Hearts and Crafts One Year Later!

“I wanted to reach beyond my own family with my love of sewing, and Hearts and Crafts has been a wonderful experience for me.”

It was just one year ago that Martha Osborn of Sherman reached out to the Sherman Church to help her make items for various charities in the area as well as for the West Haven Veterans Medical Center. Little did she know what a success the fledgling Hearts & Crafts group would be and how much it would mean to the women who responded.

The count after a year of work: 50 lap quilts, 90 bed bags and 20 crocheted scarves for VA patients; 55 bags for New Milford Hospital Praxair Cancer Center chemo patients; 80 bibs, crocheted baby hats, sweaters and blankets for Hopeline Pregnancy Center of Danbury; 40 crocheted ear warmers and scarves for New Milford’s Homeless; and 40 patient quilts for Matthew’s Hearts of Hope of Sherman.

Osborn and friend Karen Castle for several years had been making lap quilts for the VA Hospital,sewing bags for cancer patients at Praxair, and crocheting hats and scarves for New Milford’s homeless.

Marie Hatcher of Matthew’s Hearts of Hope also needed help stuffing and sewing pillows for heart surgery patients, and when Castle moved to North Carolina, Osborn knew she needed more needles at work.

An article in the Town Tribune and other local papers brought the seamstresses and crocheters out in droves. More than a dozen women came to the first meeting last September at the 6 Church Road Church, and several of them brought their sewing machines and started right in to work.
“I wanted to reach beyond my own family with my love of sewing, and Hearts and Crafts has been a wonderful experience for me,” said Carol Allison of Kent. “I feel like I am helping others with the lap quilts, bags, bibs, and pillows, and I especially love the camaraderie with the other ladies in our group as we cut fabric, sew, or stuff pillows together. At home, my favorite part is piecing together lap quilts from donated fabric scraps and remnants. I'm thankful that Martha has carried on with this work
over the years and that I can be a part of it now!”

Because the Sherman Church supports Hopeline Pregnancy Center, the crocheters got right to work making baby blankets, sweaters and caps. Hearts & Crafts now numbers about six people who attend the monthly Monday work sessions and/or work on lap quilts, bed bags and crocheting at home.
“I was nervous at first that nobody would come,” Osborn remembered. “But I was surprised by how many responded. The amount of ladies we have is perfect, and I think the group is very dedicated to doing whatever they are asked to do.” In addition to the hand-sewn articles, Osborn has donated 60 books from the Sherman Library to the VA, and the $200 she collected over the past year at the IGA of Sherman was used to buy T-shirts and personal hygiene items for VA patients.

Sue Lopardo of Wassaic, NY, said she joined for two reasons: “One was to rekindle my interest in sewing. The second was to enjoy the company of  like-minded people while doing things that would help others. As a bonus, I've learned how to quilt and make bags.“

Anyone who would like to join in the sewing or crocheting at home or sew with the group may call the Sherman Church at 860-354-6114 or email info@shermanchurch.org.
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