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Giving Back….with a Lot of Help from My Friends

One of the stars of the “Stitchin’ for Kids” project

Last December I wrote about the Stitchin’ for Kids project, established by my friend Caroline Archer; it’s a program that provides dolls for girls who are hospitalized with serious illnesses. I’m delighted to report that the program is going strong, with now more than 200 dolls donated to three children’s hospitals here in the San Francisco Bay Area. You should see the number of outfits that are brought in to our monthly “Doll Days” at The Cotton Patch in Lafayette, CA! Caroline pins them to the wall so we can admire the creativity and love that goes into every piece. Here are two examples of the beautiful work done by Caroline and her group of volunteers:

Hand knit sweater and cap to match the skirt and top.

For the well-dressed doll: coordinating pants, blouse and jacket.

Along with the doll, each recipient is given ten doll outfits, including pants, sweaters, blouses, dresses, skirts, pajamas, and robe. Caroline is always looking for more volunteers to sew doll clothes and would love to see the program expanded to other hospitals in different parts of the country. If you’re interested, you can contact Caroline directly via email at

My little band of quilting buddies (we tried our hand at making doll clothes but weren’t very good at it) makes quilts. These little treasures, which are delivered to the hospitals each spring and fall along with the dolls, are just for the boys! Here’s a top that was made recently:

All the quilts are made with bright, primary-colored fabrics with boy designs (cars, trucks, airplanes, animals)–anything that’s fun to look at and very colorful! Here’s a closer look at one my favorite fabrics:

This one has planes, boats and a bus.

Check out my June 21, 2011 post and the pattern library for additional photos, fabric requirements, and pattern instructions. The feedback we’ve received from the child-life specialists at the hospitals is so positive. The quilts not only add much-needed color to the boys’ rooms, but the designs in the fabrics give both the boys and their parents something to look at and talk about.

I’m touched by the generosity of my friends who  donate their time and resources to support this program.  Each quilt is cut, sewn, quilted, and bound with great care and love. These women donate beautiful fabrics (they’ll tell you how picky I am!) so that each quilt is as colorful and fun as the next! Two weeks ago, my friend Nancy hosted eight of us at her home on a Sunday afternoon. We had pre-cut kits, so everyone gathered at her kitchen table and pieced the tops. We finished thirteen tops that day – I was thrilled! It was a delightful afternoon spent with talented women doing something we all enjoyed. It doesn’t get much better than that.

A huge thank you to everyone who has supported me in this endeavor – you’re the best!

And don’t forget to mark your calendar for Quilting in the Garden:

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