Last updated September 1, 2018

“Advancing sewing as an art and life skill” is the mission statement of the American Sewing Guild, ASG. The Maryland Chapter of the ASG has taken this statement a step further as our members continue to use this “art and life skill to help others.” 

Maryland ASG Mission Statement:
“Advancing sewing as an art and life skill to help others.”

Many of our Neighborhood Groups (NGs) participate in making items based on local community needs such as wheelchair/walker bags, hug and mastectomy pillows for hospitals, stuffed cats for dementia patients, fleece scarves and knit hats for homeless shelters, stuffed bears for hospitalized children, dining scarves for seniors in assisted living, and the list goes on. In addition to making things for others, many of our members donate fabric scraps to animal rescue centers to make dog beds.

See list of community service project ideas below

In 2016 our Central Advisory Board (CAB) voted to adopt a chapter project. They found out that when a child enters the foster care system and must be relocated from their home they are given a plastic garbage bag for their belongings if they don’t have a suitcase of their own. This heartbreaking fact touched them deeply, as they feel no child should have to equate their belongings with trash, so they decided to do what they do best – sew. With guidance from the Department of Social Services, a sturdy, somewhat-easy-to-make bag was designed, and the members of the Maryland Chapter started sewing their little hearts out.

Click here to download instructions for the duffel bag in a pdf format.

As of December 2017, the members of the Maryland Chapter
of the ASG have sewn and delivered over 600
duffel bags to children in Foster Care!

We will be holding more workshops in 2018. Some NGs have planned one of their meeting days to make bags and several quilt shops have agreed to allow us to use their classrooms. All workshops will be posted on the Maryland ASG Community page at MyGrove, and on this website. (If registration is required, it will be clearly noted and instructions provided.) Please let me know if you have a workshop location suggestion -- service@marylandasg.org.

One thing leads to another -

In 2016 we were contacted by the Treasured Piece Makers in Crofton, who make Operation Kid Comfort quilts for the children of U.S. service members. They heard about our project and wanted to help, so they held several duffel bag workshops and have made over 50 bags for us to give to Foster Care children.

And another -

Hearts & Homes for Youth, HHY, a non-profit which provides foster care shelters for at-risk youth, asked for some duffel bags and if we would teach their children how to crochet as an opportunity to relax. When we found out they are in need of bedding, we told the ASG members, and the donations have been pouring in. Some of the children in the shelters have never had sheets on their beds nor pillows under their heads. (Twin size blankets, mattress covers, pillows, sheets, please!) Contact me if you have a donation. Tax Receipts will be provided to all donors. For more information regarding Hearts & Homes for Youth, go to www.heartsandhomes.org.

How do we pay for the supplies for our projects -

Each year we have a “Stash Sale” during our Annual Meeting and Luncheon. Anybody is welcome to donate their useable, unwanted sewing paraphernalia and fabric to the sale. The sale goes on throughout the day with members finding new treasures and paying what they feel is appropriate - knowing what the money is used for inspires everybody to be very generous. So, yes, we are self-funded AND we do all the sewing. But we love every minute of it.

Income can also be generated through www.smile.amazon.com. Because the ASG is a 501c.3 non-profit, Amazon will make a donation to the ASG when our members buy anything via www.smile.Amazon.com. and have designated the Maryland Chapter of the ASG as their preferred non-profit.

 

Sign into www.smile.amazon.com

and designate the Maryland Chapter
of the ASG as your preferred non-profit.

To our Donors -

Along the way, we have had the good fortune to receive donations of facilities, materials, time, and energy from a number of businesses and individuals:

Lee Andersen, G Street Fabrics, Vicki Bozick and Tomorrow’s Treasures, the Treasured Piece Makers, Catonsville United Methodist Church, All Saints Lutheran Ministry, Hoppin’ Bobbin’ Quilt Shop in Aberdeen, Michelle’s Quilts in Hughesville, Girl Scouts of America, and all the members of the Maryland ASG who cut and serged fabric, put kits together, organized workshops, coerced their husbands, children, friends, nieces, and/or nephews to schlep our supplies and set up tables and chairs for workshops, and then sewed and sewed and sewed.

A special mention to fashion designer, www.leeandersen.com, and the Director of the Maryland Fashion Institute, www.mdfin, Lee Andersen, who offered to partner with us on The Duffel Bag Project when she opened the doors of her clothing factory in Laurel to the ASG. She directed us to a great source where we bought fabric at a price which could not be matched in the fabric stores, let us have it delivered to the factory, taught me how to cut it using a professional cutting tool (yes – a chainmail glove was involved) on her 24 foot long cutting table, and encouraged her students and employees to volunteer to help me on their day off. (Originally, I was cutting the bags out one at a time with a rotary cutter – now I can do a stack of 16 bags (32 layers) all at once because of Lee’s generous spirit and courage in teaching me how to use The Monster Cutter.)

Thank you, one and all.

Websites for charitable sewing ideas and free patterns: 

Maryland Chapter Projects:

Neighborhood Group Projects:

  • Catonsville Sew Sew Sisterhood – walker/wheelchair bags for the University of Maryland Rehab Institute; holiday stockings for families in a domestic abuse safe house
  • Central Maryland Sew ‘n Sews – dresses for little girls in Africa
  • Crofton Sew Life Seamers – dresses for little girls in Guatemala, hug pillows for AAMC abdominal surgery unit, sit ‘n sew for Girl Scouts, teach children in Foster Care how to crochet,
  • Northern Anne Arundel County Stylish Seamers – mastectomy pillows to the Cancer Center, fleece pillow cases for hospitalized children, stuffed cats for people suffering dementia, fleece scarves for a homeless shelter
  • Rockville Morning Pinups – knit hats for charity, stuffed Teddy Bears for the Montgomery County Police for children in distress
  • Southern Maryland Sew Togethers – teaches Girl Scouts how to make PJs and other items.
  • Frederick Threads – Tuckable Napkins for seniors at HeartFields Assisted Living

Individual’s Projects:

Helen DeRoo – collects scraps for a group which uses them to stuff pillows at an animal rescue, make quilts for a homeless shelter and bibs for nursing home residents. 

Carolyn Pesterfield
Community Service Chair
American Sewing Guild, Maryland Chapter
service@marylandasg.org