I find it a bit awkward to blog about charity sewing sometimes. I really don’t want anyone to take it as me seeking accolades or anything like that. What I hope to do is let everyone I can know about some awesome ways give back through sewing. That is probably never more true that with Iraqi Bundles of Love (IBOL), which is absolutely my favorite sewing related charity!
If you want to know the full scope of this awesome group, I’ll direct you to their press statement here, which goes over the history of the project. The short version though: The leader of IBOL, Art La Flamme, a US Soldier in serving in Iraq, is the son, brother, husband, and father of quilters, who saw a great opportunity to link a very generous community of quilters, sewists, and knitters here in the US with Iraqi women trying to rebuild lives after years of trade embargos and war that made getting supplies extremely difficult. IBOL1 gave 3,445 bundles of sewing and knitting supplies and IBOL2 collected 900 bundles. IBOL3D, which is just wrapping up, has a goal of 500 bundles. But another bundle collection is planned for August 2011, so you are not too late!
If you’re interested in creating a bundle for August, you can learn about how to build a bundle here. Basically any sewing or knitting supplies are welcome. When I build my bundles I think to myself, “If I was building my sewing supply stash from scratch I would need…” I use large flat rate boxes, create the outside of the bundle with 2 ribbons and two large cuts of fabric and then fill it up. You can fit a lot of stuff in those flat rates. To give you an idea of what you might want to start collecting, each of my boxes included:
- 25 yards of fabric
- 2 large cones of thread
- 16 skeins embroidery floss
- 2 spools of ribbon
- Notions bag including: measuring tape, velcro, zippers, buttons, elastic, snaps, hook/eye closures, needles, safety pins, straight pins, and a thimble.
Some of my fabric was from my stash, but I really owe a lot of thanks to a family friend, Betty, who donated some 500 yards of fabric to me to use for charity sewing (I know, INCREDIBLY GENEROUS!). The notions mostly came from the Scrap Exchange, my absolute favorite place to buy unwanted sewing stuff for amazing prices. The only thing I actually had to buy retail was two packs of needles!
My favorite part to do it the notions bag itself. I’ve started my own little tradition of sending the notions in a little bag that I’ve embroidered. I just really wanted to give my bundles a personal touch, hopefully to let the women know that it was more than just throwing a bunch of stuff I wasn’t going to use anyway into a box and shipping it off.
Really hope everyone will consider getting a bundle ready for August. I’ll try to remember to post a reminder closer to the date in case it slips your mind. Until next time!