Charity Sewing: August 2018

Comfort Quilts Against Cancer


Comfort Quilts against Cancer is a not-for-profit organisation whose members embroider and patchwork colourful quilts for cancer patients in all areas of Australia. Cancer touches people in many ways, whether it be personally, through a family member, workmate or even a neighbour.

Their aim is to assist as many cancer patients in Australia they can by offering hand-made quilts. These quilts can go to men, woman and children of all ages.

This sewalong we are asking you to create a quilt of any theme or size. Alternatively, you could create 12 quilted or embroidered squares which they can use to quilt for you. Whichever you would like to create to get involved will help out their cause.

A heartfelt comment received by Comfort Quilts Against Cancer:

“Hi Bronwyn, Very rarely in my life have I been lost for words but yesterday when your gift arrived I was speechless! I must admit that I feel a little guilty at the moment as I am lucky enough to still be feeling well right now, but I am also very grateful. Please pass on my thanks to the lovely ladies that work so hard making these quilts, scarves and beanies for people suffering with cancer.”

Sewalong Brief

Quilt or Embroider

  • Quilt, sew or embroider a finished quilt of any theme or size.
  • Or quilt or embroider 12 squares either  8”, 10” or 12” wide with the same theme. These can be sewn up by Comfort Quilts Against Cancer.

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Charity Sewalong: July 2018

adorable-animal-bulldog.jpgThe Animal Welfare League (AWL) is a national non-profit organisation caring for companion animals across Australia.

AWL works with local councils, state government, rescue groups and the community to improve the outcomes of stray and surrendered pets. They are nationally recognised for their unique and innovative programs, initiatives and re-homing strategies.

In this month’s sewalong we are asking you to stitch, embroider or design your most creative dog or cat bandana, which the AWL can give away with new adopted pets or sell in their stores to raise money for much-needed supplies.


Sewalong Brief

Get creative by embroidering, appliqueing or decorating your dog or cat bandannas with sewing trims like the one below.


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Charity sewalong: June 2018

Magic Moments – Grandies


Grandies was born to put a smile on the faces of a group of people often forgotten by society. This program reaches across Australia, focusing on the elderly, the grandmas and grandpas who may either be at home alone or in hostels or nursing homes with no family nearby to support them. Their teams of volunteers take time out of their busy schedules to give time back to these Grand Oldies (Grandies) to make them feel cared for, honoured and valued as important members of our community.

Sewalong brief

We would like to support Grandies by creating knit beanies and mittens, which will provide comfort and warmth this winter to a number of elderly men and women Australia-wide.


If you would like to get involved simply download the free sewing patterns below.

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Charity sewalong: May 2018

blog-pic-apron-headway-adp-sewalongHeadway ADP

An acquired brain injury, like a stroke or traumatic injury can impact any of us at any time. These injuries often cause symptoms like seizure, verbal impairment and physical disability and can affect everything from our decision-making and memory tasks to our organisational skills and behaviour.

This month’s feature charity is Headway ADP, whose specialised services help people with an acquired brain injury redevelop the skills and functions they need to reintegrate into the community. During May you can help brighten up their cooking class activities with these fun aprons for clients to use.


Download the 1 yard magic apron pattern (PDF) from SewCanShe website. Sew in fabric of your choice.

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Charity sewalong: April 2018

Australia Zoo Wildlife Hospital


Australia Zoo Wildlife Hospital (AZWH) is one of the busiest and largest wildlife hospitals in the world.

Their dedicated wildlife veterinarians, vet nurses and volunteers work around the clock to rescue, rehabilitate and release sick, injured, orphaned and displaced animals and native

This month you can help the hospital and their animals by sewing these vibrantly-themed cage covers in various sizes! The covers attach onto the doors of the hospital’s bird and reptile cages to create a private environment where animals can get the rest and recovery they need.


Sizes and fabrics

The hospital has asked for bird and reptile cage covers in numerous sizes listed below. All covers you make will be used and greatly valued. Covers are rotated and washed regularly in warm water for disinfection so make sure your material is pre-washed and shrunk before you measure and sew.

Reptile cages

  • Use fish or desert print fabric OR sandy desert coloured fabric
  • Sizes (width x height)
    • 570mm x 350mm
    • 1190mm x 290mm
    • 1140mm x 460mm
    • 320mm x 740mm
    • 880mm x 380mm.

Bird cages

  • Use bird, trees or plant-print fabric  OR  some green fabric with a bright coloured embroidery thread
  • Sizes (width x height)
    • 490mm x 605mm
    • 850mm x 760mm
    • 1150mm x 760mm
    • 1050mm x 1230mm (upright)
    • 820mm x 270mm (make 2 curtains)
    • 1370mm x 980mm.

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March charity sewalong



The Tea-Cup Cottage offers disability support services that help people to live the life they want and to achieve their goals and aspirations. The cottage was established in 2010 by Director Alexandra Shaw, who sought more choice and control over the disability support and services available to her own family. Tea-Cup Cottage now has 4 respite houses and their caring philosophy focuses on the present and future needs of each individual, whether receiving respite care, in-home care, high-care or day services.

This month you can help Alex and her team brighten their clients’ days with these adult-sized bibs. Cute and comfy, with a towelled backing, ‘pelican-bib’ pocket and embroidered logo, these bibs are a real treat for clients and their carers.

Watch Alexandra’s story


Download the Adult Bib pattern from The pattern is free—to download it login with your Craftsy account, add the free pattern to your cart, and proceed to the checkout at no charge. If you haven’t used Craftsy patterns before it’s easy and free to create a new account.

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February charity sewalong


Every year around 50% of the plastic shopping bags we use end up buried in landfill. While a small portion are recycled or repurposed the remainder are unaccounted for—lost in our environment where they ultimately wash out to sea through drains and waterways. Sadly, much of the marine life that lands on your dinner plate is likely to have consumed plastic!

Boomerang Bags are changing all this!

Founded on the Gold Coast, Boomerang bags is global movement of volunteer groups whose dream is to reduce the use of plastic bags worldwide. Each group around Australia and the world works tirelessly to sew and recycle pre-loved textiles into fun, reusable fabric bags—which communities can use as a free, sustainable alternative to plastic shopping bags!


Join the movement in this month’s sewalong!

This month we’re calling for your help make to the Boomerang Bags dream a reality! By sewing one or more bags from material you already own you can help Boomerang Bags Redland City reach their goal to distribute 250 sustainable bags at their community’s upcoming green expo.

Sewing as many bags as we can this month will not only help at the expo but continue to help Boomerang Bags reduce plastic bag use throughout the year.


Download the Boomerang Bags Echidna Sewalong Pattern (PDF) and embroidery file (ZIP).

Use material you already own to create the bag from the pattern. You can use anything from curtains to pre-loved clothing and scrap material as long as it’s clean and in good condition. When cutting out the pocket, use a pale/light-coloured material. This will contrast with the red Boomerang Bags logo which will be displayed on the pocket.

Logo & pocket options

Embroider the logo yourself

Download the logo embroidery file. Use Hemingworth thread in Christmas Red, Candy Apple or Pomegranate (or similar thread colour) and embroider the Boomerang Bags logo file onto the pocket. Then sew the pocket onto the bag as shown in the pattern.


Leave the pocket blank and unsewn

Cut out the the pocket from a plain, light-coloured material, but leave it blank. Sew the bag, but DON’T sew on the pocket. Instead, send the blank pocket in with your bag, unattached. Boomerang Bags will screenprint their logo onto the pocket and sew it onto the bag once printed.

Creative options

Make a patchwork style Boomerang Bag. You can even use spare pieces of material you’d usually throw away. Leave a 1cm seam where you join any patches and check that any joins and stitching are sturdy and will wear well. Don’t forget to save your scrap pieces up and make a patchwork bag later in the year.


Send your completed bags in to Boomerang Bags Redland City by 14 March 2018. Be sure to include your name, postal address and contact details with your donation.

Boomerang Bags Redland City
Sharr Ellson
23 Sylvie Street
Thornlands Qld  4164


Drop your bags into your local Echidna store and we’ll send them on to Boomerang Bags.


The Boomerang Bags Sewalong will run from 1–28 February, 2018. The charity is always in need of bags so you can also sew and donate bags and fabric all year long.


We’ll be giving away a number of Universal Magazine prizes later in the year. To enter, simply take a photo of your finished project and post it to our Echidna Sewing facebook community! We’ll also be giving away a number of prizes at random throughout the year, and your Sewalong project is eligible for one of these prizes no matter which month it’s sent in.


Sewalongs are a great way to get inspired by what everyone creates, while giving to a worthy cause. If you’re new to sewing and embroidery this is a great chance to get involved and have fun no matter what the outcome. Any excuse to put your sewing and embroidery machines to good use is a great one.


If you have your own sewing/embroidery blog you can save the following badges and post it on your blog entry, linking back to this page.