We celebrated 15 years of survival
Here is our story:
Mainely Sewing Machines [formerly The Sewing Network] has been in business for almost 30 years.
The owner, Jean Libbey, started in Auburn selling fine fabrics for apparel sewing. Her business changed and evolved over the years until 2004 when Mainely Sewing Machines in Portland became Maine's only Premier Husqvarna Viking Dealer.
15 years ago Jean was diagnosed with breast cancer. Since then the business has become not only a wonderful resource for those who love to sew, but a place that sews for others who are fighting this disease.
* We began by serging cancer caps that Jean designed for her own battle. We invited our customers to come in and join us and help with the sewing. It was great fun and at the end of the day we had lots of caps to donate. Our employees continued to make caps long afterward.
* One year we took all our samples and demo projects that had been viewed and admired, put them on sale, with all the proceeds being donated.
* We joined a national effort to raise awareness and funds by participating in "Quilt Pink Day". Our group of sewers made enough quilt squares to make 3 quilts which were sent to the national organization which then sold them on Ebay. With donated fabric, participants created their own squares and we provided an original quilt pink paper pieced square to be sewn by others. After the day was over our employees, with the help of volunteers, put the quilts together.
* After a Maine Quilt Show we had lots of great demo squares left from showing our quilting machine. We turned them into pillow covers which we sold to benefit The Patrick Dempsey Center.
* One of our employees collects quilts for the Linus Project. When our department has a quiet night we use the time to sew donated quilts.
* When we got a request from the Maine Center for Cancer Medicine we sponsored an evening of sewing. Our staff, with the help of willing customers, had a great time making tote bags. Those bags were then filled with items of comfort, given to the center by a generous donor. We have continued to call for fabric donations and to make bags during our quiet times.
In early April we had a sewing day to celebrate the goal of all cancer survivors: LIFE!
On this day we made caps, bags, comfort pillows and small quilts.