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My brush with greatness…

One of my very favorite sewing blogs is written by Deborah at Whipstitch Fabrics.  For those that don’t know, Whipstitch is a fantastic fabric and sewing store in midtown Atlanta.  She (poor thing) is having a crazy summer.  She’s moving, teaching classes, juggling kids and vacations, too. For that reason, she asked for submissions about antique and vintage quilts.  I was lucky enough to be selected.  I’m so excited to have been included on her blog since I’m such a fan!  I guess I’m “sewstruck” instead of starstruck. 

My guest post is linked here.  For my sewing friends, you will not be disappointed by a trip to her shop which is on Marietta Street  on in the west part of midtown Atlanta (my old stomping grounds!).  I bought a big stack of half-yard pieces from the shop to make aprons to sell at the Brooks County Skillet Festival!  You should also check out the BCSF! It’s going to be a great festival centered around local food, arts, and handcrafted items.


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Breathe easy

As I wrote earlier this week, I am grateful and blessed to work with some great non-profit organizations.  The second one I’d like to tell you about is CF Riders.  It was founded by my friends Brian and Christie Johnson.  So, how did I get involved with this group?

Well, suffice it to say God’s “networking” puts the best politician or salesperson to shame! 

Brian and I were great friends in college; I always looked on him quite like a brother (and still do).  He met and started dating a great girl named Christie, graduated and moved away from Valdosta, and I lost touch with my friend.  Fast forward XXXX years (actual dates have been redacted to protect the somewhat innocent) and enter Facebook.   Brian and I reconnected and got a chance to catch up on what’s happening in each other’s lives – marriage, kids, jobs, the works!

What you don’t know about my friend Brian is that he suffers from Cystic Fibrosis (CF).  I knew this in college, but he never seemed to let it stop him or affect his life.   As he is fond of saying, he has CF, but it doesn’t have him.  Cystic Fibrosis is a genetic disease that affects over 30,000 children and adults within the USA alone.  The disease causes the body to produce a thick sticky mucus that makes patients easily susceptible to lung infection and disease.  CF also causes digestive problems, and in most cases CF patients take pancreatic enzymes to help break down nutrients.  CF also causes a high rate of infertility in adults and especially in males with the disease

 In 2010, Brian and Christie established CF Riders to show the world (particularly those who have CF) that the diagnosis doesn’t have to define you.  Brian was diagnosed with CF when he was seven.  At that time, his life expectancy was seventeen years of age.  They didn’t even expect him to graduate from high school, but he did.  They didn’t expect him to graduate from college, but he did.  They didn’t expect him to become a husband and father, but he did.   

 The current life expectancy is 37 years (which is Brian’s age today).  And yet he, Christie and their adorable daughter Hayden about to hit the road on a 14,000 mile Nationwide Ride for Life. 

You are probably thinking that he’s insane, right?!  I mean what is a man with a life-threatening illness doing getting on a motorcycle and riding around the country. (Did I mention he had never put his skinny butt on a motorcycle in his whole life?)  So, what in the heck is he thinking?  Well, he’s stepping out in faith to execute a mission to which he’s been called.  To get the full story, you should really read it in Brian’s own words.  Check out his blog or the CF Riders Web site.

 I am proud of him for answering the call he heard while driving down Interstate 20.  I am so proud and blessed to be a very small part of what CF Riders is doing to give hope to those with CF!  CF Riders’ work has reconnected me with a dear friend, let me get to know a new friend (his wife), and given me another opportunity to use my skills to help those in need. 

Thanks Brian & Christie for letting me be a part of the “road crew” even though I have never ridden a motorcycle and I am NOT getting a tattoo!   If you’d like to support their ministry or just go along for the ride*, get in touch!

*Seriously!  They’d love company on the road!


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So, enough about me…

I started this blog to write about sewing or crafting projects, but I’m beginning to see that I need to use it for more.  I am still enjoying (and learning on the job, so to speak) sewing and crafting.  I haven’t found much time to do it lately but am hoping to resolve that soon.  I took on a Sewing Buddy through Whipstitch’s Sewing Buddy Match!  So, hi Jocelyn!  She’s got her hands completely full with three sweet boys and a husband who’s a Marine!  We’ll be comparing sewing notes, and I’m sure you’ll see some of those projects here. 

 So, while I’m still going to post about sewing and crafting, I’m also going to start writing about other things that are important to me.  In particular, I’m privileged to be working with several non-profit groups that are offering hope to people.

The first is LAMP (Lowndes Associated Ministries to People).  LAMP is a multi-faceted agency in Valdosta, Georgia, that works to help alleviate homelessness and poverty.  Quite frankly, I had no idea that LAMP even existed two years ago.  (Thank you Leadership Lowndes for educating me as to what was just out my backdoor!)

While touring the LAMP shelter, I noticed baby bottles which had been washed and left to dry on the side of a sink in a group bedroom.  At any other time in my life, this probably would not have hit me dead in the stomach like it did this day.  I had just that morning done the same thing – washed baby bottles for my baby girl and left them to dry.   The people in this shelter are no different than me.  These children are no different than mine – learning to crawl, learning to walk, or learning to read.  At that point, I knew that when offered the opportunity I would jump at the chance to work with LAMP. 

People think that homelessness and poverty are strictly urban problems; this could not be farther from the truth.  By the numbers, here’s what LAMP did last year for our area:

  • 6,941 families fed through our food pantry
  • 360 families assisted with rent and utilities
  • 820 individuals housed in our shelters
  • 59,807 meals served in our shelters
  • 24,723 bed nights provided
  • 424 families provided healthcare assistance
  • 752 children received school clothes and supplies
  • 200 families given complete Thanksgiving meals

In addition, LAMP provided outreach to migrant worker camps, food drops to critical high-risk poverty areas, assisted displaced individuals in connecting with social services for which they qualify.  Our shelter is the only one in all of south Georgia and north Florida that is able to accommodate fathers seeking shelter with children (other facilities can only take families if the mother is present).  This ability to keep families together makes us unique. 

I’m in awe of what the staff and volunteers at LAMP make happen on a shoestring.  You’d be amazed at what they can do with very little!  Lives are truly changed for the better.  LAMP gives people the gift of self-reliance, the promise of an independent life, and hope for a better and brighter future.  The services LAMP provides are a matter of life and death for some people. 

LAMP’s next big event is Homeless 4 A Night.  It’s a county-wide all nighter designed to bring awareness to homelessness and poverty in our area.  I won’t be able to spend the night out because I’ve got small kids.  Even if you don’t camp our, there are still plenty of ways to participate.  I want my kids, even as young as they are, to begin to realize that we have an obligation to help minister to “the least of these”.  Come and be a part!

For more information on LAMP or Homeless 4 A Night, contact me or visit  We are always looking, to steal a phrase from the United Methodist Church, for people to give of their prayers, their presence, their gifts and their service.  Whether you believe in serving God or building up karma, working with LAMP gives back to you what you put in ten-fold.

Next up: CF Riders!


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Draft dodgers…

Well, Happy New Year (or Happy Valentine’s Day, as it were) bloggy friends!  These next few posts are, alas, not going to be full of cute stuff.  They is going to showcase some of what I think will be my most profitable projects.  That is not to say that I’m going to make money on them, but rather I think they will save me money.  

 First up: Draft dodgers! 

In our house, we have an issue with drafts underneath our kitchen and front doors.  Whether it’s hot or cold outside, we want to keep the “bought air” in the house.  After one too many nights below freezing here in south Georgia, my husband begged me to make something to block the drafts.  So, I made two draft dodgers as shown below by our lovely spokesmodel! Please excuse the quality of the photo!


I used remnant from my friend Jill Higgins’ chair covers to make long tubes.  I won’t try to give you a pattern for what I did, but instead here’s a link to a whole page of patterns for these things on TipNut.  The sewing portion can be as simple or as complicated as you’d like.  On TipNut, they have fancy ones with decorative elements.  Mine are super simple; they are just a long strip of fabric with two short seams and one long seam.  Once filled, the tube stops the draft between the bottom of the door and the threshhold.  I made my tube one and a half inches longer than the door measured from outside edge to outside edge.  I used a wine bottle as my gauge for the proper diameter.  That seemed to be a good size as it wasn’t too thin or too thick.   Try whatever cylinder you have.

Once two sides were sewn, I filled the tubes with uncooked rice.  Take note:  that is UNCOOKED rice.  You can use lots of different materials including dried beans, batting, old fabric scraps, sand, etc.  I used the uncooked rice because it’s what I had on hand.  Depending on the diameter and length you need for your door, it can take quite a bit to fill the tube.  Now, why, you ask, would I have 15 pounds of uncooked rice in my house?  Well, we used it to dig for treasure at my son’s birthday party two years ago.  I’ve been keeping it in storage ever since just knowing I’d find a use for it.  My husband wanted to throw it out, but I finally justified my saving it all this time.

If I did this project again, I’d put the rice in the leg of an old pair of tights and then insert that into the tube.  I’d also make the tube removable by using a button closure or the like.   It tends to get dirty, as do my floors, with my two kids plus friends running around all the time.  So, that’s just something to consider.  If it won’t be in a high traffic area then you won’t have a problem.

I know this isn’t the most exciting of ideas, but here’s hoping it will save us all some money!

On a quick side note: You should pop over to my friend Jill Higgins’ Web site.  She’s an incredibly talented photographer and is doing some other fun projects, too.

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Embroidery project #2

I’m digging the hand embroidery because I can sit in bed at night and work on it.  I can multi-task! 

Here’s a shirt that I did using embroidery and applique.  It’s the same blue windowpane plaid as the pants in the previous post.  I’m all about a mix & match wardrobe.  Garanimals had the right idea!


The picture below is out of focus, but it just captures my kid – giggling and moving and trying to make me laugh by getting right in the camera. 

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UFO sighting

In the quest to clothe my son, here’s the next outfit project.  I used a blue and white windowpane plaid as the base for the set.  I also used different pattern for the pants which is slightly more straight-legged.  I think I like the cut better.  The poor thing is so very skinny that I had to take up the waist twice.  Don’t we wish we had that problem? 

I hand embroidered a flying saucer onto a store-bought t-shirt in complementary colors.  It’s myone of my first attempts at embroidery (except for one other shirt on which I did a letter). 


Please forgive the poor picture quality.  I was rushing to take the picture before he wore it to school and ruined it.  Shortly after the first picture was snapped, I stepped in a nice little present left in the carport for me by some unknown animal.  (Insert mental picture of me hopping around trying not to say bad words here.)

Live long and prosper!

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Pillowcases and pretty girls…

Anna Wintour eat your heart out! 

Elizabeth Grace (4)  and Anna Clark (18 months) modeling matching blue pillowcase dresses.

Photos courtesy of Jim Hornsby, fantastic portrait artist and grandfather to these two adorable girls!  If you’re interested in getting a pillowcase dress for your little girl or if you want to know more about Jim’s beautiful portraits on canvas, just get in touch with me!

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Birthday boys!

Recently two of the McCall family’s favorite boys have had birthdays.   For each of these VIPs (Very Important Preschoolers), I made a birthday gift for the upcoming school year.

For Sweet RayRay, it was a personalized tee.  Click on the close-up image below for a more detailed view of the applique.

For Charlie, it was a lunch set (including lunch “box” and reusable drawstring bags for sandwich and snacks). 

Hope you boys enjoy!

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A bootiful dress for Dodie

My adorable, precocious niece is starting preschool soon.  She has told her mother that she only wants to wear bootiful dresses to school.  So, I’m making a few new dresses for this burgeoning fashionista.  Seriously, she can work a hand on hip like nobody’s business!

Dress #1: Multi-colored stripe pillowcase dress with green grosgrain ribbon.

Until I can get some pictures of her modeling said dress, these will have to do.

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Drawstring Backpack

I just finished a drawstring backpack for a darling little girl. She’s going to use it for her dance classes. We’re deciding on applique and monogram options.

It is fully lined, and the straps are adjustable based on your child’s height. We can vary it easily for a boy, too!

Let me know if you are interested in having one made for your child.  They are very reasonably priced!

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