Community Sew Day benefits needy

Published 10:13 am Monday, September 20, 2010

Judy Christensen, right, and Judy Nelson sew Saturday during the first-ever Community Sew Day that was held at Crossroads Evangelical Church. At least 40 women gathered at the church to sew children’s dresses, bags and quilts to benefit others in need. -- Sarah Stultz/Albert Lea Tribune

At least 40 women from around the community gathered under a common cause Saturday to utilize one of their hobbies and help people in need.

During the first-ever Community Sew Day, held at Crossroads Evangelical Church, the women and a few youth sewed small dresses for children in Jamaica, small bags for children in Colombia, and youth- and adult-sized quilts to be handed out by the Freeborn County Chapter of the American Red Cross, the Albert Lea Salvation Army and the Freeborn County Crime Victims Crisis Center.

From left, Judy Christensen, Ronna Belshan and Judy Nelson sew quilts around a table Saturday during a Community Sew Day Saturday. -- Sarah Stultz/Albert Lea Tribune

“The whole thing is about community — bringing people together,” said organizer Sue Westrum. “It doesn’t matter what church they’re from.”

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She said she was pleased with the turnout the first year. Many of the women asked if they could meet more than once a year for the projects.

Squares for the quilts and patterns for the dresses and bags were cut out ahead of time, so all the volunteers had to do was sew them together.

Organizer Kathy Quinn said the group didn’t have a set goal of what they wanted to accomplish, just that they wanted to complete as many kits as they could.

Most women brought their own sewing machines, but a few used machines donated for the day by A-Best Sew & Vac to complete the projects.

“It’s for an extremely good cause,” said one participant, Judy Christensen.

“A little one is just going to have fun curling up with this,” Ronna Belshan added about the blanket she was working on Saturday morning.

Every time they finished a project, the volunteers rang a bell.

Organizers said they hope to make the Community Sew Day an annual event.