Post by Andrea Paden
Throughout 2010, Cozy Quilt Shop has been collecting homemade pillowcases as part of the 1 Million Pillowcase Challenge sponsored by AllPeopleQuilt.com. This event, lasting through the end of the year, was created to inspire people to make and donate a pillowcase for someone in need. Cozy chose to donate pillowcases to two very different groups. One is ConKerr Cancer, an organization that provides colorful, cheerful, handmade pillowcases to children battling cancer and other life threatening illnesses at Rady Children's Hospital, The Ronald McDonald House, other local pediatric wards, and pediatric hospices. We also chose to donate to our U.S. Military troops in Afghanistan. They too appreciate the soft feel of a handmade pillowcase as a reminder of home, family and better days.
As of September, 2010 Cozy had collected 2,343 pillowcases from our wonderful and dedicated customers - what an amazing accomplishment! Our goal for the year is to collect 3,000, and as summer began to wind down, we decided we needed a pillowcase event to help push us toward that final number.
One of our favorite new events at the shop is our Friday Night Fever Sit and Sew where we gather with friends, have some fantastic snacks, laugh a LOT, enjoy each other's company and sew whatever projects we like. We always have a great time, so we extended the hours a bit, asked everyone to sew pillowcases for one night, got a ton of snacks and goodies, asked Daniela to provide some great prizes. We called the event a Pajama Pillowcase Sew-A-Thon because we would be sewing into the late hours of the night. And, man - not only did we have a blast but those people made a gob of pillowcases!
As the starting time approached, people gathered in their comfy clothes and pjs and scoped out their spots. Fingers twitched and caffeine was consumed. When we blew the starting whistle, those sewers were ready to go and the fabric started to fly! There were mounds of pillowcases, piles of pins, and machines humming while tea and coffee were gulped and we prepared to sew until midnight.
While we sewed under the traditional FNF Disco ball, Sharreen stopped by to deliver a delicious cake courtesy of Audrey Eller who collects our pillowcases for ConKerr Cancer. Audrey has been so gracious and passed on some wonder stories and messages from the doctors at Rady's and the children who receive the pillowcases. What a wonderful moment of inspiration. Thank you Audrey for thinking of us during our event and thank you Sharreen for your heartfelt words reminding us how important this project really is.
It wouldn't have a true Friday Night Fever without a few prizes, and to help keep everyone awake, we decided to add in a game. So Kathy passed out the bubble gum and we took a break from sewing for just a minute to have a bubble blowing contest!
I'm sorry to say that, despite our best efforts, spittle spraying here and there, our bubbles were not very impressive. But, hey, we sure can crank out some pillowcases. We can't be good at everything!
As the evening wore on and the party music wound down, we started tallying the number of pillowcases made during the event. Drum roll, please!
In the serger class, we had two participants. And who would ever believe that they would make the exact same number of pillowcases? They made an incredible 31 pillowcases each! Now that's sewin'!
[FNF Pillowcase Fun Fact #4 - JoAnn Flavin not only came from the furthest distance to be at the event, she had to go all the way back home to get her power cord, an hours drive in rush hour traffic!]
So how many pillowcases did our guests make? In less than 8 hours One Hundred and Sixteen were finished! Woo hoo! And not only did they sew pillowcases at the event, they brought other pillowcases to donate as well. Thank you all for such a generous contribution to the 1 Million Pillowcase Challenge.
If you have been inspired and would like to help with make some pillowcases (it only takes 1 yard of fabric, total!) for the 1 Million Pillowcase Challenge, check our website or come into the shop for more information. Or, just make some pillowcases and drop them off here at the shop anytime!