some of our favorites."

GOOD STUFF!!!!
Really good stuff!!!!
It matters. Every. Stitch. Matters. 
In BIG, BIG ways!
Thank you!

Find out how you can be a part by clicking the image below. 
The FLUFF Project
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Thursday, June 4, 2015

June. Off to a great start + summer goals!

We have had a great start to June & our summer break so far!
Monday, we had the privilege of delivering 166 stuffed friends to our Juvenile Court to be gifted to children in foster care. I've already received warm and encouraging messages about how well received our FLUFF Project donations are too! 
 That's right, to date, we have delivered 1,189 stuffed friends for children in foster care! 
Sooooo exciting! And I can't wait to make more! 

I have several stuffed friend patterns on my "To Sew" list for the summer! It's always hard to narrow down which one to sew next, I love them all! 
That's just one of the many things on my goals list for the summer though...in no particular order, here are some of the (maybe a bit lofty) things I hope to accomplish over the next few months.

Cook more, especially with my children.
Sew curtains for my youngest daughter's room. (FINALLY!!!)
Fresh paint for several rooms in our home.
New skirts for my girls.
Sew "Busy Bags" & Totes for the foster closet.
Read some chapter books aloud to my kiddos.
Gifts for our local Animal Shelter.
Participate in library events.
Sort my patterns. ALL of them! 
Visit the zoo.
Help my youngest daughter, now 5, sew her first "something".
Create a pattern/tutorial for a special medical comfort item.
Sew some adult sized bibs for my grandfather.
Make new oven mitts, potholders and such for our kitchen.
Go on a picnic.
And, take a few naps! ;)

Whew!!! I'm already tired just planning it! :)
We shall see just how much I'm able to get done.....I always tend to over estimate. 

How about you? Any great summer plans?
Any new patterns or recipes you hope to try?
Would love to hear, so feel free to share in the comments, and hope you have a GREAT summer whatever you choose to do with your time!
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Saturday, May 30, 2015

#SewToShare - Personal Progress: May 2015

Been doing a lot of sewing around here and finally taking the time to sit down and do a little progress post. All of this incredible fluff is finished, tagged and loaded into my van for delivery next week.....we can't wait!!! Delivery days are always so much fun for our family! A great way to kick of the summer for sure! 
These little friends were made using the Little Love Bunny pattern from Jennifer Jangles. I was thrilled to win this pattern during an Instagram giveaway! And the best part.....when Jennifer found out that I would be using the pattern to sew for our FLUFF Project, she sent a box of stuffed friends she had made to be included with our next delivery!! Awesome, I know!!! You can find the Little Love Bunny pattern HERE, and be sure to check out the other creative inspiration on Jennifer's site as well....including FREE sewing patterns! 
This is the "Starla Starfish" pattern that I created and offer for FREE! I've added ric rac loops to the ends of each "arm", along with sewn felt eyes, so these friends can be perfect for even our youngest recipients! It also allows a way to connect this soft friend to a stroller or carrier to help keep close by. You can find the FREE Starfish Pattern HERE!
These playful pups are some of my favorites to sew! Simple and quick and absolutely LOVABLE in every way! They are made using the George the Puppy pattern in the book Girl's Word by Jennifer Paganelli of Sis Boom. You can find this pattern FREE here! I have truly lost count of how many of these pups I have sewn over the years!
This is another simple and sweet pattern to sew! This is the Henry & Helga elephant pattern offered as a FREE pattern & tutorial at Birch Fabrics. Find this pattern HERE.
I love sewing these sweet dolls and they are always well received! The potential for making each individual and personal is endless! These were made using the Matroyshka Doll pattern by Whimsy Couture. You can find this darling pattern HERE. I think this pattern has even been updated to include multiple sizes since I first bought it years ago, allowing for the opportunity to make these sweet friends in a variety of huggable sizes! 
And last to share are my beautiful ballerinas that I posted in detail about yesterday! LOVE THEM!!! This pattern is by Blue Whimsy and is a ton of fun to sew with! These little sweethearts radiate cheer and personality!!! You can find this pattern HERE
So there you have it! A peek into my sewing accomplishments over the past couple of months!
Learn more about the FLUFF Project and how you can be a part by clicking the image below!

Now.....where to start next!!! ;)
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Friday, May 29, 2015

Beautiful Ballerina Dolls! Pattern by Blue Whimsy

 These lovely girls have been in the works for quite a while!
I tend to sew in "batches" when I'm working on items to donate, and sometimes....well, sometimes, I end up on a roll while I'm cutting and lose count on how much I'm going to have to sew. That kinda happened with these girls, so it has taken a bit of time to finish them, but I am tickled with how they've turned out!  
Each one has it's very own style and personality!

This is the Nora Ballerina pattern from Blue Whimsy.
I entered a giveaway that she had going on, knowing that these sweet girls would be perfect for our FLUFF Project. Before the giveaway was even over, she contacted me and told me that after reading about the FLUFF Project, she would like to offer me any pattern of my choice from her shop! Her kindness and generosity really touched me and I was so excited to get to sew this sweet pattern!

These are the ones that will be donated....
 And these I will be offering for sale to help off set the cost of time & materials...
You can find the ones available for purchase HERE!

The pattern also includes sweet little felt ballet slippers, but I chose not to add those due to the likelihood of them getting lost while in the donation shuffle.

The tutus are absolutely my favorite part!!!! They fluff up so darling!
This was a really fun pattern to sew! I loved watching them come to life through the process.

I made a simple change to the final assembly of the doll to make turning easier for me. The original opening for turning is on the dolls back, as you'll be able to see in one of the below pictures. However, I think I made my openings too small, and I struggled to get my first doll turned. And since I sew each step in an assembly line fashion when batch sewing, that meant they were all like this. So, here's what I did as an alternate way to finish....in case you find yourself in the same predicament! ;)


Adjusting the needle to the side, stitch 01 in the image, allows for an easier and more precise stitch along the edge. I used this stitch for much of my dolls assembly.

I attached the arms, and then sandwiched them inside the 2 body pieces, sewing from one bottom edge to the other, leaving the bottom open and legs unattached. 

 After trimming and turning the body, I turned under and ironed the bottom edge and pinned the legs in place. 

After sewing in place, I was then able to stuff the doll from the original opening in the back.  
This is a lovely pattern, one I definitely will sew again! The dolls are already drawing quite a bit of attention from all my friends and family who have seen them! 

You can find Blue Whimsy in all your favorite places....

Oh....and if you'd like to try one of her patterns for FREE, she has a darling little mermaid pattern HERE so you can! :)

Be sure to tell her you saw her sweet pattern here when you drop by to check out all her other sewing sweetness, so she knows just how much I appreciate her generosity! 
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Thursday, May 28, 2015

NEW!!! FLUFF Project Tags

So excited about the new addition of tags for our FLUFF Project donations!
Starting with our next deliver, each of our stuffed friends will now include a tag with a personal message.
 The message reads,
This friend is especially for you! 
Provided through the FLUFF Project of Hopeful Threads.
Share HOPE. 
#FLUFFproject

Thanks to our creative and generous friend Amy, many of these tags are hand stamped & colored!!! Aren't they beautiful!?!?!?! The others are punched from colorful, printed cardstock with this handy new gadget I couldn't resist!

All 165 stuffed friends we have prepped for delivery next week are tagged with one of these special tags! A little personal touch can really make such a difference! 

Stay tuned as I share some of the wonderful fluff friends I've been working on and be sure to visit our Flickr group for a look at everything being delivered!
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