One Million Pillowcase Challenge | AllPeopleQuilt.com Staff Blog
 

One Million Pillowcase Challenge

7 posts.

One Million Pillowcase Challenge Blog Hop

 

A few years ago, Michelle Kim, a nurse at the University of California Davis Medical Center, learned how to make pillowcases. She’s made enough now that every child coming to the hospital for surgery gets one. Medical professionals and patients’ parents agree: The pillowcases lessen anxiety, provide comfort, and make the kids feel special. To date, Michelle has donated 2,476 pillowcases. She keeps track, she says, so she can “see how many kids have been blessed in a small way on a day that can be full of fears.

 

To most of us a pillowcase may not be a big deal. It’s something we barely notice as we lay down to sleep each night. But for some (such as the patients Michelle treats in the story above), they can be a great source of comfort and joy during a time of stress and uncertainty. Whether it’s a piece of home in a sterile hospital room, a little return to normalcy for those in homeless shelters or women’s shelters, or just a reminder that someone else in the world cares, a pillowcase can make a huge difference in your community.

 

We started our One Million Pillowcase Challenge in 2010, and in just a few years quilters and sewers all over the world have donated more than 560,000 pillowcases to those in need! That’s 560,000 smiles and sighs of relief! We’ve heard countless stories of how this Challenge has changed lives in communities across the country, as well as given many quilters a community to share a great cause with.

 

With the holidays coming, we wanted to challenge our community even more! We’re hosting our first 24-hour sewing event for charity! From Friday, September 19 at 3pm to Saturday, September 20 at 3pm, we’re hosting the One Million Pillowcase 24-Hour Sewathon. We have an event planned at our offices in Des Moines, Iowa. But there are 44 events in 29 states and 2 countries already scheduled! Encourage your local quilt shop to host an event or find a shop in your area here. Many people are hosting their own private events with family and friends, too! Invite your sewing buddies over for some snacks and a few hours of sewing!

 

Want to stay up sewing all night with American Patchwork & Quilting? Mark this date on your calendar and follow us on Facebook! We’ll be posting pictures, videos, pillowcase count updates, and have fun giveaways from our sponsors! Post photos of your own events or pillowcases you’ve made to our Facebook page or hashtag them with #APQSewathon on Instagram and Twitter!

 

To celebrate this fun event, we’re hosting a blog hop! See pillowcases made by our our designer friends and sponsors:

 

Thanks to everyone who has donated over the years and our wonderful sponsors for helping us spread the word about this cause. And we can’t forget to thank the quilt shops across the nation that have collected pillowcases in the community and held pillowcase-making events in their stores. No matter how big or small your donation is it really does make a huge difference in another person’s life!

 

Learn more about the One Million Pillowcase Challenge.

Find a list of suggested charities.

Find shops in your area that collect pillowcases.

Get free patterns.

Add your pillowcases to our count!


American Patchwork & Quilting Staff Pillowcases

 

Yesterday, the staff of American Patchwork & Quilting took two hours from our work days to sew pillowcases for the 1 Million Pillowcase Challenge. When we started this project, we never imagined the large outpouring of support from quilt shops, fabric companies, quilters, and sewers (although we’re not surprised!). Quilters are some of the most giving and loving people out there, and their talent is always used to show how much they care. Executive editor Jennifer Keltner says: “Most of us take for granted that we have a clean pillowcase on which to rest our head every night. A simple pillowcase can make such a different to someone who doesn’t have the most basic items for daily living. What else can you accomplish in 20 minutes that can change the life of another?” 

When our staff decided to host this blog hop, we hoped to build some more excitement around this great cause and show how your favorite designers and companies are helping others. Since the blog hop started September 1, we’ve added almost 3,000 more pillowcases to our counter — all thanks to kind donations from you guys! The current number is at 431,975 pillowcases and this will continue to grow in the upcoming months with your help.

Our staff used the easy roll-it up method for making pillowcases using beautiful fabric from our sponsors. We offer many more free patterns for pillowcases and are constantly adding them, so you can find one to suit your style. We each grabbed a station in our sewing lab to make the process quick — some of us pinning the fabric, some sewing, some ironing, and some serging. We had a blast and there were a lot of laughs and even some learning for the newer members of the staff.

At the end of the two hours, we had 62 pillowcases to donate to ConKerr Cancer. This organization’s goal is to give a bright, cheery pillowcase to every child battling cancer in North America to help them feel special during their treatments and bring a bit of home into the hospital. To date, they’ve delivered about 560,000 donated pillowcases to sick children. They have two great events this month that we find inspiring and invite you to join. The first is the Miles of Pillowcase Smiles Campaign with the goal to have 44,000 pillowcases donated — one for every child currently fighting cancer in the U.S. The second is a Pillowcase Pajama Party for those in the Philadelphia area to help raise money and make pillowcases.

There are many other fantastic organizations to donate your pillowcases to. See our suggested list or find a shop in your community that collects them. Or start a group in your community. Our assistant editor Jody Sanders says: “My church has started a pillowcase ministry. Over 150 pillowcases have been made. When we have 50-75 completed, there is a blessing ceremony during a church service and the pillowcases are shown to the congregation before they are distributed to local charities.”

See more pictures from our own pillowcase challenge here.

See the other great blog posts in our month-long blog hop here:

September 1: Welcome from American Patchwork & Quilting

September 2: Rashida Coleman-Hale

September 3: Olivia and Alayna’s Pillowcase Project

September 4: Morgan’s Smile Factory

September 5: Pat Sloan

September 6: Northcott

September 7: Betsy Chutchian

September 8: Vanessa Christenson

September 9: Andover Fabrics

September 10: Laurie Simpson

September 11: Oak Hill, Ohio

September 12: Robert Kaufman Fabrics

September 13: Pam Buda

September 14: Indygo Junction

September 15: 4-H

September 16: Katie Hennagir

September 17: Anni Downs

September 18: FreeSpirit Fabrics

September 19: American Patchwork & Quilting Staff

September 20: Patty Young

September 21: Moda Fabrics

September 22: Monica Solorio-Snow

September 23: Moda Bake Shop

September 24: Andover Fabrics 

September 25: Roseann Kermes from Rosebud’s Cottage

September 26: Ann Kelle for Shannon Fabrics

September 27: Therm O Web

September 28: Edyta Sitar

September 29: Fabri-Quilt 

September 30: Cherri House


4-H Club

Tara Fry and Ashley Olson (pictured above left and center) from the Oakvale, California, 4-H club were the committee heads of the 4-H State Fashion Revue service project in May. They choose the 1 Million Pillowcase Challenge as their charity!

They (and other members) collected pillowcases during the 4-H State Field Day. These pillowcases were donated by members, friends, family, and the community.  Their goal was to collect 500 pillowcases. They blew this goal away and collected 1,193 pillowcases from the 26 participating counties!

 

Local 4-H participants in the North Carolina Cooperative Extension Service “Summer Explosion” series also used their new sewing skills to help others. Not only did they make pillowcases for the 1 Million Pillowcase Challenge to donate to shelters (shown above), but they also made tote bags to attach to walkers, as well as cooling scarves for those in the military.

Great job, 4-H clubs! We’re so happy to see girls learning to sew and using their skills to bring joy to their communities!

 

See the rest of this month’s blog hop here:

September 1: Welcome from American Patchwork & Quilting

September 2: Rashida Coleman-Hale

September 3: Olivia and Alayna’s Pillowcase Project

September 4: Morgan’s Smile Factory

September 5: Pat Sloan

September 6: Northcott

September 7: Betsy Chutchian

September 8: Vanessa Christenson

September 9: Andover Fabrics

September 10: Laurie Simpson

September 11: Oak Hill, Ohio

September 12: Robert Kaufman Fabrics

September 13: Pam Buda

September 14: Indygo Junction

September 15: 4-H

September 16: Katie Hennagir

September 17: Anni Downs

September 18: FreeSpirit Fabrics

September 19: American Patchwork & Quilting Staff

September 20: Patty Young

September 21: Moda Fabrics

September 22: Monica Solorio-Snow

September 23: Moda Bake Shop

September 24: Andover Fabrics 

September 25: Roseann Kermes from Rosebud’s Cottage

September 26: Ann Kelle for Shannon Fabrics

September 27: Therm O Web

September 28: Edyta Sitar

September 29: Fabri-Quilt 

September 30: Cherri House


Oak Hill, Ohio

pillow_12_1

 

It’s touching when one person gives their time, talents, and money to a great cause. It’s even more heartwarming when a city comes together to give back to those in need. Such is the case in Oak Hill, Ohio, where the Oak Hill Family Career and Community Leaders of America (FCCLA), Oak Hill High School Science Committee, and United Commercial Travelers of America (UCT), Council 380 participated in the One Million Pillowcase Challenge.

These groups donated  pillowcases to Serenity House, a shelter serving victims of domestic violence in two Ohio counties. Members of these organizations honed their own sewing skills, making a variety of pillowcases that would appeal to both boys and girls, and young and old.

Tammy Nevil, an Oak Hill science teacher knew just how to make this donation mean that much more. She organized a couponing program where students and parents used their bargain shopping to provide a bag of toiletries, children’s books, and a stuffed animal toy with each donated pillowcase.

 

See the rest of this month’s blog hop here:

September 1: Welcome from American Patchwork & Quilting

September 2: Rashida Coleman-Hale

September 3: Olivia and Alayna’s Pillowcase Project

September 4: Morgan’s Smile Factory

September 5: Pat Sloan

September 6: Northcott

September 7: Betsy Chutchian

September 8: Vanessa Christenson

September 9: Andover Fabrics

September 10: Laurie Simpson

September 11: Oak Hill, Ohio

September 12: Robert Kaufman Fabrics

September 13: Pam Buda

September 14: Indygo Junction

September 15: 4-H

September 16: Katie Hennagir

September 17: Anni Downs

September 18: FreeSpirit Fabrics

September 19: American Patchwork & Quilting Staff

September 20: Patty Young

September 21: Moda Fabrics

September 22: Monica Solorio-Snow

September 23: Moda Bake Shop

September 24: Andover Fabrics 

September 25: Roseann Kermes from Rosebud’s Cottage

September 26: Ann Kelle for Shannon Fabrics

September 27: Therm O Web

September 28: Edyta Sitar

September 29: Fabri-Quilt 

September 30: Cherri House


Morgan’s Smile Factory

In May, Morgan McLees was crowned as New Jersey’s Preteen National Teenager 2012. She’s a remarkable girl. She has maintained an A average in school, is an active member in many school organizations, and also is the founder of “Morgan’s Smile Factory.”

Morgan’s Smile Factory” is a business that sells purses all designed and sewed by Morgan, a current seventh grader. Half of the proceeds benefit FACES, a support group for parents of children with Autism in honor of her cousin, J.D. Haak. She has also supported the “1 Million Pillowcase Challenge” with her sewing skills.

Morgan started Morgan’s Smile Factory last April during Autism Awareness Month, realizing that her passion for sewing could be used to put  smiles on other people’s faces. Morgan sews the purses in her family’s basement in her free time. Since starting her business, she has sold more than 25 bags, but orders have been coming in fast.

It’s great to see kids helping kids!

 

See the rest of this month’s blog hop here:

 

September 1: Welcome from American Patchwork & Quilting

September 2: Rashida Coleman-Hale

September 3: Olivia and Alayna’s Pillowcase Project

September 4: Morgan’s Smile Factory

September 5: Pat Sloan

September 6: Northcott

September 7: Betsy Chutchian

September 8: Vanessa Christenson

September 9: Andover Fabrics

September 10: Laurie Simpson

September 11: Oak Hill, Ohio

September 12: Robert Kaufman Fabrics

September 13: Pam Buda

September 14: Indygo Junction

September 15: 4-H

September 16: Katie Hennagir

September 17: Anni Downs

September 18: FreeSpirit Fabrics

September 19: American Patchwork & Quilting Staff

September 20: Patty Young

September 21: Moda Fabrics

September 22: Monica Solorio-Snow

September 23: Moda Bake Shop

September 24: Andover Fabrics 

September 25: Roseann Kermes from Rosebud’s Cottage

September 26: Ann Kelle for Shannon Fabrics

September 27: Therm O Web

September 28: Edyta Sitar

September 29: Fabri-Quilt 

September 30: Cherri House