Thursday, September 22, 2011

Two Birds with one Yard --- A Challenge

Yes, yes, I know, the old saying is to get two birds with one stone . . . but we don't want to do that!! It's mean, and it's messy! :)

We're talking about accomplishing two things with one yard of fabric, here. How do we accomplish this bit of magic?

Well, you grab your favorite beverage and maybe a little snack, because I'm going to explain that right now!

All settled? Good. We're going on a trip to Africa! (Maybe you had better have more than a little snack on hand!)

Recently, I was introduced via Anita, of The Other Side of Me, to a wonderful couple in Malawi, in southeastern Africa. The Kropfs work diligently to educate, clothe, and house the many orphan children there, and adults, too, of course.  They live and work among the very poor. Here is an excerpt from a letter from Lois:

I have been measuring children for school uniforms. I have measured a little over 900 of them in the last month. I enjoy this. It gives me a chance to see their little faces and connect some names with faces.

I look at these precious little 6 year olds, not quite sure what this Azungu (white person) is going to do, their eyes wide with fright; the 9 year old girls give me shy little smiles; the boys put on a bravado.

There are so many teenaged girls in grades 5, 6, and 7, failing many years, and partly because when they become women, they do not have the necessary sanitation means to go to school, so they miss a lot of school. The boys miss a lot of school because they go out looking for odd jobs to buy clothes, shoes, food, etc.

Wow! Over 900 children to sew for? That is amazing! Here are some of those kids, showing off their new clothes:

Here is a picture of some of the boys, with new clothes and new school books:

Aren't they cute? Look at all those happy faces! You can see more of the Kropfs' work on this blog post.

Now, this is where the magic comes in . . .

We quilters sometimes need to de-stash and thin out the ranks of our fabrics that we pet, er talk to, well, love and purchase too much of.  And, with yardage, Mrs. Kropf can transform a tee-shirt into a dress for a girl, or create a pair of shorts for a boy.  She says:

I made a lot of tee shirt dresses last year, using new material for the bottom and used shirts for the top;  I made over 300 of them. That is why new material for dresses and tee shirt dresses is so much appreciated. I can buy material here, but it is not as nice as the states.

So, here's the plan.

  1. Rummage through your stash, and pick out some one yard (or more) pieces that you can donate to this effort in Malawi. And yes, if it is almost a yard, that's good, too. (It does need to be cotton, and please, no decorator or heavy fabrics!)
  2. When you decide on what you will send, email me (click on "Snoodles" under "Contributors" and then you will be able to click on "email") or leave a comment, either one --- and I'll give you the shipping information for the Kropfs' daughter-in-law, Anita, who lives in the United States. One yard is not too heavy; postage will be easy to handle!
  3. By the by, if you are able to toss in some thread (any color) that will be much appreciated, too!
  4. Anita will keep track of the fabric as it comes in, and make certain that the box or crate makes it into the hands of her folks. (We can't just ask all of you to ship to Malawi --- it's expensive, and it may not make it to them . . . )

Now, all of us that help with this challenge will be winners, because we've paid it forward, and helped someone else. It even ties in with the upcoming Make A Difference Day here in the US: October 22. But to encourage you to help out, we have enlisted the help of some sponsors, who will be contributing prizes for a random giveaway to those who participate!

Here are a few of the folks that have signed on to help us out:

Julie at the Intrepid Thread has generously donated eight lovely fat quarter packs!

QuiltSue has happily donated a copy of her new book, Pick Four! A great book for rookies and veteran quilters alike!

Padsworth has donated two twelve-month subscriptions to Ole Frog Eyes, the virtual design wall quilting site!

Amanda Murphy is donating a complete set of her patterns for the campaign!

Jacquelynne Steves at The Noble Wife blog is providing an autographed copy of her new book
Fruitful Hands for one of our winners, and she is sending yardage, too!

Mike and Shawna are generously donating fabric prizes, and also will be sending yardage for the Malawi effort!

Dewberry Lane will let a winner choose two patterns from their awesome selection!

We'll post pictures of the prize packages soon, and we are hoping to hear from EVEN MORE sponsors, too . . . so look around in your stash, and look in your thread cache, and let us know what you can contribute to the De-Stash for Malawi!!

Here is how we will count the entries: 
  1. For each yard of fabric that you can donate, you can make a comment on this post.
  2. If you can contribute thread, you can comment again. Not once for each spool, just one comment!  ;)
  3. If you are one of our subscribers at the Old Frog Eyes site, and you contribute, you can leave yet another comment.
  4. If you grab our "De-Stash 4 Malawi" button from the right-hand sidebar, and post it to help spread the word, you can comment one more time! Or if you tweet or Facebook the campaign, you can tell us that, instead!
  5. And you don't have to, but if you would like to follow our blog, we'd sure appreciate it, and count another comment!
This challenge will run through October 15 (that's just three weeks, so let's hurry!), and the winners will be announced on or before October 22, for Make A Difference Day. (That will give us time to verify our lists, and confirm our winners.)

Updated: Here is a helpful note from Jacquelynne Steves, who suggested . . .
I suggest using a flat rate box from the post office- medium box costs 10.95 to ship and large is 14.95 to ship, no matter how much you put in. So if you can cram it full, you can ship it for the same price as sending just a little by first class or priority would cost. If they can't fill a box on their own, they can ask a friend to share a box with them. And if they have a little room left, they could take it to their local quilt shop and ask them to "top it off" before they ship it out.
Awesome! Thanks, Jacquelynne!

I hope that all of you special quilting peeps will contribute! It's a very worthy cause!