Stitched with Love

The new "Faith with Fabrics" class teaches charity with love

It’s late afternoon on a sunny Wednesday, and eight girls excitedly bounce up to the second floor, grab a snack and uncover their sewing machines.

Among scissors, needles, thread and fabric, they set out to finish yet another sewing project.

“One for me, one for someone else!” they exclaim.

Although often, it’s “one project for someone else, then another project for someone else, then another…”

They are part of the new class “Faith with Fabrics” under the direction of Judy Mischke. The class, designed for children in grades fourth and up, teaches the basics of sewing by both machine and hand.

After an introductory learning period, members of the class set out on their first mission project making heart shaped pillows for breast cancer patients at Faith Regional Health Services.

Once they completed a pillow, they were free to choose a personal sewing project, although many decided to keep making projects for someone else.

“I just like making things for other people,” said Angeles Mendez, a third grader from Norfolk Catholic.

She sits on a couch, hand finishing a bright teal pillow she’s making for her brother. Helping her is Tammy Brabec, Director of Youth Ministries, who came up with the idea for the class alongside Judy.

It started as a discussion while Tammy was preparing for the 2018 session of Vacation Bible School.

“What if we created a mission project for the fifth and sixth graders? What could they do?” she wondered.

After talking with Judy, they decided sewing pillow cases for Kris’ House of Grace would be a perfect way to not only give the students a mission project, but also to teach them a lifelong skill.

It was a big hit not only among the students, but the parents as well. Even the third and fourth graders wanted to be a part of it.

Tammy and Judy knew they had the opportunity to expand upon their idea, so they organized the weekly class “Faith with Fabrics” which started in January.

“I wanted to do this class to be around my friends,” says Abby Wurdinger as she maneuvers the worship bag she’s piecing together under the foot of her machine. The bags will house activities to keep children busy during worship.

With no prior sewing experience, she says she’ll continue to make mission projects because she enjoys it.

Carlie Brandt had learned to sew at the after school After Shock program, but wanted to learn more. On this day, she’s being assisted by Lavonne Nightengale and together they work on the seam of the grey knit leggings Carlie has picked out.

“I like this class because it’s fun learning to sew and makes me feel good that we are helping others,” she says. “That’s how we show God’s love.”

Judy learned to sew at a young age and it’s been a huge part of her life since.

She made husband Tom’s clothes when he first started his teaching career as she could make them much cheaper than buying new.

She picked up quilting in the 1980s, and its a passion that has continued to this day.

“It’s great to see the girls more excited about making projects for other people rather than themselves,” she says.

“This class is a great combination of learning and giving.”

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