August 10, 2010
I had the great opportunity this past week to travel with Margaret Jankowski of the Sewing Machine Project to Houma and New Orleans, Louisiana. I've known Margaret for several years and met her when I taught sewing classes at Han's on Willie St. in Madison. After Han's closed we stayed in touch and I've always had great interested in her Sewing Machine Project and trips to New Orleans. I lived there when I was in graduate school at Tulane University. So this time when she called to say she was going I had a week that was free and I said I'm all yours.
We were going to Houma to work with a contact she'd made from the LSU Extension office named Margaret Berlew. The two Margarets and John Douthat of All Brands came up with the idea to make a sewn product to sell that would benefit the residents of the gulf coast affected by the oil spill.
It was an amazing trip. We met with ladies from the local organization Volunteers for Family and Community and they helped to create samples that will be the prototypes for the bags. It was great being in the South and hearing those great accents that remind me of some of my dearest friends, and to get to know those ladies and all about their lives. We swapped some great recipes and even came away with their latest cookbook.
I taught them some of the ins and outs of using production patterns as opposed to commercial patterns and they loved the pattern notcher.
I really enjoyed just playing a small part in this project and will keep you posted on what's happening as the bags become available. You can learn more by subscribing to the SeaHope Partners blog