Quilt-making at its core is all about making something out of nothing. And, for a group of local quilting ladies who call themselves the “Sew and Sews” their handcrafts opened their hearts to a new world. This month they will be helping support an action network that few members knew much about. A quilt made to honor the memory of a Sew and Sews member who recently passed away, is being auctioned for education in Africa.
Creating awareness through their projects, is part of the Sew and Sews’ influence that spreads farther and wider than just Chisago County. Out of over 230 quilts they have donated-- one quilt might end up bringing comfort to someone in a hospital, or be presented to a veteran. Another might be the only thing to cling to at a shelter.
“Bundles of Love” charity has received many items, like blankets, baby bibs, etc. St Joseph’s Children’s programs also get items made by the Sew and Sews. “Project Linus” which provides blanket “hugs” distributed through 14 organizations in the greater Twin Cities, is also a recipient of their projects.
Kris Sibik had suggested a project to support the African schools effort. Her mom Judy was active in the sewing group sessions, at Parmly on the Lake’s M-Power center. Judy had been a much-loved member before she passed away. and Kris came visiting just to sew and spend time with her mom’s friends.
The material for this quilt was made in Africa and the fabric was “a challenge” according to founding club member Linda. The vivid, erratic pattern already resembled a quilt. But these seasoned quiltmakers envisioned a stylized grid to the pattern, and the end result is a colorful yet classic optical delight that will work in any style interior. Kris finished-off the edging and said she was so glad to be able to help.
Mary explains the members enjoy customizing patterns and prints for an individual recipient or symbolic of an organization, when they can. They will incorporate military service emblems, favorite animals or whatever is desired for a specific purpose. As various projects were laid out for a photo, they promoted favorites from the inventory. They also have personal projects they work on at group meetings. The activities center is a great place to gether where they can share food, store items and have big tables and lots of space.
If you enjoy sewing or needlework or quiltmaking, and if you have Mondays or Tuesdays free, would like to meet new friends; consider stopping by the activities room at M Power center, at Parmly, (formerly Vitalize!) The Sew and Sews might be for you. Readers are also encouraged to learn more about the majority of populations of African nations are very young, and how access to education will be the single most important factor in becoming independent global citizens.
FYI-- African Classroom Connection was established in 2006. It originally worked within a Rotary assisted effort aimed at developing secondary schools in the Eshowe community, which is a former British administrative center and home to the Eshowe Forest. The Eshowe Community Action Group is known worldwide. (ecag.orc)
If you’d like to help the organization in this story the mailing address: African Classroom Connection 106 East 24 Street Minneapolis, MN 55404-3522.