Our store and our online community has been growing by leaps and bounds each year. So, I thought I’d take this opportunity to introduce or re-introduce you to our main community service project at Zede’s and also to one of our good friends- the two go hand-in-hand, so read on!
A few years ago, Linda T made a “Read.” bag for my niece (Zede’s granddaughter) Kathryn for her birthday. It was a hit. Kathryn loves to read and she loves bags. She filled up the bag with her other birthday presents and slept with it.
Linda got the idea from an article in Designs in Machine Embroidery by Jo Connolly (here’s her site, go there after you finish reading). The article was appropriately called “A Little Light Reading”. Fast forward a few months and I turned the unassuming little read bag into a community service project with a big goal- 250 “Read.” bags for at-risk preschoolers in our area (we’re doing it again this year if you’d like to help out!).
I think it was during our second year of sewing “Read.” bags that Jo Connolly got in contact with us. She was thrilled we were using her design to do some good. Now, keep in mind, she could have acted much differently. We had not up to this point given her any credit for her work- which was due to oversight on my part completely! She could have (justifiably) been very angry with us for our use of her work. But was she? No!
She was and continues to be supportive of our store’s efforts to promote literacy using her original idea.
The story really does come full circle.
Jo Connolly and Linda T were both recently published side-by-side in the Nancy Zieman 30th anniversary edition of Designs in Machine Embroidery Magazine. We could not be more proud of both of them.
In the years since we started sewing “Read.” bags, Linda T has welcomed a beautiful granddaughter named Avery into her family. She has been sewing up a storm for her since before she was born. Jo also recently published “Sweet Stitches”, a book and embroidery design collection for little girls. Linda T and Jane are currently teaching a series of classes based on Jo’s book in our store in Columbia, MO.
Thanks Jo! Thanks Linda! And thanks to everyone who has visited our store and our blog. The people in our lives are what makes sewing so much fun!
Who do you sew for?