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Pillowcase to help the sick

A program that started with a bang has come to a lull.

Quilt with Me kicked off its “Make a Pillowcase, Make a Difference” campaign in May for the American Patchwork and Quilting’s 1-million pillowcase challenge, but after receiving about 50 cases, progress has considerably slowed.

“We made good headway, but summer hit, and things started to slow down a bit,” said Jackie Golden, owner of Quilt with Me, which is coordinating the response to the challenge locally. “We’re encouraging people to make the pillowcases as summer projects. It’s easy to do, easy to teach, isn’t expensive and it helps others.”

The store, located next to Anytime Fitness off of Godwin Boulevard, is participating in the challenge — which concludes at the end of the year — by selling pillowcase kits for $9 and is giving away free patterns to people interested in donating a pillowcase.

“When you’re sick and in bed, what do you snuggle up to? Your pillow,” Golden said. “A pillow that doesn’t look like it’s part of the hospital can be something special to them and make them smile.”

The project is ideal for people with little time and little money, but a desire to make a difference.

“A lot of people can’t afford to make and give away an entire quilt,” Golden said. “A pillowcase is inexpensive and helps someone have that bit of home with them.”

Golden is opening her store for people who want to walk in and make the pillowcases there, as well.

“You don’t have to have anything,” Golden said. “You can come in, buy a kit, we’ll give you the pattern and you can make it in the store. It only takes about 45 minutes.”

The pillowcases and some small quilts that are donated will stay local and be donated to Virginia Oncology and to Obici Hospital. Children sent from Obici to the Children’s Hospital of the King’s Daughters can take the pillowcases with them.

Golden already handed out the first pillowcase to a cancer patient who came into her store.

“When you see their expression and know you maybe did something to help, it’s just so rewarding,” Golden said.