Creative Opportunities

Charitable Sewing – Needle, Hands & Heart

Charitable sewing – are you involved in some way? There’s nothing so marvelous as using your hands, heart and needles to help and encourage someone in need. And, gathering with your creative sisters and brothers to make things to donate is an exceptionally delicious joy!

I’m helping to lead a new Sew and Serve group at my church and I’m sewing with the most wonderful women! One of my new sewing sisters found a need for baby blankets at the local Union Gospel Mission and we all enthusiastically decided to help. So, using Jenny Doan’s (Missouri Quilt Co.) video tutorial, we’re stitching up self-binding flannel blankets of care that will warm the hearts and bodies of babies whose parents are homeless. Click here to view Jenny’s YouTube video if you’d like to warm babies, too!

In the years that I worked for Seattle-owned, Pacific Fabrics, I was overwhelmed with the response we saw each year to the charitable opportunities offered at the stores. I’m listing the events they hold so you can find ideas that your local store or guild can be involved in, too!

  • Pacific Fabrics stores are a year-round collection point for fabrics for Project Linus. Twice a year, a Project Linus Fabric Drive is held and a discount is offered in exchange for the yards and yards of fabrics contributed by customers. It’s a fabulous way for sewists to clean out their stash, buy more (!) and contribute to the community at the same time. The Fabric Drives are followed up with in-store Blanket Bees where snuggly stacks of blankets are sewn and donated to the local Project Linus chapters.
  • At the Seattle Mariners Stitch ‘n Pitch game each Summer, Pacific Fabrics collects little knitted hats for donation to World Vision’s Knit for Kids organization. Local author, Debbie Macomber serves as spokesperson for Knit for Kids and, if you’re a fan, the project is probably well known to you. Over 500 hats are collected at the event each year!
  • October is the beginning of cold weather and a great month to collect Hats for the Homeless. Pacific Fabrics serves as the collection point for over 1500 knitted, crocheted and stitched from fleece hats each year. Hats are distributed in areas surrounding the stores through Warm for Winter and make an incredible difference for those in need. That’s me with a volunteer and just a “few” of the hats shown above. “Someone made this just for me?” one grateful, smiling man was once heard to say!
  • In conjunction with the Million Pillowcase Challenge, Pacific Fabrics stores have collected handmade pillowcases and held pillowcase making events from time to time. Pillowcases are donated to local nursing homes, organizations that help children and other places where a handmade pillowcase conveys heartfelt love and care.
  • To celebrate Independence Day, a Block Drive for the Quilts of Valor Foundation is frequently held. Enough red, white and blue blocks are collected at Pacific Fabrics stores to assemble many quilts that will honor those who serve our country in the military. The impact of appreciation is amazing!
Little Dresses for Africa
Image Source: Little Dresses for Africa

If you’re looking for more ways to sew, stitch and help, there are plenty in a blog post I wrote for the Coats and Clark Sewing Secrets blog in March of this year. It was shared on the Canadian Quilters’ Association blog earlier this month, too. My heartfelt thanks to my generous sewist friends Barbara, Claire and Jeanette for their inspiration!! Click here to read the post.

I’d love to hear about the projects that are benefitting from your creative skills. But, if you’re not involved, I hope this will help you find a place to contribute. I so strongly believe in the power of making and our responsibility to use our skills to help others! There are so many ways that your heart and hands can positively impact your community and our world.

Hearts in Hands

And . . . the recipients are not the only ones who will benefit from your charitable creativity. You’ll find your appreciation for what you have in your own life increasing and, to paraphrase Dr. Seuss, “Your heart will grow  a hundred sizes as you make!”

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