Thursday, September 24, 2015

A Sewing Bee for Women with Cancer

While I was in Searsport for Fiber College, I was finally able to join the ladies of the "Searsport Sewing Bee" as they made chemo scarves to donate to women with cancer. That seemed especially appropriate to me since September is Ovarian Cancer Awareness month.
 I started sewing scarves for my sister, Nancy, when she began chemo for ovarian cancer in 2006. I made them for her and for other women having infusions at Maine Medical Center.
Nancy at MMC
Then, when Nancy passed away in 2010, I just stopped sewing.
I was crazy with grief and
couldn't concentrate on the scarves anymore.

Until I met Kendra.

A total stranger when we were introduced at Fiber College in 2014, Kendra took my abandoned tub of cut-out scarves, organized a group of local women who sew, and pledged to finish them.
This woman has a huge heart.
Since then, these ladies have been meeting once a month at Kendra's home in Searsport, Maine to sew for charity. In addition to over a hundred chemo scarves, they have sewn colorful skirts for little girls in Nicaragua . . .  

 And reusable sanitary supplies for women in Nicaragua and Africa.
Without access to these supplies, young girls have to miss school for days at a time and their mothers lack the dignity and privacy all women deserve.

Should you wish to make chemo scarves to donate to women with cancer in your area, here is a link to the pattern we used.  Feel free to share it.

The scarves are quick to sew. We used cotton quilting and novelty fabrics. For winter, the scarves can also be made with a flannel or light fleece fabric on one side for extra warmth.

 The "Searsport Sewers" meet from 10:00 until 4:00 and get right to work (Kendra is a strict task master!) with only one break, for lunch.
And what a lunch it was!

Kendra is an amazing cook. Her cake was truly the most sinfully chocolate thing I've ever tasted. Kendra assured us that she had added 2 cups of shredded zucchini to the recipe so those of us on Weight Watchers could count each slice as one serving of a "Vegetable"!

We completed 70 scarves at Kendra's September Sewing Bee. It was a glorious early-fall afternoon, so Kendra's daughter Amy hung the finished scarves on the clothesline behind the barn so we could all admire (and photograph) our creations.
The scarves are reversible and we had fun sewing up some of them in coordinating Halloween fabrics that Amy brought. Nancy used to love having whimsical scarves for every holiday so we thought other women might as well.

I know my sister was with us in spirit that day . . . and her photo was on hand for inspiration.
Nancy's story is like the stories of so many women with cancer and we held each of them in our thoughts and prayers as we sewed.

It was such an honor to meet and sew with these talented and generous Maine women. I love the thought that we were carrying on a tradition of generations of women before us . . . getting together in someone's home to quilt, sew, and share life stories.

I plan to return for as many Searsport Sewing Bees as I can . . .
providing this winter's snow isn't too deep for my little red Mini to plow through!

 After all,
 we still have a lot of work left to do!

This post is stitched to:
Home Sweet Home at The Charm of Home
Share Your Style at Common Ground
Feathered Nest Friday at French Country Cottage


  1. Such a wonderful and rewarding thing to do!

  2. That is a wonderful project and I'm sure the scarves will be enjoyed by many women as they go through treatment. I like the scarves on the clothesline. That chocolate zucchini cake looks amazing. I hope you can continue to attend throughout the winter months.

  3. What an inspiring and thoughtful thing to do. Thank for joining Home Sweet Home!

  4. I will feature today at Home Sweet Home!

  5. I will feature today at Home Sweet Home!

  6. I salute you all. What a wonderful thing you are doing. I have been thinking of sewing kiddie pillow cases for pediatric ca patients since my granddaughter was diagnosed with neuroblastoma. Thank God she is on remission now. I just sent my application to volunteer to Ronald McDonald House too...Christine


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