Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Monthly Finale - Recap & Opportunities

I wanted to offer a quick recap of opportunities to support Fundraising that we have discussed this month. Feel free to leave a comment with any other fundraising opportunities you are personally aware of and remember to look for opportunities to use your personal gifts and talents to give back!

These auctions could use and would welcome your donations of hand-crafted items.
Love Without Boundaries Art Auction - Submissions due by April 1, 2012


Because....Every Stitch Matters!

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Pattern Review - Princess Dress by Little Lizard King

I recently had the privilege to test a new pattern for Little Lizard King for the Princess Dress
 This is a perfect tea-length dress that was surprisingly easy to sew considering all of the darling embellishments and extra features. 

My daughter of course adored it and asked if she could wear it as soon as it was finished!
The pattern offers step-by-step instructions with photos making it very easy to follow. It's available in PDF format, so you are ready to sew as soon as the inspiration hits! The sizes range from 12M - 11/12, I love that! This would be the perfect pattern to make a costume or dress-up outfit. My daughter declares it also perfect for everyday wear too though. ;)
 We had a lot of fun trying to catch a few pictures in spite of it being a dreary day!

This is certainly a dress I will sew again....and probably again and again and again with 3 lovely Princesses in my home! ;)
You can find the pattern at Little Lizard King here.

Pattern: Princess Dress by Little Lizard King
Fabric: Solids/Kona, Stripe/Sis Boom, Floral/Darla by Tanya Whelan

Monday, February 27, 2012

The Choose Joy Auction & Benefit

Team Ashley

  Wow. I don't even know where to begin here. 
I've been following Ashley's creative blog for a while now. Her style, inspiration and playful personality are nothing short of contagious.
Her story took an especially difficult turn the end of 2011 and has left her fighting a battle with a very serious type of Cancer. I can only imagine the things that pass through her mind these days, but a very special group of her friends and fans known as "Team Ashley" have decided that $$ shouldn't be one of those things. They have organized a two day auction FULL, and I mean FULL, of amazing items for you to bid on, with the money raised going to Ashley and her family.
Click the image above to find out more!

Get well wishes and prayers coming your way Ashley!

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Biltmore House Adventure!

Yesterday, my mom and I took my oldest 2 girls to Biltmore House in Asheville, NC. If you've never been, it's truly a magnificent experience! The largest private home in the United States, it was built in 1895 and is truly a US castle!

My girls currently have a great interest in that time period, and having visited the house numerous times myself, I couldn't wait for them to see it! Originally, the estate was 125,000 acres, and while it isn't that large today, it is still unbelievable. Breathtaking views, exquisite furnishings, decorations and's quiet the experience!

Photographs aren't allowed inside the home or this post could have been ridiculously LOOOOONG!!! The house boasts 250 rooms, 43 bathrooms, the first indoor bowling alley, swimming pool, AMAZING kitchen and the property includes gorgeous stables (now restaurants), a winery, a dairy farm, and numerous ponds and trails.

And the grounds, which are in full bloom at different times of the year, (spring includes tulips, iris, forsythia, hyacinth, crocus and in summer the trails are bursting with azaleas...and the rose gardens...oh my!!!) weren't in bloom just yet, but the "hot house" was bursting with growth and color! It's always been one of my favorite parts of the entire property.

We had a wonderful day! The weather was gorgeous and we all loved it!
Got to have a "Girls Day Out" every once in awhile! ;)

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Assunta Store - Another Business with the purpose to CARE!

If you read about the foundations currently being supported by Create H.O.P.E. Designs yesterday, then you have heard of China Little Flower/Little Flower Projects. Assunta Store is a business operated by the caregivers of China Little Flower and all sales support their work. Here's more from their "About Us" page...
"About Us
We are Americans living in China; we have been here working with abandoned babies and disabled orphans for the past 15 years.  We never planned to set up a store, yet over the years we have seen a great demand for the items that we use in our projects.  We have had many requests to supply snaps, presses, sewing notions, diapers etc at a reasonable cost; Assunta Store is our answer.  We sell items that we use ourselves, so we are confident of the quality and understand how they work. We are happy to answer any questions you may have about our products. 

All sales from this store support China Little Flower.   China Little Flower is a non-profit organization caring for disabled and dying orphaned children in China.   Little Flower cares for orphans in a number of projects:

The Hospice is a special place to provide comfort, love, and care to orphans who are dying.

Special Care for Infants: We provide intensive care to babies who are abandoned with complex medical needs. We focus on caring for babies born prematurely, those with club feet, and babies with birth defects or illness requiring skilled nursing care.

Group Homes allow disabled school age orphans to live in a supportive family environment while attending school and aquiring life skills that will allow them an independent future.

Long Term Care: In this program we care for older disabled orphans with severe mental and physical impairment. These are children who have no hope of ever being adopted or living independently as adults. 

You can learn more about Little Flower's orphan care projects by visiting the Little Flower Projects website.  Updates are often posted to Little Flower Projects's blog and Facebook page.

China Little Flower is a 501 (c) (3) tax exempt non-profit organization registered in the state of Nebraska."

I have purchased from Serena, the mama behind it all, for years. Aside from providing high-quality, excellently priced products, she also provides top-notch customer service and expedited shipping. Some of the products Assunta Store offers includes KAM Snaps, size labels, decorative appliques and sew in labels, elastics, threads, cloth diapering products and fabrics. Many of these are products I would be buying anyway, so the fact that I'm able to support these precious babies with my purchases, even better!
Please take a moment to check out Assunta Store and remember them for your sewing needs. I keep a badge in my sidebar to make it easy to find any time! :)
You can also support them with your tax deductible donations. More info here.

Friday, February 24, 2012

It's a very special day...

Today is the day I turn 29. 
Growing up my mother always said her 30th birthday was the hardest of all, and that stuck with me. So, I declared....ahem....a few years never, ever turn 30. 
My true age is sometimes even a mystery to me that I have to stop and count since I've played this game so long. But, ask my five year old, he'll tell ya every time...."Mom's 29!"
He's such a good boy! :)

However, I thought that today my lovely friends here might like to help me celebrate. 
Are you game???

Here's what I want to do for my birthday....I want to knock the socks off of a friend of mine who has made a way to use her gifts, talents, business, resources and every ounce of free time a mama of a large and busy family could possibly have, to GIVE BACK! A lot of which is completely done behind the scenes and may go unnoticed by most. That's right, she gives with everything she's got, and today I'd like her to know that she is making a difference!!! She is making a difference in the lives of children in need and a difference in the lives of those of us witnessing it. Her name is Shasta, and she is the beautiful person and heart behind Create H.O.P.E. Designs.
If you've been around Hopeful Threads for long, you have heard me talk about Create H.O.P.E. Designs. It is a project that has been near and dear to my heart since before it even had a name! Create H.O.P.E. Designs exists for the sole purpose of giving back to those in greatest need....orphaned children and their communities. This is done through the sale of unique, high-quality PDF patterns provided by some top name designers, for only $5 each!
Clothing, quilts, children's name it! It's a wonderful, growing collection of patterns!

If you aren't familiar with Create H.O.P.E. Designs, please take a moment to get to know the purpose, designers and patterns behind the outreach. If you design patterns or have ever considered doing so, I'd also like to ask you to consider contributing some of your work. Create H.O.P.E. is always looking for new patterns to add to the existing collection! (New one just added this week!) You will always be recognized as the designer of your unique patterns and the difference your contribution can make is huge!

Create Hope Designs

I know that overall sales from the pattern shop have probably slowed a bit since the launch and big push to get the word out. Today however, I would like to remind Shasta that the work she did to get Create H.O.P.E. Designs to this point, and the work she continues to quietly do to help others HAS NOT and WILL NOT be forgotten!!! Will you help me???

If you can purchase a pattern from the shop today in honor of my birthday, please do so!
Don't sew? Don't need another pattern? So what! Consider the $5 a donation to a really great cause and make the day of a couple of busy mamas! Whether you can purchase a pattern or not, will you at least take a moment to leave a comment on any post at the Create H.O.P.E. Designs blog just telling Shasta and the contributing designers THANK YOU!?! Sometimes that is just the kind of encouragement we all need to tackle what's ahead of us for that day!

So, will you help me celebrate???
Go stir up a little birthday hoopla over at Create H.O.P.E. Designs in honor of me today!
And thank you in advance! It's just what I wanted!!!

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Elysium Patterns - New Sponsor & GIVEAWAYS!!!

Please welcome Hopeful Threads newest sponsor, Elysium Patterns! 

 I first shared about Elysium when I made her darling Sweet Blossom Skirt.

Elysium has since joined in support of Hopeful Threads as a sponsor and would like to offer a fabulous giveaway to my readers! 

There will actually be 3 WINNERS!!!
And get this....each winner will get to choose 3 PATTERNS EACH!

To be entered simply follow the Rafflecopter prompts: a Rafflecopter giveaway
Since I know you'll want to keep up...
You can find the Elysium Pattern Shop here.

Winning patterns provided in PDF format. Giveaway open to everyone! Winners to be randomly selected, announced here and emailed Friday, March 2, 2012. (Please note...this is my first attempt at using Rafflecopter, so you'll have to bare with me as I learn if there are any kinks. Thanks!)
Make sure to read the Giveaway page at the top of the blog for all details pertaining to giveaways at Hopeful Threads. Thanks!

Welcome Elysium! We are very happy to have you here! 

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Simple Sewing Tip - Pinking

This is a super simple sewing tip that can save you quite a bit of time! 
Pinking Shears!
When you are sewing a pattern with curved seams, particularly clothing, it is very important to clip the seams to allow the piece to lay smoothly once turned. 
 Most patterns will suggest clipping small "V" shapes in the curves. Pinking Shears can do this in a matter of seconds! And in most cases, you are less likely to snip through your stitching when using Pinking Shears since you aren't cutting towards your stitches, but around them.

The result is a nice, smooth, uniform curved seam that lays beautifully!
Pinking Shears. A simple tip to make sewing even more enjoyable!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Medical Expense Fundraiser - Claire Bear

This may not be the first time many of you have heard about the strong and brave Claire Bear. I first learned of her from the creatively talented memory catcher, Becky Higgins, here.
Take the time to read the background and you'll learn that Claire experienced a terrible, terrible accident in December that took her ability to walk. This has created some large and unplanned expenses for her family. Becky Higgins decided to take this matter into her own that!
Jump over to Becky's blog here and learn more.

And follow Claire's determined recovery and supportive family on their blog here. You can help in a variety of ways from encouraging notes, financial donations and/or donated items for sale. See the "How You Can Help" page here.
Big hugs to you and your family Claire!

Monday, February 20, 2012

RAK Fat Quarter Winner!

Hope you all had a wonderful week filled with Random Acts of Kindness!
If you have any you'd like to share, please leave them in a comment here or on the Hopeful Threads facebook page. I love to hear!

Now, on to the winner of this sewing inspirational fat quarter...
Needled Mom said... 2
Aren't we blessed to have had such wonderful sewing instructions to send us on our way. I can remember my mom starting a dress for my sister and myself when we went to bed. The next morning both dresses were hanging on the door for us to wear to school.

What a touching image!
Check your email for a message from me!
Happy Sewing!

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Bib Donation for Love Without Boundaries & The Basic Charity Challenge

Here's the bundle of bibs I've made to send with the Love Without Boundaries Cleft Surgery Team. 
You may recognize the print fabrics I've used. 
I made 22 bibs using flannel remnants from other projects and a bit of terry cloth to back them. I added snap closures for easy use and durability and I hope they love them! :)

  I'll be sharing this as a contribution to The Basic Charity Challenge at Cara Quilts. If you aren't familiar with the challenge, I would certainly recommend checking it out! I love Cara's simple and practical ideas for how to give back and she's found a lot of generous people to help inspire participation. ;)

The bibs are packed and ready to be on their way. 
 I hope they are useful for the caregivers and that the bright, playful prints are enjoyed by the babies. I truly am grateful to have the opportunity to send a practical item like this that was fun and easy to make!
What basic item can you give to help another today?

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Project Linus - Make A Blanket Day 2012

It's Make A Blanket Day!!! 
That's right, the 3rd Saturday of February each year is the Project Linus MABD - Make A Blanket Day! 
 Did you know that Project Linus has delivered OVER 4,000,000 blankets!!! I know! Isn't that amazing!!?!!? That is the result of many, many people believing that EVERY STITCH MATTERS!
You can see a list of participating states and find a chapter near you HERE.

There are many ways You Can Help! And their website also provides a collection of free patterns too!
Keep up with Project Linus on facebook here.
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