Random Acts of "Quiltiness" Day
What: An unofficial Random Acts of "Quiltiness" Day brought to you by American Patchwork & Quilting magazine
When: November 6 each year
Details: Commit to doing a random, nice act for someone using your sewing talents. Share pictures using the hashtag #RandomActsofQuiltiness on Instagram to join the fun!
Ideas for Random Acts of "Quiltiness"
Doing something kind for others isn't a totally selfless act, though. Helping another person not only makes them feel good, but also is good for you. When doing a kind act for others, your brain gets a wonderful burst of endorphins, a hormone that contributes to happy feelings. It's a win/win!
Here are 12 ideas for spreading cheer to others this season.
Family & Friends
Our support system is so important to our health and happiness. Let people know how much they mean to you with one of these ideas.
Sew a small gift. Gift little useful items to let others know you care. If your friend loves cooking, make them a pot holder, set of napkins, or wine wrap with a bottle of wine inside. If your recipient loves reading, make them handmade bookmarks or notebook covers for journals. If you have little ones in your life, sew a stuffed animal or little tote bag they can fill with toys. Get gift patterns here.
Send some mail. Stitch a fabric postcard or decorate a store-bought card with cute fabric scraps, then drop a "thinking of you" note in the mail to family you don't see often.
Help a sewer in need. Contribute unused fabric or supplies to quilters looking to build up their stashes, such as new quilters, so they can continue to sew and be creative with their time. Teachers and parents may also love scraps of fabric for art projects.
Bring along a cuddle quilt. As you travel for the holidays, or even when you visit nearby friends and family, bring along a holiday quilt or two to share. Family will love wrapping up with a handmade quilt while you visit, and you get the pleasure of remembering these special moments when you take the quilt out the following year.
Local Quilt Shops
Owning a small business is a lot of work, and adding a pandemic to the mix caused extra stress for our local quilt stores. Try any of these ideas to offer your support.
Shop with them. As you're making holiday gifts or buying supplies for a new quilt, buy as much as you can from your local quilt store before ordering online. If the store doesn't have what you need, ask if they'd be willing to order it for you. Money spent with the store directly impacts a whole community of quilters, so your dollar is really making a difference in the community.
Reach out. Small business owners have a lot on their plates. Drop off a coffee while they're working at the store, shoot them an email telling them they're doing a great job, or ask if they need volunteers to help with events or charity drives.
Spread the word. Follow your local quilt shop on Facebook, Instagram, and any other social media sites they may have. "Like" their posts, "share" if you like what they're posting, and "comment" your support.
Rate or review the store. Take to Facebook, Yelp, or Google to rate the business. This helps people in the area, as well as out-of-state visitors, find the shop in their online searches, so they choose to shop there.
Some of these same steps also apply to online sellers. Many quilt designers rely on sales of their own patterns, products, and even fabric kits to support themselves, so don't forget to support your favorite designers as well.
Many quilters regularly contribute to charitable organizations. Here are some ways to get involved in a charity to help communities in need.
Make regular donations. Quilts of Valor, Project Linus, Quilts for Kids, Days for Girls, and Ryan's Case for Smiles are all examples of organizations that have a constant need for quilts, pillowcases, and other sewing donations. Make a goal for yourself to donate periodically to an organization that speaks to your heart. See a list of charities here.
Plan a quilt retreat. Whether in-person or virtually, gather a group of sewing friends to work on a charity project. You'll connect with others and end the day knowing you've helped someone else.
Think outside the box. Inquire at places in your community to see if they accept donations of quilts or other sewing projects. Many times, care facilities, fire stations, homeless and women's shelters, and animal shelters have needs for useful items like place mats, pillowcases, small quilts, or even holiday decorations to brighten their spaces.
Use your talents. Volunteer to do a step of the quilting process to help a friend or group that does charity projects. You can press fabrics, trim units, or even bind a finished quilt, so your friend can start on the next charity project.