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We Believe...

..that the solution to inequality, pain, suffering, and lack in the world is ‘those that have’ sharing willingly from the heart with ‘those that have not’ who are sick and/or needy.

Warm clothing and bedding for babies, quilts for the aged or ill, books for the disadvantaged, essentials and household goods for those who have lost everything in floods, house fires, or due to job loss; these are just some of the need we assist with. You can help.
 

Archive for Patterns & Ideas

Beautiful high quality premium embroidery floss donated by Miragoods.com

Relief Share volunteers are so excited to be working with quality premium embroidery floss on our charity projects. Miragoods.com just donated 210 skeins of 100% cotton floss and mercerized, approx. 70 different rainbow colors – 3 of each color.  The embroidery floss is excellent quality and perfect for our items we make to donate.

When we are making the comfort teddy bears and stuffed animals, we use embroidery floss to put on the faces.  Buttons cannot be used because they are a choking hazard and the embroidered happy faces are soft when little ones snuggle up to them.  We also love to make friendship bracelets with the floss and donate them to the emergency room for teens or younger children to put a smile on their face when they are in pain or dealing with trauma.  Anything we can do to make a difficult time better for sick and needy children is great and we are thrilled to have such nice supplies to work with.

This embroidery floss and wonderful to smock with when we make the little gowns for the babies in the NICU.  Sometimes the gowns are for the little ones who are growing, getting healthier and going home, and sometimes the gowns wind up being used for infant demise burial layettes. These special little angels only need one last gown, bonnet and blanket to be snuggled in at they go home to Heavenly Father, and it is nice for grieving parents to have the personal touch of embroidery and tatted lace on the memorial items in these cases.

If you would like to purchase your own set of Miragoods embroidery floss, you can get it here:
Amazon listing for floss

Miragoods makes other craft items and supplies. You can visit them on facebook at https://www.facebook.com/mirahandcrafts/

Here is our Youtube video for this wonderful donation, sharing the colors and ideas to use them for: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N1Rw4_Gc_dI&feature=youtu.be

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A fun way to be organized and efficient when taking supplies to charity work meetings or to a friends house to work together on projects!

Relief Share home office has something wonderful to share with all our volunteers who are on the go.

Our new craft and yarn carry-all from Miragoods was donated to us in exchange for an honest and unbiased review and we love it.

Watch the video to see why: Click here for the Youtube video from President Carol Green

This yarn storage bag is made with beautiful lilac pattern, high quality PVC coating, includes lots of storage pockets and an additional pouch for extra space and and has a detachable shoulder strap. You can purchase it here: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01FU5OZD2

We are quite excited about this product. The bag holds quite a lot of supplies and the extra pouch allows us to stay organized. Its’ zipped closure will keep sharp sewing accessories safe and knitting needles together. There is also one zipped pocked inside the bag, so the needles could be stored there, too, for extra safety. The exterior layer of the bag itself is of PVC coating to keep items safe from moisture or spills from water or beverages.

We love sharing fun, pretty, and economical ways to keep all of our charity volunteers effective and happy. What kind of a tote or carrying bag do you use for craft and charity projects? Be sure to share with us your thoughts with an email to info@ReliefShare.org.

Keep putting your “Love in Action” for the sick and the needy! You are what makes miracles happen, and we love YOU for it!

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Look how cute the strips a volunteer knitted for Relief Share for balls turned out when put together ;-)

So much fun! These will be going to the hospital ASAP. They have cat jingle bells in the middle!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Would you like to make some, too?  The strips are 8″ long and 15 stitches wide.  When you have them done, send them to Relief Share, 6078 Lundy Rd., Houston, MO 65483-2225.  Be sure to include your name and mailing information so we can send you a tax deductible receipt and thank you letter.

The children in hospital love these! We have also made some for church nurseries, doctor’s offices and families that live below the poverty level and have no toys for their children.

The strips can be made from any kind of yarn, any diameter of yarn.  For more information, email info@ReliefShare.org

A huge thank you to the knitting volunteers who make the strips for other volunteers to assemble the balls.

 

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We were so thrilled to get a wonderful donation this week from Carolyn J. She hand made 15 gorgeous cotton washcloths and send them along with a note, letting us know she used a washable and dryable yarn to make them. She even washed them in Dreft before she sent them to us to donate out to the sick and needy we serve.

Carolyn's hand made washcloths

One of the patterns she used is this one. We actually use this pattern a lot.

Grandmother’s Favorite Dishcloth
Designer: Unknown
Rating: Easy
Materials: Sugar and Cream yarn; Size 6 or 7 needles (US)

Instructions:
Cast on 4 stitches
Row 1: Knit 4
Row 2: Knit 2, yarn over, knit across the row. Repeat Row 2 until you have 44 stitches on the needle.
Knit 1, Knit 2 together, yarn over, knit 2 together, knit to the end of the row.

Repeat Row 3 until you have 4 stitches on the needle. You can now either bind off or do a round of single crochet and make a little loop of chain stitches in one corner so you can hang the cloth to dry when you are finished using it.

A huge thank you to Carolyn, we sure appreciate you!

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Fall is coming and that means babies need snuggling in warm baby quilts.  Relief Share volunteers are having a ball making soft cute quilts for little ones to be welcomed in to the world with.

Baby quilts made by Relief Share volunteers for sick and needy babiers.

Relief Share is thrilled that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormon) sisters made 6 baby quilts at the activity night on Tuesday.  One baby blanket was given out right at the meeting to a sister to take for a little baby girl soon to be born. It was a cute Winnie the Pooh quilt tied with bright pink yarn. The quilts were made by Jan Stice, a long time Relief Share volunteer who is proficient at making gorgeous quilts, the sisters in attendance tied all the baby quilts to get them ready for donations out to the sick and needy.

Jan Stice was instrumental in Relief Share donating 450 twin size quilts over the space of 4 years to the St Louis Shriners Childrens hospital and also 30 quilts donated to the chemo unit at the West Plains Hospital in Missouri.

President Carol Green took 5 of the baby quilts directly from the meeting to the maternity ward at Texas County Memorial Hospital.  They were delighted to get them for their sick and needy babies born at the hospital.

Would you like to help?  Baby quilts are 36 x 45 and toddler quilts are 45 x 60.
You can help by :
a.  Making and donating a baby quilt (or more)
b.  Sewing the top for a baby quilt and we will put a back and batting on it and finish it
3. Donate supplies to make baby quilts – fabric, batting, yarn, etc
4. Donate to Relief Share through Paypal  - send a paypal payment to info@ReliefShare.org and we will purchase needed supplies for the quilts.  Remember that no one at Relief Share is paid, ALL of us are volunteers and every penny goes directly to the needs of the sick and needy.

Our address is Relief Share, 6078 Lundy Rd,, Houston, MO 65483-2225.  We are non profit charity, registered with the IRS.  Please include your mailing address so we can send you a thank you and a tax deductible receipt.

Feel free to encourage your church groups, community groups or even family to make and donate baby quilts to keep little ones snuggly and warm.  While we LOVE donations for the babies and their families, we also strongly encourage you to do charity work right in your own community.  If everyone simply reached out to those in need in their own areas – there would be no more lack in the world…only love :-)

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Science Has Spoken – Giving Makes You Happy!
By Eve Pearce 

Helping babies makes us happy and makes them happy, too!

Relief Share believes that the true solution to the inequalities and suffering that occurs every day in the world is giving… by sharing toys with children whose parents may have lost everything in a natural disaster, bedding with those who who cannot afford to stay warm, quilts to keep the aged cosy, we play a small part in curing social ills which could be eliminated on a collective levels. Interestingly, numerous scientific findings reveal that when we give, we don’t just help the recipients of our donations; we also take our first steps on a journey towards greater personal happiness. These findings should be shared with the world, for they are likely to lead to further giving. In this post, we share important research work on the link between giving and personal joy:

Happiness is a cycle: Researchers, Isen and Levin conducted a study which revealed that people were more likely to help others when they were happy; those in a positive mood were also more likely to lend a helping hand to researchers. Similar observations have subsequently been made with children. In another study, Rosenhan et. al. randomly assigned positive or negative mood states to children by asking them to reminisce, talk and think about specific memories. They were then given some candy and money, which they were told they could give away to other children. While both groups of kids consumed more sweets than the control group, the happy children gave larger amounts of money to other children. As is the case with adults, similar positive mood states (achieved through a sense of competence or success) resulted in greater giving.

Happy people have been found to help others more in many contexts, including the work context: In one study, inexperienced workers with more positive moods and outlooks were found to be more likely to go the extra mile when helping customers by trying hard to find what the customer was looking for, and making a greater effort to provide quality customer service.

Giving also makes us happier: In an excellent report on giving, L. Anik et.al. run through the most useful recent studies on the subject. One study mentioned, carried out in 2007 showed that when persons donated money to a food bank, the ventral striatum region of their brain was activated. The This area of the brain is involved in the experience of pleasure and reward, showing that giving does inherently make us happier. In Germany, meanwhile, Meier and Stutzer (2006) showed that those who performed volunteer work had greater life satisfaction. The study is vital because it shows that giving doesn’t always have to be about money. Sharing one’s time by making blankets or toys for needy children, for instance, is an equally important way to make a difference.

Everyone can help!

Giving is good for young and old alike: One particularly touching study involved elderly retired volunteers and infants. In this study, 10 elder volunteers with a mean age of 70 years were asked to massage infants at a nursery three times weekly for a period of three weeks. The elderly were also given massages at other times in the week. The researchers sought to observe the different effects caused by giving and receiving. The scientists found that “immediately after the first- and last-day sessions of giving massages, the elder retired volunteers had less anxiety and depression and lower stress hormones (salivary cortisol) levels. Over the three-week period, depression… decreased and lifestyle and health improved. These effects were not as strong for the three-week period when they received massage.” This is a particularly strong indication of the bond human beings share – the love for children and the need to care for others are almost universal feelings that we can fulfill by giving.

Volunteering and giving keeps awakens us to current problems facing society: When donate blankets, art supplies or toys, or volunteer our time to entertain children or the elderly, we begin to fully realize the vulnerability of the human condition. ‘There, for the grace of God, go you or I’ is a saying many volunteers repeat to themselves when faced with the devastation caused by poverty, HIV, and disease, not only in our area of the world, but in third world countries as well. As we meet other volunteers and patients, we share and discover vital information such as the link between poverty and STDs, heart disease and Type II diabetes; or the devastating child poverty rate, even in so-called affluent countries. In this way, volunteering stops us from turning a blind eye to social problems and opens our eyes to the important role we can play in helping even just one person – with a little help, maybe that one well-fed, warm and happy child will one day change the world.

So….GET HAPPY! Get involved. Clean out your closets for a good cause!

Added to this article by President Carol Green/Relief Share:

Here are some of the items needed – go through the list, pick some, and send them to Relief Share, 6078 Lundy Rd., Houston, MO 65483-2225. Be sure to include your shipping information so we can send you a tax deductible receipt/thank you letter! We appreciate you!!

Baby Items: diapers, receiving blankets, sleepers, hats, booties, onesies, outfits, pants, tops, socks, swaddlers, baby cocoons, hygiene items (like soap, diaper cream, baby wash, q-tips, cotton balls, washcloths), diaper bags, soft toys, quilts, afghans, etc

Children’s items: clothing, toys, books, coloring books and crayons, videos, hair accessories, video games (these goes to the hospital to keep kids occupied when spending long periods immobilized after surgery), soap, shampoo, conditioner, food (yes, many of our children don’t get enough to eat) – healthy snacks or Wal Mart gift cards for our volunteer shoppers to go get what is needed, such as milk, bread, cheese, oatmeal, basic fruits and vegetables etc. Quilts, afghans, etc

Adult Items: Clothing, quilts, afghans, books, hair items – brushes, combs, curling or straight irons (for women who are in homeless shelters or crisis centers due to domestic violence trying to get ready  to work), hygiene items, washcloths, towels, soap, shampoo, deodorant, toothbrushes, toothpaste, conditioner, food (basic healthy food items are great, WalMart gift cards for our volunteer shoppers to get what is needed is wonderful, too).  Just think what you would need if you suddenly found yourself homeless and without anything – that is what is needed.

Animals – collars, food, litter, litter boxes, leashes, bedding, toys, flea and tick prevention products.  We help a number of animal shelters with donations of needed items when they are donated in.

Supplies for volunteers to work with to make some of the items needed:

Knitting & Crochet supplies: knitting machines, yarn, crochet hooks, knitting needles (addi turbo circular knitting needles in all sizes are a huge blessing for our volunteers to use – if you want to pick a size, the 14″ or 16″ length in size 7 is the most popular but we need the smaller sizes, like 5 and 6 for knitting booties and preemie hats, and larger circ needles for afghans are wonderful as well) We can never have enough knitting needles!  Stitch markers. Yarn winders are really needed right now! Patterns.

Quilting supplies – fabric, thread, needles, templates, patterns, batting, rotary cutters, mats, etc

Sewing Supplies – fabric, scissors, thread, elastic, velcro, lace, binding, embroidery thread, sewing machines, sergers, fabric cutting machines, etc.

Office supplies – paper, labels, price tags (for our flea market booth), post it notes, pens, pencils, markers, highlighters, computers, speakers, printers, copiers, digital cameras.  We have more than one location and when a machine breaks, it slows down the work.

Our dear volunteers and donors:  Thank you for everything you do – from sharing your smile with someone to giving of your time to sew, knit, crochet or simply spread the word.  We love all our volunteers who share their time, efforts, funds and love to make the lives of God’s sick and needy better.  Volunteers unselfishly drive our donations to where they need to go, spend time going to flea markets and yard sales to try to get what is needed to stretch our dollars, people who spend countless hours listing and shipping charity auctions on ebay for us, and wonderful people like Eve Pearce who wrote this article for us to help others understand what it is that Relief Share does to make the world a better place is what makes the miracle of love happen. Thank you so much!

 

 

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Folks have asked how we finish the edges of some of our Relief Share receiving blankets. We love to use up everything that is donated in – nothing wasted, so if we have yarn that may not be enough for a blanket or baby cocoon, etc, we can use it on the edges of the receiving blankets.

Here is how we do it.  PS. You can use rayon thread, yarn, crochet cotton, etc with this technique.

1.  Rewind the yarn  on a ball winder to make sure there are no knots and to get the tension even. Trust us – this is an important step, don’t skip it or you will be fighting with your serger in the middle of a project and probably broken thread.

You can see we have two yarn winders – the white one is for smaller balls and the larger metal one can wind up to 4 balls of yarn on one spool.  The white yarn winder is quiet, and the large one can get loud but is so convenient when dealing with larger amounts of  yarn.

2.  Replace the thread in the upper looper with the yarn (3rd position over from the left).  It is easier to change the thread for the yarn if you cut the thread just above the spool, before it enters the serger, then tie the yarn to the thread and pull it through it all the way to the looper. Cut the knot and thread the looper with the yarn – viola!  Saves time and frustration.

Relief Share yarn winder

Winding yarn on yarn winder

We use thread holders for the yarn so there are no problems with tension.

Using a thread holder to serge with yarn.

3. Tension settings are set to 3 for needles and upper and lower loopers. Adjust your differential feed if you need to so there are no puckers.

4. Cut your flannel in 1 yard pieces so you have 44/45″ x 36″ blankets.

5. Fold the flannel in half and then in half again the other way so all 4 corners lay on top of each other and placing a bread plate on the corner, cut with a rotary cutter to round the corners. You can cut each corner individually, but this is a quick way to cut all 4 corners at the same time.

6. Serge the receiving blanket in one continuous edging, going slow around the corners and pulling slightly with the left hand and no tension on the right so your corners are nice and even. This takes a little bit of practice. If you don’t have the tension on the fabric correctly when doing the corners, the serging will go off the edge and you will have to do the corners over again. Once you get the hang of it, you can make receiving blankets very quickly with this technique.

7. When you get to the beginning of where you started serging the receiving blanket get, keep serging over the beginning for an inch, stop the serger and flip the fabric upsidedown, then serge for another two inches on the underside of the fabric to catch the stitches so they will hold. Cut the serger tail off.

Here are a few of our receiving blankets we did today for donations out:

Relief Share receiving blankets

Relief Share receiving blankets - cute little frogs with rayon thread edging

Darling little fairies on flowers with baby fingering yarn in peach on the edge.

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Donation of comfort toys to hospital emergency room.

Relief Share volunteers have been busy getting the latest donation ready to go to the Houston, Missouri hospital emergency room.

When a child is in trauma and needs hospital medical attention, sometimes the emergency room staff are already busy helping others and the little one must wait for help.  It is important to keep them calm and distracted so their situation is not made worse than it already is.

Relief Share volunteers spend a great deal of time searching for bargains for coloring books, toys, crayons, etc to stretch every dollar further so more children will benefit.  Packages of crayons are purchased at the local Walmart and then separated into packs of 4 and taped with box tape in zip lock bags to the fronts of all the coloring and activity books.  Right now the boxes of crayons that regularly cost .67 are on for .25. it is a great time to purchase and donate crayons to Relief Share to help with the need. Coloring books are only one dollar at the Dollar Store, if you pick up a few on  your regular shopping trip and donate them, it would be very helpful.  One or more coloring books and packages of crayons doesn’t seem like much, but to a child trying to stay calm and deal with pain, it can make the difference between a traumatic experience and a tolerable one.

Other items that Relief Share donates out a great deal of are soft teddy bears, stuffed animals, dolls, dinky cars and other safe toys that children love.  Children love stickers, puzzles and books.

Knitted woven balls are a big hit at the hospital for children (of all ages). We put a cat ball with a jingle bell inside to make the balls sound merry.  There is a space in the middle of the balls that ‘surprises’ fit into, that is where we tuck the cat balls that we buy at Walmart.  There are many times when shaking the ball to distract the children has really been very useful.  If you would like to purchase items to be donated to the sick and needy children, please send your donation to Relief Share, 6078 Lundy Rd., Houston, MO 65483-2225. All donations are tax deductible as we are a 501 (c) 3 non profit registered with the IRS.

If you knit and would like the free pattern to make the knitted balls, please email us at info@reliefshare.org

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Re-cycled crayons - lotsa fun!

I just spent hours in the kitchen making fun crayons for the church nursery.  If you want to do something fun for your kids or a family in need that has children who like to color, you may consider re-cycling crayons.

I had a large bag of crayons – some broken, paper missing, some okay, some with just chips left.  My Mom taught me “use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without”, so I rarely throw anything away (much to my husband’s chagrin) but I do have the neatest quirkiest things to work with when I decide to DIY (do -it yourself) or craft.  At any rate, after homeschooling our 6 children on and off throughout the years, I had a horde of crayon leftovers that Santa would have been envious of.

As luck would have it, I saw something at the local flea market that I thought would be useful and it triggered the notion to re-cycle the crayon leftovers.  What I saw was an alphabet ice cube tray set for $1.  Perfect, I thought, exactly what we need in the church nursery….ABC crayons!  Hmmm, that got me thinking.  I also have silicone molds for stars, hearts and shapes.  I bought the alphabet trays and headed home.  As soon as I got home I got a hold of my daughter who had already made her own crayons for my grandchildren – she used muffin tins. Between the two of us, a couple of webpages on the net, and experimentation, I now have a nice box full of all kinds of fun crayons for church tomorrow.

Want to know how to make them?  Here is what I did.

1.  Lay all the crayons out – if they are near new and whole with the wrapper on, set them aside (I have a large tin of them that I didn’t use set aside now for grandchildren’s visits).

2.  Separate the crayons and bits of crayons into colors.

3.  Using a pin, score the paper wrapper down one side of the crayon all the way through – this will help you remove the wrapper a lot easier without having to peel it off (saves sore fingers).  I was tempted to use an exacto knife but decided I liked my fingers intact, so didn’t in case the knife slipped on the round crayon. The pin worked great.

4.  I used Dixie plastic disposable bathroom cups, because that’s what I had handy, but you can use two small similar size plastic containers of whatever you have at home. Two yogurt containers will work well.  You are going to need 10 to 12 sets of them.  One set for each color.

5. Put water in the bottom of one cup – approx 1/2″.  In the other cup snap the crayons into smaller pieces and fill the cup 1/4 to 1/2 full of pieces.  Don’t put too many in, it gets seriously messy if you do.  (You don’t want to see the inside of one of my microwaves when the blue popped with a pocket of air because I filled it too full – it looks like a Smurf blew up in there).  It does clean up, but who wants a big mess if they can avoid it?!

6. Set the cup with the crayons inside the cup with the water to create a mini double boiler. The hot water helps the crayons melt easier with no hard spots.

7.  Microwave the crayons for 1 minute at a time.  Let it sit for a few more seconds after nuking it so the hot water will help melt the crayons, and then stir.  I used a bamboo skewer to stir with – you can buy a whole pack of a lot of them at Wal Mart for very little money – I already had them in the house handy. Depending on what brand of crayons you use, you may have to microwave them from 1 to 3 times.  Crayola and the cheap brands microwave well. Prang does not – those crayons get gluey and almost refuse to melt – they are too hard.  Do not – I repeat – do not microwave metallic crayons (yeah, don’t ask – just take my word for it, don’t!).

8.  Carefully pour the hot wax crayons into the mold you have chosen – fill it full.  I only filled the mold part way and when I was getting the letters out they broke because they were too thin – imagine how much use they are going to get from the children- make them thick.  Regarding molds:  I really liked the results from using the plastic ice cube molds – the crayons came out bright and shiny, almost like I bought them at the store from Melissa and Doug products.  However, I didn’t really like how they came out when I used the silicone molds because they came out matte and a little dull.  I liked them a lot better using the plastic molds.

9.  Let the crayons cool – it doesn’t take long. I left mine for an hour or two but then I was making crayons for hours so I didn’t pay attention to how long it took to cool.  Oh, do not spray anything in the molds, it will leave a film that interferes with the crayons coloring okay, and it’s not needed.  The crayons will pop right out with no problem.  If you want them to cool faster, stick them in the freezer for a bit.  Gently rap on the counter and the crayons will pop right out.

If you break or chip a crayon or don’t like how it turned out – no problem.  Just re-melt it and do it over.  Voila! Lotsa fun on the cheap using something you didn’t have to go and buy :-)

Carol Green
President
ReliefShare.org
info@ReliefShare.org
facebook.com/ReliefShare 

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Twin Size quilt top that will be finished and donated to Shriners Childrens Hospital in St Louis

Relief Share Work meeting on Thursday, June 13, 2013 was AWESOME!  Volunteers tied 7 twin size quilts and sewed tops for 10 more. Here is a picture of one of the quilt tops that a volunteer took home and finished sewing for us – at the next work meeting we can tie it, ready for delivery to Shriners Childrens Hospital in St Louis :-) Picture provided by B. Keeney

More information about our Relief Share work meetings:

“QUILTING BEE! Do you like to piece/tie/sew quilts? If you don’t know how, do you want to learn for FREE?

Every Thursday from noon to 5 pm, come to a quilt work meeting and help us make twin size quilts for the tiny patients at Shriners Childrens Hospital.

We have fabric, batting, thread and yarn to work with – we just need YOU!

Please help, we’ve made 44 – 70″ x 90″ quilts since January for the patients hospital beds, but there are still 196 left to make and they need them now!

We are meeting in the gym at the LDS church on Hwy 63 and E Hwy 3 miles north of Houston, Missouri on the way to Licking.

We have some sewing machines and sergers, but feel free to bring your own. You can also bring rotary cutters, mats and scissors if you want.

Email info@ReliefShare.org for more info or call 1-417-967-2589.

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relief share quilts for sick and needy children

Relief Share quilts being made from fabric bought with vase fundraiser.

A huge thank you to Dottie S, who donated her beautiful Fostoria vase to Relief Share when she heard we needed funds to buy fabric to make twin size quilts for Shriners Childrens Hospital.

Relief Share listed the beautiful vase as a charity fundraiser on Ebay.  An ebay buyer, who knows how important charity work is, emailed us with an offer and purchased it.  She paid immediately through paypal.

One of our volunteers, Laura B. , called us to let us know there was a Fabric Liquidation sale  in town.  The sale was only on for two days at rock bottom prices.  The purchase of the vase happened at the perfect time for Relief Share to get the much needed fabric for the twin size patchwork quilts at a good price.

The sale of the vase resulted in yards and yards of wonderful 100% cotton fabric for our compassionate service work!  The Lord blesses those who are doing their best to help others.  We are grateful for the “miracle of the vase”!

Relief Share is making 240 much needed twin size patchwork quilts for sick and needy children who are undergoing medical treatment, including serious surgeries.  We have received generous donations towards this project and since January 1, 2013 have donated 44 twin size quilts but still have 196 more to make.  Each quilt takes approx 12 yards of fabric, 6 yards of batting, thread and yarn.

So, what can one donation do?  With the economy of heaven and the heartfelt work of dedicated volunteers working to maximize donation funds – one donation can do plenty. Just ask the children that will be comforted and snuggled under the patchwork twin size quilts donated to the hospital by Relief Share what your donation means!  Everyone’s efforts make a difference!

Do you want to help with the quilts needed for the children in hospital?  We hope so – we still have a lot more quilts to make.  Please  send fabric to Relief Share, 6078 Lundy Rd, Houston, MO 65483-2225 or send something we can sell to raise the funds to get the batting, thread, fabric and yarn to tie the quilts with.  If you are able, a paypal donation to info@reliefshare.org would be wonderful, too.  We accept all kinds of fabric for the quilts – it doesn’t have to be 100% cotton.  We send a thank you letter/tax deductible receipt for every donation received so be sure to include your name and mailing information.  We are grateful for your help!

Questions? Email us at info@ReliefShare.org

Carol Green
President
ReliefShare.org

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quilts donated to Shriners Childrens Hospital in St Louis, MO

Hey…help!!  Relief Share NEEDS DONATIONS OF QUILT BACKING FOR CHARITY PROJECT FOR SICK AND NEEDY CHILDREN.  I am working on the twin size quilts that Relief Share is making for Shriners Childrens Hospital and I am desperate for backing for these quilts.  If you could part with some muslin, broadcloth, kids print, solid colors – any fabric I could use it for backing, we have  10 or 12 quilts ready  to be put together but am minus backing, we have delivered 43 since January , have 5  more finished, and are going on the 19th to St Louis to deliver them and am hoping to have more finished by then.

Our total that is needed is 240 and Relief Share volunteers are sewing as fast as we can.  The quilts are 70″ x 90″ to fit the beds, then if the patient is needing it to go home with them, they are sent home, otherwise they are kept at the hospital for the next patient.

All donations are tax deductible – please clean out your craft rooms and sewing closets for a good cause, I really need your help!

You can see all the things we are working on in our blog www.reliefshare.org/wordpress and I put a lot of free patterns and pictures on our facebook page at www.facebook.com/reliefshare

Please send donations to Relief Share, 6078 Lundy Rd, Houston, MO 65483-2225 info@ReliefShare.org

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Its been a very chilly month and seems to be staying cold.  Relief Share volunteers love everyone to be comfortable and warm, especially the very old and the very young. Donations of warm scarves, hats, coats, clothing, bedding and mittens have come in and been donated out to where the need is the greatest.  Boxes of darling handmade dolls, knitted balls, warm double receiving blankets and yummy soft scrumptious flannel, fleece and minky fabric arrived at Relief Share home office and is quickly being made into needed items.

Twin size quilts are being sewn and hard working caring volunteers are tying the patchwork quilts as fast as they can at fun quilting bees held at the home of the main project co-ordinator. Jan is amazing and has ‘rallied the troops” to work fast, efficiently and joyfully to provide 240 twin size quilts for Shriners Childrens Hospital in St Louis.  Relief Share completed 240 quilts for the hospital two years ago and we are doing it again ;-)

Volunteers Larry and Linda Smith spent hours working on our four Relief Share flea market booths that are donated by H & K Flea Market in Houston, MO.  Everyone gets involved in donating items to fill the booth to raise funds for supplies and needed items to help the sick and needy.

President Carol Green went through her home and de-cluttered to bring a truck load of items to fill the booths.  You’ll find everything in our booths – Carol jokes that if it’s not nailed to the floor and needed to sell to get the yarn and fabric needed – it’s going to wind up in the flea market booth.  Her children grew up knowing that if they didn’t clean up their stuff and left it lying around, it got sold!  (one way to get children to tidy their rooms ;-)

Dottie Schafer and Carol Green spent an enjoyable afternoon taking donations to where they are very much needed. Dottie went through the clothing she had saved from when her children were little and donated boxes full of very nice clean and excellent condition baby and childrens clothing, along with a bag of much needed children’s shoes.  The recipients were so glad to get the items and it made Dottie feel good to share her precious treasures from when her kids were little.

There is joy in giving service and goods to others!

 The feeling you get in knowing you are in the right place, at the right time, doing the right thing helping your brothers and sisters in Christ is amazing.  In a world where its easy to get caught up in political problems, personal conundrums and depressed with how difficult it is to get by these days, it is a blessing to be able to wash away negativity with positive actions.

Here are some ideas on how to make your life joyful and productive – even more than you are doing now (and you may already be doing these things):

1.  Clean out your closets and home for a good cause. You will feel a lot better owning your possessions instead of having them own you.  Put the excess that you know others need and you don’t, into boxes and mail them to us at Relief Share, 6078 Lundy Rd, Houston, MO 65483-2225.  We will send you a thank you letter and tax deductible receipt for your donations.  We know the price of shipping is getting higher – so if you can’t afford to ship your donations to us, consider calling a local charity and have them pick up your donations.  One man’s excess is another man’s treasure, especially when they don’t have what is needed. Your old snow boots may be a life saver to someone else and you’ll love the extra space in your home.

2.   Ask yourself – have you done any good in the world today, have you helped anyone in need? It’s one of our favorite songs we hear regularly at church, and it is a good litmus to see where we are in our humanitarian service.  Make yourself a promise that you will help at least one person per

Ask yourself – have you done any good in the world today, have you helped anyone in need?

day.  It doesn’t have to be earth shattering, like an entire truckload of donations or enough money donated to help others that temporarily hurts a tad in your budget (even though that is nice), it can be opening the door for someone else with a smile, cleaning the kitty litter box – even though it’s not your turn, or making someone else’s bed for a surprise.  How about calling someone just to tell them you love them, or giving them that sweater of yours they love and comment on every time they see you wear it and you don’t need the sweater really as you have  others.  Put on your thinking cap and ‘move it, move it’ to help others.

3.  Pray daily for your fellowmen. Oh, we don’t mean the rote prayers that are memorized, or the ones that are really generic, we mean the heartfelt prayers where you are chatting with your Heavenly Father and letting him know what is important to you.  We have a precious volunteer and friend who has really struggled with terrible bouts of cancer.  Honestly, if it was according to medical knowledge, she should have died by now, but through prayers and positive attitude, Vonnie is alive and kicking and in remission.  That was one of the best phone calls we have ever gotten – she is in remission because of love and prayers offered on her behalf, a doctor who just wouldn’t give up on her and her own marvelous attitude and relationship with God.  Prayers matter.  Choose carefully what you want to pray for, or who, and then do it daily.  Think of it as daily vitamins for the soul.

Well, we have a lot of other suggestions but these three are good to work on right now.  We must walk -  in learning to serve God and others – before we run, trip and get discouraged.  Take life a day at a time. Never mind yesterday, it’s gone, but today …..  today is such a marvelous gift from God – share your ‘today’ with others.

Happy hugs and lots of love to you from Relief Share :-)

Prayers matter.  Choose carefully what you want to pray for, or who, and then do it daily.  Think of it as daily vitamins for the soul.
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Relief Share Comfort Toys Change Lives For the Better…You Can Help!

Knitted gnomes donated for sick and needy children

In the aftermath of a disaster, one of the most powerful tools in a rescuer’s armory is the ability to distribute soft toys to children who are traumatized. This has long been recognized as an effective way of helping traumatized children, and it is worth considering exactly why this is. It also helps us to understand the importance of the work we do in sending handmade items, such as toys, to aid agencies.

The Invisible Power of Toys

We all know that children love their soft toys, but have you ever wondered about the psychological reasons behind this attachment? Researchers Bruce Hood, of the University of Bristol, and Paul Bloom of Yale University  conducted a study into the phenomena of attachment items – blankets or toys – and their results were striking. They ascertained that children believe that their toys have an ‘essence’, or life force, qualities that cannot be replicated. When offered the chance to have their toy ‘duplicated’ an overwhelming majority chose the original item over the duplicate. Professor Hood comments, “We anthropomorphize objects, look at them almost as if they have feelings. The children know these objects are not alive but they believe in them as if they are.” This behavior can be seen in adults too. After a burglary, even if the house contents are fully protected and stolen items replaced with identical ones, there remains a sense of dissatisfaction and loss. The new object never seems to replace the original. It seems that imbuing objects with special significance and regarding them as having an essential essence is not confined to children. In fact, it the cultural norm in some cultures. Professor Hood points out the some eastern beliefs centre around the idea that all things have a life force. Some cultures even find it hard to live in other people’s homes as they have a strong belief that there is ‘something intangible’ left behind by the previous occupants.

Transitional Objects

With this research in mind, imagine a child losing everything in a natural disaster? Imagine if their precious toy was lost forever, and they had to cope without comfort, in the midst of chaos and possibly bereavement. This is where aid shipments of toys can really help rescuers. Because even if the soft toys they distribute are not the ‘originals’, they still offer huge comfort to traumatized children. Many children in disaster areas will never have owned a soft toy of course. For these children, having something soft and comforting to hold, such as a toy or blanket, has shown to be highly effective in emotional recovery. In the west, up to 70% of children have a comfort object, since they tend to sleep apart from their parents at an early age. This is significant. Children in societies where this is not the norm may not have soft toys, but the importance of the parent in a sense of security is consequently even higher. To lose a parent in a disaster for these children is psychologically devastating. ‘Transitional objects’ (a physical object, which takes the place of the mother-child bond) become even more crucial in the days before proper support can be put in place in the rebuilding of a country.

Rescuers

Rescuers find that important links can be made with children in disaster areas or war zones if they are able to give them a soft toy to hold. There are several charities in the US who make sure that firefighters and policemen are kept stocked up with teddies for their vehicles, just in case they have to deal with a traumatized child. Their testimony proves that soft toys make a big difference.

Toys Change Lives

Aid workers in danger hotspots around the globe provide similar anecdotal evidence. The power of softness and comfort cannot be underestimated. Traumatized children can confide in a teddy bear in a way that may not be possible with an adult. Toys are frequently used in play therapy for this very reason, where they are known to improve feelings of social inclusion and pro-social behavior. The attachment that is formed between a child and the toy they are given cannot be more powerful. The gifts that you make and send abroad change lives, and bring comfort where there is despair. You can knit and sew in the knowledge that your work is making a difference to children somewhere in the world.

There are hundreds of free patterns for simple soft toys here.  Make some toys, or send supplies to make toys to:

Relief Share, 6078 Lundy Rd, Houston, MO 65483-2225.

 

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Soft sparkle yarn was used to make this cocoon and Momma hats for Relief Share

Soft sparkle yarn was used to make this cocoon and Momma hats for Relief Share

When the winter winds swirl around and chill us to our bones, you can imagine how the little ones feel….baby, it’s cold outside!  Baby blankets, quilts, clothing and knitted or crocheted cocoons are very much needed for the babies in hospital and those in homeless shelters or crisis situations. 

The pattern in very simple – cast on 80 stitches with circular needles or flat needles and knit for 18″.  Decrease:
- knit every 8th stitch together for one row, knit the next row,

- knit every 7thstitch together for one row, knit the next row,

- knit every 6th stitch together for one row, knit the next row,

- knit every 5th stitch together for one row, knit the next row,

- knit every 4th stitch together for one row, knit the next row,

- knit every 3th stitch together for one row, knit the next row,

- knit every 2th stitch together for one row, knit the next row,

- cut the yarn long enough to seam the cocoon and gather the stitches on the needle into a circle and seam the cocoon. If you are knitting with circular needles, just gather the last stitches in the row and tie off. 

This pattern works for the Ultimate Sweater Machine as well – you will need a garter bar for the decreases or knit for 21″ instead and simply gather the final row.

The hat pattern is the same for the cocoon but knit for 6 1/2″ before decreasing – this makes an adult hat. The baby hat is the same pattern but only cast on 40 stitches for a preemie baby or 80 stitches for a newborn baby and knit for 5 1/2″ before decreasing.

If you want to do chemo hats, it is nice if you add a crocheted flower to the side of the hat to cheer up the patient or if the hat is for a male, stripes can be added.

 

Donations are sent to Relief Share, 6078 Lundy Rd, Houston, MO 65483-2225.  We are a 501 (c) 3 IRS approved charity – donations are tax deductible. 

Make this season a bit warmer and more comfortable for the sick and needy by putting your sewing, knitting, crochet or crafting skills to work. 

People who are not familiar with Relief Share charity work sometimes ask us what we do and what kind of donations we accept.  The answer is simple.  If there is a need and we are capable of addressing it, we do.  Donations of all kinds are gratefully accepted – clothing for all ages, toys, books, household goods, animal supplies, cancer patient needs, help for those in hospital, homeless shelters, crisis centers and families who have emergent needs. 

Relief Share mainly handles crisis situations to help in emergencies.  We provide food (if available) clothing and items to help folks get through the crisis.  Babies are always first and foremost in our humanitarian work.  We specialize in newborn and preemie quilts, receiving blankets, cocoons, diapers, clothing, toys and more.

Currently our main project is keeping the hospital stocked with baby items so new babies in need can go home with the basics for a good start in life and we are also making 240 twin size quilts for Shriners Childrens Hospital.  Supplies such as fabric, yarn, batting, etc are needed.

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Baby hats - so soft and well made.

These beautiful soft crocheted hats have just been donated to ReliefShare.org  – they are wonderful and very much needed as the cold weather sets in.  Thank you so much to Connie S. from Summersville, MO for her generosity and kindness to God’s tiniest and most helpless children.

The hats were donated this afternoon and have already been donated out to where they are needed the most ;-)

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Crisis center donation of warm hats, scarves and more!

Our Relief Share volunteers have been very busy knitting and crocheting up a storm.  Donations have come in from many parts of the country to be combined with items made here at Relief Share’s home office in the Ozarks.  Many items to keep babies and families warm have been created with love and prayers to be shared with the sick and needy who appreciate a gift from a stranger to ward off the cold.

Hats, scarves and other items can mean the difference between staying healthy and getting sick.  It can also mean the difference between a simple cold and pneumonia or worse.  In more desperate circumstances, it can even mean the difference between life and death.  Babies need their strength to heal and grow and a warm baby hat and cocoon can mean everything to a struggling family bringing home a preemie baby from the intensive care.

Relief Share is donating 50 handmade knitted hats, and many scarves and other items to the crisis center for the sick and needy, so the Thanksgiving and Christmas season will be a little warmer with love from the heart and hands of strangers who cared enough to spend their time, talents and resources on those who are in desperate circumstances and need help.

A heartfelt THANKS to all the wonderful donors and volunteers working with Relief Share to make the miracle of love and warmth happen for those who need us this season.

If you would like to help knit and crochet to help the sick and needy, feel free to use your own patterns and make hats, scarves, mittens, cocoons and sweaters in any size and any type of yarn – there is always someone waiting for your items as we address the needs at a number of hospitals, homeless shelters, crisis centers, medical clinics, churches etc across the country.

Send your donations to Relief Share, 6078 Lundy Rd, Houston, MO 65483-2225.  We always send a thank you letter/tax deductible receipt with each donation received, so be sure to include your name and address for us to thank you properly ;-) We are so grateful for your love in action. If you would like to donate yarn, knitting and crochet supplies and tools, please do – we will love you for it!

President Carol Green
info@ReliefShare.org

Email me – I would love to hear from you and answer any questions you may have.

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Relief Share volunteer, Linda Smith with the gorgeous quilt she pieced, and her husband machine quilted, for Ray Cox

Relief Share volunteers soften the blow for the sick and needy through making and donating handmade patchwork quilts.

Ray Cox, a long time volunteer, lost his sweet wife, Debbie, last year to cancer.  Dealing with pain and medical complications, Ray continued to reach out and help others, even through his own loss and trials. Relief Share volunteers Carol and Ashley Green bought some of the fabric and Linda and Gary Smith added more fabric and sewed and quilted two gorgeous quilts for Ray, one for him and one for his 2 year old granddaughter, Amber.

Relief Share

Amber's quilt to match Grandpa's

Ray was absolutely thrilled with the warm quilts, calling them ‘perfect’, he expressed his sincere gratitude for the love shown for him and blessing of warm quilts that are very much appreciated for his family.

 

Gary & Linda Smith - Relief Share volunteers

 Gary and Linda Smith are professional quilt makers. Linda pieces and sews the quilts and Gary machine quilts them.  Their generosity through Relief Share is a definite asset as the weather gets colder and warm quilts are needed to keep newborn babies and their families snuggled away from the cold. Gary and Linda also work in our Relief Share Flea Market booths, donated by H & K Flea Market across from the Houston Fairgrounds – to help Relief Share get the funds needed to make more quilts and buy supplies needed.

Relief Share stocks storage shelves at Texas County Memorial Hospital with baby quilts, receiving blankets, clothing, booties, nursing pillows, and pacifiers to make sure that all babies born with needs are given essential items to go home with.  We also address needs all across the nation, helping homeless shelters, crisis centers, individuals and families where ever the need is with the help of those who are ready, willing and able to donate time, talents, funds and supplies.

If you would like to help, please send donations to Relief Share, 6078 Lundy Rd, Houston, MO 65483-2225 or email info@ReliefShare.org for more information.  Many hands make light work and glorify our Father in Heaven as we obey his commandments to serve one another.

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Darling wee gnomes knitted by volunteers - donated from Grandmother's Attic.

We’ve been busy little bees at ReliefShare.org with knitting machines going full blast!  Children and adults on the Medical Surgical floor at the hospital now have warm cuddly blankets, taggie blankets, soft knitted toy balls, knitted gnomes and more…we had a ball putting it all together and delivering it to the sick and needy!

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Darling soft pink gnome - knitted

These darling Relief Share gnomes give the babies and children, who are sick and needy, something to snuggle with. They can help turn a difficult situation into a tolerable one with a soft toy tucked under one arm.

The stress of seeing a preemie baby in the hospital neonatal intensive care unit struggling for breath can be lessened for parents who see a sweet gnome in the side of the isolette with a tiny outfit and blanket made for their baby by strangers filled with love and caring.

You can find the pattern here:

To get started:
Materials: 20 yards of worsted weight wool yarn for the body color 5 yards of worsted weight wool yarn for the skin color clean carded sheep’s wool for stuffing yarn needle size 6 knitting needles (for worsted weight) or size appropriate for weight of yarn You can use any size needle and yarn to create different size gnome babies!

First Leg: Cast on 10 stitches, leaving about a 10″ tail for sewing up the leg Knit 10 rows (garter stitch). Cut yarn leaving a 5″ tail.

Second Leg: (push first leg to bottom of needles) Cast on 10 stitches on same needle that first leg is on this time leaving about a 15″ tail. Like first leg, knit 10 rows (garter stitch).

Body: Now knit both legs together (all 20 stitches). This will form the body. Knit (garter stitch) for 16 rows

Head: Now switch to the skin color – and knit 10 rows in the stockinette stitch (this is one row garter, one row purl). After you have finished the 10th row – bind off all 20 stitches.

Sew up the Body: Start with the shorter piece of yarn on the leg and thread the needle. Fold the leg in half to meet in the middle. (Wrong sides together – the smooth part of the head will be on the inside) Start with a running stitch around the bottom of the leg and pull. Then stitch up the side of the leg. Finish by making a knot with the other yarn end that is in the middle and tuck yarn ends to the outside. Now take the longer string at the end of the other leg and thread yarn needle. Work just like the first leg except continue stitching up the back of the gnome baby. When you reach the skin color – tie off with the other colored yarn. Turn body right side out. Stuff body with wool. Stuff legs first. I use the end of the knitting needle or crochet hook to get the wool in firmly. Stuff up to the beginning of the head. Now take the yarn that you used to knit up the back of the body and make a running stitch between the body color and head color to form the neck. Tie a knot. Now tuck all the loose strings into the head and take the skin color hanging yarn and thread needle. Sew up back of the head only to the top. Cut body color loose string inside head. Stuff head with wool. Now use a running stitch around top of head and tie off with other yarn string. Cut hanging yarns almost to the knot.

Arms: Cast on 8 stitches and knit 8 rows cast off. Sew up cast off edge with a running stitch and then sew up side. Stuff Arm . Repeat for Arm 2.

Hat: Cast on 22 stitches. Knit four rows in the stockinette stitch (Knit one row, Purl one row) for four rows. Now, knit two stitches together at the beginning and end of each knit row (every other row). Continue this until there is only one stitch left. Cut yarn long (about 20″) and pull through loop. Put yarn in yarn needle and sew up back of hat. Let the bottom of the hat roll up a bit for the brim and finish sewing around head and then attach to side of body.

A huge thank you to Tonya for sharing her pattern.

These little gnomes are easy to hand knit or knit on a knitting machine.  I hope you will make some for yourself, family and friends and then keep knitting make some extras to share with us with those in hospitals and shelters.

The pink gnome in the picture was hand knitted on size 6 knitting needles with acrylic yarn for the face, and the rest in worsted weight bamboo yarn.  We doubled the number of stitches in the pattern for a larger gnome, but the smaller gnomes are perfect for little hands, too.  There are many sizes of gnomes you can make, depending on what needles you use, or what machines or how many stitches you knit.

Little gnome snuggly and matching knitted woven ball.

Here is one of the regular size smaller gnomes we made and donated to the hospital.  This little gnome and ball were knitted on an Ultimate Sweater Machine knitting machine (the kind you buy at JoAnn Fabrics) that is not mechanized.  We used Love That Yarn acrylic yarn from Hobby Lobby.  The pattern for the knitted ball is here on our blog as well – please feel free to knit and send them for our sick and needy babies as well.

Pomegranate gnome next to Sea Turtle gnome

We knitted a little pomegranate gnome by hand and you can see the difference between the same pattern knitted on the machine and by hand.  Either way, they are a lot of fun. The little pomegranate gnome was given to a darling little boy at church who was good as gold for the entire hour with his little gnome to keep him company.  There is magic in these little gnomes, we think :-)

Donations of knitted items, knitting supplies such as yarn, needles, etc can be sent to :

Relief Share,
6078 Lundy Rd,
Houston, MO 65483-2225

We are a 501 (c) 3 non profit registered with the IRS. Tax deductible receipts and thank you letters are sent out for donations received. Please include your name and address so we can thank you.

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Quick and easy baby booties pattern - knit

This darling Relief Share baby booties knitting pattern is great for beginners and experts alike.  (Picture compliments of Wendy).

Knitting needles: size 5 or 6, depending on how tightly you knit.

Gauge: 8 stitches per inch. Use baby yarn.

Size given for small (med, lg)

Cast on 36 (40,44) stitches.  Work in garter stitch (knit all rows) for 12 rows.

Next row: Knit 16 (18, 20) stitches.  Knit next two stitches together (k2tog), slip one stitch from one needle to the other without knitting it (slst), then knit the next stitch and pick up the slipped stitch in front of it and pass it over the knitted stitch (psso), then knit to the end of the row.

Next row: Purl 15 (17, 19) stitches. Purl 2 stitches together (p2tog), then purl the next two stitches together (p2tog), purl to end of row.

Next row: Knit 14 (16, 18) sts. K2tog, slst, psso (see above for the meaning of the abbreviations), then knit to end of row.

Next row: Purl 13 (15, 17), p2tog, p2tog, p to end of row. Continue this way decreasing 2 sts each row until 24 (28, 32) sts remain on needle as follows:

Next row: K 12 (14, 16), k2tog, slst, psso, knit to end of row.

Next row: P 11 (13, 15), p2tog, p2tog, p to end of row.

Next row: k1, (yarn over, k2tog), continue to end of row.  Knit next 6 rows and bind off LOOSELY.

With a crochet hook, chain 80 to make the tie (not show in picture), and run through the eyelet row.  Sew up back and bottom of booties. Ta da!

Have fun knitting up a bunch and pop them into a package to send to Relief Share, 6078 Lundy Rd, Houston, MO 65483-2225 to keep the sick and needy babies tootsies warm in hospital and in the shelters.

 

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Lovely blanket and comfort ball

The babies in hospital and children at the shelters love these soft comforting lovey blankets and balls that our ReliefShare.org volunteers make. They love the balls so much that we call them ‘Comfort Balls”.

The blankets are made of soft material – usually 12″ square. One side is polar fleece or flannel and the other minky or fuzzy microfleece – any kind of material can be used as long as it is washable and soft – we’ve even used satin on one side – babies love soft material. Around the edge are loops of knitted i-cord that are sewn securelyl so toys can be attached to the loops or the blanket can be hung on an IV pole for distraction when the medical staff need to work on the child. The babies and children love to play with the loops as well. That’s what makes the blanket fun!

The knitted ball is a huge hit with all ages, there are times the volunteers play with the balls more than the children do. The balls are knitted in 6 strips that measure 8″ long by 2″ wide. (note: yes, the strips can be crocheted as well and so can the icord) For most sport or worsted weight yarn, that means 15 stitches by 50 stitches but you have to use a ruler and adjust the number of stitches as you use other yarn to make the balls. After the strips are knitted, the ball is woven together.

The first attempt at assembling the ball is usually a challenge but if you stick with it, something clicks and then you can assemble the balls with no problem.

The pattern for the knitted ball is found on ravelry.com – just type in ‘knitted ball’ in the search on their website and it pops right up.

Use your scraps of yarn to make comfort balls for all your grandchildren, children, kids at church and local hospital and if you have some left over, we would love it if you would like to send them to us to donate out.

Assembling the balls is not for the faint at heart. If you simply want to knit the strips and send them to us for our volunteers to assemble, that would be wonderful. You can even clean out your yarn stash for a good cause, pop your donation into a box and address it to Relief Share, 6078 Lundy Rd, Houston, MO 65483-2225 and we will be happy to knit up the balls and icord for the lovey blankets.

All donations are tax deductible and any and all donations are very welcome. There are no restrictions on what you can send, we make every donation count, no matter what it is.

Any type of yarn will do and any color. Children love lots of color and texture.

The lovey blankets are very easy to assemble as well, sew on the icord – or if you don’t have icord, you can sew on medium and wide width ribbon that is 4″ long and doubled around the edge of the blanket. Sandwich the ribbon inside the two pieces of fabric that are right sides together and sew 1/4″ to 1/2″ seam, leaving a place to turn the blanket right side out. Turn the blanket right side out and sew 1/2″ from the edge all the way around to make sure the icord or ribbon stays in place securely. Ta da! You have created a darling lovey blanket for a little one.

Questions? Email us at info@ReliefShare.org we’d love to hear from you or simply post a reply under this blog post! Happy knitting and sewing.

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Add fun fur and a top knot to make a hat special. It may be the only hat the sick or needy receive. Show them your love by making it special.

Do you like to make hats?

ReliefShare.org volunteers love to makes hats.  Baby hats, chemo hats, hats to keep families warm in cold weather, hats to brighten and cheer and bless, hats knitted, sewn and crocheted with love and prayers. We make them at home, on the road as we travel, at church or visiting with friends. You can make them with us for the sick and needy.  Send them to us to distribute or donate to your favorite charity locally.

When knitting hats, we use soft yarn, like Love that Yarn from Hobby Lobby, Bernat, Lion Brand or Caron Simply Soft – something gentle to the skin and easy to wash (yes, that usually means acrylic so hospitals can put it in the washer and dryer). We also use wool, alpaca and cotton for hats if they are going to individuals who are willing to hand wash them.

The men like the grey ones we do with a black stripe or two, blue shades or the camo yarn hats.  Red Heart makes Softee yarn and Red Heart kids yarn that is soft and wonderful. Some of the super saver yarns, depending on color are okay but some are rough, close your eyes and run your hands over the yarn. The touch test is the best way to tell.

Ladies like it when we put a crocheted flower on the hat and seem to prefer pink or pastel. Kids love lots of color. Babies look cute in anything pastel or colorful, but then again, babies look cute in anything :-D

We usually use size 7 circular needles with worsted weight yarn, but you can use your favorite yarn and needles.

With circular needles or double pointed needles, cast on 80 sts (depending on how large you want the hat to be and the kind of yarn you are using you can cast on 70 or 80).  We love using a long tail cast on as it provides and nice even stretchy base to knit from.  There is nothing more disappointing in spending the time to knit a wonderful hat and find that it won’t stretch over the head (we lovingly call those kind of hats ‘cast iron cuties” and they wind up getting redone or used for doll clothing if the size is right – nothing is ever wasted).

Join in the round, placing a stitch marker on first stitch to mark beginning of round.

Knit for approximately 7 inches then begin decreasing.

Row 1. Knit 8, knit 2 together (repeat to end of row. Row should end with last 2 sts knit together).
Row 2. Knit all sts.
Row 3. Knit 7, knit 2 together (repeat to end of row. Row should end with last 2 sts knit together).
Row 4. Knit all sts.
Row 5. Knit 6, knit 2 together (repeat to end of row. Row should end with last 2 sts knit together).
Row 6. Knit all sts.
Row 7. Knit 5, knit 2 together (repeat to end of row. Row should end with last 2 sts knit together).
Row 8. Knit all sts.

Continue in this manner, switching to double pointed needle (DPN) when it gets too small for the circular needles – or use the magic loop technique if using circulars to finish, until only 8 stitches remain. Cut or break yarn leaving a long tail to thread through the remaining 8 stitches. Tighten the bottom and secure yarn by weaving it up into the inside of the bag a bit until you feel it is secure and won’t come out.

Weave in any ends ( if you choose to do stripes you will have lots of them) and ta-da! All done Sometimes we do an icord knot finish and sometimes an icord loop finish.  Details can make the hat special for the recipient.

Note: Childrens hats are the same pattern as the adult but cast on only 60 for babies or 70 for toddlers/children. Knit for 4 1/2″ for babies and 5 1/2″ for kids then decrease. Women with small heads you can knit for 6 1/2″ instead of 7, depending on how much of a self rolled brim you want the hat to have.

Feel free to knit, sew, felt, craft or crochet hats of all colors and sizes  to donate to charity.  Our address is Relief Share, 6078 Lundy Rd, Houston, MO 65483-2225.  All donations are tax deductible and we are happy to send a thank you letter and tax paperwork to acknowledge your donation.

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Heart Baby Blanket Knitting Pattern

Heart blanket to warm the body and the heart

An easy knitting pattern for a baby blanket featuring hearts. Garter stitch is knit between the hearts which are reverse stockinette stitch on a stockinette background.

Finished Size
30″ x 40″

Gauge
5 sts=1″

Materials
Size 6 US (4.25 mm) circular needles, 29″ or longer
7 skeins Bernat Satin
100% Acrylic
3.5 oz / 100 g
163 yd / 149 m

Instructions: CO 135 sts.
K 8 rows.
Rows 1, 3 and 5 (RS): K
Rows 2, 4 and 6: K8, (p19, k6) 4 times, p19, k8
Row 7: K8, (k9, p1, k15) 4 times, k9, p1, k17
Row 8: K8, (p8, k3, p8, k6) 4 times, p8, k3, p8, k8
Row 9: K8, (k7, p5, k13) 4 times, k7, p5, k15
Row 10: K8, (p6, k7, p6, k6) 4 times, p6, k7, p6, k8
Row 11: K8, (k5, p9, k11) 4 times, k5, p9, k13
Row 12: K8, (p5, k9, p5, k6) 4 times, p5, k9, p5, k8
Row 13: K8, (k4, p11, k10) 4 times, k4, p11, k12
Row 14: K8, (p4, k11, p4, k6) 4 times, p4, k11, p4, k8
Row 15: K8, (k3, p13, k9) 4 times, k3, p13, k11
Row 16: K8, (p3, k13, p3, k6) 4 times, p3, k13, p3, k8
Rows 17 and 19: Rep Row 15
Row 18: Rep Row 16
Row 20: K8, (p3, k6, p1, k6, p3, k6) 4 times, p3, k6, p1, k6, p3, k8
Row 21: K8, (k3, p6, k1, p6, k9) 4 times, k3, p6, k1, p6, k11
Row 22: K8, (p4, k4, p3, k4, p4, k6) 4 times, p4, k4, p3, k4, p4, k8
Row 23: K8, (k5, p2, k5, p2, k11) 4 times, k5, p2, k5, p2, k13
Row 24: Rep Row 2 Rep Rows 1-24 until desired length.
K 8 rows.
BO.

Thank you to  Ann Saglimbene for sharing her free pattern for this blanket.  Lots of babies in the hospital will now be cuddly warm.  This is also a wonderful pattern for making chemo blankets for patients.

Relief Share
6078 Lundy Rd
Houston, MO 65483-2225

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preemie knitted gown

Many times we have requests for patterns that volunteers can use to make items for the sick and needy babies we serve.   This pattern is free.  When finished, please send to Relief Share, 6078 Lundy Rd, Houston, MO 65483-2225.

This should fit premature baby to newborn size 7 pounds or less.

4 oz Red Heart Baby Soft Yarn Size 6 needles 2 stitch holders 3 buttons Darning needle

Abbreviations:
K Knit
P Purl
St Stitch
Rib K1, P1, repeat across
Stockinette Stitch k1 row, p1 row
K2tog Knit 2 stitches together
P2tog Purl 2 stitches together
Inc Increase
BO Bind Off
OS Other Side
YO Yarn Over
RS Right Side
WS Wrong Side

NECKBAND
(you may design neckband in many variations: 6 rows of rib; garter or eyelet stitches. I used the eyelet pattern for my neckband for this pictured pattern.)

Cast on 40 sts. Knit 2 rows.
RS- (eyelet row) K3, *yo, k2tog, repeat from * to last 3 sts, k3. K 1 row.
Next row
– WS – k8, place marker, k6, place marker, k12, place maker, k6, place marker, k8.
Row 6 – k across row inc 1 st before and after markers.
Row 7 – k4, p across slipping markers, to last 4 sts, K4.
Repeat rows 6 & 7 four times, ending with row 7. There will be 4 purl ridges after the eyelet row

BUTTONHOLE
RS – k2, yo, k2tog, (buttonhole) k across continuing to inc 1 st before and after markers.(place a pin at the end of the row as this will be button placement)
Next row – repeat row 7
Continue pattern of rows 6 & 7 until 120 sts.

DIVIDE FOR SLEEVES AND BODY
(remove markers when you get to them) RS- k18, cast on 4 sts, slip next 26 sts (left sleeve) onto stitch holder, k32 sts (back) cast on 4 sts, slip next 26 sts (right sleeve) onto stitch holder, k18.
Row 1 – k4, p across to last 4 st, k4 (76 st)
Row 2 – k across.
Continue last 2 rows until 9 purl ridges from 1st buttonhole.
RS- k2, yo, k2tog, k across (place a pin at the end of the row as this will be button placement)
Repeat pattern of rows 1 & 2 until 9 purl ridges from 2nd buttonhole.
Make 3rd buttonhole as above. Continue pattern of rows 1 & 2 until 9 purl ridges from 3rd buttonhole.

CONTINUE FOR BODY
Use circular needle.
RS – knit across until last 4 st, (button band) Bind off those 4 st. of button band. Place a marker so that this will be the center by the buttonhole band.
Continue to knit unit desired length. Any where from ll” to 16” from armhole may be good.
K 1 row. P 1 row.
Make the eyelet row of *YO, K2tog * repeat pattern from * K 1 row. P 1 row. Bind off all stitches.

SLEEVES
Using regular straight needles. Pick up stitches from stitch holder. Join yarn. Stockinette stitch (k1 row, p1 row) for 20 rows.
Rib (k1, p1 across) for 6 rows. BO. Sew seam.
Sew buttons onto button band to correspond where buttonholes are from the buttonhole band.
Make a crochet chain approximately 30” to 32” for the drawstring.
Weave through the eyelet stitches at the bottom for a drawstring closure.

Designed and Created by Lois Walters July, 2004 original website listing http://lwalters1-ivil.tripod.com/kimono.html  Thank you to Lois for making this pattern free ;-)

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Love in action - working together to help others.

This winter has been cold but filled with hearts made warm and cozy with lots of love in action from ReliefShare.org volunteers and donors from all over the country.  A huge thank you going out to all those who have been shopping, knitting, sewing, serging, tatting, crocheting, crafting and de-cluttering for the benefit of the sick and needy we are helping.

Recent donations received include:
- hand knitted and crocheted hats
- prayer shawls
- afghans – all sizes
- baby blankets and snuggler cocoons
- baby sweaters and clothing
- infant demise layette sets
- crocheted, knitted and sewn booties
- children’s clothing and diapers
- hygiene supplies for needy families
- food items
- household goods – kitchen items, bedding, towels, electronics, etc
- beautiful quilts
- knitted and woven soft toys, stuffed animals and balls
- videos, books and toys

Donations have been give out to hospitals, homeless shelters, crisis centers, individuals, pediatric clinics, and other organizations that help the sick and needy.

Honorable mentions for donations and service include:

Janet W – WV
Melody G – CT
Michele H – UT
Kimiko S – VA
Jennifer S – ID
Dan W – MO
Christine R – SD
Herbert P – TX
Mary S – NC
SharpShoppersClub – MO
USCybertek – MO
Light Speed Interactive – ID
LDS Humanitarian – ID
Brian J – AZ
K W – ME
John S – AR
Barbara L – CT
Ethel V – OR
Charlotte B -CA
Cynthia S – WV
Ozark Glass – MO
JC Auto – MO
Marla P – KY
Grace D – PA
Terry W – KS
Diane H – AR

May God bless each and every one of you who answer his call to help.  If you would like to help there are many things you can do.

- Spread the work and share our link of www.ReliefShare.org on your facebook page,  twitter feed, or website.

- Go shopping and have a blast at the sales, then put your purchases for the sick and needy in a box and send it to Relief Share, 6078 Lundy Rd, Houston, MO 65483-2225.

- Clean out your closets for a good cause, de-clutter your home, teach your children and grandchildren about caring for others at Family Home Evening, family gatherings or one on one times – reach out to others by using your talents God has given you.

- Share your ideas to make the world a better place with others and ACT upon what you know to be right.

Start right were you are, right where you stand with what you have available and bless the lives of those around you.

We love your donations and are happy to get them to where they are needed the most, but you can also donate and help locally to strengthen your community.

Bloom where you are planted and spread God’s message of love and hope in your own special way.  It may be a smile, a hug or a warm blanket.

In the words of a wonderful Christian leader of men, Spencer W Kimball - “Just Do It!”

With love and gratitude,
Carol Green
President
Relief Share

info@ReliefShare.org

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2012 is going to be a banner year. Relief Share volunteers have rolled up their sleeves, opened their wallets, filled their schedules with charity work and the results of dedicated love for the babies is showing up in a plethora of donations to where it counts the most!

Donation out to Texas County Food Pantry and Crisis Center, January 12, 2012 delivered in person by Relief Share Vice President

1 receiving blanket
3 pair mens pajamas
4 baby bibs
7 baby sleepers
4 coats
4 pants
1 roll masking tape
4 tops
2 baby onesies
1 pr mittens
1 dress
2 pr socks
1 dog bed and pillow

Donation to Newborns in Need, Springfield Chapter (run by a very lovely lady, President Judy McDuffie) Mailed Jan 10, 2012
4 baby afghans
8 baby bibs
5 shirts
10 crocheted children’s soft balls
16 knitted woven children’s soft balls
3 knitted hats
6 crocheted hats
2 pr pants
1 baby sleeper
1 pr baby shoes
1 toddler blue jean jacket
12 preemie hats
1 toy
7 baby onesies
1 baby jacket

Donation to local Church for needy in area.
2 large shelves full of warm adult sweaters – many large garbage size bags full. Thank you to Susan and Phil for delivering those items to where they are needed the most.

Donations to individuals needing items the first two weeks in January 2012:
Baby cocoon for little girl
Baby clothing and accessories for little baby boy
Warm hats to needy family
Sewing supplies for grandmother to make items for grandchildren
Sewing supplies to make items for chemo patients
Toys for needy family

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What are your New Years resolutions?  A quick search on the net shows that the number one New Years resolution is to lose weight.  We had to blink twice at that one because many of the sick and needy we serve don’t have that problem. In fact, they have trouble finding the resources to get enough food to eat.

If you are trying to keep your New Years resolution of losing weight, we have some suggestions that might help ;-)

1.  One day a week fast for one meal (or two) and donate the money you would have spent on those meals to charity.   Give it to your church, your local food pantry or send it to

Relief Share,
6078 Lundy Rd,
Houston, MO 65483-2225.

If you would have eaten something you already have in your home in your food storage – take the cans or boxes you don’t eat to your local food pantry, or donate them to a family you know could use them.

2.  We all know exercise helps us lose weight.  Get off the computer, stop watching the TV and dig out your sewing machine, knitting machine or serger and make some baby blankets or receiving blankets – perhaps a quilt or two to give away.  It will stimulate your heart and mind at the same time and bless the lives of the sick and needy.  If you prefer to hand knit or crochet – I bet there are some chemo patients that would love a hat to keep their heads warm or a prayer shawl or afghan to keep them snuggled and warm during the long hours of laying there getting chemotherapy for cancer.

3.  Gaining weight, for some of us, comes from comfort eating, do something else instead! Bad day – chocolate, upset – ice cream, family party and feeling good – Grandma’s famous peach pie, special occasion – root bear floats and birthday cake…well, you get the idea. Good or bad, we tend to reach for food to complete the situation.  Space abhors a vacuum.  Instead of reaching for food eating food, try doing something nice for someone else.  It’s hard to fork more pie in your mouth if your hands are busy sewing quilts for the crisis center and you can’t reach for the jelly beans at home on the counter if you are giving your neighbor in his wheelchair a walk in the sunshine for a much needed outing. Attend a local charity work meeting, volunteer time at the local library, or keep your hands and mind busy doing another productive service for someone – like weeding their garden when they can’t.

4.  There are good weight loss products to help boost your efforts (and there are many bad ones).  We recommend a supplement that compliments your efforts, not one that shocks your body into unhealthy weight loss.  After a great deal of research, we found that America’s number one health weight loss supplement is HCG drops.  Not all drops are good for you, though, depending on what the manufacturer has put in the bottle.  The most productive, safe, and cost effective can be found at www.herbalhealthco.com – you must stick to the diet suggested, but if you do, it works well.  HCGslim can help you get the body you want, healthy, strong and trim.  The company also donates to Relief Share – we are grateful for that.

Good luck! We would love to hear how your New Years resolutions are coming. Please feel free to respond to this post and share!

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Knitting a cocoon on the USM Bond machine

http://tracykm.blogspot.com/2011/02/baby-cocoon.html

Here is a wonderful tutorial on the net for making a baby cocoon on your knitting machine with an updated feature – you can seam the cocoon as you go!

Have fun and enjoy and be sure to tell them we sent you.   It’s nice to know when you are appreciated for the hard work in putting up a blog post and the gal that put up that tutorial is very much appreciated.

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Patches fused in place on jeans getting mended

Your favorite pair of blue jeans (or your son or daughter’s) doesn’t have to be thrown out because of a tear or hole.  Here is a fast, quick and easy way to mend your jeans.

I had a pair of jeans that needed patching and after searching the net for quite some time, I was frustrated with the lack of instructions to fix the holes and tears in my blue jeans.  I did find an expensive repair place that you could send your jeans away to for fixing (no thanks, I can buy a new pair cheaper) and I found some tutorials that left the jeans looking pretty sad and homemade with the patching – also the jeans would be pretty stiff with all the sewing they wanted you to do.

This is a pretty easy no sew fix, and you don’t have to use the stiff patches you buy at Wal Mart to fuse on the knees of your jeans.  You can make your own patches that are softer and a closer color to the jeans as I wanted an almost invisible fix.  I didn’t want it to look like they were home made patched.

The picture shows the patches ironed on to the inside of the jeans – they are soft and flexible as they are made from flannel and the fusible web is also soft and flexible, comfortable to wear.

For those of you who are searching the net and need to fix your jeans so they look nice, here is what you need to fix it:

1.  an iron – I used a small Clover mini iron for convenience, but any iron will do

2.  a pair of scissors

3.  a matching color piece of fabric – I used blue flannel because it is soft

4.  an ironing board or other surface that is heat resistant.

5.  Steam a seam (double stick fusible web) or any other fusible product like Heat N Bond, etc.  I used Steam a seam because it can be fused to the fabric, then fused to the jeans.  Some of the other products must be fused to both the patching fabric and jeans at the same time, making the repair process a little bit harder.

Here we go

- Wash and dry your jeans and don’t use any fabric softener.  Turn the jeans inside out.

- Cut a patch out larger than the hole or tear, and fuse the Steam A Seam to it by removing the paper from the web on one side and placing on the patch.

- Hold the iron long enough for the fusible web to adhere to the patch (I used the cotton setting on my iron).

- Trim the patch so the edges are rounded – the patch will last longer and not pull away from the jeans at the corners.

- Pull away the cover paper on the Steam A Seam and place the patch over the hole or tear. Fuse the patch to the inside of the jeans over the hole or tear by pressing the iron on the patch until the web fuses all layers together.

-Turn the jeans inside out and run the iron over the jean material to make sure the patch is fused.

- Let the patch cool and wash the jeans on the cold setting on your washer and tumble try.

mended jeans - it just looks like distressing now.

Enjoy using the jeans for a lot longer.  If you like this tutorial, please respond to the blog with a comment, and feel free to add any hints or tips you would like to share on this subject ;-)   As you can see, the tear simply looks like it was done on

Soft comfortable mend, now looks like chic distressing.

purpose, like the more expensive jeans you buy now with the distressing.

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Categories : Sewing ideas
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Thank you for asking about our free patterns.  Here they are – have fun!  Note – you have to copy the links and paste them into your browser.  We don’t know why but the hyperlinks in our wordpress blog aren’t working.  However, the links work just fine if you cut and paste them ;-)

Knitted baby cocoon pattern – http://www.reliefshare.org/wordpress/index.php/2010/10/26/knitting-for-baby-cocoons/
Knitted braided woven ball – http://www.reliefshare.org/wordpress/index.php/2011/06/07/braided-knitted-ball-for-charity-pattern-children-love-these/
Sewn baby cocoon pattern – http://www.reliefshare.org/wordpress/index.php/2010/11/30/free-baby-cocoon-pattern-to-sew/
Infant demise sewn pattern – http://www.reliefshare.org/wordpress/index.php/2011/08/20/relief-share-infant-demise-burial-gown/http://www.smocking.org/files/nt7n_weecare_program1.pdf

Hugs,
Carol Green,
ReliefShare.org charity
Ebay – dec2057 auctions
Fine-Air.com blog
GrandmothersAttic.net store

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Nov
10

Basic Quilt Instructions

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BASIC QUILT INSTRUCTIONS:

Pillowcase construction style quilt

Material used for quilts could include cotton, cotton blends, knits, polar fleece, flannel, etc. Any and all types of quilt battings are suitable. In the past we have used high loft, low loft, regular, all cotton, thermolam, down, and polyester batting. We have even used old blankets, towels, and old bedspreads for the middle of quilts when we ran out of regular batting. We prefer to use new batting but we will not let a baby go cold simply because we temporarily ran out of batting. Try to use something that washes well, will stay soft and not be stiff or too heavy.

We are thrilled when we receive pieced quilts, they are so beautiful and they really show the love and effort that went into them. We also love the whole cloth quilts that are so cuddly, warm and quick to make. It is your choice as to what you would like to make. Relief Share makes many different types of quilts for the babies and families.

Instructions for “pillowcase construction” quilt.
- Place top fabric and bottom fabric right sides together with batting on the bottom. Top, bottom and batting should all be the same size.
- Stitch around all four edges leaving a gap of approximately 8 inches unsewn.
- Turn quilt inside out with the batting now in the middle (some people call this the pillow case way of making a quilt).
- Whip stitch the opening closed.
- Sew approx. 1/2 inch top stitching around the edge of the quilt to stabilize and secure all three layers.
You are now ready to hand quilt, tie, or machine quilt the quilt. Tied quilts – ties should be no farther apart than 4″.  Ties should always be a square knot, never just a stitch or a knot that will come out, hospital laundry is really harsh.  Ties should be 1 to 1 1/2 ” depending on what you are tying with.  Hand quilted quilts – try to keep your stitches fairly uniform and smaller. Tiny fingers can catch “loops” of thread.  Use quilting thread for strength.

Machine Quilted Quilts -
A walking foot for your machine is nice but not necessary. Quilts can be tacked, sewn in a grid pattern, or any other design.  Make sure there is enough sewing to hold the three layers together securely without the batting shifting after repeated washings.

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Baby cocoons also make wonderful gifts for 'little mothers'. This is our youngest ReliefShare volunteer helping us with pictures of the latest cocoon we made.

This week has been fun with darling hand knit baby cocoons donated out to sweet new babies.  One cotton/acrylic blend solid pink cocoon with a flower was donated out to a darling new little girl.  Another cocoon in purple and blue swirl was donated out to a precious little baby soon to be born.  Three hand knit stripe cocoons in blue and brown were donated out to the hospital in Gilbert, Arizona for babies born to families in need.

The most urgent needs right now are for baby items -  quilts, receiving blankets, knitted baby cocoons, booties, baby afghans and baby clothing.  These smallest of God’s children are helpless and have no way of providing essentials for themselves.

Baby cocoons are requested by the hospitals.  One hospital, alone, has asked for 300 baby cocoons.  We have been able to knit and donate 100 of the baby cocoons for them thus far for them and another hospital just asked for 100 more.  Cocoons are a great item to knit while you are on the go or using spare moments during the day as they are done on size 7 – 16″ circular needles and is very quick and easy.  For preemie/newborn sizes, cast on 70 stitches and knit for 16″ then decrease.  For newborn size cocoons, cast on 80 stitches, knit for 18″ and decrease.  The matching hats for the cocoons are done by casting on 60 stitches, knitting for 4″ and decreasing.  Here is a link to the pattern http://www.reliefshare.org/wordpress/index.php/2010/11/15/350-baby-cocoons-for-the-hospital-are-needed/

Relief Share could also really use help with making burial layettes.  These are very precious layettes that have a burial gown, bonnet, blanket, and memorial item.  The sewing on these special layettes need to be paid special attention to as this is the last little gown that baby will be snuggled in before returning home to Heavenly Father.  Here is the pattern: http://www.reliefshare.org/wordpress/index.php/2011/08/20/relief-share-infant-demise-burial-gown/

When the Lord touches your heart to help, many times he guides you to what is most important and will bless your life as you create the items needed.  Finding joy in service brings many blessings to the giver as well as the receiver.

Carol Green
President
ReliefShare.org

 

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Soft woven knitted balls

One of the items that ReliefShare.org loves to make and donate is our knitted woven balls.  These soft fun balls are loved by children and adults alike. Hospitals can use them to help patients who are in rehabilitation from eye surgery, burns or need hand to eye coordination activities to toss and catch the soft knitted ball without getting hurt.

The re-purposed function of the knitted woven balls are that the centers are hollow and you can put things in them without them falling out. We use the plastic containers that the knee high pantihose come in from Wal Mart – we put a jingle bell inside the round plastic containers, permanently glue the small container shut and insert it inside the ball.  This makes a baby rattle that moms and babies love.  The old folks love to use our balls for their animals to play with, providing hours of entertainment for shut ins.

Relief Share donates to locations all across America, we also donate  internationally through other organizations as our combined efforts saves us on shipping and helps them to help others.We like to wind a ball of yarn (you can get whole skeins of yarn wound and fitting inside the balls) and insert them in the balls. When the balls are sent out, particularly to regions of the world who are in short supply of essential materials for necessary goods, the yarn can be taken out and used to knit or crochet mittens, hats, baby layettes, crib blankets, etc and the balls use for play or children, babies and curious adults.

Warning: making the balls is fun and addicting. They are like potato chips, you can’t just eat one.  The first one you make will seem frustrating and complicated, but once you get the first one done, they are quick, easy and a pleasure to make.  The pattern is free and so are the smiles.

If you would like to help by knitting or crocheting soft balls for the sick and needy, we would love the donations.  Use your own pattern or make some like these – the babies and children love soft toys.  You’ll have fun and will bless the lives of others as well.

Carol Green
President
ReliefShare.org
6078 Lundy Rd
Houston, MO 65483-2225

 

 

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Warn knitted hat - one size fits children and adult

This entry in our Relief Share blog is bringing attention to the needs of those who are dealing with lack.  When we think that an item will be used for a specific purpose, those who have not may use it for our intended purposes, but also have the creativity and inventiveness to re-purpose it for other needs.

We were charmed to see what our Relief Share knitted hat wound up being used for by a sweet little girl who innocently showed us that there are different ways to look at and use the same things.  Thinking outside the box allowed her to spend happy hours caring for her baby doll in a soft cuddly bunting pod, and when it gets cold, she can immediately pop the baby dolls ‘bed’ on her head for a cute warm hat to protect her head from the chilly weather.  I guess you could look at it this way – warm weather, it’s a dolly bed – cold weather, it’s a hat.

Attention to detail makes the hat fit better and look nicer

Cute soft baby doll bed, re-purposed hat by a little girl - smart thinking.

Just a few extra minutes with a crochet hook and adding a button really puts that 'touch of love' message to recipients.

If you would like to donate knitted or crocheted hats to help the  sick and needy, feel free to use your own patterns or email us at info@ReliefShare.org for our pattern shown above.

Hugs to you – may your heart always be warm, your tummy full and you be willing to help others when the spirit of God touches you to do so.

Carol Green
President
Relief Share
6078 Lundy Rd
Houston, MO 65483-2225

 

 

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Sewing cloth mama pads

What a wonderful time we are having at Relief Share to take care of the sick and needy. In under a week we have donated out 15 lap afghans to the wheelchair bound, boxes and bags of clothing and bedding to the sick and needy, and  toys to the children who need them.  Donations going out this week is a truckload of sweaters and t-shirts to Missouri residents (some  of them survivors of the Joplin tornado), boppies to nursing mothers, baby cocoons to the hospital and new mothers in the area, baby clothing to 3 soon to be babies, pacifiers to the hospital, afghans, blankets, infant burial layettes, dolls and toys, books for the homebound to read and more.

Relief Share has been blessed with very generous donations of fabrics that just came in. The boxes are filled with the most delicious scrumptious high quality fabric that our volunteers are over the moon with.  One of the directors kept exclaiming, “Do you know what fabric this is? It’s the very best! Oh my gosh, I LOVE this designer…come see the fabric colors!  WOW, this fabric is so soft and dreamy, I can’t wait to get it sewn up for the hospital, it’s perfect for the preemie babies.”

Yes, I listed to nearly an hour of folks thrilled with the fabric sent for our sick and needy.  I can’t thank the wonderful donor enough.  Everyone is so grateful for her knowledge of fabric and willingness to share it with us to help those who desperately need the items that will be made.

May God bless her as plentifully and generously as she has blessed the most helpless and needy of His children. She is truly his hands and feet here on the earth answering fervent prayers for needed essentials for the babies and their families.

Donations arriving

Boxes of much needed new baby clothing has also arrived from a wonderful long time donor, Terry W.  The timing was perfect, as usual, as requests for help had just been documented when her boxes showed up with everything in them for the babies.  Marianne C. has sent beautiful preemie afghans for the little ones in the hospital and Shirley B made the most beautiful little burial gowns that are so precious and appreciated.  Roberta M. always sends the prettiest blankets with gorgeous crocheted trim and lovely crocheted afghans along with dollies for the little ones in the hospital that love a dolly to snuggle with.  Her donations are carefully and lovingly packed with the greatest of care.  J. W. blesses us with lovely fabrics that are just perfect for the quilts we make for families to snuggle under.  Our volunteers love working with them.

We were also blessed by a sweet lady who was willing to trade some of her yarn stash with us for supplies we didn’t need so we would have the yarn needed to knit baby cocoons, hats, booties and chemo hats and prayer shawls.  Yarn is always in short supply and we are so grateful for donations of yarn of any kind and color. It’s fun when white or cream wool yarn is donated and we can color it with koolaide in the microwave for permanent coloring to make fun kids print colors.

It takes all of us working together to help answer God’s call to serve his most helpless and needy children.  Great blessings are in store for those who answer the spirit’s whisperings.

All donations can be sent to Relief Share, 6078 Lundy Rd, Houston, MO 65483-2225.  Do you know this is the same address we have had for 2 decades now? In a world that is constantly changing, it is nice to know some things don’t change. Our love for God’s children will never change and our efforts on their behalf will never cease.  Your efforts combined with ours create miracles.  Thank you so much.

unraveling sweaters to get yarn to knit into baby cocoons

What kind of donations are needed?

Supplies:

Sewing – fabric, thread, scissors, rotary cutters, blades, rulers, snaps, pins, needles, patterns, templates, sergers, sewing machines, etc
Knitting and crocheting – yarn (all kinds all colors), knitting needles (circular 16″ size 7 the most but all circular and straight needles, dpns) stitch counters, yarn winders, swifts, spinning wheels, patterns, books, crochet hooks, etc
Tatting – tatting shuttles, patterns, books, threads
Quilting – fabric, templates, quilters basting gun,  batting (a huge need), books, patterns, etc
Embroidery – thread, hoops, patterns, books, fabric
Smocking – pleater, pleating needles, batiste, quilting thread, embroidery and kreinik thread
Office supplies – paper, envelopes, cards, pens, TP, wet wipes, canon ink. digital camera (a huge need).

new and gently used baby and childrens clothing.
basic essentials – hygiene items, shampoo, toothpaste, conditioner, combs, brushes, toothpaste, underwear (all sizes) etc.

Baby items: diaper bags, bottles, pacifiers (a huge need – all kinds for the hospital), baby oil, shampoo, lotion, diaper rash, wet ones, cloth and disposable diapers, toys, cribs, bassinets, monitors, sheets, blankets, afghans, hats.

We address a great deal of needs.  Any donation that is sent is used to bless the lives of the sick and needy.  All donations are accepted with a tax deductible receipt when requested.

Carol Green

President

ReliefShare.org

 

 

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log cabin strip piecing, rotary cutter, quilt in a day, pattern, free

log cabin quilt

How does the title for this Relief Share blog post hit you?  That tells you how long and hard we have been searching the net to find a very simple quick log cabin quilt block pattern  – one that beginners and experts alike will love.

This is a very fast and easy pattern to do.  The two best websites we found tutorial patterns on are these:
http://www.quiltingassistant.com/logcabinblock.html

http://www.cabins-r-us.com/log-cabin-quilt-block-pattern.html

This quilt can be made very easily with strips of fabric. If you want to do a quilt-as-you-go quilt, sew the block on a backing of muslin with batting on top and use binding to put the squares together. This method is used in the Quilt in a Day quilt books that can be bought on half.com – one of my all time favorite quilting books by Eleanor Burns, a marvelous expert quilter:
http://product.half.ebay.com/_W0QQprZ972661

Use a jelly roll (strips of fabric you can purchase at Wal Mart or other fabric stores) or use up the left over fabric you have from other projects.  Your serger and rotary cutter can make sewing this quilt even faster and easier.

Relief Share has been blessed with very generous donations of fabric and supplies this past week.  Ray Cox has sent many boxes of bolts of quilting fabric that are already being made up into quilts for the sick and needy.   Books and a rotary rulers were also included in his boxes of love honoring his sweet wife, Debra.  Her legacy of love for the sick and needy goes on through Ray’s continuing efforts to answer God’s call to help the helpless and lift up the hearts and hands that hang down from trial and adversity.  The smiles on the faces of mothers who now have warm quilts and clothing for their precious bundles are the badges of honor shining brightly to mark Debra and Ray’s hard work and dedication to alleviate suffering and bless the lives of the sick and and needy.

Our Relief Share angel, who wishes to remain anonymous, sent a lovely box of orange and red quilters fabric that our volunteers fell in love with.  This sweet angel seems to have a direct pipeline to heaven and manages to time her donations perfectly depending on what the most urgent need is.  A box of yarn arrived from Placentia, California that is just perfect for our baby hats, cocoons, and layettes.  Other donations of lace, ribbon, and sewing, knitting, crochet and serging tools also arrived to help us move forward faster with our charity work.

If you would like to help the sick and needy, please send donations to  6078 Lundy Rd, Houston, MO 65483-2225.  The greatest need is in Boise at this time so that is the preferred address to ship to.  Most of the need in Houston is for baby items and hygiene goods, in Boise we are helping families and a larger number of people.  All times of any kind – new or gently used is gratefully accepted.  Clean out your closets for a good cause.  All donations are tax deductible as Relief Share is a 501 (c) 3 non profit charity registered with the IRS.

May God bless you as you bless others ;-)

Carol C Green
President
info@ReliefShare.org

 

 

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Relief Share – Knitted baby hat pattern for newborn – free, fun, quick, easy!

Baby hats are so easy! All you do is cast on 60 stitches on size 7 circular needles – mine are 16″ circulars and knit for 5 1/2″ to 6″ then decrease.

The decrease is done by knitting the 8th stitches together, then knit the next row then knitting the 7th stitches together, then knit the next row then knitting the 6th stitches together, then knit the next row then knitting the 5th stitches together, then knit the next row then knitting the 4th stitches together, then knit the next row then knitting the 3th stitches together, then knit the next row then knitting the 2th stitches together, then knit the next row then cut the thread long and thread a yarn needle. Run the yarn through the last few stitches and pull tight. Weave in the end. Voila! Done!

Here is a hat I finished last night.  Instead of doing the top of the hat in the pattern above, I used the last few stitches to knit an icord and then knotted it.  Sometimes I will do an icord loop.  These hats are fun, quick and easy to knit and the hospital and homeless shelters love them.

If you knit your hats in purple and donate them, you are honoring the ‘prevent shaken baby syndrome’ effort.  This is a serious problem and a simple purple hat can help hospitals work with new parents to stop this growing trend that is hurting little ones.

If you have a picture of a baby hat you did you would like to share – please email your picture to info@reliefshare.org with the pattern and we would be happy to include it on our blog.

All of us working together creates a synergy that blesses the lives of the babies we love so much and bonds us together in friendship and purpose.

If you would love to share some of your yarn stash with the volunteers to knit and crochet baby hats, cocoons, afghans and layettes – please send your donation to Relief Share, 6078 Lundy Rd, Houston, MO 65483-2225.

All donations are tax deductible.  Share the love ;-)

Hugs

Carol Green
President
ReliefShare.org

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Relief Share infant demise burial gown

This is a simple, quick and easy pattern for infant demise burial gowns that are in short supply right now and very much needed.

The pattern is easy to size down to micro preemie and up all the way to newborn or even toddler.  A casing at the neck with narrow elastic inside is what allows the gowns to be used for multiple sizing.    The gown closure can be a snap, ties, velcro or buttons.  Only one or two are needed down the back, which is completely open for easy dressing of the baby.

Lace or trim can be added.  For little girls we use lace and rosebuds with ribbon and for the little boys, rick rack is added.

Material such as flannel, soft minky, cotton or other soft cuddly fabrics are used to create the little gowns.  A bonnet, booties, blanket or cocoon is added to create the baby’s layette.  When available, we add a soft toy such as a Ty Fleece Beanie Baby for a momento for mom and dad.

These beautiful little gowns are an honor to sew for these sweet babies who only need one last layette for them to be snuggled in.  The pattern can be downloaded here:  http://www.smocking.org/files/nt7n_weecare_program1.pdf  IMPORTANT NOTICE: SAGA provides this Wee Care Program free of charge for your use for the donations of gowns to hospitals for the express purpose of bereavement. Any other use is a violation of the Copyright.

Instead of smocking the gown, simply gather it.  You can use less fabric for a gown that is not as gathered.  The hospitals are always very grateful for these burial gowns.  If you would like to make and donate burial gowns to Relief Share, please send them to:

Relief Share, 6078 Lundy Rd, Houston, MO 65483-2225

 

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Cocoon made with Love That Yarn stripe from Hobby Lobby

Experiment with color. Enjoy the process of crafting a remarkable item to share with those less fortunate or sick. You will be doubly blessed as you put your love for your fellowman in action through service and charity.

We make so many items for the hospitals and for the sick and needy that it can get pretty hum drum to use the same yarn and colors over and over.  To spice up our charity work and enjoy what we are doing again – we simply add variation and color.  We either change up the pattern just a bit to make it slightly different and interesting – adding seed stitch to our knitting or using a variegated yarn instead of solid colors – and the joy in creating comes flowing back in again giving us a renewed love for the projects we are working on.

I ran across a wonderful tutorial on youtube on how to get the most from your variegated yarn. The idea was simple but brilliant. Mike suggests pulling the yarn from opposite ends to get a color reversal to double your benefit from using variegated yarns.

One of our Directors also has a marvelous way to make the most of variegated yarns. Jennifer Sundquist is an experienced knitter and crocheter and owns “The Tiny Panda” business – you can see her facebook page here: http://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Tiny-Panda/177250085656698 Her technique for working with variegated yarns is to watch how the colorway interacts with the pattern. When she sees that there is too much of a color being added to the project, she ties off some of that color and omits it from the yarn being used. By doing this simple technique, she can control how much of any color being integrated in the pattern is impacting the final result. This is especially helpful when using your own dyed yarns if the colorway turned out different than what you wanted. Don’t toss it out or put it in the back of your craft room – simply use the tying off technique to get the amount of any given color you are looking for.

Dyeing yarn with koolaid

If you are in a rut with your charity knitting and crochet by being bored with color – make your own!  Another way to get the most from variegated yarn is to dye your own yarn. Wool is the best choice of yarn to work with and it can be dyed with koolaide and your microwave. Yes, it does work and the color is permanent. Jennifer has dyed some incredible colorways that are absolutely gorgeous. Using Koolaid to dye yarn to make beautiful colorway (variegated yarn)

Here is a tutorial on the internet on how to dye wool with koolaid: http://knitty.com/ISSUEfall02/FEATdyedwool.html

Yarn dyed with koolaid - simply gorgeous

Some of the wonderful colorways you can purchase in variegated yarns are found at the major chain craft stores. My favorites are:

Hobby Lobby – the store brand of Love That Yarn is always a good choice. You can find two types of variegated yarns in that brand. The ‘stripe’ version of the yarn will give you, yes, you guessed it, stripes – but not just solid stripes. There are pretty accents in the stripes that make your finished items wonderful. The other type of variegated yarn made by Love That Yarn is the ‘ombre’ – the more traditional type of variegated yarn with spotches of color.

Ombre pattern turned in to argyle with just a tension change - how fun!

I discovered, by accident when working on a charity fundraiser cocoon, that the ombre also makes amazing patterns when you least expect it. When making a cocoon, I put extra tension on the yarn and the basic ombre or splotch coloring turned into an argyle pattern. Very beautiful and more complex coloring and completely unexpected and welcome!

Another colorway that I love to use is Caron Simply Soft. In my opinion, that is some of the best yarn to use for baby projects as it is silky and soft and drapes beautifully. I also discovered that Wal Mart has three colorways that just came out a few weeks ago, as Wal Mart is adding all their fabric departments back (yay, Wal Mart – we love you again!) and the colorways are gorgeous. They are not available at any other stores in our Boise, Idaho area yet so I quickly bought up all that I could.

If you have ideas and comments on using color with yarn in your charity or other projects, we would love to hear from you.  Our email is info@ReliefShare.org

Carol C Green
President
ReliefShare.org
ReliefShare.org/wordpress

 

Chow dog dyed to look like Panda

Oh – just a fun aside note:  Yarn isn’t the only thing people like to dye.  This is a picture of the latest rage from China – people are dyeing their dogs like other animals.  Its safe and fun and quite interesting, but that is an entirely different post altogether *smile*

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Dryer balls from wool yarn.

These are dryer balls – they save money and are environmentally friendly.   An average family will save approx $240 a year by using them as they don’t have to buy fabric softener or use more electricity to run the dryer longer.

The wool in the dryer balls wick away extra moisture, drying the clothes faster and with the quite  soft beating motion in the dryer from the balls makes the clothing soft and keeps the static down.  It is a huge plus to be free from the chemicals in fabric softeners and fabric sheets, too.

These are three I just made from wool yarn.  You can make them quickly for yourself, your friends and family and to donate to charity, too.

Here is the pattern to crochet them.

1 skein yarn
1 crochet hook

With wool yarn (we recommend Fisherman’s wool yarn from Hobby Lobby – the price is good and it felts well), and a crochet hook (we like size G) make a magic ring.  Here is a link to a youtube tutorial on how to do a magic ring if you don’t already know how – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WLuSVyKvoUg and crochet 8 sc in the ring. Pull tight and slip stitch into the first sc to make the first ring.

For the second row,  chain 2, dc in the same stitch.  Follow the instructions in the bracket to the end of the row – (dc in next stitch and 2 dc in the stitch after that) dc in last stitch that you just did 2 dc in.   Slip stitch in last stitch to close. This will make half of the cover – a domed shape.

Repeat row 2 for row three. That is the other half  of the cover.  You will now have 2 half domes that will be whip stitched together over a ball of yarn you have rolled from the same wool yarn. To roll the ball of yarn check out this tutorial on youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=equs45JCHwo You will note in the picture that some of the balls have more than just three rows.  You can make the balls as big or as small as you like by adding or deleting rows.

These balls are quick and easy to do.  After you have them done, toss them in the washer with your laundry, pour the laundry detergent for the load right on the balls.  Use hot/cold setting for the load as the temperature extremes, soap, and washer agitation will felt the balls so they work better and hold together better with use.  Toss them in the dryer and leave them there permanently. I use approx 8 to 1o balls in my dryer as I tend to do full loads.  If you are doing small loads you can use 5 to 6 balls.

Use up your scraps of wool yarn as well by simply tying the ends of shorter pieces – as you crochet the tied ends wind up inside the covers so you don’t see them.   These dryer balls are a wonderful gift for a new mother as fabric softeners can cause allergic reactions in small babies. We make them for the refugee center and other places who are helping folks get on their feet with household goods.

The same pattern from acrylic or cotton or blended yarn makes wonderful soft toss toys for the children in hospital, homeless shelters, crisis centers and for individuals in need who would love safe toys for their children.

Do you have a variation on the dryer ball pattern? Please share, we would love to hear from you.

Carol Green
President
info@ReliefShare.org

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Cotton knitted dishcloths

These cotton dishcloths are earth friendly and last a lot longer than synthetic mass produced dishcloths – they work better, too.   They also save money when you use them instead of paper towels or wipes.

Make some for yourself and extras to donate to the refugee center, homeless shelter or crisis center in your area or send them to us at Relief Share, 6078 Lundy Rd, Houston, MO 65483-2225

Materials: 1 ball of cotton yarn. We like the Peaches and Cream cotton yarn.

Knitting Needles: Size US 7 or 8.

Pattern: Cast on 3 sts.
1st row: Knit.
2nd row: K1. Increase 1 st in next st. Knit to end of row.
Rep last row to 40 – 50 sts. (depending on how big you want the dishcloth.
Next row: K2. K2tog. Knit to end of row.
Rep last row to 3 sts. Cast off.

Note: This pattern makes a darling baby afghan. Use washable acrylic yarn and knit rows until it is as big as you want, then decrease.

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We hope everyone is headed for a wonderful 4th of July.  Our Relief Share holidays are always better when we know the sick and needy are taken care of first, so we are knitting up a storm on our Ultimate Sweater Machine today making baby cocoons!

For those of you who have a USM or another type of knitting machine, you know that it’s fun, quick and easy. For those of you considering getting an Ultimate Sweater Machine or one of the variations of it – they are available at JoAnn Fabric (be sure to use a 40% or 50% off coupon when you purchase, coupons are usually on their website).

Here are a few tips to make your knitting a lot easier, professional looking and fun!

Instead of just using the black hem that comes with the USM, do a row of double e-wrap so when you are ready to take your knitting off the machine, you don’t have to crochet it off.  This youtube video by Diane Sullivan is very good as she explains slowly and clearly how to do a double e-wrap.

This video shows how to make a cast on rag – very helpful if you are making smaller items, such as the braided ball for children in the hospital.

To make the baby cocoons for the hospital, it is a lot nicer and quicker to use the Kris Krafter garter bars to decrease and make a nice rounded end.  We made a couple of types of home made garter bars and they just aren’t effective and quick enough for us, when a donation of the KrisKrafter garter bars arrived, everyone was VERY excited and they are in constant use now. Expensive, but worth every penny (thank you to our sweet angel who donated them to us – we love you for it!)

So what can you make with your Sweater Machine (knitting machine)?  Anything you can imagine!  Send us your pictures for us to include on our blog ;-)

We make baby hats, baby cocoons, afghans, prayer shawls, braided balls, cancer patient hats and much more!

President Carol Green
6078 Lundy Rd
Houston, MO 6483-2225

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Jun
20

Angel Wing Burial gowns

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Angel Wing Burial Gown

There are times our love and Relief Share sewing skills are called upon for the most tenderest of times.  When a family loses their infant  – when they have to say goodbye before they get a chance to say hello and share their world with the new arrival- our help is needed in providing one last tiny gown, bonnet, blanket and memorial item to help ease the pain and send the little one back to the arms of God.

Our children are only on loan from our loving Heavenly Father for a time. Some of us only get to have them for a very short while and it can be very difficult to deal with the separation.

Relief Share provides Angel Wing Burial gowns, designed by one of our special volunteers, Dot Fulton. Dot has since gone home to Heavenly Father herself, but every time a little Angel Wing Burial gown is sewn and donated, she is fondly remembered as one of the kindest sweetest ladies whose love for the babies lives on with each gown donated to help another grieving mother.  These gowns were made because of requests from the hospital for a gown with sleeves that made it easy to dress baby for burial. This burial layette fits a tiny baby that weighs about 2 to 3 pounds.  Mothers and fathers were so grateful for volunteers who showed love for a stranger by providing something that you couldn’t get no matter how much money you have.

These gowns were sewn by a sweet volunteer in Boise, Idaho. She added binding to the neck and sleeves as these are for little boys. When we make the gowns for little girls, there is lace added to the neckline, hem and sleeves – sometimes tatted by hands who love the babies and their families, too.

A thank you letter from a major hospital states:

“We want to thank you for your kind donation of burial layettes. They are so beautiful. The colors are so pretty, you can certainly tell a lot of love and effort went into the creation of these lovely outfits. We make every effort to make the grieving process as painless as possible. The beauty and caring workmanship of the outfits are a comfort to the bereaved family. Hopefully this makes the memories a little less painful. Thanks again for your thoughtfulness.”

Love in action seems to be the only healing power in many cases for overcoming the pain of loss suffered by those experiencing the death of an  infant. The gift of a tiny burial gown for a grieving mother or father is so gratefully received. When families feel the most vulnerable and powerless, a burial layette, provided by caring hands and loving hearts is God’s strongest witness that He lives and loves us.

We can be the miracle in someone else’s life today.
Ask yourself: “If not me, then who? If not now, then when?”
Please don’t wait another day, reach out to those who need YOU!

If you would like to help by making burial layettes or sending fabric, trim and supplies to help us make them, we would love it.

President Carol Green
Relief Share
6078 Lundy Rd
Houston, MO 65483-2225

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Braided blue comfort ball

This is a darling knitted ball that is easy to make.  Make 2 – keep one for yourself and give the other to charity!

These are hand knittedhere are the instructions from ravelry.com – if you don’t belong, sign up – it’s free and full of wonderful people and patterns.

These balls are called ‘comfort balls’ and the children in hospital, homeless shelters and crisis centers love the soft toys.  So do the adults ;-)

If you want to make them for your local animal shelter, you can put a jingle bell inside of the ball inside of a plastic container like the clear balls that knee highs from Wal Mart come in.

We really need the strips to put them together. Please knit a stockinette strip that is 20 stitches wide by 8″ long. It takes 6 strips to make a ball.  You can mix and match colors and use any type of yarn you like :-) Most of our balls are made with worsted weight acrylic yarn and knitted on size 7 needles, but you can use most yarns and any size needle you want.

This is a perfect project for all the scrap yarn you have left over!.

We could really use donations of yarn and Zanies cat balls, that go in the center of the ball to make a jingle noise for distraction and fun, to help us make these comfort toys. If you would like to share your stash with us, please mail donations to:
Relief Share
6078 Lundy Rd
Houston, MO 65483-2225

The cat balls in the middle of the knitted woven balls are very important. The hospital insists on them. When the doctors and nurses are working with their little patients, the jingle sound that the balls make are very helpful in taking the little one’s mind off the treatment and can put a smile on their wee faces.  The balls are around $18 a package for 50 and we go through a ton of them for all the places we donate to. Please help! We are just about out and desperately need more!

Here are two places that you can purchase Zanies and have them sent to Relief Share for us to use for the sick and needy children we donate to:

http://www.fidopaw.com/product/lattice-ball-cat-toys-in-canister-50-toys-2168.html

https://www.amazon.com/Zanies-Plastic-Lattice-Canister-50-Pack/dp/B003WH1KPW/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1481755907&sr=8-1&keywords=zanies+cat+balls

All donations are tax deductible, please include your email address so we can thank you ;-)

President Carol C Green
info@ReliefShare.org

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Crocheted baby cocoon and hat

Free pattern from FaveCrafts.com Swaddle your newborn with the cozy soft baby cocoon and hat, two free crochet patterns from Red Heart. These beginner crochet patterns make great gifts for new babies.

Directions are for Newborn to 3 months.
Finished Cocoon Circumference: 24″.
Finished Hat Circumference: 18″.

Materials:

  • RED HEART® “Buttercup™” 1.76 oz (50 g), 72 yd (66 m) balls: 4 balls 4277 Light Mint Multi
  • Crochet hook, 6.5mm [US K-10.5]
  • 2 Split-lock stitch markers
  • Yarn needle

GAUGE: 9 sts = 4″; 8 rounds = 4″ in sc. CHECK YOUR GAUGE. Use any size hook to obtain the gauge.

Instructions:

COCOON
Round 1: Beginning at lower edge, ch 9; sc in 2nd ch from hook and in next 6 ch, 3 sc in last ch, PM in center sc of the last 3 sc, working on opposite side of ch, sc in next 6 ch, 2 sc in last ch, PM in last sc made – 18 sc. Do not join but work in continuous rounds. Move markers up each round.
Next Round: [Sc in each sc to 1 sc before marked sc, 2 sc in next sc, sc in marked sc] twice – 20 sc. Repeat last round until there are 54 sc.
Body
Work even on 54 sc until 21″ from beginning.
Fasten off. Weave in ends. Fold top edge down for cuff.
HAT
Round 1: Beginning at top of hat, ch 5; sc in 2nd ch from hook and in next 2 ch, 3 sc in last ch, PM in center sc of the last 3 sc, working on opposite side of ch, sc in next 2 ch, 2 sc in last ch, PM in last sc made – 10 sc. Do not join but work in continuous rounds. Move markers up each round.
Next Round: [Sc in each sc to 1 sc before marked sc, 2 sc in next sc, sc in marked sc] twice – 12 sc.
Repeat last round until there are 42 sc.
Body
Work even on 42 sc until 8‖ from beginning.
Fasten off.
Weave in ends. Fold bottom edge up for cuff.

Make some to share and send them to:

Relief Share
6078 Lundy Rd
Houston, MO 65483-2225

All donations are tax deductible – include your email address and we will email you your thank you letter and tax paperwork to print out.  The babies in the hospitals, homeless shelters, and crisis centers really need the cocoons for warmth for growing and healing.

Note:  Caron Simply Soft yarn, Hobby Lobby Love That Yarn, and any worsted weight yarn will do nicely.  If using Red Heart, use the softer yarns ;-)

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Relief Share volunteers have been very busy knitting, crocheting, sewing, serging and donating towards our baby cocoon project for the hospital.  Lots of questions have been asked and answered so for convenience, we are going to put most of the answers to questions regarding this project in this post for easy accessibility.

Question: What are baby cocoons?

Answer: Baby swaddling items that can be knit, crocheted, tatted, sewn and serged from either new or recycled material.  Here is a picture of a baby cocoon in use:

Baby cocoon for swaddling babies

Hand knitting pattern for “THATCHER’S COCOON”click here.

Machine knitting pattern for the baby cocoon - click here.

Sewing and serging pattern for the baby cocoon – click here.

Crocheted pattern for the baby cocoon – click here.

The general sizes are:

The baby’s weight for the general sizes are:

XXS – 14″ long x 50 stitches wide (6″ across) – 12″ diameter 1.5 to 3 lbs
XS – 16″ long x 60 stitches wide (8″ across) 3 to 5 lbs
S – 18″ long x 70 stitches wide (10″ across) 6 lbs to 8 lbs
M – 20″ long x 80 stitches wide (10″ across) 9 lbs to 11 lbs
L – 23″ long x 80 stitches wide (12″ across) 12 t0 15 lbs
XL – 25″ long x 80 stitches wide (12″ across) 15 to 17 lbs

The hospitals use the XS size the most, the the families we donate to use the S, M and L the most as well as the XL. The XXS are used by the hospital, some of them for infant demise.

Hints and tips for making cocoons have come in from many sources and the ideas volunteers have suggested are wonderful.  We’ve been scouring the thrift shops and our own closets for sweaters that are soft and made from yarn that can be washed, taken apart and the yarn used to make the cocoons.

A wonderful thrift shop in Breckenridge Colorado named “For Pets Sake” donated 4 sweaters, we also purchased many of them off their $1 sale rack.  Other thrift stores in Boise, Idaho, such as the Deseret Industries yielded beautiful sweaters that we got a lot of yarn from after washing them and taking them apart.  We bought a large lot of yarn on craigslist from money donated by caring volunteers to help make baby cocoons, hats, blankets, and layettes.  JoAnn Fabrics had a wonderful sale on yarn as well.  Use your imagination to come up with sources for materials to make the cocoons from.

Babies love the cocoons and rest peacefully swaddled in them.  They are so easy to use, quick and safe, and the hospitals and mother’s love them as well.

If you would love to help with our baby cocoon project, here is what is needed:

1.  Volunteers to make the cocoons and send them to

Relief Share,
6078 Lundy Rd,
Houston, MO 65483

2.  Donations of yarn, fabric, and sewing, knitting, and crocheting supplies are needed.

3.  Funds to purchase supplies and ship the items to where they are needed the most can be sent through paypal to info@reliefshare.org  – all donations are tax deductible.

If you have comments, suggestions, ideas or questions, please email us at info@ReliefShare.org – we would love to hear from you.  All Relief Share patterns are FREE for charity or personal use.

President Carol Green
info@ReliefShare.org

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Whole cloth baby quilt

This really easy project is to make a quilt for babies – suitable for beginners, teens and those who want to get something needed made quickly and donated or given as a gift.

1. Cut two pieces fabric 36″ by 45″.  This size is wonderful for newborns and can keep baby covered as it grows. I usually buy a yard and a half of fabric and know it’s the right size. Don’t worry if its a tad bigger or smaller, I have never met a baby with a yardstick yet, or one that complained about size! Use batting, I prefer the cotton batting that is thinner but warmer. If you use synthetic batting, do not use high loft – it’s too stiff.  Instead, if that’s all you have to use, split the high loft batting in 2 to make 2 quilts. It’s easy to split.

2. Lay the two pieces of fabric together lining up the edges with right side of fabric facing each other and the batting on the bottom. You can either leave the corners square, or with a dinner plate, cut rounded orders – the plate helps to get them even.

3. Sew along the edge all the way around leaving a 4″ to 6″ opening. I like to serge the seams, it’s faster.

4. Turn the quilt right side out.

5. Stitch 1/4 inches in from the edge to secure the top batting and backing through the years of use so the batting won’t shift.  Either tie the quilt with square knots every 4″ to secure all layers or, using a walking foot, sew a grid on the quilt making sure that there are no areas larger than 4″ that are not secured by either sewing, quilting or tying (sometimes called tacking).
Voila!
If you have ideas, suggestions, or a pattern or tips to share, please email info@ReliefShare.org – we’d love to hear from you!

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Mar
17

Knitting tips

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Knitting

If the yarn will not go 4x the length of the knitting laid out flat, it won’t knit to the end of the row – this hint is for machine knitting with the Bond USM machine as well as hand knitting.

When using scraps of wool to knit stripes on socks, sleeves, or both sides of the front, wind the scraps into two more or less equal balls so you’ll know how much you have for each side.

Especially when improvising, knit both sides or fronts at once, using two balls of yarn or both ends of one skein. This makes sure that both are
the same size and pattern, and prevents from knitting two right fronts or two left sleeves if the sleeves aren’t the same on both sides. Use a circular needle if possible, as it takes less space and the stitches don’t fall off as readily.

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Mar
17

SEWING HINTS

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Sewing

SEWING HINTS

HEMS AND EDGES

Woven Fabrics
Clean Finish all edges by serger or turning under a 1/4 inch seam allowance. Turn up 1/2 to 5/8 inch and stitch hem in place.

Knit Fabrics
Serge the edges using a 3-thread overlock stitch. Turn up 1/2 to 5/8 inches and stitch in place using a 1.0 mm zig-zag stitch. A twin needle hem is lovely. Wind woolly nylon on the bobbin by hand. Wind smoothly but do not stretch the thread. Using wooly nylon in the bobbin will keep the twin needle stitches from tunneling.

Heirloom Lace/Eyelet Edge
Place edging right sides together with the edging 1/4 inch in from the cut edge. Stitch in place. Set your machine for a 2 or 2.5 mm stitch length and a zig-zag that is wide enough to stitch off the fabric and just on the stitching line previously made. If necessary tighten the thread tension one number or just enough to make the fabric roll when you stitch. Trim any stray threads close to the stitching. Press away from edging.

Serger
Set your serger up for a 3-thread narrow rolled hem. Place the edge of the trim on the fabric so that the needle will catch it but it is not going to be rolled into the seam allowance. An 1/8 inch to the left of the knife is just about the right distance. If the seam will be seen as in around a receiving blanket use woolly nylon in the upper looper otherwise regular sewing thread is fine.

USING LACES AND TRIMS

Most of the time laces and trim 5/8 inch or less in width are more appropriate for baby clothes. Try to purchase flat laces. If you must use pregathered trims remove the heading and press flat. The heading is not suitable for use in garment construction. It’s there for the convenience of crafters who use glue. No glue on baby clothes, thank you.

English and French laces come with a built in thread for gathering. Domestic laces don’t have this feature. Since imported lace is expensive and difficult to find especially if you live in a rural area or a small community domestic lace can be gathered by stitching a loose line in the header or near the top of the trim. This thread will put out easily after the garment is finished.

HANDLING TECHNIQUES

Each fabric has it’s own unique characteristics. Some are crisp and some are soft and drapey. The crisp fabrics are usually easier to handle as they stay where you put them but tend to not ease well. The soft fabrics ease well but can slip all over the place. Knits can stretch where you don’t want them to. All in all it’s important to know what kind of fabric you’re dealing with so that you will choose the appropriate techniques

Wovens have threads running in both directions at right angles to one another. The length of the fabric will stretch little or not at all, however, there is some stretch across the width of the fabric. If it’s important to have a stable border cut it on the length of the fabric not across. Cut ALL garments on the straight of the grain. Be careful not to cut them on the diagonal unless it is part of the garment’s design. Nothing feels worse than a cross-cut garment even on a baby. Flannel, batiste, broadcloth, voile, organdy and seersucker are just a few of the fabrics suitable for babies.

Crepe, satin, and taffeta are not usually used for baby clothes unless it is for a special occasion garment such as a party dress, christening or dedication gown. Even then fine batiste or broadcloth would be preferable. If you receive donated fancy fabrics and want to use them they can be used to make burial gowns for the babies who do not survive the trauma of birth. They, too, deserve beautiful clothes.

Slippery fabrics can be tamed by placing doctor’s examination paper on your cutting table; placing the fabric on it and then pinning the pattern through all thicknesses. Tissue paper can, also, be used but tends to tear easily. Leave the paper on while you sew, the stitching will perforate the paper and it will pull away from the stitching easily. Nice neat seams. Us a .5 zig-zag on chiffon and other very soft drapey fabrics where the seams tend to pull.

Knits
There are double knits, single knits, jacquard knits, tricot and sweater knits. Single knits are what we see used to make most T-shirts. Double knits were the rage of the late 60′s and 70′s and are still around. Jacquards are actually a type of double knit. Lingerie is made of nylon tricot. Sweater knits are most often a type of single knit Cotton double knits are great for baby clothes. You can tell a double knit when both sides look alike.

When stretched the width of the fabric a knit will roll to the front. The width of the fabric is were most of the stretch is at. Some knits have little or no stretch in their length. Most knits are two-way stretch although some are four-way stretch. Regardless of whether it is two or four-way stretch please pay attention to the grain line or length direction of the fabric. Always cut the length of the garment going with the length of the knit. Occasionally you will come across a piece of stable knit with little or now stretch in either direction.

Use ribbing for cuffs and necklines and pant legs. If possible use ribbing for your neck, sleeve and leg trim. When the material is very stretchy knit self-fabric may be used in place of ribbing. Mark with pins the neck, sleeve or leg opening into equal quarters. Then mark the ribbing into quarter. Match ins and stretching slightly stitch or serge. On the small sleeves it is better to sew the ribbing to the flat seam and then sew the underarm seam being careful to keep the folded edges even when you begin or end the sewing.

MACHINE SETTINGS

Set your sewing machine for a 2 – 2.5 mm stitch length and a .5 or 1.0 mm zig-zag. Overcast seam allowance using a 3.0 zig-zag. Don’t use the stretch stitches as they are too bulky and stiff.

Set your serger for a 2.5 stitch length and a narrow 3-thread overlock. Usually only the right needle will be is used, however, there are exceptions.

NOTIONS

Your sewing basket should contain the following:

60 inch tape measure 6 inch hem gauge
bent dressmaker’s shears 6 inch sewing scissors
small embroidery scissors straight pins (our favorites are the Needles, hand & machine, woven & knit glass headed ones)
Use as short and thin a needle as you can manage. You get smaller stitches that way.
bodkin
quality sewing thread
Serger thread is a bit too linty for your sewing machine, but can be used in a pinch.
seam ripper
A tapestry needle makes a great seam ripper if you pull thread to rip seams.
small buttons & snaps for closures
zippers for some sleepers and buntings
gripper snaps
sewing machine, clean & oiled
serger, clean and oiled
iron & ironing board or mat
tissue paper or pattern copy material (i.e. Do-Sew)

GOOD LIGHTING is so important. A flexible arm lamp really helps.

The brand of sewing machine you use is not as important as how well you know how to use the machine. We have our preference (Janome) but work on several different brands regularly. Make your machine’s manual your best friend. Read it until you know all the parts and their names by heart and what they control. When an instructor, service technician or a friend tells you to use a 2.5 mm or a tri-motion stitch you should be able to know what he or she is talking about.

Thinking about a new machine or serger? We suggest that you buy more machine than you think you need or can afford. As soon as you start sewing you’ll wish you’d brought more machine. Go for a machine with needle down, memory and some of the other neat things. Buying a new machine just like what you have is no progress. The lower end machines old today are for all practical purposes the same machine of thirty years ago. The housing may be different and the foot controller may or may not be electronic but most of the change is cosmetic. Gammill Sewing Center in West Plains, Missouri will offer you exceptionally low prices if you tell them the machine you are purchasing is for charity work with Relief Share.  Joe or Frank will be happy to assist you to find exactly what you need. We love them!

CONSTRUCTION

Carefully cut out your garment. When cutting make sure that before you make the next cut that the fabric is all the way back into the “V” of the shears. This avoids the jagged edge you see so often. Clean smooth edges make alignment easier. Mark all necessary construction details, i.e. dots; notches, etc. We know it seems like it takes too much time but would you rather pick your seam out later? Use tailor tacks and once you begin using them you’ll love them.

If you have it use matching thread, if not, use white. White is appropriate on all projects when the matching color isn’t available. Also, it avoids changing bobbins. When production sewing wind several bobbins at a time so you can just keep sewing. Make a mental note of about how many garments you can stitch with one bobbin.

Use production techniques whenever possible. Make full size patterns of the half patterns so that you can layout the entire garment without folding the fabric. Also, you can layer four layers of fabric right side up and cut four garments at a time. Sew all the garments’ first seam and then do all the garments’ second seam. Chain stitch between garments to keep them together and save thread. When you finish sewing all the seams you will have several garments finished instead of just one. Press the finished garment.

Use nylon zippers on garments that will be next to the baby’s skin. Reserve the metal ones for outer garments and buntings as they can irritate delicate skin.

Keep your scissor and shears sharp. Try to find someone who can sharpen them by hand and not on a grinder. Better yet, learn how to sharpen them yourself. It’s rather like sharpening a knife only you’re working with just one side. Send your pinking shears back to the manufacturer for sharpening. Keep the points of your sewing scissors protected with point protectors. A quick and easy point protector can be made by tracing around the closed points to the pivot. Cut out two pieces of felt or Ultrasuede and sew around the long edges and point with a 1/8 inch seam. Decorate before or after with embroidery or applique.

Every seamstress has her favorite way of doing something. If it works for you and gives your garment a QUALITY LOOK go for it, but if your garment looks HOMEMADE it’s time to check out a different technique. Are your seams straight? Do the intersections match neatly? When you look at your garment would you be proud to give it to one of your grand-children, or is it not quite good enough. Take a good look at your work. Can it stand improvement? If so, get help from the Internet, someone in Relief Share, an accomplished seamstress or a good sewing book. The very best is Vogue’s, Singer books are also wonderful. While these garments go to the needy, because the have so little, we need to make the best that we can. We are all God’s children and his blessings fall on all mankind

A bamboo skewer makes an excellent tool to push fabric under the presser foot. They can be found in the cooking tool section of the supermarket. The soft bamboo will not damage needles.

A gathering foot for your sewing machine will make gathers a lot easier. Set the machine for a 3 mm stitch length and tighten the thread tension 1 to 3 numbers. Sew a sample and adjust stitch length or tension. Stitch at least a half inch from the right edge of the fabric and don’t let it bunch up under the foot. A tiny bit of tension as it come out from under the back of the foot may help. As with most things practice make perfect.

Most of all, have fun!

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Baby afghan and hat

Relief Share has been busy turning donations into items that are needed. Marla P, and her dad, generously donated yarn, polar fleece, sleepers and more from her mother’s craft closet and UFO bins after her sweet mother passed away. We used some of her yarn and yarn from LDS Humanitarian Services to knit up this sweet baby afghan and hat that will be taken to the work meeting and donated Thursday.

Recently we have received pretty quilted fabric from Gina, beautiful crocheted afghans and more from Roberta, baby clothes from Carolyn, baby items from Jennifer, and preemie baby afghans from Michael & Marianne.  Laura, Gini and Tamara also donated very much needed items.  Thank you so much!

It is lots of fun using all the colorways and different types of yarn to make into fun baby items. The sleepers Marla donated are already out and being used by two sweet babies who needed to be snuggled and warm., as is the baby items that Jennifer donated.  Donations come in and go out pretty quickly at Relief Share.

After the afghans are knitted, we wash them in Tide free and clear laundry detergent to make sure they are nice and clean for the little ones who will use it – each afghan has a matching hat for a newborn as well.

The yarn in this afghan was Caron Simply Soft, Red Heart and some other worsted weight yarn in pretty colors.

Look at all the pretty colors!

The interesting thing about this baby afghan was that I worked on it at night and thought I had matched up the greens in the middle of the afghan.

You can clearly see in the picture that the greens don’t match at all. One is a warm green and the other is a cool green.  I bet the baby who gets this afghan won’t mind at all ;-)

If you have left over yarn from projects, please consider donating them for us to work with to help the children and their families in the hospital, crisis centers, and homeless shelters. We are also working on projects for children in foster homes that we need donated fabric for.

All donations are very much appreciated and acknowledged with a thank you letter and tax receipt.

We accept donations of all kinds, types and sizes and love being creative in using it to the best advantage for those we serve.

Relief Share
706 Hwy 17 N (Box 421)
Houston, MO 65483

Jump right in, the more the merrier! Together, we can give relief through sharing. It’s our love in action ;-)

President Carol Green
info@ReliefShare.org

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Snuggly baby afghan and hat

It’s been a very busy and fun week at Relief Share.

We’ve been knitting up a storm. Here is our latest set we made for charity. It is a USM bond knitting machine knitted baby afghan and matching hat made with scrumptious donated yarn (thanks so much to the folks who donated the yarn).

The colors are ice-cream, strawberry milkshake, tan and chocolate.  This is a snuggly warm afghan and hat that will be given to the sick and needy.  The afghan is the full width of the Bond knitting machine carriage with 4 extra inserts to make it wider.

It has a rolled him at the top and bottom and 4 rows of gather stitching down both sides.  The stripes are narrower at the top and get wider at the bottom for interest – it looks really pretty and is very soft.

The hat was 40 stitches wide with an e-wrap cast on, knit 40 rows then begin decrease.  Decrease every 8 stitches, then knit a row, decrease every 7, then knit a row (6, knit r, 5, knit r, 4, knit r, 3, knit r, 2, knit the last two rows) and with a yarn needle gather the last row and mattress stitch the seam up.  This makes a longer hat so it can be pulled down over baby’s ears for warmth or rolled up when baby is newborn and smaller.

Baby hat with rolled brim and swirl decrease

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Feb
16

Relief Share current news 2011

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Relief Share news:

A beautiful donation of 3 lovely granny square baby quilts came in the mail from Marianne C.  for our sick and needy preemie babies we serve.   Marianne is a wonderful caring senior who loves to make crocheted preemie blankets.  Her husband visits her at the nursing home every day and when she had finished blankets to donate, he mails them to us for the babies.

Our sincere condolences to Marla P on the passing of her beloved mother.  Recently we received a donation from Marla and her mother of baby items and supplies.  In the box was a donation of diapers that Marla’s mother asked to be donate to a baby. Those diapers have already been donated out to a grateful family in need.  We are thankful for the blessing Marla and her mother has been, for years, to the sick and needy we serve.

The Houston Herald www.houstonherald.com published a wonderful article on Relief Share with 2 large pictures and a letter to the editor of a thank you letter from the local hospital in Houston, MO.

Two donations went out to the hospital of baby blankets, pacifiers, formula, baby cocoons, dolls and preemie receiving blankets.

Many donations for needy families were picked up at the local Relief Share offices in Houston, MO.

Relief Share is headed for Boise this week to participate in a baby quilt drive at a work meeting on Feb 22nd.

Donations can be sent to:

Relief Share,
6078 Lundy
Rd, Houston, MO 65483-2225. All donations are tax deductible and a thank you letter will be sent out with the receipt.

Urgent needs:

Machinery – knitting machines, Kris Krafter garter bars, sewing machines, sergers, knitting machine claw weights, 8mm cast on combs

Supplies: yarn, sewing and serger thread, fabric – all kinds (most used is cotton or cotton blend woven, flannel, minky, ultra suede, knit, chenille, PUL, kids print – think soft, think baby)

Items: baby clothing – undershirts, onesies, sleepers, pants, tops, gowns, christening gowns, booties, socks, shoes, jackets, sweaters, etc
Baby blankets, afghans, receiving blankets, baby hygiene items such as shampoo, lotion, diaper cream, baby oil, baby gel.  Toys, learning items, rattles, combs and brushes, pacifiers, bottles, diapers (cloth and disposable), etc.

We are also collecting and donating sample or small size soap, shampoo, lotion, mouthwash, toothpaste, and other personal items that can be given to hospital patients or family members staying at the hospital with patients.  These type of items go to Shriners Hospital and shelters.  When you are traveling, please save the soaps, shampoo, conditioner, lotion and other toiletries you don’t use and mail them to Relief Share to donate.

Questions or comments:

Email info@ReliefShare.org

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Mason at just 3 lbs 2 oz.

Ever wonder “how tiny is tiny” when we are talking about the preemie babies we make things for?  A picture speaks a thousand words and this beautiful baby takes our breath away as we see his Daddy’s hand measured up against him.  How tiny is tiny? REALLY tiny.  Really perfect, really sweet and this little one is no different from thousands of other teeny tiny babies in that he has completely captured our hearts.

In less than one second, eyes are riveted to the picture and hearts committed to helping clothe and snuggle Mason in warm clothing and blankets. That is the power of ‘baby love’ that drives the volunteers at Relief Share.

Thank you to the volunteers who quickly responded to the call to action.

A package went out priority post for Mason filled with all kinds of goodies:

1 preemie afghan
2 crocheted incubator/carriage covers
1 blue outfit
3 preemie tops
4 preemie sleepers
1 preemie jacket
1 preemie snuggler cape
8 washcloths/also used for burp cloths and change pads for preemies
1 baby gown
1 baby bracelet
a number of knitted preemie baby hats
2 teddy bears
1 pair preemie booties
2 baby swaddling cocoons
pkg of 20 preemie disposable diapers
2 to a pk of bottle insulators

There was a lot of love put into this package.

Mason's care box.

The crocheted incubator covers were made by a precious little old lady in a old folks home in Missouri.  Her husband travels 2 hours EVERY DAY to go see her and pick up what she has made to donate to us.  She loves the preemies and continues to crochet for them on an ongoing basis.

Mason's care box.

I made the cocoons from a gorgeous baby blue sweater (this president loves to roll up her sleeves and participate) donated by the local Food Pantry to help us with supplies through recycling. The soft cocoons will keep Mason snuggly warm and comforted as it is like being back in the womb again.

Mason's care box.

The gown was sewn by a volunteer and has a matching crocheted hat that another volunteer made, they are from West Virginia. The bracelet was made by a third volunteer and the white blanket and booties by another.

Mason's care box.

The preemie clothing is brand new from Wal Mart and bought by yet another volunteer. Everything was donated and worked on with love. Mason has a lot of Relief Share Grannies and Aunties that love him ;-)

It is a miracle how all the hands and hearts come together in love to bless the babies and families we serve. No one is paid, we are just happy to help where we can.  Now that our care package has gone out to help Mason physically,  we will keep him and his family in our prayers ;-)   He truly is a gift from God.

President Carol Green
info@ReliefShare.org

PS.  If you love babies and want to get involved, it’s as easy as 1, 2 3……

Mason's care box.

1. Get a cardboard box
2.  Fill it with anything a baby might want or need – either finished or purchased items or sewing, quilting, knitting or crocheting supplies.  Items can be new or gently used.
3.  Stick a label on it to Relief Share, 6078 Lundy Rd, Houston, MO 65483-2225 and mail it.

Ta da! Done! You are now one of us, a Relief Share donor and volunteer and also counted in God’s book of heavenly acts on earth ;-)

Some of the items a baby needs:

sleepers, gowns, onesies, socks, booties, soft shoes, hats, tops, bottoms, diapers (cloth and disposable), burp cloths, diaper bags, swaddlers, cocoons, blankets, afghans, quilts, stuffed animals, crib bedding (sheets, bumper pads, blankets), moses baskets, cribs, swings, activity mats, rattles, bottles, soothers (pacifiers or dummies), bottle liners and nipples, breast feeding items, breast pumps, diaper lotion, baby shampoo, baby oil,  baby bath, baby food, formula, shorties, longies, baby slings, baby carriers, car seats (for safely rules they must be new), play pens, baby music CDs, bassinettes, baby brush and comb, baby chair, bath items.  Can you think of more?

Mason's care box

Some of the supplies needed:

fabric – all kinds.  Minky, chenille, micro fleece, flannel, knit, cotton – think baby!
thread, scissors, pins, quilting rulers, rotary cutters, rotary cutting mat pads, cricut machines and cartridges for quilt appliques, sergers, sewing machines, knitting machines, knitting machine weights, Kris Krafter garter bars for Bond knitting machines, yarn, all kinds, colors and types, elastic, velcro, buttons, zippers, appliques, interfacing, wonder under, knitting needles, crochet needles, tatting shuttles and needles, patterns, pincushions, bias binding, trims, laces, etc.

Clean out your closet for a good cause.  Recycle the items you no longer want or need – sweaters and tee shirts become baby cocoons, hats, onesies, gowns and stuffed soft toys.  Cut the buttons off of old shirts – they are fun down the front of a sleeper in all colors.

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Recycle sweaters and tee shirts turned into baby cocoons

After some very busy cutting and serging, 72 cocoons were delivered to the hospital today.  It did my heart good to hear the answer to my query from the nurse.  I asked her how were the cocoons working out and she said they loved them.   Some of the little babies tend to have a problem keeping their heat and the cocoons helped keep them warm and snuggled.  She also said it was a lot easier for new Moms to pop their babies in the cocoons to keep them snuggled up instead of trying to keep them swaddled in the blankets.

The cocoons are fun to make – they can be sewn, serged, knitted, crocheted, hand knitted, and machine knitted.  If you are really energetic, you could even tat one ;-)   The patterns are free and offered on our blog.  You can also google for free cocoon patterns on the internet and find a ton of them.  A great website for free patterns is www.ravelry.com

The cocoons in the picture are made from recycled sweaters and tee shirts, most of them donated from the local food pantry and crisis center.  They are 16″ long by 10″ wide.

Here is a quick way to make a pattern.  Take a piece of paper that is 16 x 10 (I buy roll ends

Shape of the cocoon

from the newspaper and it gives me lots of pattern paper to work with)  and put a dinner plate on one end and trace with a pen.   Cut it out so that will make one short end of the pattern rounded.   Then cut a wedge on either side of the other end so that the top of the cocoon slopes in towards the baby’s neck.

Extra Long knitted and serged cocoons

Lay the pattern on the sweater so that the top of the cocoon is the bottom of the sweater – this gives you a finished edge at the neck of the cocoon.   Serge around the cocoon on 3 sides with your serger. Ta da! Done.

The general sizes are:

XXS – 14″ long x 50 stitches wide (6″ across) – 12″ diameter
XS – 16″ long x 60 stitches wide (8″ across)
S – 18″ long x 70 stitches wide (10″ across)
M – 20″ long x 80 stitches wide (10″ across)
L – 23″ long x 80 stitches wide (12″ across)
XL – 25″ long x 80 stitches wide (12″ across)

I made the extra long cocoons to test and my grandson is doing really well with them.  You can pull them up around the baby’s face in cold weather to keep them snuggly warm.

Long rib knit serged cocoon to snuggle baby.

If you are doing these cocoons for your local hospital or birthright center, be sure to ask them what size they want.   If you are making them to help us provide the 350 cocoons the hospital has asked for (yes, we love help!), they use the 16″ long by 10″ wide the most.  They also use the smaller ones as well.

Our address to send donations to of finished cocoons, knit and tee shirt material, sweaters and tees to cut up to use, thread -sewing machine and serger thread, and other sewing supplies is:

Relief Share

6078 Lundy Rd

Houston, MO 65483-2225

All donations are tax deductible.  Thank you so much to everyone who has contributed to this project. We appreciate the donations of sewing machines, sergers, knitting machines and sewing supplies so much. It takes all of us together to make miracles happen.

Carol Green
President
info@ReliefShare.org

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Angels are all around us, and there are very special angels that know just what we need. Then when they know, they give it to us. I thank God daily for my special angels who really care about what is important.

Today, those special angels sent another Ultimate Sweater Knitting Machine and some gorgeous kids print fabric to Relief Share to benefit the sick and needy. The first knitting machine that was sent has been such a huge blessing to the babies at the hospital and in needy families in the Ozarks and around the nation. It’s been used every single day and making voluminous amounts of items for the sick and needy.

Be careful what you pray for – it can be very very good. Just the other day I made a comment that I really wished I had another knitting machine here at this location as I could do twice the work. My angel must have been listening because FEDEX brought a brand new USM – the look on my face must have been priceless when my husband opened the box. I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry, but I did know to immediately ask God to bless my special Relief Share angel for her goodness and mercy to others.

Ultimate Sweater Machine - perfect for making baby cocoons and hats

There were two boxes. As I opened the second box, I knew God had a hand in the choices of fabric this angel had made. They were PERFECT for the children in the hospital and one of the prints was one I had been looking for all over the net and in every fabric store I was in for months and months.

There is a baby carrier/tote that I have been wanting to make for Shriners Childrens Hospital but couldn’t find the fabric.  I found this one at the flea market someone made and needed to find the fabric to make it out of.

Take a look at the pictures – the fabric that arrived today is so perfect, you couldn’t get any better! Look at the fabric squares of the little girls – I needed the little girls to match with a fabric square in similar colors below to make the little girl’s skirts. It sounds like it’s not important, but when you are stuck in a hospital bed in a full body cast, and sometimes for months, it is something that keeps your attention and makes you smile, especially if you are just a little girl that doesn’t understand what all the pain and restraints are. This tote bag has a pocket for a baby doll and a pillow for its head and then the tote back portion behind it holds books or toys, maybe a small DVD player and a DVD of something Disney, like Barbie to keep a small child’s attention off the pain and distracted with something else positive.

Baby doll tote bag

You just sew a tote bag and sew on a mini quilt on the front of it to make the pocket for the baby to slip in to. Add a piece of narrow elastic on the bottom of the pillow to slip over the baby’s head so it will stay put when being carried by nurses. You can use a soft stuffed dolly or a vinyl and stuffed dolly like the Zapf in the picture. I bet there are mothers or grandmothers on this list that might like to make one for their children ;-)

Marvelous donated cotton kids print fabric.

Can’t you just see the smiles on the faces of the children when they see the items made with this wonderful kids print?! I can ;-)

Thank you so much, I love my precious Relief Share angels for all they do for others and especially in helping me bless the lives of the sick and needy I love and serve. I can never tell them thank you enough.

They  are some of our precious members on the list, they wishes to remain anonymous, but in God’s book of life – their names are written in big bold letters as one of His most precious daughters who listens to the still small voice and answers His call to spread mercy and help where it is needed the most.

Very grateful hugs and happy thoughts,
President Carol Green,
http://www.ReliefShare.org- serving God’s tiniest children & families
info@ReliefShare.org

Relief Share
6078 Lundy Rd
Houston, MO 65483-2225

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Preemie/Small Newborn Baby Cocoon Pattern

by Marla

Materials:

SOFT worsted weight yarn or double baby yarn,
6oz worsted for 5-6lb
size H hook.
Note: Do NOT turn after Joining. Ch 2 at first of round counts as a DC. If you have counted correctly your 2dc space with be made in the first stitch of the 2dc stitch on the row below.

Chain 3

1: Dc 11 times in the end chain. Join with a slip stitch. (12 Dc made)

2: Ch 2, DC in same space, 2dc in each stitch around. Join. (24 DC made)

3: Ch 2, Dc in same stitch, (Dc in next stitch, 2 dc in next stitch) around. Join. (36 Dc made)

4: Ch 2, Dc in same stitch, (Dc in next 2 stitches, 2dc in next stitch) around. Join. (48 Dc made).

5: Ch 2, Dc in same stitch, (Dc in next 3 stitches, 2dc in next stitch) around. Join. (60 Dc made)

6: Ch 2, Dc in NEXT stitch and each stitch around. Join.

For 5-6lb size:
Repeat Row 6, until cocoon reaches about 17-18″

Add Edging if desired.

You may adjust pattern if needed or hook size so that cocoon measures 8″ across (16″ around) by 18″ long.

A huge thank you to Marla for crocheting up this cocoon quickly for us and sharing the pattern. She is a wonderful donor/volunteer and has been helping many many years!

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Joy

“One day at a time – this is enough. Do not look back and grieve over the past, for it is gone: and do not be troubled about the future, for it has not yet come. Live in the present, and make it so beautiful that it will be worth remembering.”
Ida Scott Taylor
1820-1915, Author

With our challenging economy and hardship of difficult weather, there seems to be a general pervading sense of of regret, fear, hopelessness, and anxiety. In order to flip that kind of thinking over to positive thoughts of gratitude, joy, happiness, contentment, peace and understanding, priorities need to be set.

If you are going on a trip, it is wise to know where you are going, for how long, and properly prepare. The Bible tells us “If ye are prepared, ye shall not fear”. In our “me, too”, “I want it right now” “It isn’t fair if I don’t have what my neighbors have” world, many blessings are missed because they are simply overlooked. It’s not that they aren’t there – they are – but in the lemmings rush to the sea, not many stop to smell the flowers that are along the way.

Have eyes to see, ears to hear with and hearts that are soft enough to take advice, constructive criticism and willingness to change, if change is needed.

May your day today be on a trip towards a better tomorrow, for it is our todays that make the future what it is. Decide now to be happy – happiness is a gift we give ourselves, not something that happens to us by default (though that can and does happen). Be pro-active in your life, and if you are feeling like a victim, realize that there are no true victims here – no one can make you feel unhappy unless you give them the power over you to do that. There are recorded histories of people incarcerated in German holocaust camps that learned how to be happy despite their circumstances.

There is a popular quote that is attributed to Jesus – “I never said it would be easy, I only said it would be worth it”. How shallow our lives would be if we had everything too easy. “The best stuff sometimes happens because we had to fight so hard to grasp hold of it to get it, to savor it, to embrace it.” – This comment was made by a young lady who had a terrible experience of rape at 18 years old. She rose above it – taking time to heal but never gave up.

You only fail when you stop trying. Just remember, you don’t have to do it alone – the Saviour is always here to help you, but he can’t help if you won’t let him. He also can’t talk to you if the yelling, screaming voices around you are so loud that you can’t focus and concentrate on the still small voice. Take time everyday to stop and meditate on your blessings. You will find that life may not be as difficult as you perceive it to be – that’s Satan’s trick.

Life IS good. God loves you. You deserve to be happy and you will be, if you decide here and now that you will do whatever it takes to reach out to the Lord and walk side by side with him. You do not have to be perfect, you only have to try. There is only one perfect person and by following in his footsteps you can go where he is and enjoy all that he has. He promised, and he is a promise keeper!

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Donation of yarn being made into a baby cocoon

Sometimes folks wonder if donations sit around not being used for a while or if they get quickly used to help the sick and needy.  Here is what we received today in the mail from Pat S.  – a wonderful box of 14 balls of beautiful sport/worsted weight yarn to use for the babies in hospital.

Within a very short time it was being knitted on the knitting machine, donated by a wonderful donor, J W (who wishes to remain anonymous so only initials are used).  She has blessed many people with her ongoing donations to Relief Share.   Because of her recent donation of garter bars and needle stoppers, the work went even faster and very quickly a baby cocoon was completed.

Completed cocoon

A skilled knitter, Judi Meissner, shared with us how to do the decreases even faster so we could get more cocoons to the hospital sooner.

I am on a marvelous yahoo group, who are more than willing to share hints, tips and welcome advice on how to be more effective in knitting with the Bond knitting machines. The patterns shared are fun and the folks on the list genial and helpful. If you own a ISMor a USM knitting machine by Bond, we highly recommend the yahoogroup for a way to be more productive and enjoy with your knitting machine.

Go here to subscribe: incrediblesweatermachineclub-subscribe@yahoogroups.comincrediblesweatermachineclub@yahoogroups.com

Here is the cocoon being modeled by one of my display baby dolls:

Snuggly cocoon for newborn infants

Newborn baby size cocoon

This cocoon is 9″ wide (18″ circumference) and 20″ long.  The size that the hospital needs the most is 8″ wide (16″ circumference) and 18″ long.  I was trying to downsize a larger cocoon and didn’t quite downside the pattern enough.  Today I will make another cocoon the right size!

These cocoons can be knitted, crocheted, sewn and serged.  We make many of them from recycled sweaters and tee shirts.  The arms from the sweaters can be used to make baby pants and matching hats.

Our recycled sweaters are donated from the local food pantry and crisis center, then donated to the local hospital.   The TCMH hospital needs 350 cocoons – so far we have donated 15, and made another 6 for the crisis center.

Would you like to help?  We need yarn donated – worsted weight or sport weight is best but we use all types and weights of yarn as we make baby blankets as well.  We also need knitters, crocheters and seamstresses to help by making and sending the cocoons to us to take to the hospital.

Our address to send donations to is:

Relief Share
6078 Lundy Rd
Houston, MO 65483-2225

All donations are acknowledged with a thank you letter/tax deductible receipt. We are a 501 ( c) 3 non profit registered with the IRS.  The patterns for the cocoons are free and found on this blog.  We love sharing volunteer and donor patterns as well. If you have a pattern you would like to share with others for the cocoons, or for any baby item, we will be happy to include it on our blog.

Relief Share is staffed by all volunteers, no one is paid and no administration fees are taken out of donations – everything and every penny goes directly to help the sick and needy.

President Carol C Green
info@ReliefShare.org

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A HUGE THANK YOU to the Big Piney Sportsmen’s Club, 16866 Hwy B, Houston, MO 65483 for allowing our Relief Share volunteers to collect the used shot gun shells out on the shooting range whenever we need to.  We use them to make Christmas lights.   Relief Share is very appreciative of support for our charitable activities to take care of the sick and needy.

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Finished cocoon in use.

It takes approx 5 hours non stop to make a cocoon on the knitting machine.  The main body of the cocoon goes very quickly.  Pull out 80 needles – 40 on each side of center.   Hang your weighted hem with the elastic thread.  Knit with worsted weight and plate 3.  (This is what I use but you can make the cocoon out of whatever you want).

Knit for 20″.

Next row:

Decrease every 8th stitch. Knit the row and the next.

Decrease ever 7th stitch.  Knit the row and the next.

Decrease every 6th stitch. Knit the row and the next.

Cocoon being knitted on the machine

Decrease ever 5th stitch.  Knit the row and the next.

Decrease every 4th stitch. Knit the row and the next.

Decrease ever 3th stitch.  Knit the row and the next.

Decrease every 2th stitch. Knit the row and the next.

With a darning needle threaded with the same yarn, run the thread through each one of the stitches left on the needles.  Take the knitting off the machine and pull the stitches up tight into a circle.

Seam up the side of the cocoon with a darning needle and same thread to make a tube – one end is open and the other a gathered rounded end.  It looks like a bean hat, just long.   I use a mattress stitch for an invisible seam.   Make sure all ends are threaded in and trimmed off.  Fini ;-)

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Thatcher's Cocoon

I have added a free (albeit rough) pattern here for everyone to enjoy.  Hopefully the ‘cocoon’ bug will bite folks and they will be happily making up loads of them and sharing them with local hospitals, neighbors having babies and families.   I welcome tips and ideas on how to make them nicer and faster :-) If there are left overs from making cocoons for their own purposes, I would love extras sent my way to take care of the hospital’s needs.   I also just delivered one to a 4 month old baby here who keeps pulling the blankets over his face and scaring his mom and grandpa half to death.  Problem fixed LOL.

The pattern is so easy.  A tube with a rounded end and slightly narrower at the top. approx 18 to 23″ long, depending on how big the baby is you are making it for, and here it is – http://grandmothersattic.net/reliefshare/cocoonpattern.jpg

This is called “Thatcher’s Cocoon”.  My newest grandson is Thatcher.   Add 1/4 seams on the side and an 1″ at the top.  If you are using a tee shirt or sweater, use the hem of the garment as the top of the cocoon and you don’t have to add 1″ at the top.  The widest part across is 10 1/4″ inches and the narrowest part at the top is 8″.  Use a dinner plate or something round to make the curve at the bottom. I just folded the paper in half and eyeballed it.  Cut 2 and sew together.

Hint: pin, pin, pin.  If you are doing it out of recycled sweaters, sew FIRST along the seam to make sure all the fibers are caught or you may have a run (thank you so much to the list members here that suggested it when I had such a problem with the serger lettucing the edges).  You can zig zag the seam after that for stability or serge.

I love sergers, as they are three times as fast as a sewing machine and sewn and finish the seams in one quick shot,  and wish I had more on hand as the ones we have now are going full speed ahead and folks standing in line for their turn to use them.  I have 2 Janome 4 thread with differential feed and have one in black thread and one in white thread going all the time so depending on what color items we are making, we just go over to one or the other serger and make the cocoon.  Ditto with the sewing machines.  My favorite sewing machine, that is used constantly, is the quilting machine with the large plastic tray that allows the items being made to be sew without tugging on the needle.  It is a huge blessing and I pray God blesses the donor each and every day for sending it.  All the volunteers love it, but I am usually the one on that particular machine as it’s the nicest to use. It has a very nice stitch on it as well.  We use it for everything.

I am still working on a nicer way to finish the top inside seam near babies face instead of just having a serged seam.  Sometimes it’s rolled down for a smaller baby and sometimes all the way up so I need a way to make both sides of the seam look nice and feel soft.  I already though about putting ribbing around the top or a finished edge with the seam inside but it really adds to the time it takes to make the cocoons and takes extra fabric. I never have enough ribbing and go through it like water when it’s here.  Ribbing is expensive, too, so I try to find ribbed material to use instead of actual ribbing.  I found some wonder ribbing at the flea market once and made the entire cocoon out of it – heaven!

I hope folks enjoy the pattern.  I know it’s rough, but it gets the job done.  On this blog there is now a pattern to crochet, knit and sew a cocoon.  I am working on getting a pattern written for machine knitting a cocoon on the ISM knitting machine.  Not hard, just something else I need to do that takes me away from actually making the cocoons LOL.

The  Hospital intends on keeping a supply of 350 on stock to use for the babies who are born there – some to stay with the hospital and some to go home with babies.  After we have filled the need for their inventory, we will continue to supply the mothers who are needy in the area through DFS, the crisis center, medical center and homeless shelter with cocoons to use and keep for their little ones.

I’ve been sewing quilts and receiving blankets for my charity for 20 years and this is the first time I have heard of cocoons.  They originally were made as photographers props, because they are cute and lull the baby into being calm and sleeping.  When mothers saw how wonderful they were for comforting babies and found out they were marvelous for transporting babies without wrapping and unwrapping layers of receiving blankets that seemed to slide everywhere, they really caught on and are now the latest ‘hot’ items for mothers in the know.  The cocoons are big in the earth friendly mother channels and recyclers as well as you can either take apart sweaters and use the yarn to knit or crochet the items, or you can simply sew the cocoons out of the sweaters or tee shirts themselves.  The cocoons do take some kind of stretch material.  Velour, knit, tee-shirt material, baby print knit, etc are marvelous – and my favorite – rib knit.

Yes, they will be washed in the hospital laundry, but our hospital has a volunteer that takes items home to wash that can’t go through the high heat and autoclaves in the hospital laundry room.  I also deal with hospitals that actually had regular washing machines and dryers installed on their floor for the nurses to wash items in that come from my charity ;-) The extreme sanitization of items is only required for children with serious contagious diseases and they have their own separate items that are never reintroduced to the regular laundry items.

I don’t use wool for the cocoons as it does felt.  (I love wool, though, for the other projects we do).  Acrylic is naturally hypoallergenic and bacteria resistant so the #1 choice for hospital and baby items.  Cotton is marvelous but expensive.  It also tends to be harder in larger yarn weights and more appropriate for wash cloths.

I had one well meaning lady send me a baby blanket out of heavy cotton yarn and the blanket weighed a ton and had huge holes in it due to the pattern.  I felt so bad for her, she tried so hard, but it was pretty much unusable for the babies.  It wound up as a lap quilt for a elderly person’s wheelchair blanket.  We never waste anything  – all items that are send in for donations find a useful home somewhere ;-)

Yes, this would be a marvelous item to give to a new mother for a baby gift.  Like I said, it is the newest ‘hot’ item for buying for baby that is

out on the market.  There are fancy swaddling blankets with all kinds of flaps and snaps, but this is so simple, quickly understandable and way more effective than anything else I have seen, that it is very much in demand.

Babies prefer the cocoons over blankets.  It’s being nicely wrapped up in something soft, comfortable and warm.  Babies stop fussing, twitching, crying and they just calm down and quietly lay there or they go to sleep.  Nature’s way of calming baby ;-)

You can put a baby in one as long as you want to. I just sew them a longer and a tad wider for older children.  There are 4 year olds who love these.  It’s basically the same principle as a sleeping bag, too.  I know adults who would use one if they could get their hands on one big enough LOL.

President Carol Green,
info@ReliefShare.org

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Nov
30

Crochet pattern for baby cocoon

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Beautiful baby cocoon by Hyke Groen. This is her pattern.

Here is a picture of a baby cocoon by Hyke Groen – the free pattern for it is offered on www.Ravelry.com – a wonderful place that we highly recommend.

Crocheted baby cocoon

A crochet pattern to make a cocoon (courtesy of Marla Caneer – a very good friend)  is as follows:

Materials:

SOFT worsted weight yarn or double baby yarn,
6oz for 5-6lb or about 7oz for 7-10lb sizes and size H hook.

Note: Do NOT turn after Joining. Ch 2 at first of round counts as a DC. If you have counted correctly your 2dc space with be made in the first stitch of the 2dc stitch on the row below.

For all sizes:
Chain 3

1: Dc 11 times in the end chain. Join with a slip stitch. (12 Dc made)
2: Ch 2, DC in same space, 2dc in each stitch around. Join. (24 DC made)
3: Ch 2, Dc in same stitch, (Dc in next stitch, 2 dc in next stitch) around. Join. (36 Dc made)

4: Ch 2, Dc in same stitch, (Dc in next 2 stitches, 2dc in next stitch) around. Join. (48 Dc made).

5: Ch 2, Dc in same stitch, (Dc in next 3 stitches, 2dc in next stitch) around. Join. (60 Dc made)

6: Ch 2, Dc in same stitch, (Dc in next 4 stitches, 2dc in next stitch) around. Join. (72 Dc made)

7: Ch 2, Dc in same stitch, Dc in each stitch around. Join.

8: Ch 2, Dc in NEXT stitch and each stitch around. Join.

For 5-6lb size:

Rows 9-24: Repeat Row 8, for 24 rows or until cocoon reaches about 14″.

For 7-10lb size:

Rows 9-28: Repeat Row 8 for 28 rows or until cocoon reaches about 18″.

For babies a little larger or for a 0-3mos size, you may use a size I hook with worsted weight (SOFT please!) yarn and continue cocoon until it reaches 24″ or desired size.

Now, finish off or for girls you may add a shell or picot edging. I don’t for boys but that is up to you. For Boys you may add a few rows to be turned down at the top, or simply stop at row 28 or so.

Hope you enjoy! I’d love to see what you make, esp if you get creative and use up partial skeins or multi colors. Please make at least one for charity.

Thanks again, Marla for this pattern and your comments.  You are a wonderful volunteer and donor and we appreciate you so much!!

Hugs

President Carol Green
info@ReliefShare.org

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Got your attention, did I?!  :-)

If anyone has some spent shot gun shells, we would love it if they would donate them to our charity.  Relief Share can give you a tax deductible receipt for them as they will come to our charity to be donated after they are made into Christmas lights.  Yep, you read right.  They make the prettiest Christmas lights.

I just finished watching my son in law and daughter make some for their Christmas tree this year.  Laura had ordered some off the net and when they came they were only 8 feet long.  Yeah right, that really doesn’t go far.  She came over to my house to see if I had more white mini light strings and I had a brand new box of 100 feet.  Josh had figured out how to make them himself and they turned that string of mini lights into the prettiest Christmas lights you ever saw by using spent shot gun shells – recycling at it’s best! Cost free, too.

I know a lot of folks that would love them.  Relief Share volunteers will make the shot gun shell Christmas lights up and donate them to the those who don’t have any money for Christmas decorations ;-)   We also have a charity flea market booth and when we can take care of all the needy,  if we have any left over, we will use them for fundraiser in our charity flea market booth, though probably next year for the fundraising with them as there isn’t enough time to do that this year as well as do the donations as we always take care of the sick and needy first.

Here are pictures ;-)   You may even want to make some yourself!

Take these:

Hammer, glass eye wash dish, screwdriver, spent shot gun casing

If you don’t have a glass eye wash dish, use anything that has a curved bottom that you can hammer the shot gun shell into to push the bottom concave.

Using the shot gun shells, you can make lights by pushing clear mini lights into the end of the shells and closing the top with the screwdriver pushing the plastic in place so they will stay on the mini light string.

spent shotgun shells

All that effort is worth while (and it’s a lot of effort), will make get these:

That look like this:

and these:

That look like this:

Shotgun shell Christmas lights! Recycling at it's best!

Note: the black ones are too opaque to do much but the other colors, especially the green, red and yellow work great.

The address to send the shot gun shells to is: Relief Share, 6078 Lundy Rd., Houston, MO 64583-2225.  If you have clear mini light strings that you’d like to send as well, that would be wonderful.  We will send a tax deductible receipt with your thank you letter.  We are a 501 (c ) 3 IRS approved non profit.

President Carol Green
info@ReliefShare.org

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We found this quick and easy tutorial on the net to make cute tissue holders. This would be a wonderful Christmas stocking stuffer or a gift for a friend in hospital (which is what we are using the tutorial for – the hospital patients really appreciate little things like this to know they are loved and not forgotten.

Here is the link for this adorable tissue holder.   http://mel-allwrappedup.blogspot.com/2010/11/tissue-pouch.html

It’s also a great soft and quiet tissue holder to slip into the pocket of your temple gown. Rustling plastic at the temple or church is so distracting.  Isn’t it cute?  You will be amazed at how quickly it sews up with just scraps of material you have laying around!

Soft Tissue Holder

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We were delighted to receive a donation of an Incredible Sweater Machine for our volunteers to knit on.  Thank you so much to the generous donor, we are so grateful as we would never be able to get all the cocoons done if they had to be knitted by hand.

The hospital needs 350 cocoons for their babies and the machine will be a huge help in getting the donations made and out to the hospital in time to snuggle the babies in this cold weather.  The cocoons also aid in keeping the babies calm and comfortable so they spend their energy on healing and growing instead of trying to stay warm and peaceful.

We just made the very first cocoon on the knitting machine that arrived yesterday.  Here it is!

Baby Cocoon

Baby Cocoon - knitted by machine.

Baby Cocoon

Baby Cocoon

These cocoons can be hand knitted or machine knitted.

Thatcher’s Cocoon (knitted version)

With circular needle or dpn’s, cast on 80 sts (I love using a long tail cast on.
Tutorial for it can be found at www.knittinghelp.com)
Join in round, placing a stitch marker on first stitch to mark beginning of round.

Knit for approximately 18 inches then begin decreasing.

Row 1. Knit 8, knit 2 together (repeat to end of row. Row should end with last 2 sts
knit together).
Row 2. Knit all sts.
Row 3. Knit 7, knit 2 together (repeat to end of row. Row should end with last 2 sts
knit together).
Row 4. Knit all sts.
Row 5. Knit 6, knit 2 together (repeat to end of row. Row should end with last 2 sts
knit together).
Row 6. Knit all sts.
Row 7. Knit 5, knit 2 together (repeat to end of row. Row should end with last 2 sts
knit together).
Row 8. Knit all sts.

Continue in this manner until only 8 stitches remain. Cut or break yarn leaving a long
tail to thread through the remaining 8 stitches. Tighten the bottom and secure yarn by
weaving it up into the inside of the bag a bit until you feel it is secure and won’t come out.

Weave in any ends ( if you choose to do stripes you will have lots of them) and ta-da! All done:)

This size will fit most full term nb’s. Increase or decrease amount of stitches to size up or down.

My gauge for this is 4.5-5 stitches per inch in stockinette stitch with size 7 needles using
worsted weight yarn.

If you would like to help by making knitted cocoons and donating to Relief Share for us to take to the hospital, we  would love it.  Our address is Relief Share, 6078 Lundy Rd, Houston, MO 65483-2225. Be sure to include your name and address so we can send you a thank you letter and tax deductible donation slip.

Well, the first one is made.  Only 349 to go!  It took us just over a year to make and donated handmade twin size quilts for Shriners Childrens Hospital in St Louis.  I wonder how long it’s going to take to make and donate all the cocoons needed.  A lot less with YOUR help ;-)

President Carol Green
info@ReliefShare.org

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Oct
26

Knitting for baby – Cocoons.

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Knitted cocoon

One of the items we love to make for the babies is a swaddling cocoon. Baby stays warm, cuddly and snuggled happily without mother having to constantly re-adjust the receiving blanket.

The cocoons are simple to make.

Thatcher’s Cocoon (knitted version) by Jennifer Sundquist.

With circular needle or dpn’s, cast on 80 sts (I love using a long tail cast on.)
Tutorial for it can be found at www.knittinghelp.com)
Join in round, placing a stitch marker on first stitch to mark beginning of round.

Knit for approximately 18 inches then begin decreasing.

Row 1. Knit 8, knit 2 together (repeat to end of row. Row should end with last 2 sts
knit together).
Row 2. Knit all sts.
Row 3. Knit 7, knit 2 together (repeat to end of row. Row should end with last 2 sts
knit together).
Row 4. Knit all sts.
Row 5. Knit 6, knit 2 together (repeat to end of row. Row should end with last 2 sts
knit together).
Row 6. Knit all sts.
Row 7. Knit 5, knit 2 together (repeat to end of row. Row should end with last 2 sts
knit together).
Row 8. Knit all sts.

Continue in this manner, switching to double pointed needle (DPN when it gets too small for the circular needles, until only 8 stitches remain. Cut or break yarn leaving a long
tail to thread through the remaining 8 stitches. Tighten the bottom and secure yarn by
weaving it up into the inside of the bag a bit until you feel it is secure and won’t come out.

Weave in any ends ( if you choose to do stripes you will have lots of them) and ta-da! All done:)

This size will fit most full term nb’s. Increase or decrease amount of stitches to size up or down.

My gauge for this is 4.5-5 stitches per inch in stockinette stitch with size 7 needles using
worsted weight yarn.

The link to the pattern to make cocoons on the USM bond knitting machines is here :  (thanks for the suggestion to include it on this post ;-) )  http://www.reliefshare.org/wordpress/2010/12/06/cocoon-pattern-for-bond-ism-knitting-machine/

Disclaimer: Please always supervise your infant while using the cocoon. We are not responsible for anything that may result from misuse of any cocoons made from this pattern!

The nurses just love them. They are so simple that even a beginner knitter can do them.  If you would like to make some and donate them, please send the finished cocoons to: Relief Share, 6078 Lundy Rd, Houston, MO 65483-2225.  We will be happy to send a thank you letter and tax deductible receipt for your donation.

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Blessing the lives of those who need help is Christlike.

Summer is here – there are manicures and pedicures to take care of ‘summer sandal feet’. You wouldn’t think that would apply to charity as it would seem to be a ‘want’ and not a ‘need’, but for the handicapped and ill, it is a serious need as feet and hands can get sores and cracks leading to infection if not taken care of.

Wheelchair bound patients with braces on their legs develop blisters and open sores that need attention.  Caring for those with these special needs takes love, patience and knowledge to give them the assistance they require.

Relief Share donated hygiene products and coordinated efforts to meet the needs of those who required specialized care for their hands and feet. Volunteers, who offered their time and services to give much needed manicures and pedicures, showed compassion and Christlike love to the permanently wheelbound and also patients recovering from serious surgeries as they tenderly ministered to them.

Spirits were lifted, hearts softened, hope returned to those who sometimes seemed forgotten and all were blessed as the spirit of service touched everyone.

We are grateful for our volunteers who blessed the lives of those who needed this specialized kind of help. We are also grateful for the wonderful donors who provided the funds and supplies that the volunteers put to use for the benefit of those needing personal care in these areas.

President Carol Green
ReliefShare.org
info@ReliefShare.org

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Soft dollies, cuddly quilts - love in action for the children!

Soft dollies, cuddly quilts - love in action for the children!

Being in hospital looking out the windows and seeing other children happily playing in the sunshine can be hard for little ones. One of our ongoing donors continues to spread sunshine and dry tears with her sweet donations of blankets, dollies, teddies.

Included in her donations are some very special preemie receiving blankets. She takes the time to carefully crochet lacy edges around the blankets to make them beautiful. These soft pretty blankets are used for the most precious of God’s children who need only one last blanket to be cuddled in. Those who are too perfect, too special, to remain here on earth for long are gently placed and wrapped in the blankets made with so much love and then they go on to God’s arms from ours.

Some of the little ones, born too soon or very small, are strong enough to fight and and stay here to continue to bless the lives of the families God has sent them to, and their blankets become a family heirloom.

We are grateful to R. M. for her love and continuing kindness to God’s precious sick and needy babies and children. She continues to reach out and bless the lives of strangers with love in action through her donations ;-)

Carol C Green
Relief Share President
info@Relief Share.org

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Relief Share volunteers have been very busy the last few weeks sewing, crocheting, serging, shopping, shipping and, in general, thoroughly enjoying our compassionate service efforts!

Donations out:

-  donation July 17, a nice large box of essentials to a baby soon to arrive of bottles, receiving blankets, burp cloths, toys, shoes, socks, rattles, washcloths, towel, diaper bag, quilts, blankets, pacifiers and more.  Baby’s Momma was very grateful for the much needed items.  With this economy it can be quite a jolt to the family budget to provide for a new little one.

- donation July 11 to orphanage of socks, shoes/booties, blankets, toys, pacifiers, crib sheets, receiving blankets, socks, burp cloths.

- donation July 18 to orphanage of baby quilts, receiving blankets, burp cloths, rattles, toy ducks, pacifiers, socks, booties, toys, bottles, teddy bears, bunny, birdie – 86 items.

- donation of essential items to local animal shelter to help displaced animals and also owners who can’t afford to neuter and spay their animals.

These are some of the items donated out this week.

A huge thank you to all the volunteers and donors who made these donations possible.

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The pattern for a neonatal positioning aid is very simple.  It’s basically a tube with an elastic at one end to catch the other end in to make a circle. The baby nest provides a boundary for developing neonates and promotes containment, flexion, correct positioning and musculoskeletal development.

From selvedge to selvedge cut a 6″ wide strip for a small size diameter and an 8″ wide strip for a larger size diameter. Sew it into a tube, stuff it, and sew it closed. Place an elastic loop about 6″ down from the top on one end (I sew it into the seam so it doesn’t rip out). The elastic should be large enough for both ends of the tube to go through.

Form a circle with the tube putting the one end of the tube into the elastic on the other end, making sure that both ends are inside the elastic for stability.

Place a receiving blanket over the entire tube and place baby down in the center – like you would if you were taking baby to the swimming pool and were going to float him in an inner tube.

This positioning aid can also be used by doubling the tube up and placing behind baby to keep him on his side. Babies should not be placed on their stomach, ever, according to recent statistics from the SIDS Council, and laying baby on his back is best unless dealing with reflux problems.

A tube is a tube – you really can’t improve on that :-)   We have made thousands of these, the hospitals love them and use them as rewards for mothers to take Lamaze and prenatal classes.  They are fun to make and your children’s group or our own kids might like to make them and donate them to your local hospital or crisis center.


Tip for stuffing.  Cut out the ends of a tin can with a can opener so you have a tube.  Put the fabric tube you have made down through the middle of the can and pull the fabric opening over the edge of the can.  Stuff the fabric tube, pulling the tin can further and further down it as you go until you are at the end. The tin can provides stability while you are stuff the nest ;-)

Carol

Info@ReliefShare.org

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Baby Quilt

Supplies Needed for this darling Baby Quilt (make 2 – one for yourself and one to donate :-)

Color One: 1/2 yard of 44-45″ fabric (1 yard for larger size)
Color Two: 1/3 yard of 44-45″ fabric (1/2 yard for larger size)
Color Three: 1/3 yard of 44-45″ fabric (1/2 yard for larger size)

Binding: Cut binding either 1.5″ wide or 2″ wide (your preference), and long enough to go all the way around your quilt – about 120 inches for the smaller size and 180 inches for the larger size (you may piece strips).


Batting: You will need a 28.5″ x 28.5″ piece of batting (or 42.5″ x 42.5″ if you are making the larger size).

Quilt Backing: 28.5″ x 28.5″ piece of fabric for the quilt back (or 42.5″ x 42.5″ if you are making the larger size).

Cutting Instructions

PRE-WASH AND DRY YOUR FABRIC before beginning, if desired.

Small Quilt – Baby Blanket Size (28.5″ x 28.5″) Cut strips of fabric 4.5″ x w.o.f. (width of fabric) For color one, cut three strips, each 4.5″ x 44-45″ (your width of fabric) For colors two and three, cut two strips of fabric 4.5″ x w.o.f. Cut strips into 4.5″ squares. For color one, you will need a total of 25 squares. For colors two and three you will need a total of 12 squares of each color.

Larger Quilt – Lap Size (42.5″ x 42.5″) Cut strips of fabric 6.5″ x w.o.f. (width of fabric)
For color one, cut four strips, each 6.5″ x 44-45″ (your width of fabric), plus one more square that measures 6.5″ x 6.5″ For colors two and three, cut two strips of fabric 6.5″ x w.o.f. Cut strips into 6.5″ squares. For color one, you will need a total of 25 squares. For colors two and three you will need a total of 12 squares of each color.

Sewing Instructions

Using 1/4″ seam allowances, sew the squares together. It is easiest to assemble the squares into one row at a time. You can create horizontal or vertical rows. After your rows are created, sew the rows together. TIP: Iron all squares before sewing them into rows. Iron the rows before sewing them together. It works best to press the seams in opposite directions. In other words, if row one has seams pressed to the left, press the seams of row two to the right. That way, when you sew the rows together, it is easier to match corners more precisely.

Quilting Instructions

You can now stitch the three layers together, either by tying with yarns or embroidery floss, hand quilting or machine quilting.

President Carol Green
ReliefShare.org
6078 Lundy Rd
Houston, MO 65483-2225
417-763-3288

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We are now in our third week of sales for our fundraiser for Relief Share.  Instead of having folks come inside our building, we took it to the parking lot in our mall.  It’s been very busy as we set everything up like a garage sale to attract people and have a HUGE room all set up inside with tables and everything is just one dollar! The room was donated by a wonderful gentleman who owns the mall so we have a place to haul things in quickly when the rain shows up and to put things in for the duration of the fundraiser & business inventory liquidation sale at night so everything doesn’t need to be dragged around the end of the building.

Outside we have items that are half the original prices and sales from GrandmothersAttic.net, a store located in the same mall, are also being donated to Relief Share to help.  We are hoping to have enough money from the fundraising to be able to purchase the material needed for the hospital gowns for Shriners, the x-ray shorts, and the twin size quilts for the patient’s beds.  We also have many other projects we need supplies for  – mama pads, diaper bags, diaper covers, bibs, clothing and quilts for sick and needy families.

Relief Share is blessed to have the Lucky Dollar Store down the road in Licking who has fabric at very reasonable prices and gives us a discount because it’s for charity.  Now that our local Wal Mart no longer carries fabrics (don’t get us started on that…), we are grateful for the Lucky Dollar Store and Mel Porter – the owner.

A huge thank you to Ashley Green who has set up, taken down and spend the entire time monitoring and running the sales.  She has been sunburned, tired, sore from dragging heavy items in and out of buildings and pressed into service more than she could ever imagine.  What started out as a weekend sale has now turned into three weeks.  She needs a medal and we are most grateful to her.  A thank you to all the wonderful people who donated their time and effort helping.

Today 100 baby hats were donated out to Tennessee for the babies there.  We pray none of them suffered from the recent flooding that has caused so much problems in that state.  We also donated out preemie clothing to a little baby born to soon and only lived long enough for momma to say goodbye.  A tiny baby doll was donated to baby’s older brother so he would have something to remember her by.  A large donation went out to an expectant abandoned mother for her little one.  Donations of household items to needy folks were given out and baby blankets and clothing were given out to a young family in need.  Yarn donations have gone out to volunteers who are knitting and crocheting for the sick and needy in their area – those donations were possible from a large donation of cone yarn from a shop that shut down.  Beautiful tiny baby blankets with gorgeous hand crocheted edges done by a very special volunteer were donated to the local hospital – thank you Roberta – your work is lovely and the hospital so appreciative.

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For folks helping out with making bibs and other items with bias binding on it, there is a cheap easy way to make your own bias tape.  Now you can have a darling custom fabric bias to match the item you are making and you don’t have to pay a lot to buy the store bought bias tape!

We found this wonderful visual tutorial for DIY bias tape on the net and are happy to share the link with you!

Homemade bias tape maker

bias binding

bias binding

When you find fun informative sites like this one, please email us so we can include a link to it on our site so everyone can enjoy saving money and having fun being creative!

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Apr
20

Ideas for saving money

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This information is timely and important.  It has been taken from an email from www.flylady.com Share the information with friends as this economy has even the most spendy folks now paying attention to nickels and dimes. Charities are being overwhelmed with people who would love to be self sufficient but don’t know how.  Here is a good place to start:

Going green doesn’t have to cost us green money. We are very bright and each of us has come up with great ways to save money, help the environment and FLY!

Everyone is feeling the pinch of the economy. Did you know that when you are FLYing you are saving money and helping the environment? I want to discuss some of these money saving green/purple
habits we can help you establish.

Decluttering 15 minutes a day! How can this save you money; I know you are thinking this? The act of decluttering makes you more particular about what you buy and bring into your home. This amazing thing happens because you begin to love yourself and the way your home looks. You have to really need something to buy it! Shopping becomes something you do because you don’t need a diversion from being at home feeling guilty about your clutter and all the stuff you buy because it is on sale. If you did not spend $20 a week on more clutter then you would have saved $1040 a year. This doesn’t even count the money you spend on the gas to run around and buy the clutter. Buying less reduces your carbon footprint. It also reduces your trash and landfills.

Picking out your clothes as part of your before bed routine! This simple action will give you more time in the morning so you can fix your breakfast and a cup of coffee before you head off to work. No more stopping for expensive drive thru breakfasts and designer coffees. You have to pleasure of a peaceful morning with your life under control along with your finances. If you spend $5 a day on a drive thru breakfast and a coffee then you could have saved $1300 in a year. Pulling out and trying on creates pile of clothes and those clothes get mixed up with your dirty clothes and then you use more water to wash them.

Planning your menus for next week and preparing a grocery list before you go shopping can help too. This keeps you from going to the grocery store multiple times each week. This alone can save you $50 a week. There is hardly anyway to keep from spending less than that each time you go to the store. If you are cooking then you are saving more money by not getting takeout from restaurants. That could alone could save you another $25 a week. This amounts to $3900 for a year. Then if you factor in the gas you save by only going to the grocery store once each week. Less gas used, buying fresh food instead of packaged also
helps reduce our trash.

Wearing good shoes for your feet help in lots of ways! Good shoes gives you more energy and keeps you from breaking toes and cutting your precious feet. More energy helps you to exercise more and take
better care of yourself; this saves on doctor bills. One co-pay for an office visit could save you $20 a month. A broken foot could set you back $1500 for an emergency room visit. Shoes save you more than you
would ever think about. $1740 is amazing when a good pair of shoes could runs around $50. What an investment! This doesn’t even count the money you save because of the energy you have to keep your home in order. More energy means more walking instead of driving.

Next let’s look at how much you save by paying your bills on time and not running up your credit cards. One late charge a month or an over draft fee is could run into $100 dollars a month. If there is one there are usually many. You are having to rob Peter to pay Paul. Stay on top of your bills and paying things on time is a major way to save money while FLYing! $1200 is a small amount to save when we examine what we really spend in those fees and interest rates. I haven’t even figured the cost of the fuel for all those extra trips to the grocery store, to pay a bill before the power gets turned off, doctor visits and fast food trips. Besides the more you go shopping the more you spend. Fewer trips to the store will keep your bills affordable and you have not put that gas into your car and the pollution into the atmosphere.

So you see with these five simple habits you can save lots of money and help the environment. $9180 is no chump change to me. That is more money than I made some years in my career as a furniture store bookkeeper. That is $176 a week. WOW! Now that will buy you a tank a gas with some money for savings and something simple for you as a celebration.

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Our volunteers have been busy as little bees. We have just made and donated THIRTY patchwork twin size quilts for Shriners Childrens Hospital for use on their patients beds and for cuddling the children after surgery. We now have another 68 quilts to go to make our 240 goal that was requested!

All the fabric, batting, thread, yarn and machines needed were dedicated and consecrated for the benefit of the sick and needy. Nothing is wasted, each piece of fabric is sewed into place with love and concern for the little ones who are getting needed treatment at the hospital.

Many of the children are missing limbs, some can’t walk, some have halos, others needs spinal surgery and ALL are very much loved and well cared for at the hospital. We feel blessed to have the opportunity to bless the lives of the children by creating our quilts made by happy volunteers and loving hands.

If you would like to be included in this wonderful project – feel free to contact us at info@ReliefShare.org

Busy righteous hands belong to happy people! Join us!

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That’s a question we hear almost every day.  Are you ready?  There are a variety of events that we can all be ready for depending on our situation, age and family.  We may need to be ready for school, work, church, shopping, or the holidays.  Most of what we do we can do on auto pilot because of our experiences in the past.

The kind of ‘are you ready’ that I am going to discuss is the kind of events you may wish would never happen to you, your family or your friends and neighbors.  Some of the events that you may not be ready for can be described in one word and the whole world will know what you are talking about.  Haiti.  Obama.  H1N1.  Taxes.  Flooding.  You know what I mean.  Unforeseen events that require preparation or survival may be at question.

Lets discuss a few of the ones mentioned in the above paragraph one at a time.

Haiti – Instant hell for an entire nation throwing world orders into action to help the sick and needy.  Many sources for donations at home are immediately drained off out of the US as the squeaky wheel gets the grease and the media is making sure that Haiti is the squeaky wheel right now.  Charities that usually had resources to calm the cries of cold hungry children here in the states no longer provide necessary bedding, clothes and food at the level they used to simply because donations are down, having been sent overseas or just not available due to the rotten economy – which brings us to another event, or rather person.

Obama – because of the decisions made by the Obama administration, every man, woman and child is in debt to the tune of $100,000.00 – that is one hundred thousand dollars – not chump change – and more announcements of further excessive spending by the same folks are surfacing daily.  I am not discussing whether anyone likes it or not, or even whether they like our current administration, I am simply stating a solemn fact that the US is heavily in debt and not likely to get out for generations, if ever.  If you are counting on the US for welfare, social security or any form of free handout – just know that it may be dubious as to whether governmental help will be there when you need it.

H1N1 – sickness can strip even an able bodied man or woman of the ability to provide basic essentials for themselves or their families.  Illness knows no boundaries, creeds, or race.  It can strike when least expected and leave devastation and misery in it’s wake.

So – what can you do? Can you do anything? Are you a victim or is there a way to safeguard yourself and your loved ones in times of crisis?

The answer is in the Bible.  “If ye are prepared, ye shall not fear.”

You may ask.. What kind of preparation?  How do I  get started?  What do I do?  How much does it cost?

The good news – there are many entities, charities, churches, and resources to help you be more self reliant.  You see, that’s the key – being able to rely on yourself for relief and assistance, and then extending help to family, friends and neighbors.   After you are secure and stabilized, then you reach out even further to others who need help.

Natural disasters, national leadership out of control (not just the current administration, it’s been going on for quite some time), sickness, death, loss of jobs, breakdown of the family and the disintegrating moral standards of those around us all impact our lives.

Here are some suggestions on how to insulate yourself, as much as possible, from negative aspects of events.

I.  Be aware.  Read the news, check the weather and be involved in your community so nasty surprises are kept to a minimum.

2.  Get out of debt.  Cut up those credit cards, use bank debit cards instead or paypal where when the funds are gone, they are gone and you can’t dip into someone else’s pocket at a terrible rate of up to 30%.  Know the difference between wants and needs.  You can get along with a lot less than you think you can.  Use ebay, craigslist, your local flea market or farmers market to sell what you don’t need that is cluttering up your life.  If it means walking to work instead of driving, taking a sack lunch instead of eating out, mending your clothes instead of buying the latest trends, then do it. If you can’t meet your mortgage, talk to the lender NOW before things get out of control to see if you can refinance at at lower rate or if there are other options available.  There are debt management companies  – legitimate ones – who are ready, willing and able to help you pay off your credit cards.  Don’t wait – mail this guy david@debtguru.com

David Gibbons, Credit Counselor
American Credit Foundation
www.debtguru.com

800-259-0601
7720 S. 700 E.
Midvale, UT 84047

Nope, I don’t get a kickback or am related to anyone that works there, I just am more than happy to share with others how to lighten the load. There are no gimmicks or high fees and it’s easy.

I will be posting more on provident living later on our Relief Share blog.  Helping folks to be self sufficient reduces our workload and strengthens America.  Once you are on your feet, then we hope you will join us in helping others who are walking the same path that we have walked.

3.  Illness is devastating.  Some illnesses are long term and coping mechanisms need to be set in place.   However, other illnesses have immediate onset and no warning may mean little or no preparation for some folks, such as having 6 months worth of income in the bank should employment be discontinued or disrupted due to illness.   Preventative measures can circumvent a lot of the loss and pain accompanying  illness.  Good quality vitamins can build your immune system so you stand less of a chance of getting sick in the first place.  The vitamins we recommend and take ourselves are by Pharmanex These vitamins are nutritionally formulated to nourish and protect cells, tissues, and organs in the body.  We also take Reishi for immune boosting.  You can read about the ‘miracle mushroom’ at www.reishi.com

When you do find yourself dealing with illness, don’t hesitate to talk to your caregiver, hospital, Bishop or family for help.  Note that emotionally sustaining the sick and needy is just as important as providing warm blankets or essential items through the hospital, such as gowns or slippers or turbans for women who have lost their hair through cancer.

There are a number of wonderful resources to offer more advice, and we strongly recommend you get yourself a cuppa, pen and paper and check them out.

Our self reliance top picks are free :

http://www.ready.gov  – prepare. plan. stay informed.

http://www.fema.gov/areyouready – an in depth guide to preparedness

http://www.providentliving.org – self reliance and resources

http://emergencyemail.org – have severe weather reports for your area sent daily to your email, etc.

If you have other links or information to share regarding self reliance, please feel free to respond to this article in our blog.  It takes everyone working together to make life a better place for all.

If you are able, and have the desire to assist others, please consider sending a donation to: Relief Share, 6078 Lundy Rd, Houston, MO 65483. All donations are tax deductible and acknowledged with a thank you letter. Donations of funds, new and used clothing and bedding, baby items, toys, books, fabric and sewing, knitting or crafting supplies, and essential items are gratefully accepted and donated out to those who need your gift of love the most.

If you have a question regarding a donation, and some folks have unusual donations they would like to make, please feel free to email us at info@ReliefShare.org  – come join us in making America a happier and better place to life.

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When donating to the hospitals, crisis centers or homeless shelters, storing quilts can take up quite a bit of space and make a mess for the staff as quilts are pulled out for use.  Donating “quilts in a pillow” helps with storage and also provides a more useful multi use item.

The fastest way to make a’quilt in a pillow” is to first make a ‘pillowcase’ quilt.  Lay the front and back of the quilt down with the right sides together.  Put the batting on top of the front and back and cut all three layers together the same size.

Sew a 1/2 ” seam around all the edges, leaving a large enough opening in the center of one side to turn the quilt.  Turn and either sew closed by hand, or sew closed by machine.  Topstitch 1/4″ all around the edge to secure.  Tie, hand quilt or machine quilt the quilt.  If tying make sure that ties are at least 4″ apart or less for stability of the quilt. Double tie the knots.  Please do not just take a stitch and then another one in the same spot and keep going.  Quilts that are tied this way without making a knot come undone in hospital laundry. Make sure you tie a square knot using thread or yarn that does not slip.  Embroidery thread is not a good choice because it tends to work it’s way loose through wear.

Make a square mini quilt the same way you just made the quilt (omitting the tying or quilting)  that is approx. just larger than  1/3 the size of the narrowest width of the quilt. For example: if your quilt was 45″ x 72″, then make your mini quilt 18″ square. The mini quilt makes the pocket.

Lay the larger quilt down with one shorter side next to you like you are standing at the end of a bed.   Place the mini quilt on the edge of the short side nearest you and center it on the edge.  Sew down three sides, leaving the side open that faces the center of the quilt, making a pocket.  Reinforce the ends of your stitching so the pocket will not come unsewn from the quilt.

To make the quilt into a pillow, lay the quilt with the pocket side down .  Fold the quilt into thirds longways, overlapping long edge.  Turn the pocket over the end of the quilt.  Fold the remaining quilt into thirds and continue folding into the pocket forming a pillow.

Voila! Done ;-)   You can embroider a cute teddy bear face or heart on the front of the pocket if you want to make it fun for a child or adult.

Note – regarding quilt sizes: Baby quilts can be 36″ x 36″, 36″ x 45″ or 45″ x 60″.  Larger quilts can be 45″ x 60″ or larger, depending if it is going to be used for a child or adult, partial coverage such as a wheelchair quilt or full coverage for a bed.  The bottom line is pretty much any size is welcomed to keep the sick and needy comfortable and warm.  Twin size quilts are the most urgent size needed right now – approx 70″ x 90″.  You can make the quilts all the way up to 120 x 120 if you like, be creative and have fun making your donation of love for the sick and/or needy.  Feel free to sign the quilt and ask your church group or quilting group if they would like to get involved.

We love to receive volunteers items lovingly sewn for the sick and needy to distribute where the need is the greatest.  If you would like to donate quilts in a pillow or supplies to make them to Relief Share, please send donations to Relief Share, 6078 Lundy Rd., Houston, MO 65483-2225.  All donations are gratefully accepted and acknowledged with a tax deductible receipt and thank you letter.

Patterns and ideas are happily accepted to share with others on our Relief Share website, blog and at work meetings.  Please send submissions to info@ReliefShare.org   Upon receipt, all submissions will be considered public domain for distribution for charitable purposes and will not be returned so if it’s your favorite pattern, please make sure you have a copy, too.  Thank you ;-)

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Twin Size Quilts for Shriners Childrens Hospital
Delivery Person Date Number of Quilts Running Total Goal Needed Still Needing
Carol Green 4/30/2009 3 3 240 237
Carol Green 5/12/2009 4 7 233
Jan Stice 6/13/2009 7 14 226
Carol Green 6/17/2009 10 24 216
Nadine Colvin 6/24/2009 10 34 206
Carol & Richard 7/10/2009 24 58 182
Nadine Colvin 8/13/2009 14 72 168
Mailed from RS Office 9/17/2009 10 82 158
Mailed from RS Office 10/20/2009 14 96 144
Nadine Colvin 11/10/2009 18 114 126
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Relief Share has been very blessed with donations to help the sick and/or needy families we serve. Donations of baby and toddler clothing, shoes, diaper bags, quilts, blankets, sheets, and toys came in and very quickly were donated out to where they were needed the most.

A generous donation of books from Alma Mooney of Licking was received as a fundraiser to raise money needed to purchase flannel for the backing of the Relief Share Quilts for Kids project.

Donations out include helping a family with a young child and another on the way with nursing pillow covers, household goods, food, baby clothing and bedding, essential supplies, toys, and other needed items. Newborns in Need Ozarks Chapter was the recipient of a large donation of cone yarn, baby clothing, bedding, fabric and diaper bags.

Donations of clothing to area residents in need of warmer seasonal clothing and food was also given out.

Wonder what you can help with? Here is a handy urgent needs list that you can print out and take with you when you do your shopping. Just get one or two extra items and send them to:
Relief Share
6078 Lundy Rd
Houston, MO 65483-2225
All donations are tax deductible.

Urgent Needs List:

Basic food item suggestions – Sugar, flour, salt, pepper, oil, cereal, tinned food such as beans, vegetables, fruit, soup, etc. Baby food, formula, crackers, tuna, etc. Many of the families we serve are very grateful for the food given them. A package of animal crackers, macaroni and cheese or juice boxes can make the world of difference to a hungry child. A Wal Mart gift card is also a great donation item as volunteers in our Relief Share office are happy to take the list of what is needed and purchase food and personal items, like toilet paper and shampoo and deliver it to the needy family – this also saves on shipping cost to us.

Clothing – clean gently used clothing or new. Socks, pants, tops, coats, shoes, undergarments, hats, mittens, etc. Accessories like purses or wallets, belts and backpacks are very gratefully accepted by recipients.

Bedding – home made, clean gently used or new. sheets, blankets, baby blankets, receiving blankets, pillows, pillow cases, crib sets, afghans.

Personal hygiene items – shampoo, conditioner, soap, razors, deodorant, moisturizer, lotion, wet wipes, baby oil, baby diaper cream, baby powder, etc.

Books, toys, movies, games, and furniture is also welcome. Christmas is coming and many of the families we care for have little or nothing for the holiday. Full size filled stockings are a huge blessing at the Christmas season. We donate the stockings, when available, to foster homes, hospitals, medical centers, crisis centers, homeless shelters and area churches who care for the sick and needy. A doll or book can make a wonderful difference in a little one’s holiday season. A mother struggling to care for her family with no partner for support is grateful for a soft warm scarf from a donor to show her someone cares for her.

You can make Christmas brighter and more blessed by showing your love to a stranger who has need of your care.

Here are some ideas for you to consider making items to donate:
Sewing – quilts, baby clothing, bedding, blankets, tote bags, diaper bags, toys, dresses, diapers
Quilting – baby quilts, twin size quilts, toys, Christmas ornaments, tree skirts, wall hangings, totes
Knitting – hats, sweaters, mittens, socks, pants, tops, blankets, afghans, toys
Crochet – afghans, blankets, hats, dish cloths, toys, clothing, sweaters, mittens
Tat – handkerchiefs, bonnets, doilies , lace trim for baby gowns
Embroider – blankets, hats, clothing, toys

If you have questions or would like to talk with representatives from Relief Share – please feel free to email info@ReliefShare.org or call 417-967-3340 and ask for Stephanie or Carol. Please note: all Relief Share workers are volunteers – no one is paid – this is a work of the heart in Christ’s name giving relief through sharing to God’s children. We are his hands and feet showing mercy to the less fortunate – join us and make a difference today.

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Bev Flowers donates two beautiful quilts to Relief Share

Bev Flowers donates two beautiful quilts to Relief Share

Relief Share, a non profit charity for the sick and needy, received 2 twin size quilts from Bev Flowers (shown in picture attached) representing the UMC Holy Tearers Quilt Group and the Piney River Quilting Guild. The donation was presented to Director Stephanie Little at the local Relief Share office in Houston, Missouri on Oct 19, 2009.

These quilts are a part of a large project being undertaken by Relief Share to fill the need for bedding for the children hospitalized at Shriners Childrens Hospital in St Louis, Missouri. Many children have been cared for by Shriners Hospital in St Louis at no cost. Since April 30, 2009, Relief Share has donated 99 of the 240 quilts requested by the hospital, 141 twin size quilts are still needed.

Richard and Carol Green, founders of Relief Share, have provided most of the many yards of fabric needed for the quilts, purchased from the Lucky Dollar store in Licking, Missouri at a discount given by business owners to help with the charitable efforts of the community. Two local sisters, who wish to remain anonymous, have purchased and donated most of the batting and spend hundreds of hours sewing and tying many of the quilts. Volunteers combine efforts to create the warm quilts for the sick and needy children being treated at Shriners Childrens Hospital.

All donations are much appreciated and put to immediate use. To donate to the “Relief Share Quilts for Kids” project, visit www.ReliefShare.org or call 417-967-3340 for more information. Fabric, batting and flannel backing are needed as well as those who would like to help sew the quilts together and either tie or quilt them. A total of 141 twin size quilts are still needed.

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This is what we have been busy sewing.  When children are in a body cast or spica cast, they need a large diaper cover that goes over the diaper area – right over the cast!  These diaper covers are lined with a waterproof material called PUL that does well in medical applications as it stand the heat well in cleaning.  On the outside of the PUL material we use cotton or knit.

The medium size diaper covers for a little girl were done in pink minky fabric, so luxurious and soft.  The larger diaper covers were made in kids print – hopefully to bring a smile to the face of the patients and their parents.

Here are pictures of the diaper covers – we used wide velcro and plastic resin snaps applied with a snap press for closures and they can be snapped small or all the snaps opened for a very large diaper cover.  There are three rows of snaps for a wide range of sizes, depending on how you snap the diaper cover.

Medium and large diaper covers

Medium and large diaper covers

Medium size diaper cover that can be snapped down really small or unsnapped for a much larger diaper cover.

Medium size diaper cover that can be snapped down really small or unsnapped for a much larger diaper cover.

Large diaper cover in animal print for boys.  Note that the pattern is upsidedown so the child will be able to see the animals.

Large diaper cover in animal print for boys. Note that the pattern is upsidedown so the child will be able to see the animals.

Nemo large diaper cover.

Nemo large diaper cover.

Large diaper cover - little girls love princesses

Large diaper cover - little girls love princesses

back of large diaper cover with fun girly print.

back of large diaper cover with fun girly print.

fun fairy print in large diaper cover for little girl

fun fairy print in large diaper cover for little girl

two more diaper covers in fun fairy print and lined with PUL

two more diaper covers in fun fairy print and lined with PUL

Large diaper cover lined with green PUL

Large diaper cover lined with green PUL

dc7

dc91

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Ever used your snap pliers or snap press to put on snaps and realize you put on the wrong part? Tried to get it off but put a hole in the fabric and ruined the item?  This is for you…..

My daughter found a fool proof way of removing the snaps without damaging the fabric.

She took a pair of button shank removers and cut off the top of the snap completely – making sure she got the center as that is what holds the snap together. Then she turned the diaper over and put the edge of her fingernail under the cap. She inserted a small slot screwdriver under the cap and turning it slightly on it’s side, she popped off the cap.

Once she got the hang of it, it took her less time to pop the snaps off with no damage than it does for me to write this post.

KMart, Hancock fabrics and most other fabric stores carry button shank removers.  I bet a pair of small wire cutters would do the same thing.

Good luck!

Carol

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One of the items that we make at Relief Share is burial layettes for children who have passed away and only need one last gown and blanket to be snuggled in.

When someone is willing to make these burial layettes for the hospital, we donate out satin gowns to be cut up and used for the burial layette.  Out of one wedding dress we can get 20 gowns!

We just happened to have 2 dresses made of satin and lace with beading that were donated by a store who couldn’t sell them because someone had spilled something on them.  There has been no time lately to make them up into burial layettes but we weren’t concerned because we didn’t have any recent requests for them.

A lady from another charity asked for supplies to make burial layettes with so we donated the gowns out to her to use ;-)

If you have a beautiful wedding or bridesmaid gown that you are no longer using, please consider sending it to us to be used to make burial layettes.  Many a grieving parent have expressed their gratitude for the beautiful layettes we provide in their time of need.  You can help make it happen.

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Jul
28

Donations out – tote bag

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totebagI just finished working on this tote bag for a wonderful lady who has cancer.  She has always given of herself when others needed her and now it’s her turn to be shown love.  She wanted a book bag that she could also put her craft projects into to take to doctor’s appointments.

This tote bag is a unique design that was made just for her.  The bag is lined and has fiberfill throughout to provide stability.  I used the snap press to put snaps on the ends so she could make the tote smaller or larger, depending on what she was carrying and there is also a key holder that snaps in one end.  I put a snap closure in the middle to hold things in.

The tote is trimmed in gold metallic bias binding and made from cotton quilters fabric.  I padded the handles for comfort and double stitched everything so it is durable.  It is a generous 25″ across.  A lot of things can fit in this bag so it could also double for an overnight bag if needed.

My daughter, Laura, chose the fabric as it is perfect for this sweet lady.  She loves the Lord and knows he will be with her throughout any and all trials she will experience.  We are including a book for her to read called “Everyday Miracles”.

I started the bag this afternoon and stayed up to finish it so we can ship it first thing tomorrow via priority post.  Her surgery is coming up ASAP and we want her to have the bag to not only use, but know she is loved and cared for.

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Making your own cloth labels is so easy but it took a lot of research and testing before we came up with the right way to do it.

Materials needed:

- white or cream muslin (you can use whatever material you like, including gross grain or ribbon)
- freezer paper
- heat and bond
- compute
- ink jet printer

First wash your fabric to make sure there is no sizing or other chemicals in it as the sizing interferes with the ink’s permanency.  I purchased white muslin from my local quilt shop that has no sizing or chemical in it.  The store owner carries this muslin specifically for projects where folks are making memory quilts or labels.  Dry and iron your fabric so there are no wrinkles.

Design your label on your computer.  I used Adobe Photoshop as there was a graphic on the label as well as fonts, but if you are making sizing or care labels and just need black text, you can use a word processing program.

Put the logo you have designed into Microsoft Word or another program that does labels – I chose the format that prints out 30 labels on a page.  You can use your graphics program and lay out a sheet of labels but I found that printing smaller text from a graphics program results in lack of sharpness in the text and prefer to use MS Word or Publisher.

Cut your fabric and freezer paper to 8 1/2″ by 11″ and fuse the freezer paper to the back of the fabric.  This makes the fabric stiff enough to go through the printer with no problem.

Print out your labels on the fabric.  Let dry completely – at least 10 to 15 minutes, but I let mine dry overnight.   Peel off the freezer paper from the back of the fabric.

Iron on heat and bond on the back of the labels – being careful not to rub or press too hard and cause the print to smear.  You can skip this step if you are sewing your labels in but I use heat and bond on the back of my labels even if I am sewing them on because it holds them quite nicely as I am sewing and makes sure they are on to stay.

Peel off the paper off the heat and bond backing from the back of the fused fabric.  At this point, I cut my fabric into individual labels with a rotary cutter.   Fill a plastic bowl or your sink with very cold water.  I used the cold water from my fridge dispenser as it was close and easy.  Make sure there is plenty of water as you are pulling the excess ink off the fabric so the particles don’t come off and adhere to other parts of the label you don’t want it to and smear or ruin the label.  Do not twist or rub the labels – just carefully lay them in the water and gently swish them with your hand, separating the labels that want to stick together.  The water should be clear and the font on the labels look darker because of the water.

Gently remove the labels from the plastic bowl and lay out individually on a towel.  Put another towel over the labels and with a rolling pin, press to remove excess water.

Set the ink by using the highest heat on your iron for 8 to 10 seconds, but be sure to drain the water from your iron first because you don’t want any steam.

Since there was fused heat and bond on the back of the labels – I put the slightly damp label on the edge of the xray room hospital shorts and fused the label on at the same time that I set the ink.  I had extra labels left over so I set the ink and used some of the backing for the heat and bond that I had taken off the back of the labels so all I have to do when I want to use those labels is again peel the backing off and they are good to go.

I sewed around the edge of the label with a straight stitch just inside the edge.  Voila! All done.

It really didn’t take all that long, but it was a huge journey of finding the right way to do it and a lot of frustration trying out different methods and things.

This method for making labels can be used for printing out photos for memorial quilts and anything else you might want to print on fabric.

Enjoy.

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We had so much fun getting this delivery ready – it was exhausting work but well worth it.  The donations were put to immediate use by the hospital for their sweet children who are patients.

Kate and Janet at the hospital were so nice and pleasant to visit with.

Kate and Janet at the hospital were so nice and pleasant to visit with.

The suburban was full all the way from the back of the front seats!

The suburban was full all the way from the back of the front seats!

shriners3

shriners4

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Goal 240 twin size quilts for Shriners Hospital for the patients beds – to snuggle the children in.  Donated so far 58, still needed 182.  YOUR help is needed. Quilts should be approx 72 x 90″.

If you would like to help – here is what is needed:

If you sew – twin size quilts that are approx 72 x 90” – machine quilted OR hand tied OR hand quilted – your choice.

If you want to clean out your closet for a good cause – thread, sewing supplies, fabric – all kinds but especially flannel and cotton, sewing tools – scissors, pins, rotary cutters, quilters rulers, machines, seam rippers, etc, batting, all kinds of yarn in all colors (our volunteers use the yarn, even scraps, to make afghans and to tie the quilts

If you don’t have the time to sew and no supplies to share – a donation to info@ReliefShare.org through Paypal is gratefully accepted and a tax deductible receipt and thank you letter is given for all donations.

All donations can be mailed to Relief Share, 6078 Lundy Rd, Houston, MO 65483-2225.  We’d love to talk with you at1-417-967-3340.

Emai is info@ReliefShare.org

A HUGE thank you to all the volunteers who worked hard on this donation.  Your help is much appreciated and needed.

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A big thank you to Richard Green for converting our hand snap press to a foot press.  It is quick and easy to use now, with no discomfort or pain in attaching snaps to our diaper covers and IV hospital gowns for the hospital.

The snaps are resin so the hospital is delighted as the gowns don’t have to be removed when the children are xrayed.  They also go through the hospital laundry just fine.

We are also thrilled that Friend Lumber in Licking, MO allowed us to purchase all the lumber needed for the snap press for only $6.38 because we are a charity.  Good people are everywhere!

Snap press conversion to foot press.

Snap press conversion to foot press.

Snap press to attach snaps to hospital gowns and diaper covers

Snap press to attach snaps to hospital gowns and diaper covers

We have already put the snaps on 15 hospitals gowns! This would have taken us a LOT longer without the press!  With the press converted to a foot press, there are no aching arms and backs!  Wonderful!

Embry Claire helping her Mommy put snaps on

Embry Claire helping her Mommy put snaps on

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Tying quilts for Shriners Hospital quilt project

Tying quilts for Shriners Hospital quilt project

Tying twin size quilts for Shriners Hospital

Time for an update on our charity quilt project. Relief Sharecharity is a 501 (c ) 3 non profit registered with the IRS.

Our current main project is making 240 twin size quilts for Shriners Hospital in St Louis for children who undergo surgery to help them walk and move properly and have other skeletal problems.

So far we have made and donated approx 40 quilts (I will give you the exact number when our volunteers have reported in). I will also be taking a load of quilts next week to Shriners personally for the charity (yes, I will share photos).

I purchased all the fabric needed for the tops of the quilts and we are getting some batting and fabric donated, however, we need approx 250 yards of flannel for the back of the quilts and that’s where YOU come in. I managed to get a wonderful deal of excellent quality flannel at only $1.69 a yard but need donations to be able to purchase it. I can drive to pick it up, so there will be no shipping cost, and because Relief Share is a nonprofit, there will be no tax.

The goal is $422.50 to be able to purchase 250 yards of flannel.

All those who choose to donate will receive a tax deductible receipt. If you can help make a child’s stay at Shriners better by helping to provide a warm snuggly twin size quilt for their bed, please donate through PayPal to info@ReliefShare.org .

Checks can be sent to:

Relief Share,
6078 Lundy Rd.,
Houston, MO
65483-2225
Attn: Charity Quilt Project.

If you request it, a brochure can be mailed along with your tax deductible receipt and thank you letter.

Please share this need with your family and friends. God blesses us with what we need for ourselves, and for those in need. This is a way to help each other and give back to God for all our blessings. If you would like to send yarn, flannel, sewing supplies, fabric and batting, please send it to the address above. We would love it if you want to make a twin size quilt (approx 72 x 90 – doesn’t have to be exact) and send it, that would be wonderful!

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Basket weave crochet

Basket weave crochet

Well, I am back with Ashley from Dallas and the American Idol tryouts.  It was a lot of fun and we enjoyed our experience.   There were 10,000 people there and only 200 chosen according to the scuttlebutt that was going around. Everyone had fun and was very pleasant.

While I was there waiting (and that was a large part of it), I tried out some new patterns and yarn and found this was a quick easy pattern to do that you didn’t have to pay too much attention to.  As we stood for hours in the 105 degree heat outside the new Dallas Cowboy Stadium, I tucked a ball of yarn under my elbow and went to town with a size G hook. 

Here is the pattern that can be used for something as small as a face cloth and can be made as big as an afghan to give to the hospital for the sick and needy.

Make a chain row as long as you want the item you are making.  For the second row, double crochet in each chain, starting from the 3rd chain from the end.  For the third row, instead of DC in the top of the chain, alternate from crocheting around the front of the dc in the first stitch to crocheting around the back of the dc for the next stitch, and so forth to the end of the row.  This makes a basketweave looking pattern and if you use a rougher yarn, it makes a wonderful scrubber for the kitchen. Use a soft yarn with a larger hook and you can make a beautiful soft baby afghan or a larger afghan for a cancer patient.

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Charity quilt for Shriners Hospital patient

Charity quilt for Shriners Hospital patient

This quilt has been a lot of fun to make.  Lots of happy bright colors and a soft fuzzy backing makes for a wonderful snuggly quilt destined for a very special little boy.  I just finished the edging late tonight and am taking it to the work meeting tomorrow to tie it.  The little boy loves the Cardinals and this quilt was truly a labor of love.

If  you would like to make a quilt like this – buy a St Louis Cardinals t-shirt and cut out the logo. Back it with fabric for stability and use it for the center block.  I strip pieced the top by sewing strips together and then cutting so I had long rows of squares sewn together, then I applied them to the center block by doing the log cabin method. After the strips of blocks were used up, I finished the quilt with long strips of the same fabric.  It is really a one of a kind quilt that is very nice. 

I used low loft batting and a heavy brushed nylon in white for the back that I got from my friend, Grandma Ev, years ago and was saving it for a very special charity project.

The baby lock sewing quilting machine the quilt was sewn on made putting it together a dream.  The large plastic area that holds the quilt better around the machine makes a lot of difference.  The machine is truly a blessing for all the sewing and quilting we do for charity.

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Jun
25

Crocheting at American Idol!

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Its’ been a really fun 2 days.  My daughter, Ashley, is trying out for American Idol and we made a strafing run from Missouri to Dallas Texas in 9 hours so she could be here and audition.  Yesterday we stood in line for 3 hours in the wee hours of the morning to get registered and I was really glad I had my crocheting with me.  I made 2 washcloths and started a third one that I will finish tomorrow as we are there for auditions.

The washcloths are for Shriners Hospital for the parents of  the children needing surgery who stay at the parent’s wing.  You can either make them as wash cloths or you can double them over and crochet them together on the bottom and sides and add a drawstring to make them into soap sacks and add a bar of soap.

Here is how to make the washcloths – Chain a row as wide as you want the cloth.  Do two rows of half double crochet, then do two rows of double crochet but crochet alternating around behind and in front of the dc stitches  to give a raised texture to the cloth instead of crocheting in the top of the chain.  Alternate the two rows of hdc with the two rows of dc and finish with 2 rows of hdc.  I like to do a slip stitch all the way around the edge of the cloth to stabilize it but you don’t have to.

Remember that the cloth will shrink after it’s washed so make it slightly larger. I use 100% cotton yarn. Wal Mart carries a nice line of cotton yarn – my favorite is the variegated colors.

Closeup of stitches - crochet

Closeup of stitches - crochet

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We are enjoying making the twin size quilts for the hospital and thought we would share with everyone on how we are making the ones we are doing.  We purchased fabric that was already patchworked with flannel and chenille and added fabric strips along the sixes to make it 70″ x 90″.

Twin size quilts quilts being tied for the hospital

Twin size quilts quilts being tied for the hospital

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This is a super idea to handle all the left over skeins and bits of yarn from leftover projects and when you find bags of the nicest yarn remnants at garage sales or flea markets.  Children ( and adults) love the scrappy afghans. We also use them for fundraisers to get the batting and fabric needed for the twin size quilts we are making for the hospital beds.

Turning scraps into fun afghans.

Turning scraps into fun afghans.

The pattern is quick and easy.  Chain a row the size of the afghan you want to make.

  • Crib: 45 by 60 inches
  • Twin: 66 by 90 inches – the twin size quilts we are making are approx 70 to 75″ x  90″ – the extra inches allow for more cuddle room side to side for children in body casts.
  • Double: 80 by 90 inches
  • Queen: 90 by 90 to 100 inches
  • King: 108 by 90 to 100 inches

After you have chained your first row, insert hook into third stitch from hook, under the two upper strands and make a dc.  Skip one stitch and make 2 double crochet stitches in the next stitch.  Do this until the end of the row.  In other words – instead of making a dc in each stitch, you are making 2 dc in a stitch, skipping the next stitch and then doing 2 dc in the next stitch.

This is the pattern for the entire afghan.  Use a large hook and keep your stitches uniform and loose.  When changing color, either make a square knot or tie both ends together by making a loop, passing the ends through the loop, and pulling it tight to make a knot. Leave an inch of ends when you change colors to make the afghan even more scrappier – see picture.

This type of afghan crochets up very quickly and is a lot of fun to do.  When you are done, put your afghan (or afghans) in a box and send them to:

Relief Share

6078 Lundy Rd

Houston, MO 665483-2225

Please include a note in the box with your name and address so we can send you a thank  you letter and tax deductible receipt.

Snuggle blanket from scrap yarn.

Snuggle blanket from scrap yarn.

Happy colors make for happy kids.

Happy colors make for happy kids.

Look what a difference a bit of eyelash yarn can make.

Look what a difference a bit of eyelash yarn can make.

If you don’t have time to make the afghans – please send your yarn skeins and scraps to us and our volunteers will be happy to crochet them up into bundles of love.

Hugs

Carol

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Jun
12

Charity quilt being worked on

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Quilt for little patient at Shriner's Hospital being worked on

Quilt for little patient at Shriner's Hospital being worked on

This quilt is certainly being made with a lot of love. We are using a Cardinals t-shirt purchased at Wal Mart as we couldn’t find any St Louis Cardinals fabric to use. Wal Mart also had the perfect red, blue and yellow fabric to go with the red shirting material with logo. We are strip quilting the quilt and need to go purchase stabilizer to iron on the back of the shirt that we have carefully cut open on the seams to use for the quilt. Fortunately, there is a quilt shop having a sale of 40% off in town so we can get the stabilizer there.

When the patchwork quilt is pieced, then we will add the patients name in applique on the top of the quilt. Everyone is so excited to get the quilt done and to this darling little boy. He has had many many operations in his short life time and is always cheery and fun to be around. What a good example to the rest of us, eh?!

Keep checking back, we will post the progress on this quilt of love.

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I am so excited. Yesterday, when shopping for more fabric for the twin size quilts wer are doing for Shriner’s Hospital in St Louis, I found some marvelous shiny fabric that is perfect for fish applique! The little children will love it. I have the perfect block fabric to go with it.

This shiny kind of fabric must not be sewn on directly if you are doing applique unless you are very patient and skilled in handling it. I have a wonderful quilting book with templates for frogs and fish that I will be using. Here is how you do it:

Cut two squares the size you want, making sure you leave a 1/4 seam around all edges. Place fabric right sides together – for these blocks I am using 100% cotton quilting fabric. Pin together so the fabric does not shift and carefully trace the frog or fish applique shape on the block, centering it – or even putting it slightly off center for an interesting block. Sew around the shape with a short stitch, approx 2.0. Cut out the inside of the shape, snipping the curves and turn so right sides are out and iron. Now you have a block with the shape of the fish or frog in the middle that is ready to be laid down over the shiny fabric.

Pin carefully with silk pins so there are no pin holes in the fabric and the fabric doesn’t shift while sewing, layering the shiny fabric right side up on the bottom and the cotton fabric you have just sewn on the top so the shiny fabric fills the outline you have just made. Sew carefully around the outside of the frog or fish shape approx 1/8″.

Viola! You now have a wonderful block to incorporate into your twin size quilt for the hospital.

The book I am using for the shapes is called 150 blocks for baby quilts by Susan Briscoe. I bought it at the local Enchanted Quilt Shop. The frog pattern in that book is my very favorite. It is on page 79.

I would love to see your block pattern ideas for the quilts you are making. Feel free to post ideas and pictures here to our Relief Share blog!

Happy sewing,
Carol Green
President
www.ReliefShare.org

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PLEASE SEND DONATIONS TO:

Relief Share,
6078 Lundy Rd,
Houston, Missouri 65483-2225


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Blog: www.ReliefShare.org/wordpress
E-mail: info@ReliefsShare.org 

Relief Share is a 501 (c) 3 non profit charity. All donations are tax deductible.

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