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National Ovarian Cancer Month

September is Ovarian Cancer Awareness month and here is a project that helps spread awareness. I used embroidery from the Embroider-a-Cure collection where all proceeds go toward the Be The Difference Foundation, an ovarian cancer research foundation founded by my friend Helen Gardner.

I decided to work with a blank and wrap a little hope and warmth around someone undergoing chemotherapy treatments with an embroidered sweatshirt.

I selected the Bald is Beautiful design because many patients see no need to cover their hair loss so why not make a statement and put everyone at ease? This versatile design looks great on a sweatshirt.

Find the center front of the shirt and mark it with a pin. Print a template of the Bald is Beautiful design and place it on the center chest. It’s a large design so standard industry placement templates don’t work for a design of this size.  No worries – just place the center of the design on the shirt’s center. SweaterBL

Leave enough room at the top of the design to hoop the shirt – about 3” below the bottom of the ribbing will do it. Make sure the template is straight and place a target sticker under the template.  Remove the template.

Fuse polymesh stabilizer to the wrong side of the design area.  Place the hoop’s outer ring on the pointy end of an ironing board and ‘dress’ the ironing board until the target sticker is centered in the hoop.  Insert the inner ring. Nest the shirt around the hoop.SewaterBL2

Attach the hoop to the machine. Retrieve the design and center the needle over the target sticker.  Add film-type water soluble stabilizer over the design area. Stitch the design.  Once complete, tear off as much of the soluble stabilizer as possible.SweaterBL3

Trim the polymesh on the wrong side – ready to make a statement!

On August 20th, 2014, this disease claimed the life of Helen Gardner, after a very brave 5 1/2 year battle.  During her battle with cancer, Helen not only lived life fully – but she dedicated her time and energy to the Be the Difference Foundation, an organization she co-founded with three other cancer survivors.  Her goal and the goal for the Be the Difference Foundation is to help find a cure for ovarian cancer and to spread awareness so that it is detected as early as possible.

Ovarian cancer is known as the silent killer because so often, by the time there are symptoms, the disease has spread.  That’s why it’s critical to continue researching to find a cure for this disease and it’s also important women visit their doctors regularly. The sooner it’s detected, the better the prognosis.

Here’s additional information courtesy of the Be the Difference Foundation:
“Over 22,000 women will be diagnosed with ovarian cancer this year, and more than 15,000 will die from the disease. And these numbers have not changed in over 30 years! There is no early detection or screening test available for ovarian cancer today. The PAP test does NOT detect ovarian cancer.

It is important to be aware of the symptoms and risk factors of ovarian cancer. Remember, early detection is important for a better prognosis.
Know the symptoms of Ovarian Cancer: *
• Abdominal Bloating
• Feeling full quickly while eating
• Pelvic or abdominal pain or pressure
• Urinary urgency or frequency
• Changes in bowel habits
• Abnormal vaginal bleeding or discharge
• Back pain
• Unexplained weight gain or loss

If any of these symptoms last for more than two weeks, please contact your doctor.

Know the Risk Factors of Ovarian Cancer:*
• Close family members who have had ovarian, breast or gastrointestinal cancer
• Have a genetic mutation such as BRCA1 or BRCA2
• Have had breast,uterine, or colorectal cancer
• Have never given birth or have had trouble getting pregnant
• Are middle-aged or older

*Source: Mount Sinai Hospital”

Visit the Be the Difference Foundation for more information on ovarian cancer.

Here’s your assignment this week:

Do you stitch for charity? and if so what items do you stitch?. We’ll pick a random winner here next Wednesday. If we pick your name, we’ll set you up with a Be the Difference Foundation design pack!

The winner of the last assignment answered the following question:

In what ways does nature give you inspiration?. We’ll pick a random winner here next Wednesday. If we pick your name, we’ll set you up with a $20 Designs in Machine Embroidery gift card!

The winner is:  

Donna G: “From the beautiful colors in nature! From the very subtle to the very bright, they’re all so well coordinated!”




  • Chris Simpson

    I sew for Operation Christmas Child Australia and New Zealand. Among other things we make shoulder type bags for the kids to put their things in once the shoebox disintegrates. I love putting applique or embroidered designs on the bland material ones, animals are my favourite. I like choosing a furry material for the body as it is then so tactile.

  • Sara Redner

    I joined the Church quilters group to send quilts to underprivileged countries. Also, after a friend going through cancer treatments was given a hat at the clinic, several of us have gotten hat patterns to make hats for the clinic.

  • [email protected]

    I stitch for an organization called The Lydia Project, that makes totes for women undergoing cancer treatment.

  • Donna G.

    I sew mainly for Project Linus, making blankets for children in need. I love sewing the simple, yet bright, quilts and I know the kids just love them!

  • QuiltShopGal

    Most of my stitching time results in projects for charity. I enjoy making things for fundraisers, for almost any cause. I’ve also stitched things that were sold in a gift shop at a local animal shelter, as well as pet beds. Quilts for Linus, as well as families living in Homeless Shelters, Veterans, Wounded Warriors, are all just a few. While I don’t consider myself rich, I’m blessed and find there are many that can use a good quilty hug, a warm neck by way of fleece or hat. Many don’t realize that modern day orphanages pick up children that can come with clothes & possessions in a black trash bag and these shelters appreciate a simple handmade bag where these kids can keep possessions and take the bag with them, as they go to a foster home. I’m always on the lookout for charity programs that are doing good, not well known and could use help. The Be the Difference Foundation has certainly caught my attention and actually brought me to your blog (and other sites), so I’m looking forward to ideas and projects that can help make a difference. And, I also want to help with PR.


  • Kathleen Watson

    I make very large “receiving blankets” for homeless families and babies who have been surrendered to DHS. I also make wheelchair blankets for homeless Veterans which are distributed by the I Dignity veteran representative in the greater Orlando area.