Tag Archives: non-profit

TTMT #701 – Piles of Goodness!

In which I share MANY quilts & blankets for donation to The Linus Connection. A few are made by me, the rest by friends!


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TTMT #503 – Itty Bitty Quilt Show!


Etsy Pattern Shop

My Quilty Facebook ♥ Sewhooked on FB

Sewhooked Facebook Group


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TTMT #282 – Two Parts Awesome

sewhooked.com October 2014 Pick 3 Giveaway!

This month’s giveaway is a bit different!

Stop by the Sewhooked flickr group and share photos of your quilt blocks & projects made fromSewhooked patterns, including Paper Piecing Vintage or any other pattern (free or for sale) designed by me. You will each project you share, you will be entered to win your choice of THREE individual block patterns ($2.95 or less each) from my Craftsy Shop! Click on the banner to go Sewhooked flickr group. Winner to be announced November 3, 2014!








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An Anniversary

The Linus Connection Banner (& Me!)The Linus Banner & Me in 2006

Yesterday’s Linus Connection meeting was just lovely. You should stop by and see some of the GORGEOUS show & tell photos.

This meeting was a little extra special for me because it was my 11th anniversary as a Linus volunteer.

I didn’t make a thing of it while I was there, but I thought about it all day.

Eleven years ago, I remember walking into my first meeting with my heart pounding. Another mom, who was to become my good friend, invited me after she found out that I crocheted.

November 2002

The first blanket I donated, November 2002.

We’d lived in Austin almost four years at the time and I still didn’t feel really connected. Believe it or not, I was shy and more than a bit introverted and I was so nervous to walk in that first day because I had no idea what to expect. I was welcomed with open arms, despite obviously being the youngest volunteer there.

By March the next year, I’d taken over the website. Six months after that, I was nominated to be a board member and had started learning to quilt. Linus became a very important part of my life, one that I could not now imagine living without. My longest local friendships all started at Linus meetings. Sucking up that courage to walk into that first meeting literally changed my life and I am a better person for it.

Stars For Linus

2011, Stars for Linus is born

In  December 2010, I participated in The Project for Awesome and talked about The Linus Connection

I’ve chronicled my years at Linus through photography.  The following are Flickr albums for each year I’ve volunteered. Most of the years before 2010 are pictures of my blankets. Eventually, I invited the online community to contribute to my favorite charity and began sharing photos of the blankets and quilt blocks you all shared, too. I’ve lost count of how many blankets I’ve personally donated since those first few!

This is not by any stretch of imagination all the photos I’ve taken for Linus. With a few exceptions, every photo taken and posted on the Linus website since 2002 was taken by me!

Or, you can click to see an epic mishmash of Linus photos I’ve taken!

IKEA bags for Linus

At each month’s meeting, I help sort blankets for distribution. We use a lot of IKEA bags for this!

The Linus Connection Heart

The Linus Heart, a free paper pieced pattern by yours truly.

Thank you for indulging me as I think back over my years with Linus. There aren’t enough words to explain how important this organization is to me. Being part of this extraordinary group of volunteers has given me more by far than I could have ever anticipated.

Do you volunteer? I’d love to hear about it in comments!

Blog Hop Party with Give-Aways

Join me later this week for the Blog Hop Party with Give-Aways hosted by The Quilting Gallery!

REMINDER!  I’ll donate $1 to Movember for every Mustachio! pattern set sold during November!



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Seeing Stars

Stars For Linus Quilt Top #1

Well, well, would you look at that fun quilt top! Above is the very first Stars For Linus top, made from your donations, to be quilted this week and donated to The Linus Connection, which in turn will distribute it to a child in crisis in Central Texas.

And boy, has Central Texas been in crisis recently. Drought. The hottest summer on record for any state in the U.S. Ever.  Fires that have left thousands of people scrambling to find a new home.

Isn’t that a good reason to make happy quilts?

Stars For Linus Quilt Top #2

This second Stars for Linus top went together absolutely beautifully, and I still have another stack of blocks that’s just a few shy of having enough for another top!


Stars For The Linus Connection 

a free 12″ pattern

for best results when printing, set scaling to “none”

Because The Linus Connection is such an important part of my life, I will continue to collect Stars for Linus indefinitely. Use them for my organization, or your own favorite blanket charity! Get your friends together for a sewing day and bring the pattern along to share! It only takes 12 stars to make a comfort quilt for a child. 20 blocks will make a wonderful teen-sized quilt.

Wonky Star
Wonky Star, by mkissa

donated to the Bushfire Quilt Project

So, you’re not a paper piecer, but you’d still like to contribute? Inspired by WIP Girl, Kristel, known as Clumsy Chord on Talk To Me Tuesday, I will also accept 12″ (12 1/2″ unfinished) Maverick Stars or Wonky Stars (the same technique, different tutorials). To make a 12 1/2″ Maverick or Wonky star, your nine patch units need to be 4 1/2″.

See the video with Kristel’s Wonky Star quilt for Linus.

Check out the updated list of Stars for Linus contributors in this post!

Sew Something in Leander is hosting their first ever Linus Work Day tomorrow, October 8, from 10-1. I will be there, taking photos and helping in any way I can. I hope to see you there!

Add your Sewhooked-related photos to my flickr group and you might be featured in a future post!


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Linus in May

The Linus Connection on Saturday was quite a whirlwind (Linus Show & Tell -there are thank you cards from kids, go see!).  I think that was partially due to my being so busy last week  By the time Saturday rolled around, it was a continuation of The Busy.

If you caught Wordless Wednesday last week, then you know I had 9 quilts to bind between Wednesday and Saturday.  Despite working and having a sick kiddo, I still managed to get them all done!

9 Quilts – binding PWND in less than three days!  Quilted by Marge L. (individual photos below)

This is the end of my Go Get Granny and Log Cabins For Linus posts.  It’s been amazing and I cannot thank you all enough for your generous donations!  Anything I’ve received after the cut-off date has been donated directly to Linus.  Unfinished projects have been and will continue to be shared with other volunteers so they can be turned into finished quilts and afghans without moldering in my craft room until I have time to get to them!

Of course, if I receive a really amazing (finished!) quilt or afghan in the mail, I’ll share it.  It’s just my way!

And now, quilts and afghans that were donated, sorted and distributed on Saturday, May 15, 2010.

Another stunning afghan by Amber’s Originals

Multitudes of Granny Ghans, blocks by Mary, joined by myself and Linda E. (but mostly by Linda!)

Granny Ghan, blocks by auntypsycho and others (Cat’s mum included!)

Donated by Becky G.

Three quilts made from one giant quilt top, which was donated by Shannon Shaw of Rock Creek Quilts, the official quilter of Harry Potter Paper Piecing.

Unquilted tops donated by Becky G.

Made from quilt blocks donated by clumsy_chord, pieced by Shirley B.

Donated by hardhatcat, Australia (the donation from furthest away!)

Log Cabins for Linus!  Individual block donations pieced into tops by me and quilted by Marge L.

Looking for a place to donate your time and talent?  Try searching for “quilt donation” or “afghan donation” and your area.  There are charitable blanket makers and non-profit organizations all over the world!




My Favorite Charity: The Linus Connection

April 2006

The Linus Connection is a Central Texas non-profit organization whose mission is to make and deliver handmade security blankets that are for children in crisis situations in the Austin and Central Texas area. The blankets go to children in hospital emergency rooms, in crisis centers, foster care, battered women’s shelters, and to any child who is in need of a little extra security in their lives.

I often make references to Linus or The Linus Connection in my posts.  In recently writing an article about Linus for The Quilting Gallery, I realized I’d never spent a whole post just talking about Linus and what it means to me.

The Linus Connection was the first local craft-oriented non-profit group that I ever volunteered for.    My very first meeting was in November of 2002.  I’d been invited by another mom from my daughter’s Girl Scout troop after being pointed in her direction because I’d made a couple of small crochet blankets and I didn’t have anyone to give them to.  After offering to give her the blankets for Linus, she said, “oh, no, you should come to meeting!”

I was much shier back then, but I went anyway.  I was incredibly nervous when I walked into a building full of much older ladies all working industriously.  Stephanie Sabatini, the founder and Executive Director of Linus met me at the door, and said, “I was told to expect you!”  She put me to work immediately, sewing labels to donated blankets.

November 2002
The first blanket I donated to Linus in November 2002

When I got home, I was so excited to have a venue for my excess crafty energy, I started working on a new blanket immediately. I checked the Linus website for more information only to realize that it hadn’t been updated in over a year.

For my first couple of months at Linus, I sat with the crochet ladies or the label stitchers.  After a couple of months, I plucked up the courage to mention that I had my own website and would willingly volunteer to update the existing site.  By spring of 2003, I was the Webmistress of The Linus Connection, and I have been ever since.

I continued to make crochet blankets to donate each month.  In the autumn of 2003, the same friend that had introduced me to Linus suggested I come to a Honey Bee Work Day.  I’d been talking about making Halloween costumes and she told me that if I could make costumes, I could definitely make a quilt.  Bring your sewing machine, she said.  I did, again, nervous, because I’d never quilted before.  She got me all set up with a pre-cut quilt kit and I started sewing.  Before long I had a quilt top and I was searching online for information about borders and backing and binding.

November 2003

My first quilt, donated to The Linus Connection November 2003

In late 2004, after experimenting with quilting all year, including joining my first (and only!) bee,  I discovered paper piecing.   That was my light bulb moment in quilting and I’ve never looked back.  I was immediately designing my own patterns, one of the first ones being The Linus Heart.

The Linus Connection Heart

The Linus Connection Heart Pattern

In 2004, I was also invited to be  on The Linus Connection’s Executive Board of Directors.  I served for two years as Newsletter Editor in addition to my ongoing position as Webmistress.   During that time I helped organized the first Linus Blanket Challenge, which has just seen it’s fifth year, as well organizing a group-wide project to create a banner for The Linus Connection to put on display at meetings and at other events when Linus needed a physical presence.  The banner (shown at the top of this post) included my own heart pattern, as well as letters from a Carol Doak pattern book.  The layout was designed by me, while individual letters were paper pieced by volunteers from the group.  The banner itself was pieced, quilted and bound by myself and my bee friends.

Sometime during this time, I starting taking more responsibility in the blanket sorting area at meetings, something I still do and enjoy enormously because the sorters get to see and touch all the blankets that are donated.  I’m constantly saying we have the best job, because we do!

Photobucket Sorting Blankets in 2004

When one of the other Board members suggested we start a monthly Show & Tell at the monthly meetings in 2005, I started bringing my camera and adding those photos to the Linus Website.  One thing led to another, and I eventually started posting yearly photo videos to showcase Show & Tell blankets donated over the year.

Since I stepped down from the Board in 2006, I have continued as Webmistress and in blanket sorting.  The Linus Website is one of my pet projects and it’s evolved a lot over the years.  I updated it at least once a month, after meetings, updating photos, adding new information, pattern links etc.  I’ve designed all the banners and graphics, as well as the layout and I take a lot of personal pride in it.

Talking about all this makes it sound like I’ve forgotten all about the blankets, which I certainly haven’t.  This year, I donated my 200th blanket, while I don’t always reach my personal goal of two blankets a month, I do always have at least one to donate.  Just knowing that there have been 200 children touched by the work that came from my hands keeps me going.  That’s what Linus is all about and that’s why I keep volunteering my time online, crocheting and quilting.

Last but not least, I’ve found my best quilting friends through Linus.  Every member of my bee is a volunteer and we often spend our own time sorting fabric and talking about possible projects that would work for Linus.  They’re one of the best things that has come out of Linus for me and I’m thankful for them every day.  Remember that mom from the Girl Scout troop that first invited me?  She and I are still friends.  🙂

You will find me at the Linus meeting every month in the back sorting blankets and taking photos during Show & Tell.  If you live in Central Texas, come by and see what we’re all about!  We’re always in need of volunteers to make, sort, label and deliver blankets!

Some of my favorite blankets that I’ve donated over the years (dates are actual donation dates):

January 2003
January 2003, granny-ghans

May 2005
May 2004, pattern from a magazine, but I don’t remember which!

July 2005
July 2005, Coconut Candy

February 2006
February 2006 Show & Tell, paper pieced center medallion from a Carol Doak pattern.

June 2006
June 2006, log cabin with the Linus Heart in the center

linusoct07 001.JPG
October 2007, made from an old crochet pamphlet for the 2007 Challenge

Jan 2008
January 2008, various paper pieced hearts, made for a demo I gave in 2007.

June 2008
June 2008, Lion Brand pattern

January 2009, The Sewhooked Sampler

Strawberry Ice Cream Crochet Blanket for Linus March 2009
March 2009, Strawberry Ice Cream

September 2009 Linus quilt
September 2009, from Sharyn Craig’s Layer ‘Em Up

See all the blankets I’ve donated to Linus through the years in my flickr

The Linus Connection

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