What a busy day last Sunday was. Members of the Rocky Mountain Crazy Quilters showed up in force at the Holly Quilt Shop in Centennial, Colorado for what can best be described as a Sew-A-Thon. The purpose was to help make at least 100 drawstring bags for holding Basic Sewing Kit supplies that had been donated to the Texas Fire Relief Effort. We also needed to make additional needlebooks and prepare some of the items we planned on putting into the BSK's by dividing them into small containers that could easily be slipped into the bags when they are filled.
Connie K. (MAP moderator and mentor) and I spent the past few weeks sorting the donations and pulling out all the needles, pincushions, needle books, measuring tapes, marking tools, buttons, spools of thread, floss, seam rippers, scissors and other cutting tools, etc. Anything that could be used in a BSK. We had separated all the fabrics into cotton and fancy types, then sorted them by color. While we were at it we pulled out many pieces that were sized right for making the BSK drawstring bags. We cut velcro into strips, we gathered charms and packages of lace strips and many other items that could be put into the bags. We set it all aside to take to Centennial when the time came.
There were a dozen ladies and 2 gentlemen who showed up to help make the bags and fill them with the BSK supplies. Some brought sewing machines, one gal brought her serger. The guys brought their patience and ability to count endless numbers of buttons, charms and spools of thread. It was amazing that as much as we thought we had it all ready to go we soon found that there was much more to do.
Here Richard, facing the camera, and Louie, are counting buttons into film canisters.
Pins that were all mixed together had to be sorted into types: plain straight pins, those with beaded tops, and safety pins. Then equal numbers of each were put into over 100 pincushions by MAP member Sandy B. and her young friend Cheyenne. That's Liz standing at the end of the table. She was cutting felt for the needlebooks.
The safety pins were sorted again by the fellas, according to size, before being sealed into small plastic baggies.
This picture shows the table area where volunteers (Diana and Claudina) were setting up their sewing machines early on. The table was as busy as a beehive about 10 minutes later when everyone else arrived.
We had ladies ironing the fabric, others were cutting/trimming the fabric to size for bags and/or additional needlebooks, one was cutting cords for the drawstring, another cutting felt for the middle of the needlebooks, another sewing the felt into the books, another serging the edges of the needle books, one or two were turning the bags and a some were putting the cords through the casings. Henry Ford would have been proud of our assembly line.
Almost every lady who attended also brought a box or two of additional donations. Customers of the quilt shop stopped in every once in a while to find out if we were holding a class. We would explain our mission and cause...many offered to bring even more donations to the store and drop them off. A volunteer stepped forward, said she would pick them up on a certain date and bring them to me.
I am overwhelmed with gratitude for the effort that the ladies of RMCQ put into this project. It was so wonderful to see how much they really wanted to help and how hard they were willing to work to get the job done. At the end of the day we were still shy of our goal of 100 bags and there were still a bazillion needles to be sorted into sizes and then put into the needlebooks. Volunteers stepped forward to take the tasks on. Those ladies took the materials home and will deliver them to me at some point in time after the Thursday night stitching session that they have planned for tonorrow.
When it came time to clean up the room and pack the car with all that we had brought with us and the additional donations we had received, they did not shirk. Everyone carried boxes out to the car, helped my dear husband load it in (He had to drop 2 more seats in the Suburban to accommodate it all). Then they found the energy to come back to straighten up the room. I don't know how they managed the energy to go shopping in the store but they did! This day I was proud to be associated with such inspirational and giving women...and,of course, the two wonderful fellas.