When I signed up to volunteer to be part of the sewing team for Special Spaces Cincinnati, I didn’t know that it would be in at the tail end of my busiest week of the year. I’ve been up every night until about 1:30 a.m. trying to get work done. So when the alarm went off Saturday morning (after another late night), I admit, I groaned a bit.
But once I got there, I knew it was going to be a very cool day.
We were giving 7-year-old Bailey a brand new princess bedroom, as part of Special Spaces—a national organization that does one-day bedroom makeovers for children dealing with life-threatening illness. The Cinci chapter is brand new and Bailey’s room was their first makeover. Bailey has been dealing with leukemia for the past year. She’s been sick, but very, very brave. She has three other siblings (including a 9-month old baby brother, same age as Georgia), and she shares a room with her 3-year-old sister, Rachel. A friend of the family nominated her for the room makeover.
Thankfully, Bailey is doing very well. I found out Saturday that her last scan was cancer-free, and she is in the maintenance phase of her treatment. But after everything Bailey has been through, she deserves the bedroom of her dreams, to recover in, and make more dreams. Here is the before shot of the room . . .
I signed up to be part of the sewing team, headed by Robin Nielsen, who owns Stitch Studio here in Madeira. We had the task of doing all of the sewing, including two quilts, a handful of pillows & shams, and the window treatments. Robin did 90 percent of the sewing herself ahead of time—like the very intricate window treatments. She is absolutely amazing! (Here they are before installation.)
That's Robin cutting one of the adorable monogrammed shams. Her best friend, Leslie, also helped her out. I had such a fun time listening to Robin and Leslie talk about all of their sewing (and other) adventures over the years. They are really a lovely pair, and made the day even more enjoyable.
My contribution was these two pillows (I used the gathering technique from the Mod Pillow for one of them, and decorated the other with yo-yos).
I also did the patchwork on the cover for the bench cushion below.
It was so fun to watch the couch pile up with pillows throughout the day. All day long, the carpenters and painters and craft team were in and out, furiously working on things (there were about 20 volunteers in all). Robin, Leslie, and I were in our own little Zen, just sewing and chatting.
Serious stuff was being built and painted in the tents out front (I heard the hum of power tools all day.) I’d always wondering how those one-day makeovers actually work. How do they get everything out, reconfigured/painted/built, and then everything back in before the family comes back?
I know the answer now: it’s a ton of really, really hard work, and it reaches a panic mode about 10 minutes before the family is due back. There was so much to do in those last minutes--so many parts to coordinate and things to move in. I can’t even believe all the great details the team did, like all of these adorable pieces!
But truly, that moment of the reveal was probably one of the coolest moments of my adult life. I wasn’t in the room for the reveal—there were too many volunteers. But I could hear Bailey squeal, and I also got to see it on the news last night (there were three TV crews there). And I got to go in after with the sewing team and show her everything we did. Here I am with Robin, Bailey, and Leslie.
I can’t believe the amazing people that made everything come together. I had such a small role to play, but it felt so great. I’ve been thinking for some time that I want to use my sewing skills to give back, and I feel like I’ve found a very wonderful cause.
A few more pics . . .