From left: Aaliyah Turner, Harley Bullington and Madison Wilkinson last week display some of the hand-crafted quilts and pillowcases made by Sequim volunteers for the trio and other fellow club members. Sequim Gazette photo by Michael Dashiell

From left: Aaliyah Turner, Harley Bullington and Madison Wilkinson last week display some of the hand-crafted quilts and pillowcases made by Sequim volunteers for the trio and other fellow club members. Sequim Gazette photo by Michael Dashiell

Halloween holiday surprise: Hand-made quilts, pillowcases for BG club youths

Some community collaboration and a bunch of busy hands have created an upcycled donation for local youths.

About a year ago, the local chapter of the American Sewing Guild sewed 120 pairs of flannel pajama bottoms for Sequim Boys & Girls Club members, guild member Dr. Monica Dixon said. When she delivered the items, she asked Mary Budke, executive director of the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Olympic Peninsula, what the club members might need in 2020.

“She said the kids need pillowcases; many of them have never had one or they do and they’re worn,” Dixon recalled, “so we spent the last year sewing 100 children’s cases.”

About half of the material for the pillowcases came from the pajama project, guild neighborhood group member Colleen Squier said.

The rest, she said, came from personal collections.

“It was fun knowing where it was going and … that they needed it,” Squier said.

Pillowcases are relatively easy to make, she said, with just three primary parts — a base, cuff and trim to go between.

The local guild members, who generally meet once a week in person at Carrie Blake Community Park but will try meeting via Zoom as the weather gets colder, wound up topping 100 pillowcases for this project. (Their regional group based in Silverdale and representing 10 groups across Kitsap and Clallam counties have made 4,000 masks, too, she said.)

“They’re fun to be creative with and it’s a way to use up some of our material,” Squier said. “We could get as creative as we wanted.”

The idea evolved into stuffing the pillowcases with Halloween-themed goodies.

In addition, Dixon said, there was a need for lap quilts for the preschool-aged youths at the club, so she connected with her friends at Dungeness Valley Lutheran Church, who quickly put together 17 quilts.

“(Monica) has so much energy and works for good causes; yes it’s hard to say no (to her),” said Alane Olson, a quilt-maker whose mother Jane Olson has spearheaded DVLC’s quilt gifting since the 1990s.

Alane Olson said the church has giving to a number of community organizations and projects, from Peninsula Behavioral Health to the Sequim Food Bank and, most recently, for veterans groups.

Olson said while the church group’s efforts for this project are for preschool-aged youths, their next one of the club is for older youths and will involved about 60 quilts.

“That’s going to be a long term project,” she said.

In addition, Dixon connected with Judy Lang at the Shipley Center; Lang leads a group of knitters or local projects. That group contributed about 100 hats and scarves for the goodie “cases,” Dixon said.

As Olympic Peninsula Health Care Coalition president, Dixon decided to add as a healthy bonus 100 organic apples from her orchard to stuff into the cases.

“It’s just another story of this amazing community and how we work together,” Dixon said.

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