In this day and age, when young adults seem to be devoted nearly full-time to social media apps, it’s easy to think none of them could possibly be interested in something so archaic as sewing. But, while you weren’t looking, sewing became cool. Just last fall, My Girlfriend’s Quilt Shoppe partnered with Baby Lock Sewing to launch a Teen Ambassador Sewing Board.
The Teen Ambassador Sewing Board has nine students from local high schools actively participating and promoting their favorite new hobby: SEWING! The teen board includes teen boys as well as girls and encourages them to cultivate their talents and creativity through sewing. At the beginning of each new school year, My Girlfriend’s Quilt Shoppe together with Baby Lock Sewing, screens applications submitted by these active young people. In the end, only a handful is selected to participate.
When screening these applications the quilt shop looks at each applicant’s interests as well as performance academically and in after school activities. The teen board participants range from theater students, volleyball and soccer players, to fashionistas and FACS students. The teens enjoy demonstrating how sewing can apply to all of their favorite passions, even sports!
After they are selected each teen ambassador receives their very own Baby Lock sewing machine to take home and use throughout their participation in the sewing board. At the end of each school year, their performance in the teen sewing board will determine whether or not they will keep their new sewing machine.
The Teen Ambassador Sewing Board meets once a month to plan, strategize and receive help on their sewing projects. My Girlfriend’s Quilt Shoppe has provided a mentor to assist in planning and teaching new skills. The participants don’t need sewing experience to apply, only an interest and the drive to try new things. By the end of the school year, each ambassador is going to be sharing an original pattern with the rest of the board. We even have one of our soccer stars designing his own outdoor tent! The ambassadors are looking forward to their end of the school year commencement where they will display all that they’ve learned and created throughout the year!
One of our teen sewists, Kendalle Curfew, is inspired to sew by her grandfather. She says, “When I was about 9 years old my Grandpa told me a story about when he was drafted in the Army. While he was in the military, he bought a little sewing machine so he could sew and repair his fellow soldiers uniforms and sew their patches on. That’s how he contributed to his Company and made some extra cash. He used his sewing money to buy a house after he was discharged and my grandparents still live in that home today. After hearing his story, I have always been interested in following my grandpa’s footsteps. Since then I’ve always had a little sewing kit that I use to hand sew my families clothing that needs repair like buttons and rips.”
It is stories like these that inspired Kris Thurgood, owner of My Girlfriend’s Quilt Shoppe, to begin the Teen Ambassador Board. Through experiences and friendships made in the board, the quilt shop hopes that these teens will walk forward in life with a confidence in their ability to create and attain their goals.