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.
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!!)
(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.
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!