Running in Stitches

The most northerly reaches of the ASG Chicago Chapter is home to the aptly-named Neighborhood Group Running in Stitches. They get together in Lindenhurst on the first Thursday of every month at 7:00 p.m. One definitely does need to run to keep up with its members.

The leader of this energetic group is Celeste, who describes herself as a Home Fashions Fabricator and Sewing Educator, which omits the facts that she also creates great garments and quilts. As if that weren’t enough, Celeste is an active blogger ( and a marathon runner. It’s enough to leave us lesser mortals breathless.

On a recent visit to a meeting, Susan and I had the fun of experiencing the group’s annual charity auction. The idea is brilliant in its simplicity. Members bring items they no longer need, some sewing-related and some not. “Paddles” constructed of round paper plates (dessert sized) mounted on popsicle sticks with a number written in the center are distributed and a member records bids and tallies the totals owed.¬† The auctioneer adds wit and fun to the proceedings and bidding sometimes gets very competitive! The hottest item of the evening was a collection of vintage handkerchiefs that one member had in her basement “forever” and didn’t think anyone would want. Not only was this evening fun for everyone, but it raised over $500 to benefit The Sewing Machine Project and St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital. Well done!

The Lindenhurst Neighborhood Group does tireless community service work for many organizations throughout the year. Most recently, to participate in ASG’s national community service project for this year, nine members made 28 blankets donated to Project Linus.

If you live in the area hugging the Illinois/Wisconsin border and you’re looking for a fun group who use their talents and skills to give back to their community, check out Running in Stitches. You’ll be glad you did.

Community Service Project: American Cancer Society Breast Inserts and Bags

American Cancer Society Breast Cancer logoIn April, our Community Services Chair was contacted by the¬†American Cancer Society’s North Shore Regional Office¬†to help provide some basic needs for breast cancer patients. American Sewing Guild members can help by sewing breast forms, “ditty” bags to hold the fabric breast inserts, pillows and Anti-Ouch pouches.

American Cancer Society sewn breast insertThe breast inserts, pillow and bags are used in the American Cancer Society’s Reach to Recovery program, in which a recently-diagnosed breast cancer patient is matched with a trained volunteer who has been through the same situation. After meeting with the American Cancer Society Reach to Recovery volunteer, the patient is¬†provided a kit with literature, a breast form (if needed) and a small pillow.

The small pillow is used the help alleviate the arm/shoulder area after the patient has had his/her surgery.

American Cancer Society Anti-Ouch PouchThe Anti-Ouch Pouch¬†is a pillow that hangs from the shoulder, fitting snugly under the arm to cushion the area after breast surgery or during radiation treatment.The wedge shape gently holds the arm away from the body when the user is standing. The strap holds the pillow in place without having to use sore arm muscles to ‚Äúclutch‚ÄĚ it.¬†The Anti-Ouch Pouch was also a previous national American Sewing Guild community service.

Links to patterns for all requested items are available online and free to download. When making the breast forms, please use soft, cotton fabrics in neutral shades. The forms and pillows are filled with Polyfill stuffing.

There’s no correlation between the numbers of ditty bags and inserts; they are not “sets”. They are all given as separate items to whomever needs them. So, feel free to make just one type of item if it suits your fabric stash or comfort level.¬†To coordinate delivery of completed items, please contact Marge D.,¬†Community Services Chair, via¬†email. Additional information can be found on the¬†ASG Chicago main website.

Join Us For A Community Service Sew-In: July 16

Join the Arlington Heights Neighborhood Group on July 16 for a day of community service sewing. They will be sewing Adult Bibs, Pillowcases, American Cancer Society Ditty Bags and Pillows.¬†All fabric will be supplied. You supply the fun! Location and contact information can be found on our ASG Chicago main website’s Upcoming Events page. We hope to see you there!

Just One Star Can Comfort an Injured Soldier

Contributed by Kathie McAllister, co-leader for the Joliet NG Desperate Stitchers

I made 3 stars (quilt blocks) from fabrics in my stash…and mailed them off this morning to be incorporated into quilts for our wounded soldiers!

Just One Star logo

Moda Fabrics has a fabulous challenge going on at this moment. The challenge is to piece, quilt and bind 100 quilts in 100 days using the Flag of Valor pattern by Minick and Simpson.

The deadline for star blocks is May 1, 2011 so that they can be completed by Flag Day, June 14, 2011. The donation of the quilts will be through the Semper Fi Fund.

The blocks are super easy! After the first one, which took less than an hour with the learning curve…the other two were whipped up in about 20 minutes.

What a beautiful way to express our gratitude to these soldiers for their sacrifice!

The challenge was to only make one, but I had so much fun, I made three!!!!

More information, including instructions and mailing address can be found at:¬† or read more on Moda’s blog.

Quilt of Valor

Image source: Moda Fabrics

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