Late as usual to get the post up but better late than never. I’m glad I posted the yearly projects in this blog, so you’re able to work ahead when I get behind with the blogs. This month we’re concentrating on pillowcases, towels and washcloths for babies through teens. While the hooded baby towels may not be used by others in the family, I do know that regular towels will be used by everyone. Sheets of all sizes are needed so add them to your box if you have any that are in good condition. Bedding and towels are not in great supply on the Rez. Many sleep on drafty floors in their street clothes using only a blanket if they can find one. If there is a bed it will be shared with others as there isn’t room in a 3 bedroom home for everyone to have their own bed. Some homes have 15 or more occupants in the winter months due to the number of family members that return home from seasonal jobs. Once spring arrives they will head out once again looking for work so they can send money back home.
Eight mattresses came in from NAHA over Christmas and Jerome found wood around the area to build frames for them so people could get off their cold and drafty floors. These twin and queen size beds went to 8 families that were sleeping on the floor. Jerome often goes to construction sites and begs for the leftovers knowing there will be a future need for building supplies We’re also very fortunate to have an organization I contacted in early fall, Kidz Quiltz , donate 30 quilts in sizes 45″x54″ and 45″x72″. A BIG Thank You to all the generous quilters of that organization! So those quilts along with our donations this month should help some people have a better night’s sleep.
Used bedding and towels in good, clean condition are welcome but we would like to make new pillowcases for the kids. This is an easy sewing project and an excellent one for beginners or kids to participate in. You can send used pillow cases too, others in the family will use them. Used towels can be jazzed up with trim and appliques appealing to kids although we know they will probably be used by others in the family.
My first project for the month is sewing hooded baby towels and washcloths, nurse Debbie likes to give them out to new mothers on her postpartum home visits. I went “shopping” in my stash and found terrycloth purchased from an earlier thrift store find that I’ve been wanting to use up. Hooded towels are especially nice for kids on the Rez as they help prevent heat loss from bare heads after a bath. Check thrift stores for good used towels or the white sales many stores are having for new ones. All those warm hats you donated are doing double duty as they’re also worn indoors to keep people warm.
There are many ways to make hooded towels, I used the Purl Bee site, but changed the pattern (don’t I always). Check this site for making a bias bound towel or our past guest blogger for instructions to make her towels. For this towel I omitted adding the backing piece so the fabric could be saved to make a pair of kids shorts for summer. To finish the edges I sewed bias cut scraps together for binding. The finished towel is 32″x 32″ and the hood was made by cutting a 12″ square of terry and a coordinating fabric for lining. I basically followed the blog instructions but sewed the hood to the corner and rounded the edges to make the binding job a little easier. The washcloth was made from a 10″ piece of terry and coordinating fabric as in the blog. If you make the towel or washcloth in the pattern, make sure you sew a few lines thru each layer of the washcloth and towel ( like you do when you quilt) to keep the pieces together when washed or used.
Making and applying binding is a skill I need to perfect which is why I chose to add it to this project. There are some great tutorials and videos here , here, and here and this video shows how to use a bias tape maker, this Pinterest site is loaded with How To’s. Usually I sew the binding to the front of a quilt then sew it to the back by hand but to save time on this project I sewed the binding to the back of the towel with a 1/4 inch seam allowance and then turned it over to the front and used a zigzag stitch to finish. To join the ends of the binding I used this method which works every time.
Most of our members are on limited budgets and don’t always have the money to add all the frills to their projects they might like to because the needs of the Rez are so great and there are only so many resources and time. Mailing costs drive up the cost of projects even further so we try to concentrate on functional needs that will make people’s lives a little more tolerable. Although we do welcome all crafters we’re mainly a sewing site so want to share tips, patterns and new techniques with you to keep things interesting and challenging. That’s how I keep my sewing projects interesting by learning something new knowing the result is something that can be used on the Rez and since I usually make more than one of each item my skill gets better. We’re always asking for your photos as you all have such wonderful ideas that inspire others and what better way to learn than from others that share your passion. You can always share your ideas with us on the facebook page or the yahoo group .
We have our own Pinterest site with boards for knitters, crocheters, sewers and also ones for our monthly projects. If you need to learn or need help with a skill each craft has it’s own “tips” board. This is a work in progress so check back often. Send your favorite pins so we can add them to the boards. We’re adding pins for the February project now so check them out.
Your gifts can be sent here.