As we begin to approach the busy holiday season, there is one standing tradition at Spoonflower that allows us to embrace the best qualities of the holiday season – kindness and giving. For the 5th year in a row, we are excited to announce that both Spoonflower locations (that’s right… our US and Berlin offices!) will be donation drop-off locations for the Softies for Mirabel Drive, hosted by Pip Lincolne over at Meet Me at Mike’s.
Have you ever been told a story about a group of people doing good for others and were so moved that you were inspired to get out there and make a difference too? For Lynne Goldsworthy, this was the case when she learned about Siblings Together, a UK based charity that promotes positive contact between brothers and sisters separated in foster care, kinship care, residential care, or adoption. When Spoonflower learns about organizations or groups of people who are donating their sewing and crafting skills for a greater cause, we always want to know more! So we sat down with Lynne to find out her story and how Spoonflower could contribute.
This past Saturday, over 30 community members and Spoonflower employees spent the afternoon sewing RARE Bears for one-of-a-kind kids supported by RARE Science Inc., a non-profit research organization accelerating cures for rare childhood diseases. On this very special afternoon, quilt guilds, sewing groups, and crafty individuals stitched up bears all over the country to Spring into Action. From California to here in Durham, North Carolina, it was RARE Bear mania!
This spring, we are thrilled to announce that Spoonflower will be hosting a RARE Bear sew-in at the Greenhouse to support RARE Science! RARE Science is a national non-profit that helps find cures for kids with rare diseases. The RARE Bear program is a grassroots community-driven outreach initiative for kids with rare disease. Community volunteers create one-of-a-kind teddy bears for one-of-a-kind “rare kids." We couldn't be more excited to be joining the RARE Bear army!
Have you ever searched the Spoonflower Marketplace looking for the perfect design for your next project and stumbled across a cut and sew softie pattern but just didn’t know who you could gift it to? I’ve certainly experienced this while looking for designs to use for a project and discovered a handful of absolutely adorable plushie patterns that caught my imagination. Weeks later, the plushie patterns still popped up in the back of my mind in the form of dancing pigs and I knew those patterns had to be mine!
However, there was just one problem: the current fabric real estate in my not-so-spacious apartment was running low and these plushie pals would need to be gifted soon! Luckily, thanks to the creativity and generosity of Australian native Pip Lincolne over at Meet Me at Mikes, my plushie pals would not be left without a home. For the past 9 years, Pip has been creating homes for plushies through Softies for Mirabel, a handmade toy drive for children supported by the Mirabel Foundation.
While Australia may be a hop, skip, and a jump from the Spoonflower headquarters in Durham, North Carolina, we’re always looking for ways to contribute our creative skills to bring a ray of happiness to those who need it most. We are pleased to announce that for the 4th year in a row, Spoonflower will be a drop off location for those interested in donating to Softies for Mirabel!
Are you ready to craft for a cause? Learn how to get involved below:
Pins & Needles: Head over to Meetup to RSVP for our upcoming sewing social on November 17th! We will be printing a variety of our favorite cut-and-sew prints for folks to sew in the Greenhouse, but feel free to come and crochet or knit a toy, as well. Cut-and-sew kits are great beginner sewing projects, so please do bring your friends!
Send or drop off handmade toys at the Spoonflower HQ: We will also be collecting any handmade toy donations here at Spoonflower's headquarters from now until Saturday, December 5th, at 2pm. You can drop by with your donations Monday through Friday, 9am to 5pm if you are in the area, or you can mail finished toys to us.
Please include your name and email address with any toy donations so we can keep you posted as we send over our donation and photos are shared!
Please send all donations to:
2810 Meridian Parkway, Suite 176
Durham, NC 27713
Join the fun and share your softies by using #softiesformirabel and tag @spoonflower in your photos to be featured in an upcoming Softies for Mirabel blog post update!
Growing up as a child, did you ever cling to a security blanket when you were feeling scared, nervous, or just wanting to cuddle up on the couch? Imagine going through some of those challenging times without the blanket that gave you comfort and strength. With fabric as our main resource at our headquarters, Spoonflower employees have the opportunity to help provide those blankets for children (and adults) to share a little extra strength when it’s needed most with Blankets for Good.
Blankets for Good is a quarterly employee sew-in and uses returned marketplace fabric (don't worry, we will never use your private fabrics!) to make blankets to donate to local and international charities. The Spoonflower Greenhouse hosts charitable sew-ins for local community members to attend but Spoonflower employees were also eager to share their sewing abilities for a greater cause. With the help of the sustainability committee, a group that meets periodically to discuss ways to be more environmentally friendly and community-driven, Blankets for Good was born!
With customers all over the globe, Spoonflower loves collaborating with our friends overseas but when we have the opportunity to help our North Carolina neighbors, we jump at the chance! This past week, Spoonflower employees came together for an employee sew-in to make blankets for our neighbors at the Inter-Faith Council for Social Service.
Siblings Together is a UK-based charity that promotes positive contact between siblings who are otherwise separated by the foster care system. They organize summer camps and monthly activities throughout the year to allow siblings to catch up and enjoy some quality time together–there's even time for scrapbooking so the kids can remember their experiences.
Siblings Together activities allow brothers and sisters to catch up and have fun!
The work that this organization puts into creating these meaningful experiences and helping children develop and nurture these bonds with their families is nothing short of amazing. When Lynne Goldsworthy of the blog Lily's Quilts learned about Siblings Together, she realized that a homemade quilt, warm and stitched with love, could act as a constant reminder of time spent with loved ones for these campers. Kicking off an effort to collect quilts for each and every camper, Lynne created a Flickr group and put a call out on her blog for donations. Two years into this effort, the response has been overwhelmingly enthusiastic.
A camper receives her very own quilt after Siblings Together summer camp.
Quilters from all over the world have sent beautifully made blankets to support this rolling effort, and this year's drive is in full swing. If you're interested in contributing, please head over to Lily's Quilts to find out how you can help send some love to Siblings Together. You can also visit the Flickr group to see the beautiful quilt donations as they're finsihed.
Each quilt is finished with love and a label to make the gifts extra special.
The generosity of the makers in the Spoonflower community to create handmade expressions of love and support for those in need has warmed our hearts time and again. We are inspired by the work of Siblings Together and the Siblings Together Quilt Group, and we are so thankful that they have allowed us to be a part of this amazing effort by printing up custom labels for each lovingly stitched quilt.
*If you'd like to learn how to design your own custom quilt label, check out this tutorial by Spoonflower team member Caitlin of the Salty Oat blog.
Our pillowcase dress sew-in and collection drive for a new orphanage in the Philippines was a huge success! With donations rolling in from afar and 47 dresses completed at February's sew-in right here in the Greenhouse, our classroom and community space, we filled two giant boxes with 124 beautifully handmade dresses to send to our friends in charge of building this new orphanage! Carmen Baugh, the organizer of our drive and sew-in, created this excellent tutorial & template to create these dresses if you'd like to make some for any special little girls in your life or an organization close to your heart.
Thank you, Carmen!
Thank you so very much to everyone who contributed to this amazing effort! And a very special thank you to Carmen for organizing, and for those of you who took time to sew and send even more dresses on your own outside of our sew-in. We have never seen so many precious dresses in one place, and we are so happy to know that some little girls in the Philippines will have bright, beautiful, and lovingly-sewn dresses to wear.
With so much gratitude for the generosity of our community,
This past Saturday we invited friends from our local community to the Greenhouse, our classroom and community space here at Spoonflower's Durham HQ, for a Pillowcase Dress Sew-in to support an orphanage just getting started in the Philippines. At the end of the afternoon, we finished 47 beautifully handmade dresses!
We're so excited and inspired that folks from far and wide would like to contribute handmade dresses to this effort! If you'd like to participate remotely, we have all of the details you need here.