Our clubhouse began humming, as members of my quilting group and their friends and neighbours began to get set up early for our 2nd annual pillowcase day. By 11am, we had 4 sergers, 10 sewing machines, and 10 non-sewing helpers ready to begin.
The Tampa Bay area coordinator for the Cases for Smiles charity came, loaded with lots of pre-cut pillowcase kits to add to the ones donated by our group. She made sure everyone was busy, and supervised the non-sewing workers.
They pinned the "kits" together and kept the machines humming along. They also picked up the cases when each step was finished, and took them to those who were turning them, pressing them, and then delivered them back to those sewing to continue with the next step.
The 4 sergers were kept busy, as we tried to complete each of the pillowcases. Near the end of the day, we also had some finished using a French seam - one extra step.
We took a short break for a quick lunchtime snack, sharing some chocolates and bar cookies, then it was back to work! The coordinator counted the finished pillowcases, and packed them into bags of 50. By 3pm, we had completed 223 pillowcases, beating our record.
We carried the heavy bags of completed pillowcases, along with the rest of the supplies to the coordinator's vehicle, then waved good-bye. Everyone slowly packed up all their gear, and we straightened the clubhouse - putting chairs back and searching for forgotten items. I'm sure everyone was tired, but thinking about all the children that will sleep on the pillowcases at the area's childrens hospitals kept a smile on everyone's faces.
We're looking forward to doing this again next year.