If you’ve never heard of the One Million Pillowcase Challenge, it’s a program that encourages sewers around the world to make a pillowcase to donate in their local communities — from women’s shelters to hospitals to child services. Although one pillowcase may not seem like a big deal (I mean, I have them on each pillow on our beds and extras in a closet), a pillowcase can really brighten someone’s life. It’s something they can call their own, it can brighten a hospital room or shelter bed, and can also carry belongings as people move from place to place. It is also a great reminder that they are loved and someone cares for them, which can give a sense of comfort and hope.
I volunteered at the Des Moines, Iowa, location — where American Patchwork & Quilting’s headquarters is — but there were events across the country. During the event, the staff walks you through the steps of making a pillowcase: rolling and pinning, sewing, pressing, serging, and finishing. They use the roll-it-up pillowcase pattern (which is seriously the easiest pattern EVER!). All supplies were provided by the fabric sponsors, and it was so fun to see the newest fabric collections and to pick your favorites.
It was so fun to see both seasoned sewers and never-before-touched-a-sewing-machine people come together for an amazing cause. And lots of little kids with their parents or Girl Scout troops fell in love with sewing during this event. No matter how long you’ve been sewing, watching someone’s excitement over making their first pillowcase is inspiring.
After 24 hours, we were miraculously at 1,999 pillowcases, so we stayed a little longer to make one more. (The total tally of all events across the country is coming soon.) That’s 1.4 pillowcases a minute! And my feet and back definitely felt like we had made that many. I was at the event for 17 hours and did a lot of folding and boxing pillowcases for donation.
With the holidays coming, I definitely want to take some time to make a few more pillowcases to donate. Not only is it a great excuse to do some extra sewing when the weather gets cooler, but it’s a good way to put others first during the holidays and remember what truly matters.
Thanks for joining me for “happy hour,”
Did you make a pillowcase to donate? Share pictures with me on Instagram @lindsmayland!