Sunday, February 15, 2009

I highly recommend that you have a sewing bee!

Get a bunch of crafty types together, tell them to bring food and whatever they think might be useful, and watch them move mountains.... or at least CREATE mountains.

Mountains of BAGS...

Mountains of donated toys and activities for kids.

Mountains of donated fabric... thanks to all who bought and brought. Thanks to Spotlight for donating (and to the Spotlight gals who came).
We took over the empty room next door to my studio (well... there was no lock on it!!) and called it a cutting room. It was a flurry of activity with rotary cutters and scissors.
Next station Embellishment Room...
Is that a BLOKE in there?? (My goodness.... didn't I have some Ikea furniture to put together....? OH - and he can design Appliqué motifs??!! Come in, Mr Tacc!!)
Team ZIG-ZAG....
(You should have heard the audible GASP of star-stuck awe when they realised they had a sewing super-star in their midst!!).
Yo-Yo Central was a hot-spot of activity and learning. (Thanks Becc for passing on your skill/addiction to so many!).

The construction room was a buzz of activity. Lots of wonderful people, including a few lovely bloggers (thanks Tinniegirl, Sooz, MissP, Kitty, Dr Bones, Muppinstuff, Hoppo Bumpo, Mistea, Sugarlemon...) and lots of people who heard about this sewing bee through channels other than blogland.


Special thanks to my sister Leonie, my cousin Helen and my friend Fi, who managed to get the word out through school, work and arts community newsletters. And thanks to those communities for responding so generously.

And the results...?
Stacks of freshly-pressed bags... I counted 80 finished bags (PLUS half a dozen nearly-finished ones sitting on my sewing machine), and goodness-knows how many that went home to be sewn up and returned. The day inspired a couple more sewing bees over the next few weeks in various corners of Melbourne.

I also counted 22 gorgeously appliquéd t-shirts....

...and 21 super-gorgeous hair-ties.

We'll be collecting handmade bags and things to put in Rainbow Comfort Packs. When the first essential wave of Bushfire Relief has settled, and the agencies involved feel that it is an appropriate time, these packs will be delivered to the children who make up some of the SEVEN THOUSAND (yes, I said THOUSAND) people who have been left homeless by the recent bushfires. It now looks like it'll be an ongoing project, as there are now SO MANY to get out to the affected communities.
If you think this is a waste of time and resources, I suggest you read this and this. If you think you'd like to help, perhaps you could sew something, or organise a sewing bee. There are lots of ways you can use craft to help out.
It's amazing what can be achieved when a group of people channel all their grief and empathy into something constructive and positive. If you need fabric we still have a donated stash to be used for this cause. Let me know if you're organising a sewing bee and I'll happily pass on the fabric and spread the word for helpers to join you.
Edited to add:
From little things, big things grow... Check out what happened when Gay put the message out in her community. She's having her second sewing bee next Saturday. If you're near Lake MacQuarie /Newcastle (NSW) you can join her!

28 comments:

thornberry said...

What an excellent effort from everyone involved, and especially to you Nikki for organising it all. I'm certain that you will have made a difference.

beccasauras said...

that has to be the most colourful post ever! Everything looks fantastic, love the photo of the hairties! Meeting so many crafty people was so much fun- I didn't know it was "Leah's mum" until just then haha. I am emailing family to show them what I was part of, we should be pretty proud, I think! Thanks you for getting the ball rolling, you have amazing skills!
PS Just had another nap, still recovering!

CurlyPops said...

Thankyou for all your efforts in organising such an amazing day. I wish I could have been there to join in all the fun!

Daffodil Daze said...

Congratulations to all those involved - lots of beautiful and colourful goodies there for the children.
Well done ladies and gentleman!

Tracy said...

Congratulations to all.It all looks wonderful!

Monica @ bpab said...

What a fantastic post Nikki!
It looks like the most happiest place in the world! I wish I could have been there. Thanks for your efforts and to everyone who joined in.
You rock!

Hoppo Bumpo said...

Nikki it was a wonderful thing you did. Thank you very much for organising such a brilliant way for us all to contribute to the Rainbow Comfort Packs project. Your precious time and resources and all the running round you did, are greatly appreciated.

And look at the end result ... aren't the handmade children's bags, t-shirts, hair-ties and other items fabulous?

Liesl xx

Handmade said...

WOW Nikki - it all looks fabulous! Great work as always! The bags and goodies are bright and happy - they will be much loved. We had a great day too - just about to put together a post ....

Kirrily said...

That is just brilliant!!

I'm hoping to get some made tonight/tomorrow in my virtual sewing bee! I'm sure it won't be quite as fun as yours though!

Veronica said...

How incredible! The heartfelt support is amazing to watch, it's overwhelming! Kudos to everyone involved, i look forward to adding my contribution from QLD. :)

Sigrid said...

What a great job from all of you. It's wonderful to be able to do something practical for the children who have lost everything.

Fer said...

You and your team are worth your weight in gold! Such a wonderful way to spread the crafty love to those in need.

Bellgirl said...

Hi Nikki, well done all you girls and one bloke! Looks very productive and good fun! I saw this post on my way to check out your tutorial, byeeee!

Anonymous said...

Congratulation to you Nikki and your team - those kids are going to be soooo greatful. Sorry to have missed it.
Kerry

Jenny said...

What a wonderful array of goodies-you were all very productive-well done on and amazing effort

trashalou said...

Nikki, I have tears reading this. thank you for organising it.

Tamara said...

You must have been so happy with the results. I would be happy to take part in any more bees. I would have liked to have joined you but cannot make Saturdays. If you here of any more sewing bees out Blackburn (eastern suburbs way) please let me know.

Cheers

Kirsty said...

So, so wonderful Nikki. You're a woman of action - I like it!!!

Kitty said...

Thank you so much for bringing everyone together on saturday. Not only did we have a fabulous time chatting & sewing, it was all for a very good cause. I look forward to meeting you again in the future, you're quite the inspiration.
I hope you have a lovely week.

Katherine said...

Awesome! How inspiring, Nikki. Hugs to you and the many volunteers and contributers. Seeing this post makes me so very happy.

Now, I need to get busy to do my part. What a boost to see what your sewing bee accomplished. Bravo!

our shabby cottage said...

What a fantastic effort Nikki. The bags, T-shirts and hair ties look wonderful and I'm sure the kids are going to love them.

Elizabeth said...

Nikki, thanks for your time and effort and inspiration in organising this - loved taking part & hope your generosity comes round to you tenfold.

handmaiden said...

You're a star Nikki, looks like a great effort from everyone and especially you, sorry I couldnt attend.....enjoyed reading yr links too

Taccolina said...

We had such a lovely time, strange to have fun when it's been a sad week, but we humans are adaptable bunch, and colour just pops out everywhere when people start giving.

Big kudos again to you for organising!

Please can you also pass along hellos to Leah? If it's not a problem? I was trying to say how nice to meet her, but failing spectacularly in a technically inept way to be post a comment on her blog. Maybe it's a Mac thing.

casserole said...

WOW! This is truly inspiring.

Blogged at Craft Gossip Sewing Blog: http://sewing.craftgossip.com/big-things-can-happen-at-a-sewing-bee/2009/02/16/

Kirrily said...

My little virtual sewing bee is done! Thanks for the inspiration! I'm hoping to do more, but we'll see how time goes. It seems that I'm note the fastest sewer in the world...

mayaluna said...

Oh Nikki! What an amazing story! What an amazing accomplishment! What an amazing time it seems was had!
YOU are one incredible, loving , and dynamic woman! this effort on everyone's part deserves a standing ovation... seriously.

magikquilter said...

wonderful sewing bee results...i am on my third bushfire quilt and will sew some bags soon...a stocking up on goodies for teenagers bags