AWCHamburg · Charity · Handmade · Heart Pillow Project

Charity : Heart Pillow Project 2014

Heart Pillow Project Gus and Ollie Hamburg
Just some of the nearly 50 pillows we made together.

Have you heard of the Heart Pillow Project?

This week I was lucky enough to take part in a wonderfully colourful pillow-making event, run by the American Womens Club of Hamburg (AWCH). Six of my crafty expat friends and I came together in a friends home for this AWCH Club event – with homemade brunchy nibbles and sewing machines in hand, we knew these pretty pillows will make some local cancer patients lives a little easier.

The project began in the United States by Janet Kramer-Mai and has quickly spread throughout the world, as cancer patients continue to benefit from these handmade heart pillows. Fitting snuggly under the arm, they help relieve pain from surgical incisions & under arm swelling and prevent accidental bumps that may occur in their every day lives. They receive them while in hospital and are theirs to take home and keep.

Gus and Ollie Hamburg
Using the pattern provided by

Fabric was purchased, washed and ironed before the day – so we could start immediately. It’s amazing how a few hands can make light work of such a task. We didn’t start until around 10am and by 2pm, we had nearly 50 finished pillows! Not bad for a mornings work!

Heart Pillow Project Gus and Ollie Hamburg
Such lovely fabrics to coordinate.

With four sewing machines on hand, one cutting, one ironing and two stuffing – it was such a lovely little production line we seemed to organically fall into. Intertwined with laughter, stories from home, tales from Hamburg, tea drinking and lots of munching, it was the perfect way to spend and lovely sunny Monday morning with friends. It just wouldn’t have been the same to make a few on my own in the studio. It reminded me again, just how lucky I am to have the time and space to contribute to such worthy causes – that are also so much fun!

Gus and Ollie Hamburg
Sewing the hearts together

Anyone can join in this delightful project.

Simply contact Nancy Friis-Jensen in Denmark at the Heart Pillow Project website for the pattern, plan a little get together with your friends, family – even your crafty kids could help stuff them – and voila! You’ve become part of this global handmade pay-it-forward. It is such a lovely, simple idea that can really help change someone’s life and recovery. 

Gus and Ollie Hamburg
Some of us with the finished pillows.

Maybe you could share this with some of your crafty friends and make some Heart Pillows to donate to the Oncology Department at your local hospital too. Just don’t forget to let Nancy ( and I know. We’d love to see what you get up to! 

Have a lovely end to this week xx


7 thoughts on “Charity : Heart Pillow Project 2014

  1. This is such a lovely thing to do on so many levels – it gives people in hospital undergoing treatement a lovely boost, but also creates a wonderful sense of community in your own home town. I love this idea. It makes me want to get out my sewing machine that hasn’t seen the light of day for 20 years and start sewing!!

    1. Thanks Sarah – and you’re exactly right. So lovely on so many levels….I say, dust off that old machine, invite a few crafty ladies over and do it! It is a super easy pattern – remembering how your machine works might be more difficult 😉 xo

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