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Therapeutic Sewing

It is with a very heavy heart that I write this blog post. Most of you know of the very tragic happenings here in my home state of Connecticut. While I have had a very difficult time wrapping my mind around how something so senseless could happen to so many innocent people, I have cried every day, but then I also took to sewing for some therapy.

For many of us, sewing is an escape from our daily duties of the day. This week was different for me, it was also a way for me to ease my mind and do something I enjoy while also bringing comfort to those in Newtown, CT. I began by helping to spread the word about the collection of pillowcases for the children survivors at the Sandy Hook Elementary school. I posted it on Facebook and also on my blog. The word has gotten around.

Then I sat down to sew 4 pillowcases to send off. I made 2 for girls and 2 for boys. It actually made me happy to know that 4 children may have smiles on their faces and be comforted by the pillowcases that I made. As one commenter on my blog said… “they hope their pillowcases help the little know that humanity does exist.”

I was so excited that I finished them in just a few hours, I couldn’t wait to get them in the mail. Package and shipped, I know by now they have arrived and will be delivered soon. Even if I couldn’t be there to wrap my arms around these children, I feel I am doing this with my gift to them.

Later on, I also did some sewing for a new quilt that will appear in Simple Quilts and Sewing. My cat, Pavi, knew I was feeling blue and had to help me. This was some of the best medicine for me. Having my helper and sewing, it doesn’t get much better.

I also took to playing with scraps this week as well. Making these mini blocks with my African fabric put a smile on my face and I can’t wait to make more!!

In conclusion, although I had difficulty coping this week, I found solace in sewing. I can only hope that the families in Newtown find the same solace in something at a time not too far in the future. In the meantime, they remain in my thoughts daily.

Warm Regards,

Jackie Kunkel

Canton Village Quilt Works

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  • ga447 says:

    Posted December 22, 2012 at 9:28 am

    My heart aches for the family and they will have a tough road ahead. Sewing is therapy in so many ways. You live in a beautiful state, I almost was a residence of CT and have visited Danbury many times as a child.

  • Maria says:

    Posted December 22, 2012 at 9:33 am

    Like you I have a heavy heart thinking about how sad and senseless the shooting of innocent children as well as the grown ups is even though I live on the other side of the world.And again today I hear of another shooting in the US… WHY?????
    I do find sewing is a great way to ease my mind and love to sew for others in need.
    Isn’t it amazing how our pets know when we are feeling sad.

  • Holly fitzpatrick says:

    Posted December 22, 2012 at 10:09 am

    Thank you for sharing. I made a pillowcase and got it in the mail also. Doing something concrete felt right to me. My three kittens are also sewing helpers. A little distracting as one of them thinks that pins look tasty so have to be very watchful.

  • teresa hougardy says:

    Posted December 22, 2012 at 10:14 am

    I loved this. I sew to release my stress. People think I ‘m strange for saying it relieves stress as they think it would cause more. But it makes me relax and to make a quilt out of my sewing makes me happy. All my hands and love goes into my sewing. I was raised with very little. I remember Christmas time we would get a new dress or night gown. It was the most exciting present to get. And it showed us hows much our mom loved us. Guess I get my sewing from 2 of my grandmothers as they quilted and my mom she sewed clothing.

  • Pat C in Washington says:

    Posted December 22, 2012 at 10:22 am

    I also made some pillowcases for the children. It was therapeutic for me, and my cat Tigger felt the need to participate in my sewing more closely than he usually does. Usually he is on the back side of my sewing table between the bins of fabric strips. This time he would come between me and my sewing machine and put a paw on my face, as if to say, “there, there.”

  • Mary Ann says:

    Posted December 22, 2012 at 10:36 am

    I finished up a couple of pillowcases last night and off they go today. Like you it made me feel just a bit better to know that some child will know ow much a cared about them. Happy Holidays Jackie, I know you will hug all of your family and firiends very tight!

  • Melody says:

    Posted December 22, 2012 at 11:44 am

    It’s so sad and tragic. I live in Colorado and if it’s possible, it’s even more tragic close to home – I think because it’s not just more real but cuts into that protective layer of safety we feel around ourselves and our loved ones. Keep sewing, I think that quiet time inside your own head is so therapeutic.

  • Jan says:

    Posted December 22, 2012 at 12:54 pm

    I know what you mean about therapeutic quilting. My home town was devastated by flooding Sept 2011. I organized a quilting weekend at one of the 2 churches not effected. We made quilts for the victims. I donated most of my considerable stash to the effort. It makes one thankful for what we still have.
    Now back to working on a memory T shirt quilt for my mom for Christmas. Then I can get back to my Judy Neimeyer patterns!
    Merry Christmas.

  • Elaine M says:

    Posted December 22, 2012 at 1:03 pm

    We are all hanging in with you, trying to send help in different directions and receiving smiles on our faces knowing that others are comforted with our efforts. Sewing is the best therapy especially with a helper like Pavi.

  • Sharon says:

    Posted December 22, 2012 at 4:07 pm

    How timely to read your post. I am heartbroken for these poor families. I have just spent my afternoon making pillowcases, too. Thanks for letting us know about the project.
    While sewing, it helps to think that, while it seems an insignificant gesture, the children who receive the pillowcases will know that kindhearted strangers are thinking of them.

  • Salley says:

    Posted December 22, 2012 at 5:12 pm

    My Dear Mother and her Mother always used to say “it helps to be busy”
    Both had their personal tragedies, and felt keenly other people’s sorrows.
    I cannot imagine the sorrow for you and your neighbours as this Christmas approaches for those Sandy Hook families. How heartwarming to have community like you, to get some healing action going. Pillow cases : a great idea.
    Pavi is so close to the machine I initially thought it was B&W fabric!

  • Liz says:

    Posted December 24, 2012 at 8:15 am

    Sewing is my therapy. Needle and thread through fabric releases lots if not all tension. Great job on the pillow cases.

  • Pamela Cannell says:

    Posted December 25, 2012 at 1:04 am

    Thank you writing this articule. I’ve found my sewing machine is the one thing that helps focus me after a tragedy, personal or not. In 1999 my son was in a horrific accident, that’s when I began donating my quilts to Project Linus. Before his accident, I always made quilts for miscellaneous charities. After his accident is when I realized that teenagers die to; that is when my efforts turned to making quilts for teenagers (especially boys.) The best therapy for me is sewing for other people.

    My prayers are with all of you, and the people of CT.

  • Erin Hutchinson says:

    Posted December 30, 2012 at 9:06 pm

    Sewing is solace for me, too. I completely understand.

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