Posts in the category

Gene Kelly Craft Along

It started over on twitter… just one mention of loving Gene Kelly and there was instantly a chorus of people agreeing and a suggestion of a Gene Kelly Craft Along!  Who am I to say no to a combination of two things I love?? Gene Kelly and crafting?? I’m IN!

Gene Kelly

Gene Kelly is my all time favorite movie star ever. There’s just something about his natural charisma and his amazing dancing (and ok  – I admit it, his dreamy good looks don’t hurt!) that just works for me. I have also always been a lover of classic films and many of the musicals that Gene Kelly was a part of are simply amazing film making. (Let’s ignore Xanadu, ok??) Singing in the Rain, An American in Paris, On the Town… I just love them all!

Now HOW to make a quilt that’s inspired by him?!? This is admittedly daunting but I’m gonna give it a shot! My love for GK runs too deep to not join in the craft along! The others joining in (so far!) are Sister Diane, Marlo, Rachel, Stacie, and Tara.

Why don’t YOU join us too?? No rules, no deadlines, no difficult obligations! It’s just all about expressing the GK love through your craft!  Here’s the flickr group so that we can all enjoy the crafty goodness that is certain to result from a Gene Kelly Craft Along!!

Clouds & Water Quilt

I finally got my mother’s quilt all finished up!

Clouds & Water

To tell the story of this quilt again, it’s 100% fabric that my mother gave me.  She had slowly collected fabrics with cloud and water imagery and she wanted them all in one quilt. Along with the cloud and water fabric, she also had all of these solids and I knew I was going to lean heavily on them to make this a quilt that is my voice. I actually really love a challenge like this… I like being given certain confines that I have to design within – it forces some of the decisions. It’s a bit small for my bed here but it’s just the right size for my mother’s bed!


I wouldn’t have picked these fabrics myself, but I’m really happy with the end result. I really like the way the fabrics in the pieced strip go from dark, to light, to dark again and I think the fabrics are all featured well.

And I used more clouds for the binding…


Hope you all have a great weekend! I’m headed home to New Hampshire next week for a family visit. I can’t wait!! Summer in New England…there’s nothing better. Except the mosquitoes!

2nd annual Fundraiser banner

Ok so seriously – you are all the best!! I’m getting emotional over here thinking about all of the small (and some very large!) bits of generosity that we combined into the huge effort of reaching our goal and then some! Together we raised an amazing


We are going to make a real concrete difference for some women and children who who we are helping. The money we’ve raised here will go a long way. It will pay for the sewing workshop graduation kits for 43 women. They have learned the skills and now they will have the sewing machines and supplies they need to make a living. These are women who would not be able to do this without the money that we raised here together. Our money will also pay for the sewing workshop to continue running for a new group of women to learn. Additionally, our money will pay for children to go to school, altering their futures immeasurably. Together we have made the lives of some women and children a bit better.


It’s often unbearable to imagine the pain and suffering these victims of the conflict in eastern Congo have lived through – but know that we’ve helped some of them to begin rebuilding their lives. All while sitting in front of our computers. Pretty amazing, isn’t it?

So thank you. Thank you a million times over! Thank you to those who gave money, to those who gave prizes and to those who helped to spread the word that this fundraiser was happening. Thank you, thank you, thank you!!

A big congrats to the winners of the prizes. We’re sending emails to everyone one who won today, so keep an eye out for that! And everyone else, your donation is tax deductible so we’ll be sending you a letter within the next couple of weeks.

I know that for some of you the needs of these women and children and the work that Action Kivu does really struck a chord. If you’re wondering what more you could do, you could set up a monthly donation, (no matter how small!) or you could organize a bake sale or your guild could make a charity quilt to raise funds. I can easily connect anyone who’s interested directly with Action Kivu and they would be thrilled to work with you. Know that the needs of Congolese women and children are huge and Action Kivu is always in need of more donations. You can also keep up with Action Kivu by liking them on Facebook or following them on Twitter.

And we’ll be here again next year doing it all over again! Again, thank you all so much!

2nd annual Fundraiser banner

The giveaways for this fundraiser are now closed but Action Kivu always needs donations. Thank you!

Here it is! Year two of the Action Kivu Fundraiser! Today is the first final day of this fundraiser that will be happening right here on my blog throughout this week. The fundraiser and giveaways are open through midnight (PST) on Monday the 15th.

There are amazing prizes to be had so please learn about this worthy cause and keep reading!

If you were were reading along last year (can you believe it’s been an entire year?!?)  you know about Action Kivu, but for those of you who don’t know, Action Kivu is a nonprofit that helps women who are victims of the conflict in Eastern Congo by teaching them to sew.  The conflict in Congo has taken the lives of over 5.4 million people since 1998. Rape is used as a weapon of war, with estimates putting the number of rapes in the hundreds of thousands.  This is truly difficult stuff to think about but together we can really make a difference for some specific women who need our help.

AK5  AK3  AK1

By learning to be seamstresses these women can then support themselves and their families. Action Kivu also pays to send  Congolese children to school.  You can read a lot about them on their web site.

Last year we raised an amazing $10,000 over the course of a week and this year we’re upping the goal!!

Together, we can raise $15,000 for this amazing organization and the women and children it benefits.

That’s just 300 of you giving $50. That’s realistic, right??  Please give and help us reach our goal!  See that thermometer on my side bar? (click through if you’re seeing this in a reader) This week we are going to make it move up and and up and up and we need YOU to help us do that!

As a sewing community we are so giving, generous and lucky to have each other and the amazing support we provide for one another. Let’s spread that net of support wider and help these women and children.  Together we can make a real difference.  Please give!

Now  – getting down to business!! The giveaways!! In order to be entered to win a prize, all that you have to do is give the amount assigned to that prize.   Can’t decide which giveaway you want to be in the running for?  You can enter more than one!  Just donate the dollar amount associated with a prize and you’ve got a chance to win it! However, you can only enter each giveaway once.  Now let’s check out all of the prizes that were donated by so many wonderfully giving people.

Added 8/11 – every one who wins a prize will also get one Anna Maria Horner pattern of your choice!

$10 Donation:                                                                                                                                                    


Every dollar counts so give just $10 and be in the running to win these two yards of incredibly hard to find fabrics. One yard of Erin Michael’s paint by number birds in blue and one yard of her paint by number deer in blue!

$15 Donation:                                                                                                                              

Block Party
Give $15 and you could a signed copy of Block Party! Five copies are up for grabs so give now and you could be one of the five winners of the book.

$20 Donation:                                                                                                                                                      


Give $20 and you could win both Modern Log Cabin, kindly donated by author Susan Beal, and Block Party! Both books will be signed and Susan even is throwing in a quilt block kit! All of this could be yours for just a $20 donation!

$25 Donation


Give $25 and you will be entered to win a fat quarter pack of the entire line of Happy Mochi Yum Yum by Monica Solorio-Snow donated by Sew Modern! That’s 30 fat quarters of this wonderful new fabric line.


$40 Donation:                                                                                                                                                   

Sugar Creek 2

A fat quarter pack of the not yet in stores Sugar Creek line by Denyse Schmidt!! A huge thanks to Denyse Schmidt Quilts for their kindness in donating this bundle! Can you believe that you might be lucky enough to get your hands on some of this fabric before anyone else does? Give $40 and this bundle could be yours!

$60 Donation:                                                                                                                                                     .

165 Solids

165 Fat Eighths of mostly Kona Cottons, but also Quilters Linen and Free Spirit Designer Solids!! Generously donated by Elizabeth Hartman of Oh, Fransson!  We’re talkin’ over 20 yards of  fabric here!  Give $60 now and start daydreaming about the quilts you will be sewing up with this fabric if it becomes yours!


$75 Donation:                                                                                                                                              


43 different fat eighths of Flea Market Fancy! Donate now to win this incredibly sought after and hard to find fabric line. Donated by Jacquie Gering of Tallgrass Prairie Studio. Thanks to Ashley Newcomb of Film In the Fridge for her contribution to this bundle!  A donation of $75 and this fabric could be yours!

$85 Donation:                                                                                                                                                $85 and this gorgeous baby quilt that was generously donated by Anna Maria Horner could be coming home to you, straight from Anna Maria’s studio! Some details:
100% cotton patchwork quilt with hand quilting throughout using pearl cotton
Inner batting made of cotton/bamboo blend
finished dimensions: 39″ X 48 1/2″ (perfect for a crib)

$100 Donation:                                                                                                                                                       
HeatherRossBundleAnd finally… 13 yards plus loads of scraps of Heather Ross fabric! There are full yard cuts all the way down to little scraps! There’s fabric from multiple lines from West Hill to Far Far Away. There’s Munki Munki scraps, VW Buses, Gnomes, Goldfish… it’s all here.  Please check out this flickr folder to see detailed photos and a list of what’s in this bundle. Give $100 now and not only will you be helping so much, you also could become the owner of this huge Heather Ross bundle!

And please help to spread the word about this fundraiser! Tell your friends, post it on Facebook and Twitter or blog about it – let’s all join together and really make a difference!

More details you might want to know:

I got involved with Action Kivu because my twin sister, Cate, works with them. Action Kivu provides some of the eastern Congo’s victims of violence with the opportunity to rebuild their lives on a foundation of hope, dignity, and economic self-sustenance. Their approach is spearheaded through two programs. First, they run a sewing workshop that teaches women who are victims of the conflict to sew. Secondly, they pay for children to go to school which is not free in Congo.

Action Kivu is run in eastern Congo by a Congolese man, Amani Matabaro  (you can meet him if you watch the video on the Action Kivu web site), who Cate knows personally and who is amazingly passionate and committed to his cause of helping women and children in his country. As an orphan who lost his parents in the conflict, he was driven to try to do something to help.  We will not be throwing this money into the wind, not knowing where it’s going.

Additionally, here in the US, Action Kivu is 100% run by volunteers.   Every dollar we raise here, aside from banking fees, will go directly to Action Kivu and these woman and children in need.  If you’d like, you can learn more about the conflict in Eastern Congo here.

Any other questions at all?  Just drop me an email or comment and I will happily get you an answer!