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Carol Perkins: Sewing Teddy Bears for OCC

Previous Column: Operation Christmas Child

By Carol Perkins

I want to be crafty. I admire those who can whip up a teddy bear or a tote bag with their eyes shut. I notice on social media the fall projects others complete for their doors, porches, or fireplaces. I can sew, but I'm not crafty.

When the idea of making teddy bears and tote bags for the Operation Christmas Child Shoebox Mission took "hold," I thought for sure I could craft a teddy bear. I had a template, traced around it, cut it out, and stuck it under my needle. The task wasn't that easy. The easy part was shopping for materials. I can shop well.

My goal was to find inexpensive fabric, so I scoured the seventy percent off bins in fabric stores and my local fabric store donated lots of material.

I learned to avoid fluffy material. I was covered in fuzz, my chair covered in fuzz, and the floor was slippery from the fuzz. The fluffy fabric clogged up my machine. I needed a serger. I found material at Goodwill in the form of blankets, flannel shirts, and plaid tops and traced my bear. I cut ten bears out of sleep pants.

In one day, I cut out fifty bears until my hand hurt. A good friend in a quilting club offered for her group to sew them if I could get them cut out. Soon, people all over town were cutting out bears. Does anyone want to cut out bears? Sew bears? We need three hundred!

Back to my sewing, I made ten bears before giving up. Thinking I was doing a good job, I turned them only to discover missed stitches. Back at the machine, I realized I forgot to mark the places, so I punched around to find the holes. I placed the same bear under the needle three times before I was finished. Then I stuffed the cutie. Not so hard. I punched the safety eyes and noses through the material, making some cockeyed. Cute, but cockeyed.

After forsaking my bear sewing, leaving that to the experts, and am now making simple totes. I need help getting three hundred finished in three weeks. One lady is doing about a hundred.

This countywide project goes to children overseas who have no chance of hearing about the word of God. Samaritans Purse is an amazing organization. If anyone wants to help, give me a shout.

You can contact Carol at

This story was posted on 2022-10-06 06:40:45
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