Monday, June 14, 2010

Compassionate Crafting

Meet my sister and best friend Keri!  She writes a sweet blog about her life with two busy boys and her hubby at Just Peas and Carrots.  Stop over and fall in love with her family!

Something very important to me as a mother, is to always help my boys have a humble heart. I hope that by setting an example, and sharing with Owen and Elliot about people that are less fortunate, or have found themselves in a place of need, the boys will grow to have a heart for serving others.

I recently read about a humanitarian project called Rainbow around the Block. This is a quilting initiative started by fabric designer, Anna Maria Horner, with the purpose of creating beautiful handmade quilts for the residents of Tennessee who lost their homes to flooding. I am a big fan of Anna Maria's fabric line, quilts, and decorating style, and inspired by how she manages to be fabulous at all of this while mothering five children. For me, this is a perfect combination of crafting and caring, and I knew I wanted to be a part of it.

Because of the simplicity and creativity of a quilt square, it is a perfect project to involve kids in. Today Owen and I sat down and chatted bit about the flooding, and what it might feel like to be missing some of his favorite things. I went on to tell him about the quilting project, and how people all over the country were going to be making quilt squares, and that Anna Maria needed our help! Well, he thought this was very exciting, and could not wait to get to work! I set him up with some pre-cut 4" squares in the same color family, and let him just play with placement and design a bit. While he was piecing together a pink square he said, " I bet this square will be a nice quilt for a Mommy". Love it... makes my heart smile.

There is such love and beauty in a handmade gift, especially when it is serving someone in need. Children can really connect with giving in this way when they see the project from beginning to end, and the cause is something that interest them.

Craft hope is a wonderful website, aiming to connect crafters with charities in need. For their current project they are teaming with The Institute for Marine Mammal Studies, the Audubon Nature Institute, and the Mississippi Sandhill Crane National Wildlife Refuge to help care for the oiled animals in the Gulf coast. This would be a great project for an animal lover or first project for a young knitter or sewer!
Maybe your child loves to help you "craft" in the kitchen. Even something as simple as baking cookies to take to your local firehouse, or helping you make a meal for a neighbor who is not feeling well, can help your child be more in tune to the needs of others.
I believe that setting an example of giving is something anyone can do, but with so much suffering in the world today, sometimes it can be daunting to know where to start. Remember, little ones don't need to hear it all. There is a balance between bringing awareness and preserving the innocents of childhood;
not burdening their heart with too much information. Start with something simple, and spark their interests... give your child the gift of compassion.

Don't forget to leave my guest bloggers a comment!  The more love you show them (comments you leave) the more times you are entered to win in my giveaway at the end of this week!


advocate said...

Keri, Love to see you finding a use for those quilt squares. The pink one with the tiny flowers was once a juliet style empire dress with elastic at the bodice and bell sleeves, definately for the feminine as Owen noted. The bolder and bigger print was once a swimsuit coverup, maybe a home ec project back in the '60s. Fond memories.

Lee, Gena, & Hunter said...

I'm inspired now! Love your blog!

Anonymous said...

Looking forward to a follow-up post!

April said...

Very inspirational!!

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