Friday, April 4, 2014

Oakshotts...and a little giveaway

Recently I have been focusing on the upcoming charity auction with all funds raised going to help those truly in need through MCC.

I have shared progress shots of Swooning with Oakshotts, now known as Amish Stars, both here and on Instagram.
As mentioned previously, Michael Oakshott offered a very generous discount for the fabric in this quilt. Today I would like to focus on the actual Oakshott fabric.

In case you are not familiar with what a shot cotton actually is, let's begin there. While shot cottons read as solids, they really are not solids.They are woven with two colors, a warp color and a weft color, meaning one color runs the length of the fabric, and the second color runs the width of the fabric. This means that the fabric often has a beautiful iridescent quality to it.

In the case of Oakshott cottons (and isn't it a lovely coincidence that this supplier of such beautiful shot cottons is named Oakshott!), the fabric is hand woven by "master weavers who have patiently taken two hours to prepare and weave each metre." The fabric is ethically sourced from master weavers along the Malabar coast of South West India.

You can read more about the company and fabric  here, but here is just a little synopsis: The yarn for the fabric is boiled for 12 hours, "...the fabrics are hand-dyed; the waste water is so pure that it is used on the vegetable beds."

Since some of the funds from this quilt will go toward clean water projects in Third World countries, I like knowing that the waste water from the dyeing of this fabric is clean enough to use to raise vegetables.

This is one of my favorite pictures, the face of MCC.
These women live in South Sudan, a country ravaged by unrest, and who are trying to rebuild their lives after decades of civil war. MCC is partnering with the Episcopal Church of Sudan Mother's Union Women's Empowerment Project to help women learn sewing, life skills and small business management. THIS is one of many places where funds from tomorrow's quilt auction will go. We will sit in a comfortable building, raising our bidding numbers, and it is easy to forget about the hardships endured by people in our local communities and worldwide.

Thank you, Michael, not only for your gorgeous fabric, but for your generosity in being a part of this good work.

So, hey, how about a giveaway? I will be putting together a little collection of Oakshott scraps to share with two of you. Just let me know if you have a favorite charity...or a favorite color.

I'll choose two winners on Sunday night, 6 p.m. PDT. Oakshott Fabrics is located in the UK so of course it would only be right to include everybody in the giveaway, right?

Have a lovely weekend.


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Celtic Thistle said... #

The camera really cannot do justice to the loveliness of these Oakshott cottons, but your Amish Stars quilt certainly does Cindy!

We see all the hard work our daughter-in-law puts into her job with Mencap helping young adults with mental health problems access gainful employment, so that is definitely a favourite charity.

Betsy said... #

We have several charities we work with. Our main one is habitat for society since they build homes for families.

Michele T said... #

Ooooh! Beautiful quilt... Love the explosion of colours! I donate clothing and other supplies to several charities in our area! My favorite color is in the blue range.

Alice Ronne said... #
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Alice Ronne said... #

My favorite color is blue....or purple...or red. I love them all! Love the Oakshotts and thank you for sponsoring this giveaway.

Lucy | Charm About You said... #

The quilt is beautiful! There's so many great charities but one I've supported since I was about 10 is the Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society x

M.W. said... #

My favorite color is anything in the blue / aqua / green family. The Oakshotts look awesome I have not seen them up close and personal before. Thanks for the chance to win.

Unknown said... #

My favorite charity is Susan G Komen and I try to both donate and participate in their fundraisers several times a year, United Way and Red Cross are two of my other "go to", or should that be "give to".

After a long, dry, in our area, brown winter, I'm ready for ANY color.

Brenda said... #

Well, if I win your scraps, I promise to make something small with them to donate to the MCC sale in Winnipeg at the end of May. thanks for the chance.

roccagal said... #

My fave charity is my local food bank where i regularly volunteer and do food drives for (at my school and at my daughters high school!)

Patti said... #

Beautiful fabric indeed! My favourite charity is Doctors Without Borders. Thanks for this very generous giveaway.

pennydog said... #

I wouldn't want to choose just one charity as I think there are so many different ones that cannot possibly compete with each other as they do such vastly different work. So I'm going to say my favourite colour is bright green today, usually it's orange or mustard yellow but I'm feeling the kelly and emerald greens today.

carla said... #

Hi!!!! Very pretty fabric!!!!! I love lavender and greens!!!! Right now!!!!!

Lisa said... #

We have a local facility called "Living Waters" it a non-profit counseling center. They have counselors, art therapy, group therapy, etc. We have had to use their services with both of my daughter's through the high school and college years and it is an awesome place with wonderful Christian based counseling.

Kelli said... #

Oakshotts are just so very gorgeous! I've never worked with them but adore all the projects I see with them online. Lately, I've been helping with a local charity here that provides backpacks with food to kids at our school that are low-income to the point they may not eat between Friday's lunch at school and Monday's breakfast at school. Our PTO has paid for 2 more backpacks for this year and next and we're looking to raise money for more. The thought of precious children loving school because they get 2 full meals a day breaks my heart.

Chez Roo said... #

Lovely quilt, and a great charity. I love the idea of helping people, especially women, become entrepreneurs. One of my favourite "charities" is Kiva which provides micro loans to want-to-be entrepreneurs in developing countries (although you can have your "investment" returned to you if you wish), and another is Plan Canada. Thanks for the giveaway.

Lisa England said... #

I like making baby quilts and taking them to a local crisis pregnancy center. They work with the expectant moms to teach them about health and baby care. The moms-to-be earn credits from taking the classes and they can trade them in for baby items. The ladies who work there tell me that handmade baby quilts are something the girls like to use their credits for.

Carla said... #

SO many places the money could go. It must never seem enough. I'm sure your quilt will fetch lots. Favourite charity? Can't decide. Favourite colour? Turquoise

foofpalmer said... #

I have several favorite charities! To name just two: American Bird Conservancy and Samaritan's Purse. What a wonderful organization you have chosen to bring recognition to in this blog post and at the quilt auction. I have several favorite colors, but I'll pick purple today.

Dvine Quilters said... #

Hi cindy beautiful quilt and great cause. My favorite charity is anything that helps support breast cancer and if course pink us the best color

Dvine Quilters said... #

Hi cindy beautiful quilt and great cause. My favorite charity is anything that helps support breast cancer and if course pink us the best color

Anonymous said... #

My favorite color is orange. My favorite charity would be where I work. It's a non-profit community health center. We never turn anyone away for lack of funds, and, best of all, we now have a mental health component to our care. Having a child with mental health issues makes this even more special to me.

Needled Mom said... #

The fabrics are so lovely too. It's nice that they support such a great cause.

My favorite color would be green - any shade. We have several local charities that we support.

Cynthia Brunz Designs said... #

I love shot cottons! My favorites are the jewel tones.

Debbie said... #

My favorite charity I quilt for is Restore Innocence, the chosen charity of FAITH Circle. I confess, though, that making a quilt for my son's youth group to auction off to raise funds for summer events was a really enjoyable way to 'give back' as well.

Quilting Tangent said... #

Pretty quilt. I like the rainbow colors, if I had to choose orange/yellow.

Unknown said... #

I have both a favorite charity - Air1 Radio and a favorite color blue. Thanks for the great giveaway.

Rina Mason said... #

My favorite charity is ConKerr cancer. They give pillowcases to children who are undergoing cancer treatments. The pillowcases give the kids a little ray of sunshine in a world of treatments and tests. I spent at least six weeks out of every year in the hospital between the ages of five and eighteen so know how boring, lonely and scary it can be, so if my pillowcases can bring smiles I'm all in.
As for my favorite color.....yellow or aqua or spring green. All colors that are bright and happy.

Amy's Crafty Shenanigans said... #

Gorgeous quilt - the fabric just glistens :) Our guild is sewing for a childrens ward in a London hospital and I have given to Siblings Together in teh past. Favourite colours for me are green and aqua/teal.

Nicole said... #

I like the Heart and Stroke Fdn here in Canada - they helped my sister a lot before she died. And we donate to Terry Fox (cancer) and MSF (Doctors without Borders). When my kids are older (they are 2.5 and 6 right now) we want to work with Habitat for Humanity as well.

Unfortunately there are too many deserving charities aren't there? I wish I could help them all. Good luck for your quilt!

Melissa said... #

My favorite charity is "The Backpack Program". It is a local charity that provides a bag full of easy to prepare foods in the backpack of every child in our county who might be going hungry over the weekend. This is done every Friday in our local schools by some wonderful volunteers. My favorite colors are, aqua, red, blue and green.:)

Jenny said... #

after two premature babies, i have a soft spot in my heart (and wallet) for March of Dimes...i really like helping out in my own community as well. big and small. your quilt is gorgeous! my favorite quilt auction every year is in Goshen IN also help by MCC.

Katy Cameron said... #

At the moment I'm doing a lot for our company charity. It gives grants to children in need of support within 10 miles of any of our offices. This has included trikes for kids with cerebral palsy, iPads to help kids learn, special beds, special equipment, all sorts. We have a charity run coming up in a month for it in fact, and I'll be chauffeuring everyone around the 70 miles course.

My favourite colour is blue, though I love a good rainbow :o)

Thanks for the chance to win, gotta love Oakshott!

Anonymous said... #

I know, the Oakshotts are lovely! While there are a lot of charities, I have a special place in my heart for Cancer charities, and for our local St Vincent the Paul, which helps anyone who can't cope at these financially challenging times to put food on the table and a roof over their heads.

pcquilter said... #

Thanks for sharing the "rest of the story". I've loved your swoon quilt from your first postings. Our favorite charity is Girls Inc of Bay County where our granddaughter goes after school and summers. They do so much for the girls in our community. Since I've been doing scrap quilts, my color preferences have evolved to just about everything! I'm sure Amish Stars will raise a good sum for MCC!

Gill said... #

I love Oakshott too!
I have a special place in my heart for 'Campaign for Rob' - a local charity set up to support Rob who is now a tetraplegic after a terrible accident

Wendy @ Wendysquiltsandmore said... #

I've just started using Oakshott cottons. I like purple the best.

Grandma G said... #

Thanks for explaining Oakshotts... I didn't know that before. We support The Navigators, among other charities. Love me some blues/greens!

stitchinpenny said... #

I say Fisher House. The Ronald Mc Donald house of Injured servicemen.

Mrs Flying Blind... said... #

Re-pick if you select me - I have just finished one Oakshott top, and have another on the go!!
I am a Siblings Together supporter and also anything for Cancer research xxx

Tricia said... #

I have a few favorites - Compassion International is a great organization that works with kids in poverty, and I also really like Market Colors, a relatively new one that sells items made by women in Africa, giving them a source of income to provide for their families.

barbara woods said... #

great way to help, thanks for the chance l like quilt of valor and the blogger that make quilt's for victims familys

Unknown said... #

Autism Speaks is a favorite for me. I also love greens. :)

Susan said... #

As a school teacher I receive my share of hand lotion and chocolates at Christmas. Last year I received the BEST gift ever! A student (and his mother) knew I loved to sew, so through World Vision, organised that a sewing machine be given to a woman in Africa so she would be able to start her own business, or at least be more self-supporting. I think of her often! Of course, there are so many needy people out there....

Catherine said... #

They are lovely fabrics and your quilt makes the most of them - it is beautiful! Grateful to be in with a chance to win a bit. My favourite colour is blue and my favourite charity is Medecins Sans Frontiers.

Anonymous said... #

Such a lovely quilt! My favorite color is teal. :) -Brittany

Emma's Daughter said... #

My favorite charity is St. Jude's Children's hospital in Memphis, TN. Beautiful quilt. Rcoyle at olemiss dot edu

Christine S said... #

I love that quilt! I'm fond of quilts for kids and I love orange :)

Michele said... #

My favorite charity is Quilts For Kids. I teamed up with a friend and we made some quilts for their cause. Quilts help!

DebraKay Neiman said... #

I sponsor children on Children International and also support Dogs on Deployment. crystalbluern at onlineok dot com

Anne / Springleaf Studios said... #

It's so interesting to hear the bigger story of these fabrics. Something I didn't know much about. Have never used them so would love to win a little bit to play with. So many good charities out there. We mostly support a local one called Sister Carmen.

Sarah said... #

My favorite charities are supporting missionaries, and Operation Christmas Child which our church participates in. Favorite color is light pink! Thanks for the giveaway; your quilt is absolutely breathtaking!

Kleep said... #

My favourite charity is donating to STARS ambulance service in my province. Being a nurse and living in a rural area outside easy distance of advanced medical facilities I know many people who've been saved by the air ambulance service, and have worked on patients requiring it.

Pamela said... #

Thanks so much for the post on the Mother's Union Empowerment Project! It was very moving. My favorite charity is a local organization serving people with disabilities . I used to work there and it was a privilege to support and empower people to use their unique abilities and pursue their chosen goals.

Quilting Nonnie said... #

Thank you so much for sharing about Michael and his work. It is very inspirational! I give to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints' Humanitarian Fund. The Humanitarian efforts keep stockpiles of foods, emergency items, blankets, etc. for disasters worldwide. My favorite colors is turquoise. Purple is a beautiful color that I like with it.

nylirrek said... #

Saint Jude's Hospital and the MDA.

Patty said... #

My favorite color is green, all shades of green. My favorite charity is The National Kidney Foundation. My father received a kidney transplant. I also sew baby quilts for Quilts for Kids.

Nita said... #

I make charity quilts for Because You Matter, which are given to children in the foster care system.

Farm Quilter said... #

My favorite charities are Wounded Warriors and American Heroes - with 2 daughters and a son-in-law in the military, anything to benefit those who are willing to lay down their very life so I can live free, I support.

KT said... #

I don't have a favorite charity, but I love the SPCA. I have donated to them before and have made them animal beds out of fabric scraps.

charlotte said... #

What a wonderful quilt for a wonderful cause. Such beautiful fabrics. My favorite charities are any who focus on helping children. We have several here locally that do that. Children are so innocent and it makes me sad that they need so much sometimes. Their lives should be simpler, at least for a little while.

Archie The Wonder Dog said... #

It's a gorgeous quilt and a wonderful cause! Favourite charities include Macmillan ( and our local Fellowship ( - both great charities who really help people in need.

P.S. Favourite colour? Turquoise!

Margaret said... #

I am part of a mission group through my church called Project Canefire. We go to the Dominican Republic and build homes, put down wells and recently started a program to provide sewing machines and fabric to start micro industries. I was part of the team this year to go down and teach them how to use the machines and to sew. It was amazing. Can't wait to go next year.

Unknown said... #

The photo of the women of South Sudan really touched me. I've just come back from Africa and an educational tour with the Stephen Lewis Foundation. The SLF funds grassroots projects in sub Saharan Africa, many in support of grandmothers who are raising the orphans left by the AIDS pandemic. I support them whole heartedly! I'd love to use these lovely fabrics in a quilt for our group to use for fundraising.

Lori said... #

Such a pretty quilt!

Wow, there are so many wonderful charities listed here! Two of my favorites are local: ArtFeeds (art for school kids), and our local crisis center, which brings folks in off the street and helps them find a job, a place to worship, and a safe place to call home.

My favorite color? Well, all of them. Red is probably my all-time favorite. Or orange...or blue. ;)

Swedish Scrapper said... #

Having had several family members with emphysema or COPD, and having astma myself, The National Heart and Lung association (and Swedish chapter) is my charity of choice. Although I think it is rewarding to sew quilts for premies and I am interested in helping out with Siblings Together. Thanks for the extra info on Oakshott practices. So neat to know about the waste water.

The Rx quilter said... #

This is absolutely stunning! Threads of Love Sarah chapter in San Antonio is a group that sews, knits and gathers together in the name of Jesus to provide items to local NICU's for preemies as well as burial gowns for those precious angels who God calls home too soon. Lisa in Texas

Kathryn said... #

I donate my time to Oral Cancer Foundation. I have friends who are dealing with its aftermath. I love Oakshott - I recently made a quilt for my daughter with it. loved it.

Unknown said... #

I have 2 favored Charities, The American Heart Association and The Alzhiemer Association. I have a lot of friends and myself who have dealt with these 2 conditions. I found the origins, making, and the women involved in it's making very interesting. Thank you so much. Also thanks for the giveaway of the scraps of Oakshott. The shimmering effect of the fabric will make fabulous applique flowers. Thanks again

Andee said... #

Your quilt is gorgeous as are the Oakshott fabrics! My favorite quilty charity is Quilts of Valor!

LittleHouseontheDairy said... #

My favorite is Make a wish. I also like to support a local domestic abuse shelter

Lea said... #

What a gorgeous quilt for a good cause. There are so many worth while charities who need help. The local food bank and also local Humane Society. The town we lived in before we moved here had an organization that helped homeless vets get back on their feet again.

Thank you for sharing the story of Oakshott. I didn't know this. It's beautiful fabric.

Unknown said... #

Love blues and currently helping my guild donate to quilts of valor:)

Pam said... #

My favorite charity is Kiva. It's really not a charity but a way of lending money to people in disadvantaged countries.

My favorite color is blue, or green or yellow ...gosh is thin I have too many favorites!

FlourishingPalms said... #

Charity is Caringbridge, an online organization where people with serious illnesses can share themselves with family and friends. And my favorite color is aqua, with orange being a close second. Thank you for sharing this information about Oakshott, and for the chance to win your lovely giveaway.

GranChris said... #

I usually donate to Abused Shelter through my Guild but then there is all the extras like Tornadoes and floods and Hurricanes that I constantly support with quilts. It's nice to help oot. I used to be addicted to blues but lately I'm into greens.

Debbie said... #

Beautiful quilt. I donate to St. Jude's Children's Hospital and locally to women's shelters and food drives for the needy and elderly.

Angie from Dear Spring Green said... #

My favorite charity is local to me, called Share House. It helps the homeless and the abused in our area. I also love Kiva. It's always fun to search for a woman who sews to make a micro loan to! My favorite color is...oh so hard to choose! I come back to green again and again. So green. Or yellow. Or aqua. :)

Anonymous said... #

My favorite color is blue. -- soparkaveataoldotcom

lindaroo said... #

Locally, the food bank. Internationally, Seeds of Hope, a water well project in Zambia, started by long-time friends who've really given their lives to service. My favorite color changes every day!

Leanne Parsons said... #

I love the work of Samaritan's Purse. It's fun to get the kids involved in packing Christmas shoebox gifts and I love their clean water projects. Also, Compassion International for their child sponsorship program. I hope the sale raises a lot of money. As for a favourite colour, that would be either blue or green. Thanks for the chance to win.

Amy said... #

My favorite charity is St. Judes. I am so blessed to have three healthy children, but we know those who have been touched by childhood illnesses. St. Jude's has been such a blessing for these families.

sarah elizabeth :: {no} hats said... #

No need to enter me in the giveaway, but I just wanted to chime in and say I've recently hooked on to a charity called My Very Own Blanket, which provides blankets to children in the foster care system. It's only in the midwest (for now), but the founder wants to take it national so big things are in store, I'm sure :)

pippirose said... #

My favourite colour is purple.
My favourite charity is the Canadian Cancer Society.

Mokki said... #

Shot cottons are so beautiful. I haven't seen and felt any oakshott cottons yet but they have a good reputation. I love the jewel tones they have