Thursday, February 08, 2007

Bead it Forward

Jeanette Shanigan of Wasilla, Alaska has started an amazing project for anyone wanting to contribute to breast cancer research. Below is my contribution:

bead embroidery by Robin Atkins, Common Buckeye Butterfly

Project is: "Beaded Quilts" (30 squares each) to be auctioned at the next Bead & Button show, with all proceeds going to breast cancer research.
Theme is: Metamorphosed Like the Butterfly
Size is: 1.5 inches square, with 1/4 inch border
Material is: white pellon ~ Peltex 70 Ultra Firm Stabalizer
Due date is: April 1, 2007

On her website, Jeanette has posted an image of beaded squares that have already been submitted, and the three beaded quilts already completed. You can read and/or print out the guidelines here. Jeanette also has a page where she tells the touching story about why she started this project.

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Those who organize and work so hard to recruit volunteers for projects like this are saints in my opinion. It makes my heart sing to think about it. And, to look at all the beaded squares and read the names of the contributors is like a bright sunny day in the dark of winter. I am delighted that Jeanette contacted me to tell me about it. Isn't the concept of "bead it forward" (or pay it forward, or whichever version is current) just fabulous?

Two of my quilting friends are now in the process of making their squares. I'll take pictures and show them when they are completed. Looking at some of the finished squares, I noticed two squares made by Liz (a regular reader of this blog). Good work, Liz!

What about you? Do you have a couple of hours to make a square?

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By the way, I took inspiration for my square from the common buckeye as illustrated in The Butterfly Alphabet book.


  1. That is gorgeous, Robin! You know, I really want to participate in this, but I haven't thought of a suitable design for this theme.... Love yours, though....

    Maybe I'll think of something.... =:)

  2. That is a very worthy cause and your butterfly square is beautiful.

    Thanks for the wonderful suggestion you made on my blog today. I may take you up on it and see what I can accomplish.

  3. I love the concept of a new butterfly for breast cancer research. This disease touches us all in time. I have a dear friend fighting for her life from this right now and can hardly wait to get started on a design. Yours is wonderful, Robin and I'm glad to hear of this. I think the people who do this sort of thing are saints also. They make our hearts sing!

  4. Anonymous10:15 PM

    Oh Robin, what synchronicity. I've decided that my sock design for this month will be a sock to raise money for breast cancer research. I designed a special pink sock for the occasion (picture will go up on my blog Monday after the kits have been mailed out). I'm not sure why it just struck me to do that this month, but I'm sure we've all had our lives touched by someone who has had breast cancer. I love this bead quilt. I wish I knew more about how to bead. The butterfly is a wonderful symbol and your square is gorgeous. I'm missing you and San Juan already.

  5. Thanks for the heads up, robin. I'll be participating and know I can find 3 friends who will also join this wonderful effort.

  6. Thanks for the Kudo's Robin - I enjoyed working on the little squares. I hope that these quilts raise a ton of money for research and charities - it's very important~

  7. Robin, It has simply been far too long since I last visited your lovely blog page.

    I adore your butterfly square and those of the others I went in to see, you are all doing a wonderful thing and one that touches my heart having lost my father and my auntie this way........I just wish I could have helped but alas beading is an art I do not know other then understanding it beauty.

    butterfly kisses to you and all who care.......:o)

  8. I will try to get a little beaded square off to Jeanette before April 1st. This is certainly a very worthy cause and a piece so tiny not to much time to bead and certainly easy to mail. Thanks for pointing this site out.

  9. Anonymous11:53 AM

    It is great of you to promote this project. Would Lacy's Stiff Stuff work as a base? If so I will try to retrieve it from one of my thousand moving boxes in time to create a square.

    Compliments on your unusual image of a butterfly. Actually, I love looking at all of the squares, they are so beautiful and individual.

    Best regards, Sabine

  10. Sabine--I wrote Jeanette asking if Lacy's stiff stuff would be OK because I have some of that on hand too. Here's her reply:

    "LSS is a tiny bit thicker/stiffer and a whole bunch more expensive, but go ahead and use it if you want to. It won't matter now that I know how I'll be sewing the squares together. I hadn't determined that last May when I announced the project."

  11. To Lee-ann ~ Thanks for the butterfly kisses... I'm sure a lot of those in the atmosphere will be a big help!

    To Beadin' Gram ~ Thanks for contacting Jeanette about Lacy Stiff Stuff, and for posting her response here! I also wrote to Sabine privately to give her the information. Isn't this just the best thing about blogging?!

  12. Yes, Robin, blogging is great!

    As I sit here, snowbound -- but with heat and electricity -- I am so glad for the computer, blogs and friends -- no cabin fever here -- I visit WA, CA, AK, MO, MA, NY, HI and on and on every day ;-) Stay warm and safe and have a Happy Valentine's Day everyone.

  13. Anonymous11:31 AM

    Dear Robin, dear Beadin' Gram,

    thanks for your help! Somehow, my grey cells were working a bit slow when I took the indirect way to find the answer to my question - whereas, of course, I could have asked Jeanette directly. But never mind, this has led to a bit of a friendly dialogue, which just shows that there are two sides to everything.

    Thank you again, and blessings,

  14. Anonymous12:41 PM

    Robin, how did you finish the back of your square? I didn't like the look of all my knots on the back, so I folded the edges in and sewed it to another square. It also made it easier to put my name on the back.

  15. To Joan ~ Yes, it always feels good to cover up the stitches and knots on the back of my bead embroidery. But in this case, if you're making a square for the Breast Cancer Quilt, I believe Janette needs the borders to sew the squares together. After the squares are joined, I think she backs the whole quilt to cover all the seams, knots, stitches - making it look neat and professional. If you're making a square as a pin, then folding in the edges and sewing it to a backing is a good idea. (I don't have an email contact for you... hope you see this response...) Thanks for making a square! R

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Thanks you for joining the discussion on this post today!