I was pleased to get a report from Judy Strelioff about the charity project she has headed up for many years in Victoria, BC. We have supported this wonderful endeavour for quite a few years with donations of some little zipper baggies but mostly the little soaps & shampoos collected at hotels on our travels + the great donations we received from Days Inn hotels of Canada a couple of years ago. I am somewhat sad to report that all those wonderful boxes of soaps, shampoo, hand cream etc donated by Days Inn is now gone. I took several big boxes over to Victoria when I did a Janome event at Sawyers Sewing Center this Fall plus I also delivered half a dozen boxes to a shelter in Surrey, BC. But I will still be travelling in 2017 so will still be able to collect these “condiments” as Judy calls them.  Perhaps you could think about donating the toothbrush, tube of toothpaste and possibly dental floss that your dentist gives you when you make your twice annual visit for check-up and teeth cleaning? (Apparently the toothbrushes and toothpaste is in short supply for these Sandy Merriman baggies).

If you have anything to donate, you are more than welcome to pop them in a baggie and give them to me when you see me at Sewing and Quilting shows or Dealer’s stores across Canada.  Same goes for little zippered baggies. If you have time to make a few of these, I will also willingly accept them to pass on to Judy and her team in October 2017. 

Here is some of the report from Judy:  “The pic above shows 37 very plump handmade Christmas gift cosmetic bags that we delivered to the Sandy Merriman House Women’s Shelter in Victoria BC, just days before Christmas 2016.  They were intended to be given as Christmas gifts to the ladies who visit the shelter.

This year all the gifts bags were sewn and hand quilted –  made specifically for the ladies at the shelter. The gift bags were stuffed 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, combs, perfume, nail files, sewing kit, mouthwash, deodorant, etc, depending upon what was available or what had been donated and what I could find at a reasonable price.

 A bag of some larger sized items was also donated this year, which included some multi sized gloves and unused that had been donated. Also included was several FULL case lots of condiments size items that were donated by Liz Thompson of Janome Canada. In addition to the donation to the SM shelter we also passed a large quantity of condiments on to the Mustard Seed Food bank, thanks again to Liz.


 I would like to acknowledge and thank all of my friends, neighbours, acquaintances as well as the owners and staff at Sawyers Sewing Centre who have assisted and contributed to this endeavour.  I send a special thanks to Pat Dykes of Sawyers Sewing who told so many of her friends and acquaintances of this project and assisted with fabric acquisition and sewing. Many thanks to my Monday quilting friends who donated to this cause AND continue to tell their friends. This year I quilted and sewed 20 gift bags and received another 17 that were hand made and donated by Marilyn, Chris, Eileen and Pat.

The volunteers at the shelter were impressed by how beautiful and cheerful the quilted bags were. One volunteer said they will make wonderful Christmas gifts and said I was an angel!  As always, I send an extra special Thank You to Liz Thompson of Janome Canada for sending multiple, generous and wonderful HUGE boxes of “condiments”.

Here is the link to the shelter website: “

It was our privilege to be involved once again with this worthy charity and sewing endeavour. And we really appreciate the lovely comprehensive report from Judy – some of which I have shared with you.

As I have been decluttering and downsizing at home prior to my move to a new home in Spring 2017, I have been putting aside many bags and boxes of fabric, embroidered blocks & panels, little zipper baggies etc …….my plan is to pass these on to worthy charities like this one reported here. Perhaps you also have fabric, zippers etc you can donate? There are always many charity and sewing groups who are super grateful to receive these donations. Perhaps there is such a group in your area who would be able to use your “excess” sewing and quilting supplies?

What charity sewing might you get involved with during 2017?



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  1. Betty Finney says:

    How do you make the bags?Thank youBetty

    From: Janome Life To: Sent: Monday, January 9, 2017 7:23 AM Subject: [New post] SANDY MERRIMAN HOUSE AND CHARITY SEWING PROJECTS #yiv5663069255 a:hover {color:red;}#yiv5663069255 a {text-decoration:none;color:#0088cc;}#yiv5663069255 a.yiv5663069255primaryactionlink:link, #yiv5663069255 a.yiv5663069255primaryactionlink:visited {background-color:#2585B2;color:#fff;}#yiv5663069255 a.yiv5663069255primaryactionlink:hover, #yiv5663069255 a.yiv5663069255primaryactionlink:active {background-color:#11729E;color:#fff;}#yiv5663069255 | lizafrica posted: “I was pleased to get a report from Judy Strelioff about the charity project she has headed up for many years in Victoria, BC. We have supported this wonderful endeavour for quite a few years with donations of some little zipper baggies but mostly the li” | |


    • lizafrica says:

      Hi Betty,

      We have offered instructions on how to make zippered baggies several times on this blog. Please do a search in the search box on the home page of janomelife to find these posts. You could also google it or search on You Tube or Pinterest and you will find more written tutorials and video’s than you will have time to read or watch! I have found Jenny from Missouri Star Quilt Company offers a great video tutorial on You Tube on this subject. How to make a zipper bag I think is what she called it.



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