This past weekend on one of my sewing facebook groups a woman posted the question: “Wondering what to make for the holidays this year. Previously I’ve made [XYZ] and it was greeted with a lackluster reception, I don’t think my family appreciates my handmade gifts. What should I make them this year?” I’ve read post after post along the same lines and personally experienced the same disheartening reaction when gifting handmade. It’s for this reason that I now only make handmade items for a very small, select group of individuals that I know really appreciate and love the things I’ve sewn for them, about five lucky ducks. The rest, I just save time and buy them something I think they will love. No hard feelings, everyone is happy and I didn’t waste creative energy, supplies and time. An added bonus is that by limiting the amount of people I make gifts for I’m able to really devote my time to each gift and embellish with special little details.
Sticking to my hardline, slightly Grinch-y, “no handmade gifts for most” policy can be hard though. Sometimes, I just want the pleasure of making tons of beautiful gifts! I remembered that in the past AGF hosted a charity sewing booth at Quilt Market and a quilt drive for the hurricane victims in Texas. Then, I had an epiphany- now is the perfect time to sew for charity. This is the time of year when those in need most appreciate the gesture of a handmade gift made with love. Despite how busy I am I’ve been working on projects to donate. What better way to use up the quilt scraps and finally tackle those half finished abandoned projects? Knit remnants too big to throw away, but too small for most projects are the perfect size for preemie sleep gowns and hats! Scraps that would have been tossed in the garbage can become stuffing for a pet bed! Since I’m starting a little late, I know I may not finish my ambitious goals in time for the official gift giving holidays, however my donations will still be appreciated in January or February. In fact, I plan to continue my charitable scrap & stash busting throughout the year.
With the hustle and bustle of everyday life and holiday preparations we can be so busy preparing for the holiday that we don’t feel the holiday spirit. Slowing down and making gifts for charity (and lucky family and friends) allows us to really relish the spirit of the season. So, AGF Sewists, turn on the holiday music, grab a mug of hot cocoa and sew! Who’s with me?
Here’s a list to check out:
Donate quilts and blankets to:
Baby Items for Hospital:
Hospital Pillow Cases for Children:
Pet Beds for Shelter Animals:
General Humanitarian Sewing
Check with local churches and sewing or quilting guilds for any local charities you may be able to sew for, contact local women's, homeless and pet shelters and see if they have need of anything. Another important note, make sure to read up on the organization’s guidelines and requirements before starting a project, some have very specific sizes and material guidelines.
Any experienced charity sewists out there? Let us know which is your favorite charity to give to and any tips or advice you may have!