Thursday, February 11, 2016

Hugs: Sewing Miles for Smiles

Elm Street Quilts is not affiliated with the Sewing Miles of Smiles organization.  I  was inspired enough by what I learned about the group to make a few donation blocks and wanted to share.

The objective of Elm Street Quilts Hugs is to encourage the giving of handmade to someone who needs extra support.  This could be a family member or friend or perhaps to someone in your community.  I'd like to turn February into a month of giving handmade hug. #handmadehug #ESQHugs.   

I'd encourage anyone to write a blog post or Instagram or Facebook on an organization or your handmade giving.  Link it back with the social tags #handmadehug #ESQHugs, the blog linky party (here) or ESQ Facebook so we can all learn about opportunities to make a difference.

With this post and others, my goal is to raise awareness of organizations that collect and distribute handmade items to people in need.  

Don't you just have to smile when you see this bear?

Imagine a whole quilt filled with these guys in all different colors and you'll have a quilt that is sure to brighten the world of a child.

Sewing Miles of Smiles is partnering with Embrace Washington to make twenty of these quilts for foster kids headed to camp this summer.   Can you imagine how excited a child would be to arrive at camp and find a quilt on their bed with sweet bears for their very own?  And the quilt is theirs to keep.

I exchanged email with Dona Reynolds from Sewing Miles of Smiles to learn more about her organization.

Dona got started about 5 years ago sewing for a children's hospital - making about 800 items per year.  (Wow!  can you imagine?)  You can see pictures of the really cute softies she has made on the Facebook page.

A meeting with Anne Alexander, the Executive Director of Embrace Washington shifted her focus to being part of the team that makes items for foster kids.  Dona made 360 dolls and pillows for the 2015 Embrace Washington Foster Kids Santa breakfast.  Now, in addition to still sewing for the hospital, she is focused on making capes and flags as well as the quilts for the summer camp this June.

Dona sounds amazing.  I was happy to meet her through Facebook.  I love this quote from her email -

 "Once you see those children smile, you have to keep sewing!"

peekaboo bear shiny happy world

This sweet Peekaboo Bear block (pattern from Shiny Happy World) was so fun to make.   I enjoyed the embroidery on his face to give him a bit of personality.  However, it was a bit difficult to pin him down - felt like I was giving him acupuncture or something!

Want to help?

Reach out to Dona on the Sewing Miles of Smiles Facebook page and let her know you'd like to make some donation blocks or maybe a whole quilt!

I like the idea of donation blocks - it is a way to contribute to something worthwhile even when your schedule is quite busy.  Besides their cuteness value, these blocks make particularly good donation blocks because it would be easy to get all the donated blocks to the same size without trimming off part of the block.

While I do really encourage donating to your local community, the Washington area is special to my son and therefore special to me so I wanted to do something to help.

I'm going to get these two blocks off in the mail right away and get started on another block.

peekaboo bear shiny happy world

To read more about the other organizations Elm Street Quilts has been featuring as part of Hugs, see this overall post.

Have a wonderful day! Patty


  1. Love Wendi's Shiny Happy World patterns :) Your bears are cuties! Sounds like another great organization.

  2. Your bear blocks are just the cutest!


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