336 days until Christmas?!?

Only 11 months from today? Did that get your attention? If so, perhaps it was with a sigh or with some annoyance?  Why am I reminding you about Christmas 2020 when we are only just done with Christmas 2019?

Remember the charity project we have reported on annually for many years: sewers at Sawyers Sewing Centre in Victoria BC made little zipper baggies which are filled with toiletries etc by Judy and her team to deliver to Sandy Merriman House in Victoria for women and their children in need. Judy has headed up this charity drive for many years but Christmas 2019 was her last one as she is retiring. See pic below of what was delivered last month for Christmas at Sandy Merriman House.


Anyway,  I got to thinking that maybe I (we?) could do something similar for Christmas 2020? I had a bit of down time during the holidays – hope you did too? – so I got tucked into my scrap fabrics stash and started embroidering little in-the-hoop (ITH) zipper baggies. I downsized from a big home to a much smaller townhouse a few years ago and I am somewhat shocked at how much “stuff” I have. Storage remains a bit of a challenge and it has to go somewhere useful, ie, NOT the landfill! There is a tremendous amount of scraps of fabric, stabilizer, ribbons/tapes, zippers etc which are taking up valuable space in my home. This needs to go……STASHBUSTER time! Do you identify with my sentiments?

Now these little bags I am making are much smaller than the ones in the pic above so will not contain nearly as much “goodies” but I was thinking along the lines of “where will I donate all the shampoos, soaps etc that I collect on my travels for Janome Canada and on my family vacations? So I was thinking that a little bag with a soap, shampoo, lotion, etc and maybe a small toothpaste would work very well – like the ones our dentists give us when we visit for check ups or the ones some airlines give on long haul flights? Maybe a little amenity kit some hotels offer with small emery board, a few ear buds, little cotton wool balls? Maybe  a little sewing/mending kit – again some hotels offer these?

My thoughts also went a little further and I wondered if I might be able to secure donations to buy Tim Horton’s gift cards – small denominations – enough for a cup of coffee and a treat perhaps?  To pop into these cute little zipper bags in addition to some toiletries as outlined above? Maybe…..we will see how the year unfolds.

SO……armed with these charitable thoughts, I put my Janome MC15000 and MC550E to work and have  – amazingly – already got close to 100 little baggies done! That really surprized me. Each one takes a mere 8 or 9 minutes to embroider (everything is sewed in the hoop) and the design I am using is just under 4000 stitches. I made 2 just while I waited for hubby to get ready to go out recently (sigh). So these can be done in a jiffy, use up the toe-tapping wait time (now smiling) ………… and before I knew it, I had a pile of them! I think that is a good and promising start to 2020.

These are just a few of what I have embroidered so far. AND it was fun and relaxing to do. AND it is busting a much too large stash! Bonus!

Would you care to join me in my personal journey to de-stash and make a small difference in someone’s life next Christmas? Double whammy?

I am using an embroidery design digitized by Ann Hein of Janome America (thanks, Ann! Your design sure is being put to a lot a good use). If you want to make little baggies like this, please drop me a note in the comment box below and I will send you the embroidery design (jef format) and instructions + time and labour saving tips I have gathered during the holidays as I made these baggies. Maybe you can do something similar in your area? Or maybe you would like to mail any baggies you make to us and we will add them to the collection for donating here: I am currently investigating worthy causes in the Delta/Surrey/Langley area of Metro Vancouver, BC and I have no doubts at all that these little baggies will all find a good home next Christmas.

PLEASE NOTE: there will be a short delay in responding to any comments you send as a result of this post as I’m about to head off on a short vacation. But I promise I will reply in due course. 

I can hardly believe how much fabric I have de-stashed + little “itty” bits of ribbon + even the ends of longer zippers (split in half) for the baggie loop. I am also pleased to have made a big dent in my huge bag of tearaway stabilizer scraps (Yes, I know I save those – neither wonder I need to destash!) I will tell you my tip for using several smaller pieces of stabilizer for one hooping for these bags – easy and waste saving.

You are also most welcome to donate any little hotel toiletries or small toothpaste tubes you may gather over the next 8-10 months as we will definitely use them. Please be sure they will be able to fit into our little bags which measure approx 6 x 4 inches. If you want to donate,  drop a note in the comment box and we will contact you. Many thanks.

336 days to go? Hello Christmas 2020…….Does not sound so bad now, does it?!

About lizafrica

I am the National Education Manager for Janome & Elna Canada (including Artistic Creative products) and I LOVE to sew! I have been employed full time in the sewing and quilting industry for almost 30 years so I bring a wealth of sewing knowledge & expertise to this blog. I enjoy all forms of sewing from quilting to sewing garments to machine embroidery and software. Pretty much everything in my life is seen through the eyes of a passionate sewer! I am constantly on the look out for fun, innovative and inspiring ideas to share with you all on this blog. I also love to sew, read, knit , crochet, travel and spend time with my family and friends.
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109 Responses to 336 days until Christmas?!?

  1. Susan Gouge says:

    I would love to have the design and directions for these little bags. So appreciate your making them available!
    Susan Gouge


  2. Adriana Willetts says:

    Good morning, I would also be interested in making the zippered bags for our shelters here in Ontario.

    Thanks Adriana


  3. SuzanneMc says:

    I would appreciate the little zipper bag pattern also. Thank you!


  4. Betty says:

    I would like the pattern for the bags. Thank you.


  5. Deborah Douville says:

    I live a long way from you (NH) but thought it would be nice to make for in my area. Please send the .jef file. Thank you


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