Friday, April 26, 2013

The Sewing Studio

Our newest endeavor, The Sewing Studio, opened this month with an introduction to sewing machines given by Vivian Lavinskas, from Singer, Viking, Pfaff (SVP) who arranged the donation of 12 new sewing machines to Thistle Farms.  

We had enormous excitement when we carried the new machines into our wonderful new space and opened the boxes for the first time. The machines fit neatly into the sewing tables that were waiting for them, and we are all plugged in and ready for instruction. 

Joan -- a happy Thistle Farmer and seamstress!

Instruction will continue under the able guidance of wonderful generous hearted Thistle Farmer volunteers, Gayle Happell and Babs Knieriem, and several members of the Cumberland Valley Quilt Guild and other skilled volunteers. The women who will be training and working in the Sewing Studio are Joan, Betty and Tonya. Penny and Anna will also go through the training and everyone will be working in both the Paper and Sewing Studios, as needed.  

Studio employees, Betty, Terri and Joan are joined by generous hearted Quilter Mentors: Gayle, Babs and Shirley.

Our initial products will be directed toward the cafe market.  We will be using brilliant exciting batik cotton fabrics to create coasters, tea cozies, placemats, napkins and table runners.  According to Thistle Stop Cafe Coordinator, Courtney, the items will be used as decor for special events at the cafe, as well as being available for purchase.

These are prototypes of the tea cozies the Sewing Studio will be making for use and for sale in the cafe. They keep the tea hot longer, protects the table top, and adds color and warmth to the tea setting. Colors and fabric designs will vary. All 100% cotton.

In addition, beginning in June, the Studio will be working on a large quilt to be hung as a backdrop at this year's annual fundraiser. To cut our overhead, we are hoping to receive donations of 100% cotton batik fabrics and thread. 

Rita and Tonya learning how to use the automatic needle threader. 

Here are some reflections from the Thistle Farms Sewing Studio employees:

I love my experience in sewing because it's something new for me. I made a pillow, then I gave it to someone else who watched us make them. We had wonderful teachers here tutoring us, as well.  I love making people feel as good as I do.  
- Penny

Mentor Babs with Nealya, who donated over 20 Yards of beautiful batiks.

I love my experience in the sewing room, I love new creations, and, thanks to my good attention, I can learn to sew and sew.  
- Betty

SVP Vivian Lavinskas, on right, explaining features of machines to Betty and Mentors, Jeannie and Joan. 

I've heard it said that if you do what you love, you never have to work again.  I love to sew and that's what I do for a living. My creativity has been sparked by the wonderful mentors and all of the new machines and devices. I get excited when I get to come to work.
- Joan

Joan, Anna & Betty 

Endless gratitude to our incredible team of mentors who swept in on Wednesday with enthusiasm, skill, patience, and abundant love to offer instruction in careful craftsmanship and to share beautiful fabrics, bowls of strawberries and shouts of hearty laughter.  The Sewing Studio has had a great launch.
- Anna

Story and Photos by Anna Saterstrom 

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