Tuesday, July 19, 2011

A Swimming Pool Kind of Day

Here in Iowa and most of the Midwest there is a severe heat advisory.
The heat index today is supposed to be 115 degrees.
The only place to be today is indoors in air conditioning.
If you have to be outside the place to be is at the pool.

We grew up in Minnesota just across the Iowa border.
The public beach of Big Spirit Lake was just two miles from our home.
Big Spirit Lake is the largest natural lake in Iowa at 5,684 acres of water.
Because the lake was so close you would think that as children we would go there often.
We did not.
We only went to the lake about once a year and it was such a big deal outing.
We did however have our own private swimming pool right in our backyard ...well kind of.

This was what we used for a swimming pool.

This is not actually a picture of use three girls but it certainly could be - although we never wore swim caps.
Yes believe it or not we used a dishpan for a swimming pool.
We were much more fortunate than the 3 girls in the picture.
We did not all 3 have to crowd in one tiny little "pool".
Each of us had our own private - dishpan.

My sister Linda has always been a sewer.
You can always count on her to have a sewing kit.

Deb needed her wedding dress tucked in a bit
on wedding day…
Not a problem - just one call to Linda and problem solved.

Linda does more clothing sewing than quilting.

However, since Santa Claus brought both her and her granddaughter
American Girl dolls she has been making clothes for the dolls
instead of clothes for herself.
She says their bodies are much easier to fit than
a 60 something post menopausal body.
She also is somewhat of a shoe addict.

She had the tell-tale signs of this addiction at the early age of 4.

She found a website with sooo many adorable doll shoes.
She wanted to buy them all.
But it would be silly to buy 106 pairs of doll shoes. And then of course she would have to make 106 outfits to go with each pair of shoes.

Linda is very creative.
She came up with a plan.

I sent her fabric...

she ordered the shoes…

she sewed many adorable outfits.
All with matching shoes.
(These are just a few of them.)

(I am supposed to tell you that she forgot to
change Lanie's shoes before she took the picture.
And her sewing room does not always look like this.)

One might ask, does a doll need 106 outfits with matching shoes???
No not really.
Her plan was to make the outfits and sell them.
She donates the money to local charities in her town of Montevideo, Minnesota.
Some of the money went to buy swimming pool passes for children who could not afford passes.

It's a win win situation.
Linda gets to buy shoes and sew clothes...

and some very lucky kids are finding heat relief
at the pool on this very hot day.

Let's all try to do a win win something today.

From my heart,


  1. Love, love the stuff your sister is doing for the American girl dolls (and the shoes). I am sweltering here in next door Illinois. We didn't have a pool - but we did have a hose and a sprinkler!

  2. Oh my gosh HOW ADORABLE!! Hotter than hades here in Wisconsin too!

  3. People who make adorable little doll clothes just amaze me! Those are the cutest little outfits - and I can see why she couldn't resist the shoes! Amazing!!

  4. in addition to having the talent and patience for making doll clothes, your sister has a very generious heart.

  5. What a great post! Love the cute outfits and what a great idea to use one's time, talent, and treasure!

  6. I love everything about this post!

  7. What a sweetheart! I'm sure that there are some kids that are soooo
    happy right now! Splashing and having there hair turn green (from the choloreen....) and just having a great Summer! Bet your sis is feeling alright too!

  8. The outfits...and shoes are adorable. The sharing scheme is great...it cools my heart...which is better than warming my heart with the heat/humidity we have in ND! Your sister is a keeper!

  9. Such a sweet post; it brought tears to my eyes!! Then I read about Jacob, The Humble Hero... You truly are a blessed woman.

  10. What a wonderful sister you have!
    Thanks for sharing her story. :D

  11. What a blessing to have so much talent and use it to help others. You both are admired! And I love your fabrics!

  12. What a sweet way to play! I love the doll clothes and shoes. I love shoes too, but my size 10's aren't so cute! I hope you are taking good care of yourselves in the heat! We are so lucky in Massachusetts. It has been horribly hot and humid, then when you cry uncle it gets dry and breezy. I have yet to go for a nice lake swim. The dishpan sounds like a good idea though. Have a great summer!

  13. What a wonderful post. I just love your fabric and your style. Keep up the good work!

  14. Sweet post! Can we buy a dress for your sister's charity?

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