Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Stitches-of-Love

Hello and welcome to Stitches of Love, my name is Shirley, aka Shirl in the blogging world. Many of you already know me from Shirls Rose Cottage. Fix a cup of tea or iced tea and enjoy what I think is a good read! The little pic above is the quilt label that we put on all our quilts that are given to children. The pic below is a little card that we put in with all the quilts we make and give away.

Since Stitches of Love is all about giving, I am giving away one of my Victorian silk ribbon embroidered lavender sleep pillows. To enter just leave a comment at the end of this post and I will be picking the lucky winner on Aug. 15th. Roses will be embroidered in your choice of color. You just lay this pillow on your bed pillow, take it off at bedtime and your pillow will be scented with a lovely lavender scent. The Victorians say this will induce a peaceful sleep.

This past spring I met a two sweet ladies in my bible study group that were making quilts for children with a catastrophic illness, they asked me to join and since this is something that I have prayed for (using my sewing talents to honor God) for a long time I said “of course”. I joined in their group and have never been more blessed in my life. We have had an unbelievable response from our community by way of sewing, crocheting, knitting, donating fabric, batting, yarn and even monetary donations. We have grown in leaps and bounds! I have volunteered my services to do this blog to bring more interest to the group.
Our local newspaper, The Weston Democrat, has done a feature on our group and I have copied it here with permission from the author Joy L. Stalnaker, it will give you a really good idea of what we are about.


By JOY L. STALNAKER
Made with love
And blessed with prayer
Especially for you
By someone who cares

This simple verse, written by Sue Hall of Horse Run, accompanies every item shared by the ladies of Stitches of Love. A faith-based group of women representing nineteen churches and two CEOS clubs in Lewis and Upshur along with the senior center at Hacker Valley use their God-given sewing, knitting and crocheting talents to make a difference in the lives of children suffering from catastrophic illness or traumatic experiences, veterans and the elderly. They call themselves "Stitches of Love." the ladies meet at the Stitching House, 29 S. Kanawha Street, Buckhannon, the second Thursday of each month.Sue is the chairperson of Stitches of Love. With four other women, Marjorie Tierney of Gee Lick; Joyce of Buckhannon; Shirley Hubbs of Roanoke; and Susie of Rock Cave, she coordinates the projects of the group.
The ladies, minus Susie who was unable to attend, gathered around a dining table in a little white house on Gee Lick last week to share the story of Stitches of Love and its joint project, Madison's Cookbook.
The cookbook, said the women, as they pointed out the sub-title that has been a part of the book since its inception in 2004, is "Recipes of Love.""Some would say the similarity of the sub-title to the name of our group is coincidence," they said. "It's God's Hand. We didn't even realize even know the two would be tied together when we named the group."

The house, fully furnished and owned by the Tierneys, is a place of rest and refuge for family and friends of the Tierney family. "We have a Tuesday morning Bible study here," explained Marge as she served coffee and zucchini bread baked by Sue for the occasion. "I do my sewing here. There's no phone and it's quiet."
For several years, Sue prayed that God would open a door for her to use her sewing talents to His honor and glory."He was slow in answering my prayers," she said. "I knew He was listening, but I needed to be patient."
One day in October 2007 she learned of a friend who had breast cancer and was undergoing radiation.The friend's underarm became so sore she had to carry her arm away from her body or use a pillow between her body and her arm to keep the two from rubbing together.Sue, an internet nut as well as a talented seamstress, found a pattern on line for an anti-ouch pouch, a purse-like pillow that would support the arm even when her friend was walking. She made the pouch and gifted her friend with it. The pouch was an answer to the friend's prayers as well as Sue's.
She realized that making things for persons who were ill, especially children with cancer, was the answer to her prayer.
Believing that it was a project that others might like to help with, she told her story in a newsletter published by the Stitching House.
The next thing she knew, Marge was contacting her."We were doing okay," she said. "But when Marge Tierney joined us, we didn't just blossom, we exploded!"She knew so many people and had some great ideas for reaching out to others!""I could see God's hand in this. I started calling people I knew from various churches," said Marge. "I just wanted to help others. There is so much need out there to be met.
"I've experienced those needs in my own life. I know what parents and families go through in times of need."Marge's son, Mike, was born visually impaired. Marge traveled by train and took her infant son to Baltimore for treatment."It was expensive. Many times I came home with only a dime left in my pocket for an emergency phone call," she recalled. "There wasn't even enough left for a cup of coffee on the train."
"Little did I expect that my children would face some of the same issues," she said, referring to her son and daughter-in-law, Chad and Wendy. The young couple's first child, Grace, was diagnosed with and died from Krabbe's disease. Their second child, daughter Madison, also has the disease. Madison was successfully treated with a stem-cell transplant from donated cord-blood. While she may never be called "cured" and will make twice yearly visits to Duke University where the transplant took place,, Madison, now four years old, is living a happy, healthy life .
Sue and Marge decided to host a "Yard Party."Beginning with Marge's own church, St. Patrick's Catholic Church in Weston, and reaching out to churches of other denominations in Lewis, Upshur and Webster through people whom the ladies knew, they distributed a letter asking for people to "donate a yard of cotton materials, fat quarters, fleece, flannel or money to buy material" as well as persons to help with the hand-work.
Each contacted organization was asked to name a contact person who would receive the donations and pass them on to Sue or Marge. Donors were promised that they would "become a participant in the Christian Women Sewing for Love."As supporting organizations came forth, they were given a packet that included patterns and other information.
"We had not yet started calling ourselves Stitches of Love," said Sue. "That came later."The group quickly grew with Shirley, Joyce and Susie joining them in the organizational work. They named themselves Stitches of Love and began to identify individual needs.
The group is loosely organized and does not have formal meetings. Much of what they do organizationally is done by phone; however, a quarterly newsletter written by Sue and Marge will so be distributed to the participating churches and CEOS organizations. Fabric, notions and monetary donations as well as completed articles are funneled to Sue.
When enough items are on hand to meet certain needs, the women get together and distribute them.
Currently, items made by the stitchers are: quilts for children, lap robes, wheel chair and walker caddies, adult covers and clothing protectors, and baby items.
In the near future, they will be taking lap robes and adult clothing protectors (bibs) to a personal care home on Jesse's Run.
"We almost have enough to take to Crestview too," said Marge. So far, Stitches of Love volunteers have made and distributed a number of quilts and lap robes, 41 sets of caps and blankets for the obstetrics ward at St. Joseph's Hospital; 31 newborn caps and 10 preemie gowns for Stonewall Jackson Memorial Hospital.
According to the women, one lady makes baby items specifically for St. Joe's and a lady in Lewis County has asked that all of her sewing be given to veterans.
"Right now, we have three families we want to help with monetary donations. All three have major needs," said Marge. "If we had the money, we would give it to them right now."
"Stitches of Love is all about giving,""We didn't think about where the money was coming from to do this. We just went to work," she continued."Joyce and I have been friends for years. We worked together at the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Services. She chaired the committee with Stephanie, when we put together Madison's Cookbook back in 2004."The proceeds from the cookbook paid for travel expenses and other incidentals when Chad and Wendy were getting treatment for Madison." Joyce interjected, "Stephanie and I typed the recipes into our computers at night after work. We thought if we sold five hundred cookbooks, it would be great. In the end, we sold two thousand. And we still get calls for more.""We've talked about resurrecting the cookbook several times since then," said Marge. "I talked it over with Chad and Wendy."They said, 'We don't need the money anymore. It's time to help someone else.'"So, we've added a page to Madison's Cookbook telling about the results of Madison's transplant and plans for the funds generated by the sale of the revised book," said Joyce who is chair of the Madison's Cookbook Fund.
Next week Stitches of Love will officially kick-off a partnership with the Madison's Cookbook Fund, a project to sell Madison's Cookbook to benefit only families who have children undergoing treatment for a catastrophic illness to help pay travel expenses to take the child for treatment.
Madison's Cookbook was first published in 2004 to help defray medical costs incurred for a cord-blood transplant for Madison who suffers from Krabbe disease. While Krabbe is incurable, the transplant did halt the progression of the disease and Madison is now a happy four-year-old.
With Madison in good health, her parents and grandparents, Chad and Wendy and Mike and Marjorie Tierney, decided that the popular cookbook, out-of-print for more than two years, should be a tool to raise funds to help other families in similar situations.
On Thursday, July 3, Shirley will host a display at Citizens Bank where the cookbook will be offered for sale and donations will be accepted for an opportunity to acquire a handmade quilt by drawing.
The quilt, a pink and white Sunbonnet Sue, was made by Susie. On another date, cookbooks will be sold and the quilt will be on display at Kroger in Market Place with Marge and Sue. Proceeds from the quilt will become a part of Madison's Cookbook Fund.
In addition to needle-arts, Shirley has another talent which she is donating to Stitches of Love. She has designed a website. The address is http://stitches-of-love.blogspot.com./Cookbooks are already on sale in various locations in West Virginia.

End of newspaper feature~~~~~
Update~~~~~~~~~The drive for the cookbook and quilt dontations at the Citizens Bank and Kroger were a success and we will be able to help three families with a monetary donation.
I thought it would be fun to share with you some pics of things that we have made, since we in the blogging world are so visual! The pic below is of Sue the founder of the group and myself.. We were going through some finished items that were just brought in to us.
Pic below is of the clothing protectors that we take to the nursing homes.

A beautiful redwork quilt that was made for a little girl.



Donations for this quilt were taken at the bank and a drawing will be made and the quilt will be given away.





Some more quilts that were made and given to children.


If the child is a toddler or older we make them a little tote bag to carry their toys in for trips in and out of the hospital.

We always try to pic cheerful prints for the children.



Some more clothing protectors for the nursing homes.


I like to use nice happy, sometimes vintage repo prints for the clothing protectors that might trigger a memory for the people.



These are very tiny, smaller than preemie gowns that one of the hospitals in the area had requested.










Little baby caps for the hospitals


More clothing protectors.

Wheel chair totes, they have pockets to hold all their stuff, even a pocket for an oxygen bottle.


More baby caps.


If you would like to help we are offering Madison cookbook for sale on this blog, you can print this order form and send a check or money order made payable to Madison’s Cookbook Fund, $10.00 for the cookbook and $2.00 shipping for a total of $12.00 to the address on that form.


Below is the order form for the cookbook, if you click on the form it will enlarge and you can print that out.


Anyone interested in helping with Stitches-of -Love may do so by just saying a little prayer for these children and their families. If you would like to join our yard party, you can send a yard of cotton fabric, 5” squares, quilt batting or yarn to:
Stitches of Love
c/o Shirley Hubbs
120 Oak Grove Lane
Roanoke, WV 26447

Looking ahead-- we are planning a “Fantastic Fall Flannel Frenzy” during the month of September. During this month we will collect flannel fabric to make cot size quilts for the Clarksburg City Mission and the Burnsville Mission.
Something that really touches my heart is that we have some women in our group that are so happy that there is a need for them to make these things. They are thrilled to have “something to do”. We have a challenged lady that knits hats using a knitting machine and we also have a wheelchair bound lady that is willing to make quilts if someone could cut the 5” squares for her. I just think is it so wonderful that this love and caring can touch so many people in so many different ways.
Our little logo here of the girl stitching was made by my artist sister Elizabeth. She drew it for me when I opened my cross stitch shop in NJ called “Shirley’s Strawberry Basket“. I am now loaning it to Stitches of Love. If you donate in anyway to Stitches of Love, by prayer, materials or monetary donation you are considered a member so feel free to use this logo on your blog. Hopefully we will see this little stitching girl all over the blogging world!


We would like to thank Linda and Beth for letting us meet at The Stitching House and for their generous donations to Stitches of Love.

Thank you so much for taking the time to read this long post. In the future I will update this with our newsletter and some pics of things that we have made.
Blessings, Shirl, Sue, Marge, Joyce, Susie & All of Stitches of Love

23 comments:

Joanne Kennedy said...

OMG! This is so lovely that you all get together to help out others in need.

Do you ever sell your items? My brother had a stroke and I would love to get him a few of the "bibs" to use when he goes out to eat. Do you have any made in men fabric or if I sent you some, could you make them? If so, how much would they cost?

I think the time and effort you are all putting into this is surely making God smile down upon you!

Can you email me your address. I would love to pick up some material for you guys to use in some of your projects. I can't sew but I can shop!

Hugs,
Joanne

Joanne Kennedy said...

Oops. I forgot to ask to be added to your beautiful giveaway.

I'll post a link to your giveaway on my blog for you.

Hugs,
Joanne

Katie said...

Shirl and the rest of the gals, He will surely wrap you in His Heavenly arms just as you are wrapping these people in your Earthly works of Love.

Bless you!

Anne F. said...

Oh Shirl, this just made me cry with all the wonderful things you are doing. I was blessed by an organization similar to this when my son was going through chemo they made him a little guilt to have with him always as a comfort and I have a hat made by some ladies for my local hospital when my Abby girl was born. Such wonderful things you special ladies are doing.

I would be honored to be added to your give away also as you do such beautiful work.

Amy at Bunny Rose Cottage said...

Oh Shirl, this just warms my heart!! You are all such loving beautiful and talented women! What a blessing you are to your community and the families you help. Everything you all have made is stunning!! I wish you all the luck in the world with what you are doing and I plan to help when I can. What a beautiful cause this is and I am proud to know you :)

All my love,
Amy

vickie said...

Shirl, this blog is absolutely inspiring. It's such a wonderful thing for you and your friends to do. It not only helps people in need, but also others who want something to do, and can share their talents. Through your group,many others are blessed.

Viv (VivLyn) said...

That is such a nice article and so sweet of you to give of yourself. I love your pillow; the embroidery is beautiful! Please enter me in your drawing! Thank you.
vivlyndesigns@gmail.com

Maryjane - The Beehive Cottage said...

Hello Sweet Shirl,

I love your new blog! It is very uplifting and an inspiration to all who come to visit. It is wonderful to give back. You will be blessed for your efforts and your heart will be touched forever!

I will be buying a ccokbook!

Please add me to your wonderful giveaway, please!

Hugs to my dear friend!
Maryjane

Shelia said...

Shirl! Now I know why you've been so quiet - you've been a busy girl! Oh, this is wonderful what you and your lady friends are doing! My blessings to you on your new endeavor! God will richly bless you for your selflessness.
You are a sweetie,
Shelia :)

Jan~Feather Your Nest Antiques said...

Shirl,
It has been so wonderful to read this post and visit your new blog. There is nothing more rewarding than creating for other people, especially those in need. I look forward to visting again and seeing this groups creations.

Jan

Vicki said...

Shirl!

Great job on the blog. I love the ribbon embroidered pillow! Beautiful!

Vicki said...

Shirl,

Great job on the blog! I love the ribbon embroidered pillow!

rosechicfriends said...

I am deeply touched, and so admire you and your friends for hearing that still small voice and doing something! It truely is more blessed to GIVE than recieve! What a wonderful community that you live in. So many with nothing to do, but now you have given them a purpose. I pray for GOD's richest blessings upon your group...I am also going to put your logo/link on my blog for others to see. It just gives me GOD~bumps!

Shirl..God reached down and took you out of a work mess and now has given you a wonderful purpose to do work for him. If there is ever any fabric or monetary needs...would you please let me know. Or if there is anything I might make that could be sent to help..I truely would love to be a part of this!

I'd also love to enter your giveaway too...scented lavendar is my absolute fav.

God bless you and your group!

Love ya...Lorena

LINDA said...

We have a similar group here in Iowa.It is a very satisfying project and you do feel so good about helping people. It is amazing how many people will reach out when given the opportunity.I love to see the happy faces.
I would be honored if you would include my name in your drawing.
Thank you. Linda

Judi said...

This is all so wonderful. The quilts are so beautiful too and the totes and all that you ladies do. I really love the flowered ribbon embroidery. It is so beautiful. Thank you for adding me to your giveaway.
God Bless,
Jud

Ele at abitofpinkheaven said...

Shirl, everything on here is so wonderful. I enjoyed reading about your group. Blessings to you dear friend.

Margie said...

What a wonderful thing to do. I love the clothing protectors. My husband took care of an elderly gentleman from our church, he was very dapper, always wore a suit and a tie, every day, even in the home. He would have benefitted greatly from one of those, as it was very costly to get all of his clothing dry cleaned!

All of the hand made items are wonderful and I'm sure greatly appreciated by all the recipients, young and old alike!

You ladies are all very special people and the world is a better place because of women like you.

Lyn said...

The quilts and bags are so amazing.
But you are even more so. What you are doing is truly beautiful!
I would love to be added in the draw for the awesome giveaway.

Have a wonderful week!

celestina marie said...

Dear Shirl, you are blessed with a heart that cares and gives. A true inspiration to all. I so enjoyed reading about your group and the special work you are doing. Helping others, and in turn, being blessed.
Your community is so enriched by the loving and caring group of ladies that you are.
My prayers are with you all for continued growth and outreach!
I am honored to know you Shirl and would love to add your logo to my blog in hopes that more will know about this and be touched.
Love ya and blessings always,
Celestina, la rea rose

Shirl said...

Thank you so much everyone for you sweet comments!
Joanne I finished your brothers clothing protectors and they went out in the mail yesterday, priority mail. You should have them by the end of the week.
Blessings, Shirl

Connie said...

That is wonderful what you sweet women do to help others. I love that pink quilt - sunbonnet sue or something like that. Just adorable,
Smoochies,
Connie

Stephanie ~ Angelic Accents said...

Dear Shirl, this is the most inspiring blog I've yet to read! I love all the good works you ladies are doing, & I know that God will bless each of you for the love you are showing to others.

Big TX Hugs & Love,
Stephanie
Angelic Accents

serendipity woman said...

Goodness, you do lovely work.
I enjoyed my stay at your place.
blessings,
glenda