Saturday, September 9, 2017

Pillowcase competition—North v South—benefits charities

Pillowcases turned in at Lana's Quilts, Cleveland, TN.
Quilters, quilt guild members and customers are sewing in full force to get behind their local quilt shops in the Chattanooga area, Knoxville area, and Johnson City, Tennessee for The Great Pillowcase Challenge.

This is a friendly competition between "The North" (Bernina in Stitches,  Stitches 'N' Stuff and Atomic Fibers) and "The South" (Chattanooga Quilts and Lana's Quilts and Sew Much More) to see which "quilt shop team" can collect the most pillowcases that will be donated to local charities and hospitals for distribution to children.

I was at Lana's Quilts and Sew Much More this week to drop off one. During my visit, about every hour, someone walked into the shop to drop off stacks—yes, big bags and piles—of pillowcases... 46... 20... 37... It was astounding! Below the cutting table several plastic storage bins were full with colorful, fabric pillowcases, sewn with love by generous, big-hearted sewers and quilters. At today's guild meeting, one of the guild members showed 6 or 7 more that will be added to the collection.

The competition goes through September 16 and each shop owner has graciously offered some kind of incentive—special pricing, discounts, etc.—to customers, quilters and sewers that participate in the Challenge.

The 3 Seam Method for Sewing Pillowcases 
My favorite method for making pillowcases these days is the magical burrito pillowcase method. There are only three seams: 1) attaching the band/cuff to the pillowcase body, 2) the French seam on the bottom and side, and 3) part 2 of the French seam that encloses all the raw edges. Clean, neat and fast!
Using the Burrito construction method and French seams leaves no raw edges.
While at Lana's shop, I had a few minutes to help fold and insert cases into clear plastic sandwich bags for distribution. The novelty fabric prints made me smile and I'm sure the recipients will love them!

I believe both Lana's Quilts and Chattanooga Quilts are having sew-ins before the competition ends on September 16. Contact these or any of the participating shops and see what they are doing. For a pillowcase, it only takes 3/4 yard for the body, 1/3 yard for the cuff, and 1/8 yard (optional) for an accent trim.

The latest update on the score? The South Team is winning with over 700 pillowcases. But with a week to go... it's still anybody's game. Be a winner and join the competition! Any contribution is appreciated.

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