Recognizing Generous Crafters

on December 13 | in Sew Good (Charity Sewing) | by | with 43 Comments

Last week Katherine Bell told us why sewing is such an effective way to help people in need. We also kicked off our first team Wrap Them in Love effort, we offered inspiration from Morsbags & the Green Bag Lady and we started our second team effort, the Grocery Bag Sew-Off challenge.

This week we present Gifts for the Givers! Nominate someone you know who uses their crafting talents to help people in need. Write about the person (or about your own efforts– you can nominate yourself) in a blog post or in the comments below. Tell us what the person does, why you find their efforts inspiring, how their work makes a difference… You can nominate a person or a group of people.

15 nominated winners will receive fantastic prizes from Fiskars!

Nominate someone today
1. Write about a person who makes a difference through craft (sewing, knitting, etc.).
2. Link to your blog post in the comments or write about the person in the comments on this post.
3. Tell the person that you nominated them.
4. We’ll share 15 heartwarming efforts on the blog on December 30 and we’ll give away 15 prizes to the individuals/groups we feature.

Help us share joy & inspiration this holiday season!

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43 Responses to Recognizing Generous Crafters

  1. Mary P says:

    I’d like to nominate my mother, Donna Holt. She started a project about 15 years ago to teach quilting as part of the Art Therapy program at the Children’s Shelter of Santa Clara Valley. She got a regular group of ladies to help twice a week for the last 15 years. She got local fabric shops to donate fabric, and got various people to donate batting, scissors, thread, and sewing machines. The children not only learned how to quilt, but they gained self-confidence, and they made something that they were able to keep for themselves. Sometimes it was the only item they had that was their own. Sometimes the teens were making quilts for their own babies (or babies they were expecting). The age varied greatly from 8-18, but all the people who volunteered (including myself) and children who benefited where changed. I still remember a little boy who broke my heart–he was having trouble with the sewing machine and he kept saying “I’m so stupid. I always do everything wrong.” I wanted to take him home right there. I learned that he was at the shelter because his father had abused him and sent him to the hospital with horrific injuries. He couldn’t have been older than 10 years old. But he had such joy in making something, and being surrounded by supportive adults who believed in him. The stories are endless. My mom started this whole project and never turned it into an official charity–it was just something she quietly did without looking for recognition. She is truly an inspiration to me.

  2. Susan F says:

    I would like to nominate Project Linus of Dallas, Collin, Grayson, and Rockwall Counties. For about 6 months one of their major goals this year was to make and collect blankets for Snowball Express. Snowball Express is a vacation for the children of fallen soldiers and has major sponsors such as American Airlines and many others.

    We managed to take over 1700 blankets to the Convention center for the children to make a selection of their choice. The children were thrilled to have a choice and many were wrapped in their blanket right after their selection. Our website has pictures of the event.

    We brought home about 300 of the blankets that we took. So everyone was pleased with their blanket.

    Although Snowball Express was a huge special project we still managed to deliver our monthly orders of 250 blankets to hospitalized and traumatized children in our area.

    Our organization is 100% volunteer. We make blankets of all kinds-quilts, fleece, crochet, and knitted.

  3. Sean says:

    Sorry, I didn’t get Bonnie Coleman’s Blog in the last post so here it is

  4. Alice says:

    I’d like to nominate Jan Mac of and
    amd all the women and men who send her quilts to be distributed to the Australian bushfire affected people, and other people in need.

  5. san says:

    I nominate Margaret and Carin of
    They have taken something so senseless in the death of their grandmother and have turned the trajedy into hope for many with the gifts of quilts for so many hurting out there. I so admire them for their courage and strength. God bless them, they so deserve to be recognized.

  6. Sean says:

    I would like to nominate my wife Bonnie Coleman. For years she and her mother made baby hats & blankets for hospital nurserys, lap robes for nursing homes, hats for the homeless and teddy bears for the children’s hospital, hats and comfoters for Chemo patients. (her mother was also a chemo patient) Her mother passed away three years ago and Bonnie has continued in this journey alone. She is now making those items as well as she has joined a group called the World of Charity Stitchers and they make items for seriously ill children, cancer patients and nursing homes. Bonnie joined this group this summer and has made numerous tote bags, eye glass cases, bags, 18 knitted lap robes and 6 quilts. I am very proud of my wife and I support her in every way I can. You can view the quilts that went to the nursing home and I believe there are also pictures of other items that went to the nursing home on past posts. Thank you for the opertunity to honor a specialhttp lady who helps others in so many ways. Sean
    Bonnie’s blog ://

  7. Libby Fife says:

    I would second the nomination of Debra Spincic.
    Over the past year she has given me an immeasurable amount of help and guidance both in my work and with blogging in general. Additionally, I have worked with her on several service projects. You will find that she is constantly looking for ways to combine sewing with helping people both through her service projects and blogging. Plus, take a look at her work to see the attention to detail and a level of patience that is hard to match:)

  8. Amy L says:

    I would like to nominate my sister, Carin Vogelzang of Margaret’s Hope Chest. She was led by faith after the death of our grandmother from a terrible act to create hope for others who are facing their own tragic events. You can read more about her efforts in creating hope here:
    the blog can be found here:

  9. Deborah says:

    I’m nominating Debra Spincic who has inspired me and many other to contribute to Quilts of Valor, quilts for teens and homeless shelters (sorry, here is the correct link):

  10. Deborah says:

    I’m nominating Debra Spincic who has inspired me and many other to contribute to Quilts of Valor, quilts for teens and homeless shelters :

  11. Sarah Kidd says:

    I would like to tell you about a project very close to my heart. The project is called Hugo’s Hope and its aim is to support children suffering from life threatening or long term illness and disability. The project does this by giving these children, free of charge, a unique, handmade soft toy named Hugo the Mouse to acompany them during hospital visits, tests and overnight stays.

    I became unwell myself when i was 14 years old and because of this i graduly lost the ability to stand and walk. I am now 18 and a full time wheelchair user. My own illness has encouraged me to be in contact with other unwell children and their families. It was obvious that many children affected by disabling illnesses spend so much time in hospital, undergoing treatments and tests, feel lonely and rarely have time to just be a child a play. Therefore I decided to design and make the soft toy which could be given as a gift to unwell children, to provide them with a special friend to comfort them along their difficult journey.

    Each Hugo is handmade by me and are unique to each child, with family choosing their own special words to be hand embroidered onto Hugo. Hugo wears unique clothes and a hospital bracelet with the child’s name, also handmade.

    This project means a lot to me because the idea behind Hugo was inspired by my own personal journey with my illness. Each Hugo has the word hope hand embroidered next his patchwork heart. ‘Hope’ is a word which has great meaning to me, because no matter what you should never give up hope.

    Please visit my website

  12. dana says:

    My mother in law and her quilting group have been quilting for others for years. Every year they make literally hundreds of block quilts.

    They make quilts for every resident in a local nursing home….a different home every year in the Colorado Springs area! They quilt all year and donate them at Christmas. Many of them go to those who would have nothing and no one remembering them at the holidays.

    They also make quilts and sleep clothes for a local children’s shelter. Children in danger of abuse or with families in dire situations can be cared for on a short term basis in this shelter. Many arrive without any personal belongings at all. Each child recieves a quilt and sleep clothing as needed that is their’s to keep if they return home or are placed in protective care.

    They also provide quilts for the families of soldiers who have been killed in Iraq. There is no charge for these patriotic quilts.

    These women are so generous with their time and money (to purchase the fabric) and ask for nothing. They don’t seek out media attention or accolades. They are simply doing what they can for those who need a bit of comfort.

  13. Jennifer says:

    I’d like to nominate Carin Vogelzang from Margaret’s Hope Chest
    ( ) She has selflessly given countless hours to quilting for those who are in seemingly hopeless situations. This non-profit ministry was birthed out of tragedy and has truely given hope to so many. Recently Carin has rallied people from all over the world to make over 400 quilts for the homeless children in Grand Rapids, MI. It was a huge undertaking and it was deemed extremely successful! Her generous spirit and amazing crafting abilities have inspired even a non-quilter like myself to quilt!

  14. 2hippos says:

    The IBOL guy and Jade Sims get my vote(s). Both coordinated projects that started small, grew big, and involved hundreds of people around the world. I contributed to the IBOL project as well as to several Craft Hope projects, and without those two organizers, I would not have done as much giving this year as I did. I’m thankful for them providing a path to give through fabric and quilting, which I hadn’t done before and now I do quite a bit.

  15. Hi! I don’t personally know Elizabeth, but when you hear what she is doing over at, you will be blessed! I was/am!

    Floods are devasting, no matter where you live on this planet. The recent flooding in Ireland left many homeless, and she is doing something to warm their hearts (and bodies). That kindhearted and generous bloggerina has made a beautiful Dolly quilt (not for dolls!!!) and has donated it for auction – all proceeds going directly to Ireland!

    Many of us feel sorry for the victims of natural disasters, but she is going above and beyond feelings – right into action.

    So, it is Elizabeth that I am nominating!

    Thanks a lot!

  16. Mark says:

    Sewing as special treatment for children: I would like to nominate Barbara Pelicano Soeiro (the Miss Pelicano website.) She made a bunch of beautiful fun hand puppets for a children’s hospital that supports Astrid Lindgren children’s hospital in Stockholm, Sweden. The doctors use the gloves to entertain amuse beguile and console worried little ones just before or after shoving needles in their arms or sticking lights into their ears! The gloves work wonderfully. The children adore them so much they hardly notice they’re being treated. Miss Pelicano is continuing to make gloves for pediatrician’s surgeries.

  17. Jeni says:

    I’d like to nominate the Carlin at the Mary Madeline Project. They recycle wedding gowns into infant burial gowns

  18. Megan says:

    I would like to nominate Catherine Sanchez, the Editor of Australian Homespun magazine.

    Under Catherine’s leadership, Australian Homespun magazine ( has initiated a number of programmes to encourage readers to craft for charity and community groups. She has achieved this by shining a spotlight on causes she is passionate about and that matter to the magazine’s readers, and publishing projects that are suitable to make for community donations. In doing so, she has raised awareness, support and funds for a number of worthy organisations.

    Some years ago, Catherine had the opportunity of personally visiting Westmead Children’s Hospital (in Sydney, Australia) to deliver hundreds of beanies that she had encouraged readers to knit in support of children battling cancer.
    More recently, she has published campaigns in support of breast cancer prevention and research, with a particular highlight being the introduction of the Breast of Friends Block of the Month (BOM) quilt project, which ran in the magazine from January – September 2009 as a means of increasing awareness of breast cancer and the work of the National Breast Cancer Foundation (NBCF). The original Breast of Friends quilt was donated to NBCF to raise funds and she successfully lobbied the magazine publisher to make a direct monetary contribution to the organisation as well.

    In 2010, she will be instigating a campaign in support of the fight against ovarian cancer, which will run in the magazine pages form January – October.

  19. Jade Sims says:

    I’d like to nominate the crafters of Craft Hope. What an amazing group of giving individuals. I have witnessed them move mountains and jump at the call when something needs to be made for someone less fortunate. Please go and see what a difference they have made at

  20. Gumbo Lily says:

    I would like to nominate Joyce Ulshafer from Plain Ol’ Vanilla

    Joyce is a retired home school mom and a wonderful sewist who is constantly working to learn new sewing skills and share them with others. This year she started a class for a group of homeschool girls who wanted to learn basic skills of sewing. Joyce organized a whole bevvy of projects for these girls to complete. They are learning and loving the art of sewing which is a gift in itself. Recently a stack of fabric was donated to them and Joyce had the brilliant idea to use the girls’ sewing skills to make pillowcases for The Sheepfold, a shelter for abused and homeless women and children in the area. Both the girls and their moms gathered for a Pillowcase Party and made 44 cases for the shelter. Not only has Joyce given of her time and her skills, but she has planted the seeds of giving in the hearts of her Sew Be It girls too. Little acorn seeds grow into Big Oaks. Thanks Joyce!

    Read about her Sheepfold efforts here:

  21. Desiree says:

    I am nominating Jade Sims from Craft Hope. Craft Hope is a faith-based, love inspired project designed to share handmade crafts with those less fortunate. It is their hope to combine the love of crafting and desire to help others into projects to make a difference around the world. Craft Hope has inspired many Sew Mama Sew readers and is making a difference around the world. If there is any doubt about that you can head on over to their website and see the smiles of those who have recieved many generous gifts. Craft Hope not only lights up the lives of those who recieve various crafts but also those who have the privilage to give. I encourage everyone to go and check out what we can do when we work together! Thank you! – Desiree
    Craft Hope website:
    Jade Sim’s blog:

  22. FP Wear says:

    I nominate Tamara Ell from the Western Canadian Oddball Baby Blanket Society.
    She’s organized this group of knitters from 3 provinces to create lovely knitted and crocheted blankets that bring joy, warmth, and comfort to wee babes in the NICU unit of the Alberta Children’s Hospital. In the last year, she organized an auction to register the society, and we’re now a registered charity. We continue to grow exponentially, due to Tamara’s work, and we’ve made more than 25 blankets this year alone.
    Tamara’s always been there to support and encourage our efforts, while pushing us gently on to bigger and better things. Thanks, Tamara!

  23. Evelyn says:

    I’d like to nominate Mary Johnson, of She is the founder of the HeartStrings Quilt Project (, which makes and donates quilts to people in need. She works so amazingly hard (by herself, and coordinating with others), and creates, quilts and finishes off an astounding number of quilts every month. Not only that, but she also freely publishes wonderful patterns and instructions for other quilters to use for their own charity projects. I’ve used several of her patterns to make Project Linus quilts, and they are just great – quick and easy, but also lovely. I think she really deserves recognition for all her hard work. Thanks, Mary!

  24. susan says:

    I’d like to nominate Victoria of the Bumblebeans blog. ( She has organized some “block gather” projects for quilts that she assembled, quilted, and donated. She issued the call to action on her blog, sent out fabrics to be used in the blocks, and encouraged us along every step in the process. She also set up a separate blog for one of the projects ( so we could see each others blocks as they were sent in before being assembled, and for us to talk about our process. It was an incredible amount of work, done joyfully.

  25. kathy h. says:

    I nominate Joan Vardenega. She is teaching 4-H sewing as well as cooking to a fantastic group of girls in Columbia County, Oregon (Warren/Scappoose).
    She doesn’t have a web site or a blog (yet) but inspires me through phone calls and e-mail. The challenge to create has been raised through her thoughtful interest in not only what her local fabric store in St. Helen’s is promoting, what her girls inspire her to teach, and her knowledgeable feedback to what I am currently creating.
    She loves to teach and is always ready to take on a challenge.
    She recently completed theater curtains for a backyard theater.
    With her 4-H girls, they recently embellished t-shirts with Bleaching, bleach pens, tie-dye and dip-dye. With me, she recently came over to Canbyland to help me with organizing all my sewing crap into one dedicated sewing room. She has recently completed a series of garment sewing classes to quilters from her local fabric store, Fibers & Stitches.
    Joanie raises the bar.
    Thank you.

  26. Kim Davis says:

    Nominating myself seems totally lame, but here goes.

    I graduated from Texas A&M this past May and moved with my husband up to Colorado. The economy sucks, as we all know, and I haven’t been able to find a job. I started nannying a few days a week for a family and when his birthday was coming up, I decided to make an owl.

    This owl turned into a business called oh, sweet joy. ( Since then, my heart has been changed. What started out as a way to make extra spending money has become something so much bigger than myself. I wanted to be less selfish with the (little) money I was getting and so I decided to give 20% of my earnings away. 10% of all my sales goes to Compassion International, which gives food, water, and schooling for children across the world in need. The other 10% goes to love146 (, which is a nonprofit that strives to end child sex slavery & exploitation.

    In a small etsy shop, that 10% for each nonprofit doesn’t seem like a huge number, but knowing that the 20% of all sales goes to children who are in need, rather than a new pair of shoes for my closet to gather dust, makes it seem so much more worth it.

  27. craftytammie says:

    I’d like to nominate Amanda Jean from Crazy Mom Quilts! How she manages to make so many quilts is truly amazing – but she also finds time to make them to donate to different charities, like Quilts of Valor.

  28. I’m going to nominate myself. In March of this year, I made a call out to crafters for any fabrics scraps that would other else be tossed in the trash to help donate crate mats for the Cage Comforter Program, a non profit that makes warm cage comforters for shelter pets awaiting their forever homes.

    Here are a couple that I’ve put together and donated so far…

  29. Claire says:

    I would like to nominate my mom, Tracy Negus of …..she doesn’t have a blog. She somehow finds time to make great ideas for different sew-able things. She found time to make cloth diapers for my baby sister, she teaches me all sorts of techniques and checks this blog everyday. She has made me beautiful skirts, dresses and purses. She’s very big on reusing scraps that we might have so that we don’t waste.


  30. Heather says:

    I’d like to nominate the IBOL guy!.
    I think what he did was so fantastic and so enlightening to others!

  31. pam s says:

    I would also like to nominate Tia Curtis because she also makes

    Hero Bags (these are for family members of service men and women who have been killed in Iraq and Afghanistan. There is no charge for these bags, just shipping)
    Hero Quilts (this is for a family of a service member who has been killed in Iraq or Afghanistan. There is no charge for the quilt, just shipping)

    and I second the nomination for Kristin L’s husband. I participated in the program he organized in Iraq. I love that it’s small gestures like this that make us seem less like enemies, and hopefully plant the seeds of friendship.

  32. Kristin L says:

    I second the nomination of Tia Curtis who’s simple block campaign exploded into more than one hundred quilts for victims of Victoria’s Bush Fires.

    I would also like to nominate my husband who’s request for a few friends and family to clear out our fabric and yarn stashes and donate the goods to needy women and coops in Iraq turned into 3445 boxes of sewing supplies from all over the world (including very generous donations from Sew Mama Sew!).

  33. Some one has beat me to it, but my first thought when I saw this post was to nominate Amanda Jean at Crazy Mom Quilts ( She is a super star. On top of churning out quilts and inspiration she uses her audience to capture and gather work for Quilts of Valour and local charities/churches, among others. She doesn’t ask for recognition and supports all who support her. I now count her as a friend, not just an inspiration.

  34. Terri Harlan says:

    My nomination would be Julie over at Joy’s Hope Blog.
    She put together a wonderful event this year with project 320. Everyone has been donation handmade goods for the effort to build a well with clean water in Africa. I am amazed by this project and it was made all possible by a little thought that Julie had about how she could give back this holiday season. She not only donates money from her etsy shop, but she has gathered bloggers from all over to help as well and I am happy to say that we are almost there. GReat job Julie and all of the other ladies included in this project.
    You all definatly deserve to be recognized.

    Project 320 –
    Joy’s Hope –

  35. Liz says:

    I have a friend named Bean of Coyote Craft blog fame who organizes a hat and mitten/glove drive for the homeless people in our town. She takes the handmade hats to the downtown library and leaves them, anonymously most of the time, with a little note welcoming people in need to take a hat and/or pair of mittens/gloves. I know those hats and mittens are so appreciated, especially this year since it’s been very snowy and very cold already. In addition, though it doesn’t necessarily require her crafting skills, she organizes an Angel Tree for children living in transient homes (motels) downtown. She gets every child’s Christmas wish herself, prints up all the cards, organizes all the gifts and delivers them herself before Christmas. She’s a huge inspiration to me and I’m honored to call her a friend.

  36. Jennifer says:

    i’m going to nominate myself… i make quilts of valor (qov) and so far, all of mine have gone to our navy sailors injured in iraq and afghanistan this year. i’ve made 4 complete and finishing my 5th right now so far this year and have plans for 3 more in the works (including one that is being partially made by my son’s tiger cub scout den). i had the fantastic opportunity to present one of my qov’s earlier this month in washington, d.c. at an awards ceremony ( and have blogged about my other quilts on my blog as i make them.

  37. WendyP says:

    Here is the link to my blog post. I forgot to do this in my other comment.

  38. WendyP says:

    I nominate my aunt, Laurie Armstrong, who makes quilts for Quilts of Valor year round. And she flies from California to Houston every year, where she spends the entire Houston International Quilt Festival volunteering at the QOV booth. This is in addition to her being a full time nurse in the cardiac surgical recovery unit.

    She deserves recognition here for her big heart!

  39. Crystal says:

    I would like to nominate Amanda Jean from crazy mom quilts. She is such an inspiration to me! I have learned so much from her tutorials that she has written on her blog and the best part is if I have any questions at all she gets back to me quickly explaining anything that I need help with. If she is like this with me, I am sure she is this way with the other 1,200 followers of her blog.

    She also is very giving with her talent. She has recently quilted 5 quilts to send to the armed forces as well as sent 3 quilts to Maragerts Hope Chest. I am sure she has done more too.

    I think she is a very talented and generouse woman. She has definately made an impact on my sewing passion.

  40. I nominated Anna from Pleasant View Schoolhouse!

    On my blog:

  41. That’s a very good idea to find the small contributers who do not complain but try to heal the world in their own way. Bravo!

  42. Georgia says:

    I’d like to nominate Tia Curtis of Camp Follower Bags and Quilts. She made an extraordinary effort earlier this year in organising a worldwide quilting bee to make quilts for the bushfire victims in Victoria, Australia. Tia asked for volunteers to send in a “wonky star” block which she intended to use to make quilt tops and then quilt them herself. I think she originally hoped to make three quilts, but in the end over one hundred quilts were donated. Tia collected the quilt blocks and tops and organised her local quilting group to help with the quilting. It was an enormous job, and would have overwhelmed most people, but Tia handled it amazingly (and all while organising her family to move back to the United States from Australia!). Photos of the beautiful quilts, and more information about the project can be found in the flickr group.

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