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1 Million Pillowcase Challenge

November 11, 2011

Back in mid-September my mother-in-law shared that the local quilt shop was trying to collect 2000 pillowcases by December 10th, as part of the American Patchwork Quilts 1 million pillowcase challenge.  A local charity estimated 2000 would be enough to give each person enrolled in their holiday adopt-a-family program a pillowcase for Christmas.

How could I pass up a project involving pillowcases?  I couldn’t.  But I am only one person and I really wanted to involve more people in this project, because clearly the more hands the more pillowcases we could contribute to their lofty goal.

Our congregation has been encouraged to participate more in local service opportunities, so I turned to them to see if I there was enough interest to make this a reality.  In the end 44 people participated by donating fabric, ironing and cutting fabrics, and sew pillowcases together, resulting in 66 hours of service and 52 pillowcases delivered.   It was an amazing experience to see it all come together.

My daughters youth group, girls ages 8-18, along with their mothers or grandmothers, helped us iron and cut the fabric into pillowcase sewing kits during their weeknight activity.   Then on another night 16 of us kept 8 sewing machines and 2 sergers busy for 90 minutes as we sewed the fabrics the girls cut into 52 charming pillowcases using this basic pattern and instructions.

This afternoon I delivered a box filled with all 52 pillowcases, pictured above, to the local quilt shop.  They were so excited to hear about our pillowcase making adventures and how we were able to involve sewers and non-sewers as well as tweens and teens in this project.  I’m hoping we’ll be able to find a similar project for 2012 but involve multiple congregations across faiths to benefit a local cause.

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