- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - Spring 2018
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - Spring 2019
Quilts for Good
In each edition of Friends@Festival, we like to shine a little light on some of the amazing people, groups, and projects that are using their sewing and quilting skills to do a little (or a lot of!) good in this world.
THE SNUGGLES PROJECT
This project/organization aims to donate “Snuggles” (security blankets, mats, or beds) to shelter animals as they await their forever home. In addition to physical warmth, a Snuggle provides psychological comfort to shelter animals at a time they likely feel fearful and vulnerable. The hope is that the Snuggle will help calm a frightened or difficult-to-handle animal, and it turn, allow the animal and its caregiver to better handle the situation.
Additionally, the Snuggles create a more homey environment within the shelter, which often have an industrial feel. This makes for a warmer experience for the animals, shelter staff, and visitors.
The Snuggles Project began back in 1996 after founder Rae French had an eye-opening experience at a local animal shelter.
Read the full story HERE.
Since that time, the Project has contributed over one million Snuggles to animals in shelters around the world. And the idea for the Snuggle has inspired people far beyond the Project.
Anyone can create a Snuggle—regardless of location, age, or skill level. In fact, the Snuggle is a wonderful beginner project or project for children learning how to crochet, knit, quilt, or sew, because Snuggles don’t need to be perfect. The Snuggles Project website includes a pattern library for Snuggles created with a variety of techniques, including a no-sew option.
The site also includes a directory of all shelters and rescue organizations who accept Snuggles at their facilities. To find out how you can get involved, visit www.snugglesproject.org/
QUILTS FOR KIDS NEPAL
The mission of this microfinance project based in Kathmandu, Nepal is to provide work for economically challenged women and to finance education for underprivileged children.
Quilts for Kids Nepal was founded in 2006, after its founder witnessed the plight of women and children who were forced to beg on the streets of Kathmandu. The project operates in a beggar’s encampment located in the Boudhanath neighborhood of Kathmandu.
As outlined on their website, the project works in two ways. The first is teaching women a marketable craft and helping them turn a traditional skill into a sustainable income for themselves and their families by facilitating the sale of their quilts.
“Many women in the community are excellent quiltmakers—with a skillful and imaginative ability to describe their world through needle and thread. Quilts for Kids Nepal seeks to empower these women by giving them an opportunity to turn their traditional skills into income for their families.”
The second way that the project works is by funding children’s educations through providing school tuition, uniforms, shoes, pencils, books, and backpacks. The project sells each quilt for $190, the cost of sending one child from the encampment to school for a year.
“This [the project] not only empowers the women in the community and gives them a sense of pride, but it also helps them play an active role in the education of their own children.”
There are several options for supporting the project—purchasing a quilt for $190, sponsoring a child’s education for $190 (without the purchase of a quilt), or through a direct donation to the project. For more information, or to view the quilts currently available for purchase, visit their website at www.quiltsnepal.org
SEWING ITEMS FOR NURSING HOMES
Among the stories we encounter frequently are those involving groups or individuals who sew, craft, and quilt items for nursing home and assisted living residents. It’s a simple and rewarding way to use one’s sewing skills to benefit others. An added bonus…getting the opportunity to deliver handmade items in person and visit with residents, including those who don’t get many visitors throughout the year.
Before committing to any project making, be sure to check with your local nursing home or assisted living facility to verify that they will take donations. You might also inquire as to whether certain items are needed more than others, and if there are particular residents who would benefit most, and plan accordingly.
Pillowcases and lap quilts will almost always be a welcome donation. And we’ve included links below to other project ideas and patterns for items you can consider making and donating:
FIDGET QUILTS from Patchwork Posse (these are ideal for someone with Alzheimer’s or dementia)
LOVIE LAP QUILT WITH POCKETS from Homesewn by Carolyn (Note: This is not a free pattern, but can be purchased for $9.50. We wanted to include it anyway because it’s such a great idea!)
A photograph from the encampment. Photo credit: Quilts for Kids Nepal
Star Power, one of many quilts currently for sale through the Quilts for Kids Nepal project/website.