It's been a busy fall in the sewing class as we have tried out several new designs and worked hard to make items to sell in a local craft fair. We've worked on placemats and napkins, pillow covers, table runners, and three color infinity scarves.
The Make Welcome students sell the items they sew through Journey Home Crafts, which operates an etsy shop and occasionally participates in local craft fairs. Early in November, we had a booth in a local fair, and the hard work of the women's hands resulted in a fair number of sales, lots of exposure, and a few custom orders! Sewing instructor, Lisa, designed our booth and we received lots of compliments on the display of our beautiful handmade items. We were glad for the opportunity to participate and will be looking for another craft fair/sale to participate in this spring.
The most popular item in our booth at the craft sale was our three fabric infinity scarf, so last week in class, we made sure that all of the women knew how to make them. Each of the women chose a trio of fabrics that she liked and with help from instructors, Beth and Lisa and the other students who had already learned to make the scarves, each student made her own scarf. There was so much laughter and good-natured teasing, sustained concentration, and a baby on the back of one of our students while she sewed away.
When everyone was finished, we managed to get a photo with all the women wearing their newly sewn scarves.
When finished with their own scarves, some of the women set to work on a custom order. We've had several other requests for scarves so we'll be sewing more in class this week.[. . .]
These hands have been through so much. They have prepared meals and cared for children behind the closed doors of a secret apartment, hidden, fearful, war-weary. They have slowly become more adept at stitching straight seams and as they do, the smiles are more frequent.
These hands hold the hand of a two year old boy who plays quietly near the table. They skillfully stitch seam after seam, piecing fabric strips. They will cradle a newborn in a few short months. The work of these hands will help put food on the table for a growing family.
These hands carry gifts of food to widows in shock and give the warm touch of friendship. They create loveliness from scratch and gently guide new learners to pick up the scraps and craft beauty.
There are other hands - hands that offer toys and hold books and wipe noses; small hands that shape play-dough and push toy trucks; hands that open envelopes and help others to fill out forms.
These are some of our Make Welcome hands - the beautiful hands of the women who come to teach and learn and sew together and care for the children on Fridays. They are sharing, helping, creating, guiding, giving hands. Hands that hold each other in growing friendships across barriers of language and culture. Hands that are Making Welcome. week in and week out.
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