For members of this volunteer Sequim group, the motivation to keep busy with their craft is the same: it’s all about helping people in need, especially children.
The Sequim Serger Squad — named after the specialized sewing machine that they utilize to cut and sew pieces of flannel and fleece into blankets for children in need locally and globally — meets from 1-4 p.m. the first Monday of each month at Dungeness Valley Lutheran Church, 925 N. Sequim Ave.
The group, organized by Monica Dixon, has been meeting since July at the church, where staff donate the space and room for some storage. She said that she learns about those in need through her community connections and her many online quilting groups.
“I personally could not go fast enough to meet the needs,” she said.
With about eight to 10 people working during each meeting, and a few from home also, they have produced about 337 blankets so far — 53 of which they have sent to Forks for preschoolers who had no blankets for naptime.
Other blankets were and will be shipped to regions of the country experiencing disasters, and to Honduras, where babies born to low-income families come home wrapped in newspaper, and stillborn babies are buried with newspaper for a shroud, according to Dixon.
When she heard about the babies in Honduras, Dixon said, “I knelt down on the floor and started crying, and I said ‘God, I can’t work fast enough. I need help.’”
The fleece is used for naptime blankets, and the flannel for receiving blankets. Flannel blankets are made from two 1-yard pieces, usually with a different pattern on each side. The fleece uses one piece; the largest of which would fit a 5- or 6-year-old.
The Squad uses the sergers to hem the edges with a special stitch called “overlock” which uses at least three threads, resulting in a clean, tight and professional stitch.
Members said that the sergers are so fast, the sewists often outpace the cutters.
“We would love more volunteers, even those that don’t sew,” member Julianne Coonts said. “We’d love to have them come help cut fabric.
“And if people don’t have time to volunteer, if they’d like to contribute by donating, even gift cards, to buy fabric and cutting supplies, or if they have new fabric that’s good as well.”
All material used by the Sequim Serger Squad has been donated or bought through cash donations. Dixon searches out the best deals she can find, even traveling to Oregon to buy material (while also visiting family).
“Our goal is to build a stockpile,” Coonts said, “so that when we get a request we can send them out immediately.
“It’s been fun to get to know people in the community, connect, and do something meaningful.”
People who would like to donate new flannel fabric or large pieces of polar fleece, gift cards or money can take it to the Sequim Dungeness Valley Lutheran Church between 8 a.m.-4 p.m., Monday-Thursday, and give it to Jennifer Schroeder, a Sequim Serger Squad volunteer.
Those with questions or donations, or who know of more children in need, as well as potential volunteers, can contact Dixon at email@example.com.
To donate through gofundme, visit gofundme.com/f/fund-blankets-for-kids-in-need.