Fibers of Love – Beautiful Sharing of Stitching Skills
Discovering what you were ‘put on earth to do’ is a question many of us face as the days and years go by – especially as our families grow up and move away. At my 5th Annual Creative Get-Away Retreat held April 22-26, 2015 at the Threads n’ Beds Retreat Center in Danville, IL those of us gathered were absolutely blown over with how one of our group, Trish Horner of Bloomington, IL has put her sewing skills and love of fiber to work in the WORLD to the glory of our Lord, Jesus Christ. Read on…and be inspired to perhaps be the seed that plants such a movement in your part of the world…..
I was typing like a crazy woman as Trish shared her story – so my apologies if any of the facts are not exactly correct, but you can contact Trish through her Facebook Page.
Through her church, Calvary United Methodist in Bloomington, IL, she started with 12-20 people which has now grown to 20 people. Stating in the church library, they were blessed with a businessman with an empty building offering it to this group for their use. OODLES of fabric, yarn, stuffing, – most anything of ‘fiber’ is ENTIRELY donated and then stored at this wonderful building where they then gather to work. One and a half years in, Trish approached her church regarding the donation of 10 brand new sewing machines and Brother gave the machines worth almost $4K which even have needle threaders! From 8 am – 2 pm every Monday between March 1 and December these gals meet to fellowship and serve as they stitch together. Some don’t sew at all, but Trish knows how to keep them busy even clipping threads, cutting, folding, stacking, packing, etc… Even older volunteers with dementia are welcome, and Trish finds a task to make them feel useful. She even has what she calls an ‘Iron Goddess’! In fact, 25-30% of the volunteers have never sewn at all and don’t care to learn.
What do they make? Well….. right now they have an order for 100 shopping bags for a food pantry… It started making burial gowns and bonnets at the request of the nurses in a local Catholic hospital to give dignity to premature infants who had been left at the hospital for burial. After 100 or those, it has expanded into items such as: cot sheets, bibs, travel pillow cases for a low income daycare center; adult clothing protectors, walker pockets, phone caddies for retirement homes; re-usable grocery bags; welcome bags for homeless shelters – bags to take personal items to the shower stalls; book bags, quilts, pillowcase dresses and more that have been delivered personally across the globe; many things for Crisis Nurseries; Cancer center and patient needs: chemo care shawls, hair loss caps, ouch pouch bags – you name it, the have created it. AND, Trish has the patterns for everything that she is more than happy to share upon request. To watch a minute of their fun, go to their Facebook Page, and scroll down til you see the Video (pic with an arrow on it).
Some of the volunteers are assigned delivery duty. A volunteer becomes the liaison between the agency and Fibers o love for communication of needs and delivery of product.
Their creations have been sent all over the world – but never shipped…always delivered with a person directly to the missionary need so to be sure that their precious things are not lost. For example – pillowcase dresses to Haiti.
Trish is one of those ‘go the extra mile’ gals – creating a zipper pouch for each volunteer with their name embroidered on it for them to keep their ‘tools’ at the center.
Eating? Everyone takes a turn – 2 at a time to provide a light lunch.
Structure? No board of any type! Trish shares that God provides – telling her who to give what job to, to provide the material donation or the funds to go buy what is needed – rarely ever asking for donations as she reports that ‘God just takes care of it’.
And He does, indeed. Pray for this group. Clone this ministry. Trish and her lovely volunteers have inspired me – as I trust they have you! If you’re interested in having Trish come to you to share her story and inspire yours – you may contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org
These are some of the recent “Thank you” notes that Fibers of Love has received:
From all the nurses at the Bloomington Public Schools, a few quotes: “We love the beautiful quilts and the kids are so proud of them.” “One student said using the quilt made him feel like he was at home and it made him feel better.”
The Salvation Army said, “Your care and compassion for the poor and needy is making a difference in the lives of less fortunate people in our community. Thank you for your donation of homemade quilts.”
Luther Oaks and Heritage Health: “Thanks for the walker caddies and phone pocket holders. Everyone loved them. We appreciate your support and kindness.”
Saint John’s Lutheran Church thanked us for denim used to make school bags for Lutheran World Relief: “These bags go to over 30 countries where people are suffering from crises of natural disasters, poverty or conflict. Recent supplies have gone to the Philippines following typhoon damage and refugee camps in Turkey and Jordan where Syrian families have fled from areas in conflict.”