What a wonderful organization Operation Christmas Child is! Shoe boxes filled with age/gender appropriate gifts are given to children who might otherwise receive no gifts on this most special holiday. These are children in war torn areas, in refugee camps, and in areas of disaster like the Philippines.
I’ve had a big time these past few weeks making little stuffed toys for the 2-4 year old boxes. This age group seems to be somewhat challenging–to find items both safe and small enough to fit into the shoe boxes. Last year when the chairwoman from our church asked if I had any ideas, these so called “stuffies” or “softies” came to mind immediately. The toys made then were packed into boxes that were sent to little ones around the world.
There are so many sources for the machine embroidery designs. I learned the hard way to avoid patterns with intricate shapes that make it frustrating, time consuming and nearly impossible to turn right side out. One of my favorite sets is Anita Goodesigns’ Stuffed Animals. Each design comes as a stuffed animal, a quilted applique’ and fully stitched version and the collection includes a juvenile alphabet. An appliqued onesie would be sweet with a matching stuffed toy.
Though time is running out, it’s not too late if you would like to participate. Stitching toys is such a fun and meaningful opportunity to use our skills and the scraps spilling out from our overflowing stashes. With an embroidery machine, they are quickly made. With a standard sewing machine, the toys could still be made quickly. It is just plain fun to combine bits of fabric to complete a soft toy for a needy child.
Many of our church members shop all year and fill several shoe boxes with these items. For our two older grandchildren, 9 yo Laurel and 8 yo Robert, filling shoe boxes for children of their same age was a meaningful experience. The realization that for some children, this would be their only gift, was a sobering awareness. A lot of thought went into their choices as they shopped with their mother.
This past weekend Laurel and I were invited to a lovely luncheon to celebrate the collection of boxes from our church. For each of the two hostesses I embroidered one of my always ready, pre-washed, pressed and starched gingham bordered All About Blanks dishtowels. The embroidery design was the 5×7 Christmas border from A Bit of Stitch. Arched over the border was the text Operation Christmas Child 2013. In all the commotion of getting ready, I forgot to take a picture. But they were very nice, thanks to the design and the ready-made towels.
Now, I’m moving on to very pressing deadlines for Thanksgiving and Christmas. What are you sewing? ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Headed to the car on a rainy Sunday last week, Laurel complained about the non-stop allergies and asthma that plague her so. When she included cats in her list of allergies, Robert pooh-poohed the notion.
“You’re not allergic to cats. You go down to the goat barn with Nana every time she feeds the cats and you’re just fine,” he said.
Laurel gave him a stoney look and replied, “I AM allergic to cats. I’ve been tested.”
Then she turned to me and wondered why it was that on a rainy day such as this her allergies are always worse.
Robert rolled his eyes and said, “That’s because it’s raining cats and dogs.”