October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. This is something that affects all of us either directly or indirectly through a close relative or friend. Almost 300,000 new cases of breast cancer will be diagnosed in 2013. Seventy-eight percent of those new cases will be invasive breast cancer. Cancer rates are highest in non-Hispanic white women. African American women have the second highest breast cancer rates and the highest death rates from breast cancer. There are good preventive measures, including regular mammograms, physician checkups and self-examination.
October is a time when we all should take the effort to be sure that our mothers, daughters, sisters and friends know about breast cancer and breast cancer prevention.
You can get information about who is affected by breast cancer; signs and symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment; as well as preventive measures at The American Cancer Society Web site. The site also has brochures that can be downloaded so that you can take your time to read the information carefully and share that information.
This is an excellent opportunity to make beautiful machine embroidery projects to increase breast cancer awareness in your community.
These embroidery projects can be made quickly and easily with pink fabric and thread. Use these projects to decorate your home or office or give them as gifts to show how much this cause means to you.
Idea # 1: Mug rugs
Mug rugs are very popular and are a good way to make something useful and spread awareness at the same time. The mug rugs shown here are made entirely in the hoop with pink fabric and pink thread. The edge is finished with a beautiful satin stitch, and each has a special message for Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
The embroidery designs are free during the month of October in the Craftsy Pattern Store. The mug rugs are washable, and complete instructions for making these them are included with the pattern. In addition, the designs on the mug rugs are also included as separate files, so that they can be used for the tote bag or wall hanging projects shown below.
Idea #2: Tote bags and comfort cushions
Another way to increase awareness is to make a pink tote bag or purse and add machine embroidery for breast cancer awareness. This is easily done using one of the free awareness ribbon embroidery designs on the pocket as you construct your tote bag or purse. And, if you are giving the tote bag as a gift, why not print and include one of the free brochures from the American Cancer Society Web site?
A great example of breast cancer awareness and support can be found in a group in Australia who make comfort cushions and tote bags for women who have had breast cancer surgery. The comfort cushions are used after surgery to provide comfort while sleeping and resting as well as to protect the wound from impacts, such as auto seat belts. You will find patterns for the cushions and tote bags here. These are wonderful projects to work on throughout the year for those who have had surgery. The tote bag embellished with machine embroidery will continue to increase breast cancer awareness.
Idea #3: Wall hangings
The awareness ribbons and mug rug designs can also be used for a small wall hanging, which will look great in your home or office. But it can also be hung on your front door just as you would hang a seasonal wreath. The design for the tree is from Embroidery Library.
Another project idea is to embroider the tree design or one of the free mug rug designs on a T-shirt or other clothing. If you need more information about embroidering on T-shirts, check out the Machine Embroidery With Knits, taught by Deborah Jones.
For more Breast Cancer Awareness Month inspiration, see also our roundup of knitting patterns for Breast Cancer Awareness, our Breast Caner Awareness cupcake tutorial and our tips for hosting a charity bake sale for Breast Cancer Awareness.