The Sewing Machine Project was conceived in early 2005, following the devastating tsunami in Southeast Asia. “I’d read an article about a woman who had lost a sewing machine in the storm, a machine she’d saved for years to buy, and, in losing it, she lost her means of making an income. I began collecting donated sewing machines here in Wisconsin and shipping them to Sri Lanka”, says Margaret Jankowski, founder of this project. When Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans in September 2005 she decided to shift her focus to that area. Since then, she has made four trips to the city, taking over 275 machines. These machines are distributed to individuals as well as schools and community centers. People are using them not only to rebuild their lives but also to start small sewing-related businesses.
Another facet of the Project is the Pay it Forward program. Margaret partners with groups in the New Orleans community who need volunteers for sewing-related projects. Some groups need sewing teachers while others simply need people to help sew little infant caps for the local children’s hospital. When an individual receives a machine, they are asked to volunteer with one of these groups. In this way, they can use their new tool to help their own community.
Community is important no matter where you live. It becomes even more important in the aftermath of a disaster. The mission of the Sewing Machine Project is to give people a tool that will not only help them mend their own lives but also will give them a way to take an active role in the rebuilding of their community. People grow strong and their community grows strong as well.
If you are interested in assisting with any aspect of this project, please visit www.TheSewingMachineProject.org.
Yukon, OK – June 10, 2007, Studio D-og – Wearable Art has gone to the dogs! Well, the dogs have gone to Virgie Fisher for fabulous doggie Wearable Arf. After nearly 20 years of designing and creating wearable garments for the Fairfield Fashion Show and Bernina Fashion Show and fiber art wall pieces for private and corporate clients, including Wells Fargo, Virgie Fisher has begun to create Wearable Arf. Applying the same intricate detail and techniques, she creates mini masterpieces for truly pampered pooches.
At the begging and pleading of her daughter, Rachele, Virgie joined her daughter’s luxury pet business, Studio D-og Boutique. She began creating commissioned doggie wearables for Rachele’s Beverly Hills and Hollywood clientele. The tiny jackets and dresses range from stunningly beautiful to fun and funky. Regardless of the style, each piece has hours of surface design and remarkable embellishment.
The two Fishers combine a love for animals and a love for creating. They use their work to support various charities by designing special pieces for fundraising events. This labor of love has helped save numerous pets from euthanasia and has sent many children with cancer to camp!
You can check out her work at:
http://www.studiodogboutique.com or call her at 979/417-3174
Interview Contact: Virgie Fisher
It was a beautiful spring day, actually summer like as it was 77 degrees outside & all was bustling to get the farm cleaned up for spring. The 1st order of business was to clean out the old hog house which will be burned down so a new and improved building/shop can go in its’ place someday. Yes, we were hit by Tornado Tues 2004 and things on the farm have changed tremendously since then and this is the final clean-up to be done from that scary night. As I walked over to the hog house, dad (my dear father-in-law) called me to a box that was reeking of mold & mildew. Here’s something for you he said as he pointed to the open box. I looked and on top there was a thread stand with 5 small spools of old thread & then 2 mildew ridden sheets. I pulled them back for further inspection of the contents and to my amazement I found 2 quilts made with love no doubt by a loving grandma somewhere. I gave them a quick once over and there was not a stitch of mold or mildew on them, just some odor that the washing machine took care of after a few runs. One was a patchwork of various fabrics & the other was a cute little Sun Bonnet Sue & Sunny Jim quilt that surely was happy to be back in the sunshine. We don’t know when or why the box got put in there as the hog house hasn’t been used for anything but storage since the early 70’s, but I had a mission to do now that the quilts were found & saved from the pending fire. With no labels on the quilts & the only other immediate quilter in the family that I knew of had passed at the glorious age of 101, I was off to do some investigative work, starting with a closer inspection of the quilts. Grandma’s father had bought this farm in 1893 after coming over from Sweden & she was born here on the farm in 1899. She was a teacher, a farmers’ wife & Pastors’ wife during her lifetime and I was blessed to have many opportunities to learn from her so I could pass down her stories & traditions to our children & grandchildren. The patchwork quilt was the only style quilt I had ever seen her make as she was a thrifty woman who never threw any good piece of material away and always took in others’ scraps that were offered to her, so I am positive that she had made the patchwork quilt. With some reluctance I have to admit that the 1st dead giveaway in it was the old heavy nylon stocking she used to make the brown patch in the bottom left of the quilt bigger so it was the same size as the other squares; 2nd, each square was made of several pieces of the same fabric sewn together and lastly, the backing was an old bedspread that had been pieced in 3 long strips and brought around the front for binding, another trade mark of her quilting. I’ll be giving the seams some attention, but other than that, it will go proudly on display for future generations to see & learn from. The other quilt is a panel and looked to be made of fairly newer fabric (within the past 20-25 yrs) and is the one I will find myself doing some further investigative work to find the quilter, but if my hunch is right I won’t have to travel far for that either. So to end this story, the hog house went up in a “Blaze of Glory” and by some Devine intervention as if Grampa Paul & Gramma Esther, previous owners of the farm & a Lutheran Pastor & Pastor’s wife were standing by close to make sure everything went ok, a steeple appeared in the front of the hog house as it burned and I’m sure Gramma was smiling with joy to know that the lovely little forgotten quilts are now happy, safe & sound and catching up on all the love they missed out on when they were left to live in a dark dingy box in the old hog house.
Simply Mad, by member jogriffith.
This week more than 1000 quilts have been posted! Yeah - that is awesome. Remember, the drawing to win Ricky's Rhapsody Reality quilt will happen when we reach 36,000 quilts. In simple math that means only 6000 of our current members have to post 6 quilts. Nobody wins the quilt until our goal is met. Look through profiles and if someone has one or two quilts - contact them from their profile page and urge them to post their quilts. The instructions for doing it are posted in the link on the right that also gives details about this contest. Remember, quilts do NOT have to be made BY the person posting them - post family treasures, etc.
To remind you of the variety of quilts that are now in the gallery we have randomly selected this quilt made by member jogriffith for you to enjoy. Check out her pfofile page and see her fun and whimsical designs.
Quispamsis, New Brunswick, Canada - September 20-22, 2007 This year's show is entitled "Joy in Quilting" and will be held at the Island View Lions Club. Features include a judged show, display and sale quilts, a raffle quilt entitled "Home Comfort", an expanded Members' Boutique and Christmas Corner. There will also be a Wearable Art fashion show daily at 3pm and 7pm. For more information contact Anna Marie Hutton at firstname.lastname@example.org
I was looking through our quilt gallery last week and found so many great quilts that I felt compelled to let the artists know how much I liked their work. Funny as it happens several of the members are living out of the US. And one of them lives in Okinawa, Japan. Our last duty station overseas. What a coincidence! I have now been corresponding with her to find out what has been going on and what she enjoys working on.
In August she (Quilterwithhearts) will be coming to one of the tapings of The Quilt Show in La Veta, Colorado. We are planning on meeting face to face. All of this from just a quick e-mail regarding her quilt.
If you like someone's work let them know. You never know, there may be a friend just around the corner.
Today was the first Groveland CA Outdoor quilt show. Groveland is in the CA foothills on the way to Yosemite. The local guild, The Pineneedlers, hosted this fun event and all went smoothly - though the ladies are TIRED tonight. I hung out at Bunny Rose quilt shop (who is listed in our quilt shop directory www.bunnyrose.com) all day signing books and just generally having a great time. The gals said it this is going to be an every other year event - but I think it needs to be every year. Possibly that thought comes from the idea that two years is SO long away! Great job ladies, Groveland may never be the same!