Perform a random act of quiltiness to brighten someone else's day (and yours!).

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Random Acts of Quiltiness

Now, more than ever is time for all us to step up to show compassion, love, and kindness. As we all navigate this new reality, we’re working through how to stay safe and healthy, how to process emotions and anxiety, how to cope with new routines and day-to-day tasks, and how to show our friends and family we care (even when we can’t be with them). Our staff came up with the idea of doing a Random Act of Quilti-ness (like a Random Act of Kindness) as a way to use our talents to show others we care!

Sewing for charity:

We know many quilters regularly contribute to charitable organizations. But if you’re getting more time in your sewing room and want to start contributing or contribute more, we have a few suggestions.

Donating supplies and quilts:

Especially as some of us use this extra time in our sewing rooms to organize and declutter, we may have fabric and tools ready to get out of our houses.

  • Donate extra fabric and supplies to people or organizations who were making masks.
  • Drop off fabric to sewers who may not have a large stash, so they can keep sewing during this time. Or to people wanting to learn to sew to they can use this time productively. Or even to parents who may want fabric scraps to teach their kids a new skill or even do art projects with.
  • Donate an already finished quilt or making a quick one to donate to someone who could use the extra comfort right now – like someone at a nursing home or care facility who can’t have visitors right now, family or friends living alone or having health issues, local small business owners under added stress to keep their business afloat, or, of course, a healthcare worker or any other essential worker who may be feeling tired and scared.

 “Just for Fun”:

These suggestions are great ways to reach out and connect with others. And some are great for getting the kids and family involved in, too!

  • Kim B. on our Facebook page had this awesome ideas: Send someone a paper-pieced star and the paper pieces for them to make one. They make one for themselves, one for the original sender, then they continue the chain by sending a paper-pieced star to a third person with the paper pieces to pass it on. That’s a great way to collect paper-pieced stars for a variety of people, as well as spread the fun to others!
  • Jody, our editor on staff, has been sending a fat quarter to her quilting buddies. She’s been decorating the envelopes with artwork and adding a quick “Thinking of you” note.
  • You could also drop off or mail little useful gifts for friends and family to let them know they’re in your thoughts. If friends are cooking more during this time, make them a pot holder, set of napkins, or wine wrap with a bottle of wine inside. If your friends are using this time to catch up on reading, make them handmade bookmarks or notebook covers for journals. If they’re entertaining kids, make stuffed animals or little tote bags they can fill with kid toys. (See patterns for gifts here.)

And one last note: If you’re overwhelmed, exhausted, have too much on your plate, or just don’t feel creative, don’t force yourself to sew or take on more work! Yes, spreading the love with a random act of quiltiness is a fun idea. But you shouldn’t feel guilty if you don’t have the energy to do that right now. Take care of yourself first, so you can take care of others.

We’d love to hear what random act of quiltiness you’ve done (or that someone has done for you!). Feel free to reach out and share it with us by email at APQPodcast@meredith.com.

Get Organized with Elizabeth

Hopefully soon we will be able to once again gather together with our sewing friends and start attending classes and retreats in person. In anticipation for all the future quilt retreats we will attend, it's a great idea to spend some time now on machine maintenance and organizing all your sewing machine accessories. Elizabeth Stumbo, the art director of American Patchwork & Quilting, shares some tips to get you started + some bonus tips for organizing works-in-progress, so you can finish more during this time.

Quilting Changes Everything with Alison

In this segment, Alison Gamm, the designer of Quilts & More, shares inspiring stories of quilters making a difference in their communities. As quilters, we make a lot of projects. But, can you imagine making upwards of 800 quilts? One couple in Washington has done just that. Mel and his wife, Max, decided to use their quilting skills to help benefit others. About 9 years ago, a friend brought up the Columbia Basin Cancer Foundation and thought they might benefit from receiving a couple of quilts. Mel and Max were inspired by this idea and have been making quilts for the foundation ever since. (Read the original story here.) For most of our listeners, you can relate when we say, having your period can be a nuisance. Luckily, many of us have resources to handle this monthly occurrence – we can go out and buy tampons or pads all while still being able to go about our daily activities. Unfortunately, for many women around the world, they don’t have these luxuries. Days for Girls is an amazing organization that helps supply feminine hygiene products for those who don’t have access.

One Million Pillowcase Challenge Update

Beth Peterson, the sales promotion manager, shares an update on our One Million Pillowcase Challenge. She announces the winners of our March Pillowcase Madness challenge, shares that we're less than 50,000 pillowcases away from our goal, and shares how you can get involved if you want to bring a piece of home and a little comfort to those in hospitals, nursing homes, and more during this time.

Quarantined Quilting

The staff and our listeners share how quilting is helping them through this time. We’re all coping in different ways, but hopefully sewing can help us all stay sane.

We’d love to keep sharing your quarantined quilting stories on an upcoming podcast. If you'd like to share how sewing or quilting is helping you through this time, please call and leave us a voicemail at (515) 257-6870. You can also email us your story or a voice memo at APQPodcast@meredith.com.