If you like to sew, and you wish you could do something to help others with your sewing, this post is for YOU! I have a couple of fantastic ideas that I have to tell you about!
Let's start at the beginning...there is a wonderful blog about embroidery that I read every day, called Wild Olive. If you click on that name, you will go to the post I read last week, telling about a project to make tote bags decorated with an embroidered patch for an organization in Richmond, Virginia, that hosts a huge Thanksgiving Feast for the community every year. As the guests leave, they are given a bag of essential personal items, as well as food and other things left from the feast. That organization is called The Giving Heart. Click on the name to visit the website and learn more about them.
Wild Olive directs you to another blog, Abbie Living. Abbie is the young wife and mother with a great big heart who is organizing the tote bag drive. If you click on that name you will go directly to her tote bag information page; it will tell you all the details. If you can make and send a tote bag with a decorative patch, great! But she will also take just the patch, or just the bag, or even fabric to make the bag, and she will put them all together and send them to The Giving Heart.
I am so excited that I just finished making two bags to send! I thought I would make morsbags, which I love, but the more I read about the Thanksgiving Feast and all the goodies the guest get to take with them, the more I thought a morsbag would be too small. So I modified a pattern from bijou lovely called the Market Tote. They came out huge and wonderful!! I've never made a bag this big, but I love them and expect to make a lot more of them. They are so big, in fact, that I had to move outside to my front steps to take the pictures!
The finished size (after I modified the pattern) is 16" tall, 20" wide at the top, tapering down to 13" wide at the bottom, and 7" deep at the bottom. I need to say thank you to my generous reader Carmen, who sent me the pink and yellow fabric I used on these bags.
For my patches, I decided to be a rebel (sorry Wild Olive and Abbie!) and make fabric collages rather than embroidery. This is something I've been having fun with lately, and I think the patches look amazing (if I do say so myself)!
I cut the fabrics freehand and left all the edges raw. When I was pleased with the arrangement, I sewed around all the edges, so the edges will fray with use and washing, but the fabrics will be secure and should last as long as the bag.
I will put my totes in the mail tomorrow.
But there's more to this story! I chatted a bit with Abbey via e-mail, and after she saw my 365 Sewn Hearts blog, she told me that Vicki, the director of The Giving Heart, had mentioned that they were hoping to decorate a Christmas tree with hearts for a charity auction, but they didn't have anyone to make the hearts...can you see where this is going? I sent an e-mail to Vicki, got a reply, made a phone call, and now I'm in charge of hearts for the Christmas tree! Yay!
So here's the second way you can sew to help others: make a heart or two and send them directly to The Giving Heart. All the information is on my 365 Sewn Hearts blog, so click on that name to go to the post with all the details. I will start sewing hearts for the tree this weekend, so hopefully I will have some to show here next week. You don't have to sign up, but if you are thinking of making a heart, I'd love it if you would leave a comment so I will have a general idea of how much help I will have. If you do make a heart (or two), you can send me a picture (firstname.lastname@example.org) and I will post the pictures on my blog early in December. I hope to hear from a lot of you!