Grandmother's suggestion turns into viral quilting phenomenon
Joan Bates from Arkansas, a random MadamSew customer, grandmother and member of the extraordinarily active MadamSew Facebook group, started an instant hype by suggesting that members team up to make a giant quilt together to then auction for charity. She is now inundated with quilt blocks from all over the world flying into her mailbox.
The MadamSew ‘All About Sewing’ facebook group, which recently burst through 10,000 members with over 6,000 daily active sewing or quilting enthusiasts and 150,000 monthly engagements, catapulted the idea a lot further than Bates could have ever dreamt of.
"In the sewing group, I have noticed the people from all over the world sharing and supporting each other and cheering each other on. I thought how beautiful these people are, and how caring. I have always felt the need to give back. This is the most amazing experience of my life!!!” said Bates.
The idea’s wild popularity showed as sewers nationwide began creating blocks for the quilt to send to Bates. She has offered to collect, coordinate, and sew together the 12 x 12” sections that individuals send to her in Arkansas before passing the quilt along to another volunteering group member, Ranam Nandez, in California to quilt. MadamSew is providing the backing and batting for the quilt. Bates is accepting blocks for the quilt until November 15th, 2019.
She now opens the stack of envelopes live on facebook weekly, to the delight of members tuning in from all over the world.
To participate, individuals need to head over to the MadamSew Facebook page. Details can also be found on the dedicated Friendship Quilt page on MadamSew’s website. Individuals should create a 12” x 12” block that ideally expresses where you are from or something that you love. All blocks must be received by November 15th, 2019 to be included in the finished quilt. ...or quilts, as at the rate Bates is receiving sections, this could otherwise become the biggest quilt in the world!
MadamSew owner Mark Fiers loves the idea. “Sewing doesn’t need to be a lonely hobby, which is why the community aspect is a huge driving force in the company. The MadamSew Around The World Friendship Quilt is a beautiful example. We have people inquiring how to start quilting, just to be able to send in a piece as well!”
One of the company’s greatest goals is to create a sewing community or hive of ideas and projects that individuals can share, as well as creating tutorials to help customers learn new skills and teach them how to use tools that can increase their productivity and help them sew with confidence. This is why the company has such an active social media presence, with 56,000 likes and 60,000 followers on Facebook, 14,000 followers on Instagram, 30,000 monthly views and 4,500 subscribers on its Youtube channel - besides the ‘All About Sewing’ group.
The sewing group is still determining which charity to donate to, but are considering St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital as well as organizations that support Veterans, battered women and children, cancer centers, and heart centers.
Founded in 2017, MadamSew is a sewing company developing sewing tools at affordable prices with extensive user instructions to help home sewers enjoy their hobby more and sew with more confidence. The company began by offering online tutorials, community, and carefully crafted sewing tools at competitive prices, such as their signature 32 Piece Ultimate Presser Foot Set and accompanying handbook. It achieved $1.5 million in sales within its first 8 months, 2.5 million in sales in 2018, and continues to grow. MadamSew has an active social media presence with 56,000 likes and 60,000 followers on Facebook, 10,000 Facebook group members of which 6500 daily active and 150,000 monthly engagements, 14,000 followers on Instagram, 30,000 monthly views and 4,500 subscribers on YouTube. While the majority of sales (80%) are in the United States and fulfilled from North Carolina, 6% are to Canada, 5% UK, 9% rest of world. For further information, visit madamsew.com.
Examples and stack of sent-in quilt blocks, including .gif on dedicated Friendship quilt page