Girls lead local charge to sew pillowcases for charity
By Jamie Ausk Crisafulli
Ranger-Review Staff Writer
Glendive sewers, it’s time to rev up your sewing machines.
Two local fifth graders are hoping to increase the local presence in the 1 Million Pillowcase Challenge, an online event sponsored by American Patchwork & Quilting challenging quilters, sewers and crafters to help reach a goal of donating one million pillowcases to local charities.
While the movement is well under way, with over 750,000 pillowcases already registered, Jaelin Jimison and Jaylene Silha want to see local entities benefit from the project.
Jaelin first learned about the project when watching a video about how to sew pillowcases with her grandma, Cathy Kirkpatrick.
“I’m proud of them because they were right away excited about serving and helping other people,” Kirkpatrick said.
Jaelin said she hopes she and Jaylene can contribute 10 pillowcases to the challenge, and her goal for the community is 100 pillowcases or more.
“We have a lot of sewers in this town,” she said.
The girls told Enchanted Room owners Laura Glueckert and Lisa Kelly about the project on Wednesday, and the two women agreed to get involved. They registered their store to be a participating shop in the competition.
The Enchanted Room will have pillowcase kits available for purchase. It is not required that pillowcases be made using the kits, however.
Those who want to donate pillowcases can go online to register their pillowcases (be sure to choose Enchanted Room as your participating shop) or the Enchanted Room will register the pillowcase for you.
It may take a few days before Enchanted Room is listed on the site as the registration isn’t immediate, Glueckert noted.
Enchanted Room is a drop-off site for completed pillowcases as well.
Forms will be available at Enchanted Room for donors to choose where they would like to donate and Jaylene and Jaelin will gladly deliver them. Options for pillowcase donations will include, but are not limited to, the Glendive Ministerial Association to be distributed to churches, The Heritage, Grandview, the Foster Care Program and a family service program in the area.
You do not have to live in the area to list Enchanted Room as your participating business, Kirkpatrick noted.
The pillowcase project is just next in a line of many sewing projects the two fifth graders have taken on.
Jaelin knew she had a good teacher when her grandpa, Gary, bragged about her grandma Cathy’s sewing, noting, “He said if I need her to sew anything, she would just sew it for me, or for the girls,” she added.
“I’ve been into sewing for like three or four years and I’ve made a bunch of stuff,” Jaelin said. She started with tie blankets that she entered in the fair.
Jaylene got her sewing machine for Christmas from her grandma.
“My grandma is really big into sewing. She has a whole room full of sewing. ... It’s just really big and it’s cool,” Jaylene said.
Kirkpatrick worked with the girls on a “10-minute tablerunner” project that Jaelin reminded her took them three hours.
“But that came with lessons, didn’t it?” Kirkpatrick said.
The girls learned a lot about sewing in those three hours, including how to thread their machines and to be careful not to sew too fast to avoid running over their fingers.
Jaylene noted she was a little afraid of sewing after her grandma told her that sewing too fast could result in a needle in the finger.
“If you get going too fast then the needle could go in and out through your finger. I was like ‘whoa, slow your roll,’” she said, which prompted a lot of laughs at The Enchanted Room.
With practice the girls are getting less afraid of the needle and more confident in their sewing skills. They are excited to be part of a project that unites people in the community who enjoy the hobby as well.
To register a pillowcase or to learn more about the project, go to the website: AllPeopleQuilt.com/millionpillowcases.
Reach Jamie Ausk Crisafulli at firstname.lastname@example.org.