I had the wonderful experience of owning a quilt shop in Bend, Oregon, QuiltWorks, for almost 10 years. During that time, with the help of a committed board we founded Sew Teach Me in 2016. We had been given the opportunity to learn to sew back in the 50’s, 60’s, and 70’s from our family, school, or programs like 4-H. In the last 20 years those programs have disappeared. We wanted to develop a program so that any child could learn to sew at no cost.
During the time we offered the Sew Teach Me program at QuiltWorks, we matched trained and screened mentors with about 150 children in a three year period. Donors donated the pre-cut kits, mentors were matched with children based on mutually available times. Our board/committee members made sure the sewing cupboard with machines and supplies stayed organized. The idea was that if a lot of folks each did a little bit of work, a lot of children could learn to sew for free. One of my greatest joys was walking into the classroom daily and seeing a mentor and child working together. Once the program was organized it took very little effort from myself or my staff. Each student learned a skill they would have for the rest of their life.
As president of Sew Teach Me I had a dream of promoting the program nationally but in 2020 the world changed for all of us. In Bend, the Sew Teach Me program has continued at its new location at The Quilt Basket.
As a board we aren’t sure at this time about the future of Sew Teach Me on a national scale. If anyone wishes to learn more I welcome you to call me at 5 4 1 – 3 8 2 – 5 0 7 6 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org