Monday, June 21, 2010

Service Project “Save the Gulf Critters” Part One

Yeah, I know, I need more on my plate right now. Just shush and listen up. And, oh yeah, and if you can help out, please do!!!

My friend, Grace, sent me a link to this service project that is calling for crafters to pitch in and make towels and washcloths to be used by the folks in the Gulf who are doggedly wiping oil and gunk off of rescued sea critters in an attempt to save as many of them as possible from the oil spill. And, since there’s no sign they're going to be able to fix the leak anytime soon, this is going to be a massive, long-term and on-going clean-up effort. I mean, REALLY long-term and on-going. So, the more help the better.

As soon as I mentioned this project to the kids, they were all over it. BooBoo Bear, especially, is very distraught over the animals who are dying, and he doesn't even watch that much news. Just the idea of all those critters covered in oil and suffering is upsetting for him, so it was awesome to have a project plopped into our laps that allows us to actually help in a direct, meaningful way. We immediately went to the grocery store and bought three large bottles of Dawn – the only detergent the cleaner-uppers specifically request. There’s a specially packaged option that includes an automatic $1.00 donation to animal rescue efforts, so those are the ones we got. The Big Ones. Yeah, yeah, I know, I only use non-toxic, environmentally safe Melaleuca products at home, including dishwashing detergent, and I don’t understand why the rescuers would use a toxic product full of environmentally damaging phosphates on these already stressed animals, but it’s what they asked for, so we’re sending it. To each his own.

Detergent and terry cloth.

So, Phase Two of our project; we bought 5 yards of terry cloth at JoAnn’s Fabrics, and I’m cutting it up into hand towel-sized pieces. To maximize the usability of the cloth we bought (and to maximize the usability of my time in cutting and sewing), I’m working up an approximate 14” x 27” towel and not being all that precise in my measuring and cutting. After all, as soon as these towels are pulled out of the box, they’ll be used to soak up petroleum, and will never be the same thereafter. Hopefully, they can be washed and used a couple of times.

I’m cutting 28” lengths (still folded in ½ off the bolt), and then cutting 15.5” widths (again, still folded in ½) to give me my raw pieces. And, a la the fabric store, I’m lining up the folded edge of the material along the edge of my dining room table, and using the “seams” of the table leafs to make a semi-straight cut. Quick and easy, baby.

BooBoo Bear cutting pieces.

BTW, the boys were fascinated by the whole measure-and-cut process at the fabric store, especially when the cutting lady used the rolling table to measure and cut the fabrics I bought for tablecloths (they came on a roll, rather than a bolt). BroBear’s comments was something to the effect of, “Hey, that’s just like the rolling device they use on Myth Busters when they’re measuring long distances.” Hehe. Who says a fabric shop is no place for boys?

Sewing seams is much more effective when you're wearing your ant mask with bug vision lenses.

BooBoo hand sewing a seam. Black thread is a nice touch, don't you think?

So, all the pieces are cut, ready to be sewn starting tomorrow...


  1. Awesome! Glad they boys liked the idea. You are doing WAY more than me! I made about 10 washcloths from flannel scraps.

    I think they use Dawn because it "takes grease out of the way". It is very good at removing oil.

    Ok, breakfast is over - gotta go! See you later.

  2. Awesome!! I love this project!!

  3. you are such a good mom!