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 Sewing ideas

Beautiful high quality premium embroidery floss donated by

Relief Share volunteers are so excited to be working with quality premium embroidery floss on our charity projects. 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

Here is our Youtube video for this wonderful donation, sharing the colors and ideas to use them for:


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:

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

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


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 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 :-)


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 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!




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.

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 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

Carol Green


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 and I put a lot of free patterns and pictures on our facebook page at

Please send donations to Relief Share, 6078 Lundy Rd, Houston, MO 65483-2225


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 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.



Lovely blanket and comfort ball

The babies in hospital and children at the shelters love these soft comforting lovey blankets and balls that our 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 – 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 we’d love to hear from you or simply post a reply under this blog post! Happy knitting and sewing.


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? 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.


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 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 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
Relief Share


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


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.

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 –
Knitted braided woven ball –
Sewn baby cocoon pattern –
Infant demise sewn pattern –

Carol Green, charity
Ebay – dec2057 auctions blog store


Basic Quilt Instructions

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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

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:

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




Soft woven knitted balls

One of the items that 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
6078 Lundy Rd
Houston, MO 65483-2225




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:  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



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.


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


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 – 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:

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

President Carol C Green


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).
If you have ideas, suggestions, or a pattern or tips to share, please email – we’d love to hear from you!



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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.

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.


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.


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.

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.


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.


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.
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!


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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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

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.


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

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


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, serving God’s tiniest children & families

Relief Share
6078 Lundy Rd
Houston, MO 65483-2225


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:

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


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 –

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,


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.

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


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


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 ;-)


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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
6078 Lundy Rd
Houston, MO 65483-2225


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!


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

Busy righteous hands belong to happy people! Join us!


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   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 ;-)


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 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.


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




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!


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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.


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.


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.



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


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.


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


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

Phone 417-260-2505
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Relief Share is a 501 (c) 3 non profit charity. All donations are tax deductible.

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