In May of 2012 Elizabeth and I announced a project that would become an annual tradition on our blog…Skirting the Issue.
Since that time we have spent the entire month of each and every July sewing up skirts for girls in foster care to receive just in time for back to school. Over the years we have included other items and projects…bereavement gowns, pillowcases, and quilts to donate to various causes.
However, just over a year ago we started working on a plan and setting things in motion for a Skirting the Issue makeover.
So today…after 8 sweet years…we are saying goodbye to Skirting the Issue and hello to The Soul Mending Society.
The Soul Mending Society is a project that we thought we needed a year ago but are convinced that we need today.
The Soul Mending Society comes from a few thoughts and feelings that we keep coming back to over and over again. Quilters are givers. Quilters are constantly spending hours and hours making beautiful pieces that are made to be given away. We have watched this pattern of behavior over and over again for more than a decade (and it never fails to pull at my heartstrings).
But last year…I began to “feel weary in well doing” and as the year continued to unfold around me the weariness grew…along with a sense of helplessness. As I’ve talked to other friends and family I realized I’m not the only one with these feelings.
The news and social media is full of negativity and anger and sadness….so many things that are torn and broken…so many things that need to be mended.
And that is where we come in. We were born for this.
We stitch. We sew. We take what was cut apart and stitch it back together.
And when we mend we not only stitch back together fabric but broken hearts and tender spirits and worn out souls. Sometimes those souls are the recipients of our handmade items and sometimes those souls are our own.
Recently I read this:
“My whole life is in that quilt. It scares me sometimes when I look at it. All my joys and all my sorrows are stitched into those little pieces….So they are all in that quilt, my hopes and fears, my joys and sorrows, my loves and hates. I tremble sometimes when I remember what that quilt knows about me.” (Taken from the last page of The Standard Book of Quilt Making and Collecting by Marguerite Ickis)
And it reminded me of the scrap quilt I made last month during when school graduations should have been happening. When I see it hanging there I can remember the conversations I had with myself while stitching it up, the tears I cried while putting it together, and how I felt as I selected each scrap I used.
And quietly hanging there in my sewing room it whispers to me that I need a little mending.
We each have a sphere of influence so much greater than ourselves. We can help to mend the lives of our family and friends…the lives of those in our neighborhood, communities, schools, and congregations…and the lives of strangers that we have never even met.
We are woven together in this great tapestry of life.
And together we can mend each other and ourselves….and that my friends is the whole idea behind The Soul Mending Society.
The Soul Mending Society will “meet” each July here at Simple Simon and Company for a month of soul lifting stitching.
For this first meeting we have broken up the month into 4 different areas to mend; ourselves, our friends and family, our communities and neighborhoods, and those we have never met.
And each week we will offer up a “challenge” to complete. And, of course, each week will be filled with ideas, projects, and thoughts to help you complete the challenge.
There will be a drawing for a prize for everyone who participated in each individual weekly challenge….plus everyone who completes all 4 of the weekly challenges will receive a special gift from us.
Don’t worry about all the details right now (we will share them at the beginning of each week). Just plan on checking back in on Monday to join The Soul Mending Society.
We rise by lifting others…and we need you.
Skirting the Issue will always have a dear and special place in our hearts. From that project we saw first hand how selfless the sewing community is.
We “met” many of you personally as we opened boxes of your handmade items…items that were crafted by your hands, held by our hands, and were given into the hands of another. And we came to understand the power for good that a united community can be.
We watched miracles happen and saw hearts change.
It was humbling and inspiring…just thinking about those experiences over the past few years makes my heart (and eyes) over flow…and I can not imagine where this new adventure is going to take us.
Let the mending begin.