A lot of work goes into creating a quilt finding the patterns, piecing, tacking, and sewing, but for the past 12 years a group of UWA’s custodial staff members meet behind UWA’s physical plant and only have an hour to get it all done.
In a women’s bathroom at Moon Hall, ladies who call themselves UWA’s Sewing Sisters, have transformed the bathroom into a sewing room to help keep the elderly and disabled warm around the Sumter County area.
“Originally it started with me making my grand baby a quilt and from that it went to elders at Sumterville Baptist Church,” said Mary Mack, president of the sewing sisters. “Three women from the church decided that we were going to make quilts for for the older ladies’ birthdays.”
The sisters initially bought all of the materials themselves and brought it work on during their lunch break, but soon the organization began to grown so large that individuals donated materials to expand their outreach.
“Everyone who joined the sewing sisters we did it for their church, anyone 70 and above or in wheelchairs,” Mack said. “After we completed all the members who joined we moved on to the nursing homes and local churches giving out quilts.”
Their assembly line has up to ten to fifteen seamstresses, but now their are 5 sisters and one brother who are apart of the group.
Piecer, Tata Clay recently joined two months ago.
“I was just sitting in here with them at lunch and they said come on over, but I didn’t know anything about sewing,” Clay said. “They said we’ll teach you and I’ve been going strong ever since.”
The sisters all agree that the most rewarding part of the job is the expressions on the ones receiving the quilts.
“I love how it makes the elders have a smile on their face knowing that you are giving them a gift that’s coming from our hearts that we’ve done hard work at,” Clay said.
“We are good ladies and we try to help everybody the best we can,” said Modine Gee, one of the seamstresses. “If there is an old person or a sick person out there who needs a quilt we’ll give it to them, no problem.”
All donations can be sent UWA Station 20 or dropped off at the physical plant. The accept yarn, old fabric, thread, needles and anything that can help aid with making a quilt.