Monday, August 19, 2013

More Than a Hat, an interview with Brenda Orr

How did you first hear of Family House, and why did you decide to get involved?

I first heard about Family House when one of the teachers at Toro Park School (in Salinas, California) asked the staff if they could donate caps in the month of December to give to Family House.  When I went shopping, I could only afford 1-2 caps; [but I realized] I could pick out a pattern and sew caps a lot cheaper.  That was the start of my fleece cap campaign.  I’ve been making them ever since.

Fleece hats are your signature, how do you come up with the patterns and designs?

The pattern is from a pattern book.  There are only 2 pattern pieces.  They’re easy to cut out and easy to sew.  I buy fabric from a store in Morgan Hill that gives me discounts.  I buy fabric about once a month.  I love the old town Morgan Hill, so I treat myself to a trip downtown and visit my favorite shops.

When I make my caps, I usually make 20-30 or more.  I try to make an equal number of boys and girls caps.  I also make various sizes.

What do you do when you’re not making hats for Family House?
I am currently trying to get involved with the “Look Good, Feel Better” program through the American Cancer Society.  I like to make hats for ladies.  I have 3 different styles that I sew.

I am newly retired from teaching.  I am able to sew, swim, hike, read, take small trips, volunteer, and update my condo.

Last thoughts?
I’m real impressed with Family House.  The way they treat their patients and families is wonderful.  They’re organized and inspired.  Keep up the good work!

You can get involved with Family House! Learn more at

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