Hi everyone! I hope January is treating you well! At the end of 2017 I shared a new idea I was working on – a monthly charitable sewing challenge. Over the past few weeks, I’ve been mulling over how I wanted to do this. It’s still a work-in-progress and subject to change, but here’s the basic gist of it:
I want more goodness in my life. I’ve felt emotionally drained by the negativity and drama in the world. I’m pretty sure I’m not alone. So I decided I wanted to set a goal making time for more sewing that would make a difference to folks in real need. After finishing my 2017 monthly quiltalong blocks, I realized I could treat this challenge in a similar way- some small, simple “Sew Goodness” project each month and by the end of the year, I’d have hopefully accomplished some real good!
Thus was born the idea of having a simple, monthly project for a good cause.
And instead of hosting a quiltalong of my own this year, I’m going to offer a simple project idea each month with an invitation to anyone else so inclined to join.
The main goal is to keep this simple, not-political, and do-able.
You’re welcome to participate or share as you so desire. You can make something for the cause shared, or you can make something for a cause near and dear to your own heart, or one you are already working on!
This is a “no pressure/no guilt” challenge. If any month you have a baby/puppies/the flu/a much deserved vacation/anything-else that is filling your plate, you should know that your good thoughts and a smile to someone who could use is just as meaningful toward the cause for good!
Also keep in mind: if you don’t have time to sew, financial contributions to many of these causes are often even more valuable than the goods themselves and can go a LONG way. Costs are always needed for shipping and transporting the goods to those who need them.
This month’s challenge:
Make a pillowcase or pillowcase dress.
A simple pillowcase is a quick and easy project to make and often finishes in under an hour. They’re also a great stash buster if you have fabric that you no longer love or need. (see what I’m using below.)
American Patchwork and Quilting has hosted an on-going 1 Million Pillowcase challenge. You are welcome to donate your pillowcase anywhere you like! If you don’t have a local place in mind to donate, APQ has an extensive list of places to donate your pillowcases.
Here are two simple tutorials for making a pillowcase: This one from Simple Simon and Co. has a great video tutorial.
APQ also has a list of other free pillowcase patterns.
Another variation: Make a pillowcase dress!
A few years ago I was able to hear Rachel O’Neill, founder of Little Dresses for Africa, who started this foundation to provide clothing to children in Africa who have no clothing to wear. (You can read more of her story here.) I was so impressed. Mrs O’Neill was on a service trip to Africa, saw a need, and figured out a way to make a difference. Over the years they have received thousands of donated dresses – and yet they will always need more.
Here are the Pillowcase Dress directions.
UPDATE: Ana is an experienced maker and has helpful downloadable PDF instructions for cutting and assembling dresses here.
Here’s Nancy Zieman showing how simple it is to make a pillowcase dress. You can make a new ‘pillowcase’ from fabric, or use the same technique to cut out armholes in a pillowcase you already have or one from the thrift store.
Here is the information for sending the pillowcase dresses (or shorts) to Little Dresses for Africa. They will hand deliver the dresses to children in need.
Here are my projects ready to sew. In doing a recent clean-out I found a few pillowcases we don’t need – those will be made into dresses. The fabric is for pillowcases to go to my local children’s hospital.
Quilter’s have the best hearts. I’ve seen so much good come as quilters work together to contribute their love and skills to a good cause. I’m excited to see all that we can do this year! Feel free to pin or share this graphic to help spread the word!
I have ideas for the months ahead, but if you have any great causes that come to mind, please feel free to share them in the comments – or send me a private email (firstname.lastname@example.org).
I’m thinking of having a couple of quilt block drives in coming months. I’m looking to find quilting groups or guilds who would be interested in sewing the accumulated blocks together. Let me know if you’re part of a group who would be interested in something like this!