I received a copy of Quilting for Peace by Katherine Bell a few months ago. In it, Katherine highlights the stories of people and organizations that are sewing for different causes. Each project in the book corresponds to a particular initiative and range from full quilts to shopping bags, small pet mats to sleeping bags.
Inspired by the book, the girls and I decided to make one of the projects in the book. Mirabel the owl is the project for Softies for Mirabel. Softies for Mirabel is a holiday toy drive that collects handmade, soft toys for the Mirabel Foundation in Melbourne, Australia. I chose this project because it is simple and I knew the girls would be able to help me make the softies. Additionally, I knew that my children would be able to relate to the idea of giving to other children who might not have as much as they do.
It was definitely a team effort. Kate and Jane chose the fabrics and trims that they wanted out of my stash. I cut out the owls and they traced the other pattern pieces onto fusible interfacing. I did most of the cutting, ironing and machine sewing. They embroidered the eyelashes and stuffed the owls. In a little over an hour, we were finished. The girls were excited to show the softies to Fatty and spent a long time guessing what kind of child would end up with their creation. They also asked if we could do it again another day and maybe take those softies to our city's children's hospital. Of course. Then they asked if they could make one for themselves. I had been waiting for that! Of course.
I am so glad that I carved some time out of this busy week to work on this project with my children. It's important to me that they realize that even at their young age, they can do something for others. And I loved that the three of us spent time working together. Also, it wasn't me that insisted it get finished. After I proposed the idea of making the owls to them, they were the ones that kept reminding me that we needed to do it, that we should get busy sewing. Thanks to my girls, I was reminded that no matter how busy I am, no matter what needs to be done, chances are I have an hour or so to do something for someone else.
Quilting for Peace includes many easy, doable projects and information on the organizations that could benefit from your crafty talent. There's a 30-minute shopping bag pattern in the book that you could whip up for gifts. Or maybe sew a quilted mat to donate to a local animal shelter. I encourage you to take a look and see if there is something you can make for someone else in need this holiday season or in the new year.
I am giving away one copy of this fantastic book. If you are interested in winning, leave a comment on this post that includes one thing you have done or will do for someone in need or a particular charity this holiday season. I will close comments Wednesday, November 25th at 5:00 p.m. EST. The winner will be announced on Friday or Saturday. In other business, I'll be back tomorrow with the winner of last week's giveaway and some shop talk.