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Sewing Rooms are Important Additions

Alternatives for Girls reaped the benefit of an Enchanted Makeover.

Some of the 30 quilts made by Linda Thielfoldt and her sewing/quilting friends.

Alternatives for Girls reaped the benefit of an Enchanted Makeover.

Alternatives for Girls reaped the benefit of an Enchanted Makeover.

Photo: Courtesy of Enchanted Makeovers

Enchanted Makeovers is a Michigan-based group whose mission is to transform shelters for women and children into an environment that inspires psychological and behavioral change. Their unique makeovers, projects and programs supplement the shelter's efforts, building a stronger foundation for success and improved outcomes.

Terry Grahl, founder of Enchanted Makeovers, was raised by a mother who was always sewing. "It was a coping skill; that's how she survived," Grahl said. "We all want to feel worthy, loved and have a voice. When you work with your hands, your voice comes out in what you make."

One of the shelters assisted by Enchanted Makeovers is Alternatives for Girls, an active shelter in Detroit. Shelters are often tight on space, and according to Terry, Alternatives for Girls was hesitant to give up a bedroom and turn it into a sewing room. "They asked me why I thought this [sewing] room was needed," Terry said. "I explained that the room will provide a coping mechanism in addition to a way for the girls to express themselves, possibly make income, and learn an important life skill. They thought about it and agreed."

When the makeover was officially announced, Linda Thielfoldt, award winning quilter and Threads author, contacted Terry offering to help pull the sewing room together and to reach out to quilters and sewing enthusiasts to provide ongoing learning opportunities to encourage the girls to learn to sew.

Linda has been involved with sewing and quilting for over 30 years, and she feels sewing has been a savior and a refuge for her. The idea of offering that to someone else was appealing to her. "It's a great opportunity to reach out to young people and give them a sense of accomplishment," Linda said. She feels strongly that the main component in the classes offered has to be on doing for others. The goal is to give these girls an opportunity to do something for someone else and in so doing empower them to make a difference in someone else's life.

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Comments (2)

Sunster Sunster writes: What a great idea! At a recent quilting class one lady said she had 13 machines. I'll bet places that teach quilting could collect for such a place. Congrats to those who created this space.

Posted: 8:37 am on January 25th

dpog dpog writes: What a wonderful Idea. I have given away my old sewing machines and I know the recipients have been very grateful. But I am just one person with only a couple of sewing machines. This is a way to touch many more lives in a very positive way.
I wish them the best of luck.

Posted: 4:17 pm on January 24th

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