Just got an email from Judy in Victoria. She has sent a bunch of pics and an update on the annual sewing of zippered baggies that are filled with toiletries & cosmetics for women at Sandy Merriman House, Victoria. Regular viewers to this blog might remember that we have played a small role in this charity for a number of years. Judy reports:

the bags delivered to Sandy Merriman House this year - 2014

the bags delivered to Sandy Merriman House this year – 2014


Above is a picture of the 35 huge Christmas gift cosmetic bags that we delivered to the Sandy Merriman House Women’s Shelter in Victoria, on the Saturday before Christmas 2014.  They are intended to be given as Christmas gifts to the ladies who visit the shelter. 

Since this years gift bags were so well sized I stuffed them to the brim (or should I say to the zipper) with toothbrush, toothpaste, hotel sized shampoos, several bars of hand soap, cream rinse, a ball point pen or two, hand wipes, zip bags, band aides, comb and safety pins. Many bags also included other cosmetic items such as lipstick, mascara, hand lotion, hand sanitizer, hair brush, perfume, nail files, sewing kit, mouthwash, deodorant, etc, depending upon what was available or what had been donated.

Bags made & donated in 2006 & 2007

I think this is my 10th or 11th year creating these bags for the shelter.  As many people have asked me how long I have been doing this I have attached a compilation of photos from previous years. I can’t seem to find photos from 2004 or 2005, probably because I didn’t have a digital camera.


 I would like to acknowledge and thank all of my friends, neighbours, acquaintances and staff at Sawyers Sewing who have assisted and/or contributed to this endeavour, with their impressive donations of “condiments” (the charming name given by some contributors for their collection of hotel shampoos and soaps, etc) in addition to the many cosmetic bags. The volunteers were especially impressed, thankful and amazed this year by all the beautifully handmade bags. The volunteers said they will make wonderful Christmas gifts! 


I send a very special thanks to Pat Dykes of Sawyers Sewing who encouraged her group of Monday Ladies to quilt some amazingly creative and beautiful bags. The volunteers were really impressed by how beautiful and cheerful they were! Three lovely ladies (Marilyn, Chris and Eileen) excelled themselves and made multiple bags and even donated fabric for the bags. Also thanks to (morning) Judi and (afternoon) Marilyn for the very generous multiple contributions of condiments for these bags.  As always I send a special thanks to Liz Thompson of Janome Canada who also sent a wonderful contribution of “condiments”. If I have forgotten anyone, please excuse me.


All the contributed items are organized, sorted, bagged and then delivered to the Sandy Merriman House Women’s shelter in time for Christmas, each year. I sew and quilt cosmetic bags but I appreciate the donation of cosmetic bags large enough to fit a toothbrush and toothpaste. If you would like to sew some bags but need fabric, contact Sawyers Sewing Center in Victoria who will be happy to assist and connect you with Judy. 

Below is the link to the shelter website:


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