10 Volunteer Sewing & Quilting Groups

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10 Volunteer Sewing & Quilting Groups

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Sewing and quilting enthusiasts have been sewing for others in need since the invention of needle and thread. You name it, blankets, quilts, hats, mittens, dresses, layettes, are just a few of the many types of projects that have been made with love by those of us who love to sew!

Every year I try to make something for someone that  I’ll never meet, using beautiful fabrics and adding a label that conveys my well wishes to them. I urge you to do the same! During the Nancy’s Corner segment of Sewing With Nancy I often interview volunteers who sew and quilt for others. Listed below are 10 groups that give so much to others. There are so many volunteer organizations that, perhaps, in the near future I’ll list another 10. Regardless, please choose one and create something special. The gift is in the giving!

Project Linus 

Encourages those who sew to make blankets for children ages zero to 18 who have been ill or traumatized. There are 400 Project Linus chapters across the country. Each chapter has different needs for their area. Become a blanketeer today!

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Project Linus Volunteer with a wall of blankets

The Sewing Machine Project

Margaret Jankowski started The Sewing Machine Project as a grass roots charitable effort to collect and distribute sewing machines to people who needed to start rebuilding their lives. She is tireless and has a big heart. At her booth at the Quilt Expo in Madison WI, a few attendees dropped off sewing machines and others learned of this valuable venture.


Camo Quilt Project 

Linda Wieck is the originator and the creator of the Camo Quilt Project. Her group makes sleeping bags in cotton (unlike the issued hot, polyester issued sleeping bags) for our service people overseas. Each branch of the service has its own camouflage fabric. Recently, the Camo Quilt Project was featured on NBC Nightly News. To date, they’ve made and sent over 13,400 quilts to our service people overseas!


A finished Camo Quilt


Linda Wiecks joins Nancy Zieman at the Sewing With Nancy studio

Little Dresses For Africa

Rachel O’Neill was deeply touched by the little girls in Africa who were extremely oppressed. They have also started making “Britches for Boys.” Rachel just returned from Africa—see her comments on her web site and blog.


Nancy Zieman and Rachel O'Neil

Quilter’s Without Borders 

Maggie Ball, a quilter from the Seattle area was inspired by an email from a Mongolian woman asking for assistance in teaching Mongolian women to quilt. She accepted the challenge to teach them, and “Quilters Without Borders” emerged. In Mongolia there is a very high unemployment rate, and abuse of women and alcoholism are common.


Maggie Ball and Nancy Zieman

Lutheran World Relief  

Women of all faiths have been making quilts for decades. It’s a validation of my favorite saying, The gift is in the giving. At our church several weeks ago, the quilts made for Lutheran World Relief were draped on the pews—there were about 50. Impressive!

D QKSF IndiaQuiltRecipient

Benjamin Smiles Pillowcases

I did a feature on this project years ago on Sewing With Nancy. We did all our coorespondences via mail. Recently, I met Benjamin’s mother—I was so taken back that I neglected to take a picture. I have so much admiration for her. Plus,what a wonderful volunteer outlet that she created in honor of her son.


Benjamin Smiles


Quilts for Kids

Bob Urquhart, IL Chapter Director of Quilts for Kids joined me on Sewing With Nancy to share how this volunteer group is providing quilts to Children’s Memorial Hospital’s Oncology Unit. The unit feature is that they offer a Quilt Kit! We made one in our office and sent it to Bob, what a great feeling!


Nancy with Bob Urquhart

Sew Much Comfort 

Sew Much Comfort provides adaptive clothing at no cost to support the unique needs of our injured service members from all branches of the military and national guard.

sew much comfort


Newborns in Need 

Newborns in Need, founded by busy mom Carol Green, makes and donates baby gowns, blankets, and other essential baby items to hospitals, homeless shelters, and other organizations that provide for premature and newborn infants. The web site gives all the details!


New Borns in Need

What’s your favorite volunteer group?

Please post a little about the group and their web site so that others can add to their volunteer  references.

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  • Diane Stefani
    October 22, 2011

    Silky soft chemo caps and pillowcases for those that have lost their hair.

    • Penny DuBose
      July 3, 2013

      I am trying to find the organization that needed chemo caps sewn as I would like to do this if there is a pattern to follow. Please advise, hugs and blessings, Penny in Pigeon Forge, TN

  • Tina Davis
    October 24, 2011

    I keep thinking I’d like to participate in Quilts of Valor at some point: http://qovf.org/

    Little Dresses for Africa is Def my favorite!! I’d like to make then for local foster kids too. So many great opportunities!

  • Linda Heck
    October 24, 2011

    Sewing for the Greyhound Organization here in Fl. BAGA is just one of the many here in Fl. These dogs that are just coming off the track are in need of love and a good warm blanket to wear on those cold nights and days. When we need a jacket, so do they. These dogs are just interested in giving love, they’re so calm and just want to be our best friend.
    Linda in Fl.

    • Penny DuBose
      July 3, 2013

      Linda Heck, I would love to make blankets for the greyhounds! I am a disabled great-grammie that loves animals and would be so happy to help if you will send me the info. Hugs and blessings, Penny in Pigeon Forge, TN.

  • Judy Warehime
    October 24, 2011

    “The Pink Slipper Project is an endeavor to warm the hearts and the toes of women and children living in shelters. Our goal is to provide hand-made slippers to as many women and children that we possibly can, adding new challenges throughout the year. As time and donations allow, we will open our arms wide to as many women’s and children’s shelters that we can provide for.” Please check out the website: http://www.pinkslipperproject.org Slippers can be sewn, knitted, or crocheted….but must be handmade.

  • Glo
    October 25, 2011

    I learned of the Quilts for Kids through your program, Sewing with Nancy, I am in the process of making my first quilt and hope to make many more for this great organization. I am blogging about the process on my blog and about Quilts for kids! Thanks for all the information you give us on your blog and on your show!

    Glo at glosews

  • Donna
    October 31, 2011

    I correspond with a missionary in Japan and they are ever so thankful for a Canadian group that has sent quilts and now quilt kits to teach the the Japanese people themselves to do the art work. I look forward to see the creativity coming from such sorrow.

  • Joyce Whittier
    August 19, 2013

    My church has a group called Mission Sewing. In 2012, they delivered 9,925 items and donated 19,140.25 hours of work. Mission Sewing has been working for 50 years, and women of all ages work together sewing, knitting, and quilting items for people who have cancer, have had a mastectomy or other surgery, newborn babies in intensive care, and those less fortunate all over the world. The team is composed of team leaders, cutters, sewers, stuffers, sorters/organizers, ironers, quality controllers, knitters, quilters, and a deliverer. The group has 25 sewing machines set up and ready for volunteers, and approximately 90% of the fabric they use is donated. As Edie Hultman, the leader of Mission Sewing, said, “One would venture to guess that the “5 C’s of Success” defines this group. They Create, Change, Collaborate, Commit and Celebrate. With joy and gratitude, we applaud you!”

  • Gaynel H
    November 13, 2014

    My mom loved to sew. She recently passed away and left lots of fabric, I would love to donate to a charity in the area (too heavy to ship). The matterial is in good condition, would be better suited for adults-clothes or quilts. Any suggestions for a charity in the South Florida area?

  • Ellen
    November 7, 2015

    I need to get my stash down and would like to donate fabric to a charitable organization in or near Baton Rouge, Louisiana. I cannot ship because the cost would be too high.

  • Kathy Johnson
    December 12, 2015

    Hello out there, My name is Kathy, I live in MN . I don’t work anymore and I would like to dedicate my time to helping others in need. I’ve taken up sewing for the last two years and would love to volunteer my time in this area but am having a hard time getting started. I can’t afford to donate the material but have plenty of free time. It would be best if i could work out off my own home as I am not always able to get up and go. I live close to the Blaine area and am able to pick up what ever is needed to complete the project/projects at hand. If there is anyone out there who can help me get started on this journey I would so appreciate your help. It is also a possibility that I can volunteer one day a week outside of my home. My email is [email protected]. thank you!

  • Jodi Gustafson
    February 14, 2016

    I really enjoy sewing for Days for Girls. We create sustainable feminine hygiene kits in order for girls to stay in school. The drop-out rate is high when girls reach puberty in underdeveloped countries where disposables are not available or affordable for impoverished girls. There are so many sewing and non-sewing tasks in the project and we get to use beautiful fabrics for high quality kits.

  • Joy Mehan
    September 14, 2016

    I have a lot of fabric scraps, large and small, many vintage fabrics. Some date from as far back as the 1950s. Mostly left over from my mother’s many years of dress-making–she has 6 daughters. They would make great quilts, but I don’t have time to make them, as I am helping to look after my elderly parents. I also have several lengths of fleece for blankets, and fabrics more suitable for garments than for quilts. This is taking up space in my garage where my car used to be, and is all free for the asking. I live in Fort Worth TX; I would prefer to have this picked up by a local charity, but I could deliver within 50 miles for a strong enough incentive. Contact me at [email protected] if you’re interested. Thanks

  • Care Wear Volunteers, Inc.
    September 21, 2016

    Care Wear Volunteers is a national 501(c)3 nonprofit organization that recruits volunteers to sew, knit, and crochet for hospital patients of all ages and families in need. Participants make layette items, quilts, blankets, lap blankets, shawls, chemo hats, tote bags, zippered bags, cough pillows, neck pillows, toys, and more!!! Supplies are welcomed to help participants complete these projects.
    We use woven cotton & cotton blend fabrics, fleece, fiberfill, narrow lace, 1″-1.5″ polypropylene webbing for handles on tote bags, felt, sewing thread, etc…. We also accept wedding gowns to use making burial gowns and wraps for preemie to full-term sizes. See our website (www.carewear.org) for more patterns, hospitals served, etc.
    Care Wear Volunteers has its office in Frederick MD–324 West Patrick Street, Frederick MD 21701. Contact 301-620-2858 or [email protected] before delivery to the office. You will receive a receipt for donations of supplies. EIN#52-2137470

  • Carrie
    September 14, 2018

    I sew teddy bears for children who have rare diseases.
    We use only cotton due to their allergies and sensitivity to other fabrics.
    The bears are sewn with different colors and patterned material to give the child stimuli.
    Contact http://www.rarescience.org for information. Also you can find the pattern on Pinterest ……give a child a bear to hug.

  • Kari Dabrowski
    December 18, 2018

    Hello! Throughout my Mom’s life she quilted for numerous charities, especially ones involving kids. Since her recent passing she has left us with so much fabric. We would love to donate to groups in the Southern NH area that make quilted blankets to children. Please let me know if there are any organizations or groups that do this.

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