Sewing at Listening House

Sewing at Listening House

Sewing at Listening House

January 26, 2024

Dear friends, I have decided to take a break from sewing at Listening House; at least until the new addition is finished.

Linda continues to sew there and will call me to mend items I am good at mending.

Tabatha and I want to serve the poor through mending and sewing; and, are actively looking for a spot on the East Side to provide mending to disadvantaged folks.


December 24, 2023

Merry Christmas to you all and to those who have supported us all year.

We are currently not sewing at Listening House as LH is in a state of transition. Staff continues to serve guests as well as transition from one space to another. Linda and I are actively looking for another spot where we could bring our mending to for people who are disadvantaged. 

Again, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

December 20, 2023

Hello friends! Our sewing at Listening House has been on hold for a bit. Linda and I visited at different times together - figure that one out!? 

We continue to wait for an assigned spot for sewing - as you know, if you have ever moved, there are always boxes waiting to be unpacked and items to find a permanent spot. That is how it is when one moves. Linda, Tabatha and I are all anxious to return to sew for our people. We love sewing for the guests. 

Shout out to staff who always warmly welcome volunteers.

And, a special shout out to all the volunteers - those in the kitchen and those in the clothing room! I have seen first hand Gary and the others in the clothing room, sorting clothing, hanging some things on hangers, or putting items into bins in an orderly fashion. And, in the midst of working to bring order to the clothing room, they fill clothing requests from the guests! They are my heroes! I'm so glad they are there and I get to know them and work in the trenches beside them!

November 19, 2023

Another post, so soon? Yes! On Monday, November 27, I will visit our local library here in St Paul with the hopes of teaching students how to sew. The librarian I spoke to assures me the library has sewing machines and all the necessary supplies needed for sewing. I will visit and see if I am a good fit for the library and their students! I'm pretty excited.

In addition, I am posting a couple of links on sewing and depression. I knew before I read these articles that sewing helps my mood and lifts my spirits, so I like to promote sewing if not for that reason alone. There are a lot of reasons, but sewing easing depression is one of them that is at the top of my list.

One article is: "Sewing for Depression and Anxiety" by Erin Van Handel and can be found at this link:

Another worthwhile article is: "The Calming Effects of Sewing can help people express and heal themselves" by Clare Hunter. This article can be found here:

There are a plethora of articles on sewing and depression. I simply googled "sewing and depression" and a lot of articles popped up. I hope you find this post helpful if you live with depression as I do.

Also - my husband and I, as well as my sewing partner have covid! We are vaccinated and are now taking Paxlovid for five days. Oh, I also ordered more free home covid test kits. Winter is upon us and in close quarters with lots of people (for example, at Listening House), one must be prepared. 

So, everyone, keep safe, be warm, you are loved,


November 15, 2023!

How did November happen so quickly? Seems like time flies as I get older.

Greetings friends. By the time you read this, Listening House will be in their new space - 421 East 7th St, St Paul. I'm heading over there today to check out sewing space. Linda has already been there and has given me a mental image, so I'm excited to see it! I baked yesterday and will bring banana cake with cream cheese frosting as well as oatmeal cookies with raisins. What can I say? I love to bake for others.

So, i need to fill you in on some of our projects over the last few weeks:

A guest approached Linda with his home-made blanket and asked her to make a poncho out of it. So she cut slits for his arms and had to hand sew because the blanket was so thick. She’s a trooper! The guests usually tell us what they need and how they need it.

I replaced several zippers in jackets and a backpack. The teeth were gone for both, so I had to replace. No worries, I’m pretty good at that task now – I call myself the “zipper queen”!

Many other things have come our way now that winter is approaching. Lots of parkas just needed a zipper slider – easy peasy. Please, continue to donate parkas, even though the zipper may need repair.

Tabatha has been sewing right along with us – she is so amazing! She is doing very well with zippers and I’m proud of her! She is sewing for her mom and grandma and I’m happy she is willing to sew for others. Unfortunately I gave away her Brother (she had given it to me for minor repairs) and I gave it to someone else who needed a machine. Tabatha had a back-up machine – a Singer, so she’s good.

In a few weeks I will have a major anouncement. Please stay tuned!

September 29, 2023

This month was the usual routine - we drove to the north shore and enjoyed Lake Superior -- then I participated in the Hub first anniversary. The Hub is located at the old Saint Joseph's Hospital - i worked as a hospital chaplain there on chemical dependency and mental health units. Now, Hub is there - they have brought together organizations to help support the physical and mental health, economic, etc. Here is the link:

At Listening House on Wednesday of this week, Tabatha and I soloed - Linda had the day off. Here is what we worked on:

Busy - lots of people - it is the end of the month so lots of people there.

Sewing: a jacket - side seam was ripped out almost from bottom to wrist so I sewed the seam from the outside. another jacket and pants hemming (shortened) - the jacket had a little hole and he wanted it sewn - so I sewed it to lining - miracles of miracles, found a matching thread.

Another pair of pants; crotch was worn to threads - found an exact match on thread, again! love those donations!

repaired zipper on a donated backpack and the jacket from the closet. Tabatha made little diddy bags.

Autumn is here and the guests are bringing in their jackets and coats for repair them for winter. I'm happy they are planning. Donations of warm clothing are needed, even if a zipper is inoperable - i have a zipper kit - lots of zipper parts to fix and repair zippers. If the zipper cannot be repaired, the zipper will be taken out of the jacket/coat and a new one installed. That action is one of the most satisfying for me - another coat not in the land fill and used by someone who is grateful to have it!

Met two new employees - Ella and another young man, both very nice. 

On the home front I finished two quilts and will be mailing one off today to a lady in a nursing home. 

I look forward to her receiving it!

Weather forcasters say the temperature will be in the 80's - great weekend to be outside for a walk, or just sitting outside and soaking up the sunshine.

September 6, 2023

As I type this, we are on the North Shore of Lake Superior and am not at Listening House: Linda and Tabatha are holding the sewing room.

The last couple of Wednesdays we've had a number of requests involving usual kinds of repairs, such as ripped jeans, inexpensive backpacks needing repair, etc. Although, I had a bugger of a time with a zipper installation in a backpack. The zipper was compromised so it required replacing and it was in a position on the backpack that was hard to reinstall a new zipper. I got it done and am happy to have it completed - it was a very nice backpack and saving it was important to me.

After that, Linda, Tabatha and I spent time creating while we were there because there was not too much demand for our services. We sewed small diddy bags that are almost always welcome.

One Wednesday I sewed about 6 little diddy bags, about the size for a coin purse, or medicine or any small items. When i went to the common area I asked who might need one and I felt like I was in the movie "The Birds." I was swarmed with takers - the need is great!

On a personal note, I've been taking apart pairs of no-longer-wearable jeans to upcycle into bags and backpacks for the guests at Listening House. There are two really awesome denim recycling feeds on facebook that I follow and have gotten a lot of great ideas. Sister Quilt is an especially informative and practical denim upcycling feed.

One last note, if you are interested at all about the history of the sewing machine, this is a neat article:

I'm not sure if the above url is "clickable" however, if you copy and paste into your browser's bar, it should work.

That's it for today! Thank you for reading, be blessed, be well,


August 17, 2023

Greetings readers! These past two weeks have been a blur - in addition to teaching at PPL, I also had a commissioned piece to sew - i love sewing "one-ofs" because it allows my creativity to flow into the item.

At Listening House Linda, Tabatha and I were busy sewing and mending several items including patches, backpack repairs, zipper repair, etc. Instead of replacing an entire zipper in a pair of jeans, i was able to replace the slider and voila! Like new. 

Attached is a photo of a zippered diddy bag that Tabatha sewed all by herself! I wasn't there to coach her and she proudly showed me when she stopped by my house after she was picked up at Listening House. She is an A-one sewing student who is always eager to learn something new.

This past week, the hours at Listening House changed - they are 12 noon to 5. That is to prepare for the move west. I'm quite excited, along with Linda and Tabatha! I pray the move will be smooth and the space, a little bit bigger for us to sew in.

In addition, someone donated a bunch of small, velvety, upholstry fabric samples, about 6" by 6" that were all edge stitched with a serger stitch. I sewed a zipper on one side of two of them, then sewed them together - the guests loved them. Staff likes my creations as well. I love sewing fun little practical things for people.

Oh, one other thing. when i arrived at Listening House yesterday, one of the staff members handed me a heavy, rectangular box. I thought to myself, Scissors! Of course - however, they are the Cadillac of Scissors - Gingher pinking sheers! Wow! Thank you Kris! This will save time making seams more unravel-able. I do not think that is a word - it is a Laura-ism. :)

August 3, 2023 

Hello friends! This past Wednesday, we had an unninvited interloper in our closet - a toad! I looked around and did not find any finished packs or bags so he/she wasn't sewing! Anyway, Bekah came to the rescue, came in, picked up the toad and put it in a bucket. I don't want to know what happened to that toad, where it came from or where it went.

Listening House activity has increased the last three weeks. For Sew We Work as well as Listening House - the new facility is almost completely re-done and everyone is anticipating a move in date at end of August. For Sew We Work it means a bigger space - Tabatha will be able to sew with us - for now we are in a closet - no complaints, just explaining there is enough room for two sewing machines and a minimal amount of sewing acoutremonts. This past Wednesday, Tabatha was chomping at the bit to sew - I'm so happy she is passionate about sewing. So, i ceded my seat and she sewed and was happy.

These past three weeks we have mended backpacks (sewing patches and repairing and installing new zippers), adding buttons and buttonholes to shirts, repairing fanny packs, etc. Sew We Work has ordered zippers and zipper sliders for upcoming fall and winter - lots of parkas and jackets come in or the guests themselves have jackets or parkas that need zipper repair. 

Last week Linda gave me a tote bag with a recessed zipper and challenged me to make a pattern and a few bags for LH. Well, I did! I made 7 bags using a manufacturing method of batch sewing. I was able to make 7 bags from that pattern. Plus, i purchased a convertible tote bag/backpack pattern using grommets. I love grommets - i have a grommet setter (did I tell you I'm a gadget girl?) that make short work of installing grommets. I made two of those and gave them to the clothes closet along with the other 7 - that way guests who request clothing have a bag to put their requested clothes in. Awesome!!

Also, as well as the tote bag Linda sent me, via email and a link, a super easy diddy bag pattern - free of course. Very, very easy. I used a synthetic fabric that doesn't ravel and has a little weight to it. First time i have sewn a zipper on top of the fabric - twice of course - and it looks okay! That was our last two weeks.

And, in the evening i sometimes scroll through the reels on facebook and find free patterns - i found a super cute backpack pattern - again, free, and made up two of them - they are child size and i used grosgrain ribbon as the straps as i suspect the stuff carried around won't be too heavy. Two staff members wanted them, so they went to them for their daughters. I'm so happy that what I sew is liked and desireable.

Linda told me: "you're a machine!" Not so sure about that - where there is a need, etc, etc.

Thank you for reading, be blessed in all you do!

July 12, 2023

Good afternoon! Two blogs in one. Last Wednesday was a day providing opportunities for mending. We also made headbands - perfect for this time of year - keeping hair off the back of our necks, and their necks. Super easy and quick to sew - ask me to direct you to a free pattern. Also provided a few diddy bags to staff - they like our stuff, too!

This week, today, July 12, was an interesting day. Last week, Linda took home a backpack with a worn out pocket - her machine at home is the perfect machine for repairing holes deep in a back pack. She's a wizard when it comes to mending hard to get at spots. Linda repaired a strap on a bag and I put my zipper skills to work mending a back pack zipper which required two new zipper pulls and cleaning out the zipper coil. In addition, sometimes the facing for the bag zipper snags in the zipper - so I sew them back so they won't interfere with the zipper. The gentleman was pleased! Another guest came in to repair a pair of moccasins - they need new cord and she wants to bling them up a bit to make them more girly. I have beads I can bring her - she'll have fun sewing them on.

Yesterday I taught a class at PPL, Project for Pride in Living - great program for families in transitional living situations - taught a simple, mini backpack to a student and she loved it and wore it right away. Today at Listening House I made the same backpack and changed up the seams. Instead of regular seams and opening up the entire backpack, I sewed French seams - i like French seams. 

Edited to add: some people wonder why i sew diddy bags, duffel bags, etc. for these folks. When I finished sewing four draw-string diddy bags, i walked into the common area and asked if anyone needed a diddy bag. One gentleman said, "Yes, I need one for all my medicine." This is why. some of these folks need these bags.

I also found a delightful pattern for a ditty bag that my husband said reminded him of the type of bags where men keep their shaving stuff. 

There is a semi-competition going on at LIstening House - sort of a "Paint and Sip". They will color pictures and sip sparkling apple juice and win prizes - some of which are my diddy bags and back packs! Whew! I'm honored. What a blessing to have Linda present as well as Tabatha.

So much for today's blog - keep on sewing everyone!

July 1, 2023

This past Wednesday, June 28th, was quite busy - mostly with mending backpacks - several shoulder straps came out of the seam - reason? manufacturers have a very small seam - probably 1/4" or less - and the fabric in the strap ravels - hence, it pulls out. Several people were happy to have their backpacks back in working order.

Another hot commodity this past weekend was headbands - i made several out of cotton and elastic before I got there and then several more. Also, one of the guests asked for a headband she would put the hair on the back of her head in. I found a reversible headband - I'll made one or two and see if she would wear it.

I also made tiny diddy bags with clips so they can be clipped on to backpacks or belt loops. All of those went very quickly! 

Even staff like them and asked for one. I'll make more for this week. Easy to make and awesome for earbuds and perhaps bus money, etc.

Also made a couple of regular size diddy bags with drawstring - those are easy to make and the guests like them because they can fill them with needed hygiene items without the world knowing what they have in a bag. Nothing screams homeless like hygiene items in a clear bag.

A woman asked for a mask and i didn't have one! Tabatha stepped in and made one - she's too good! She said she made a LOT of them and knew the pattern by heart. I moved so she could make one. Awesome!

Linda was busy with other mending and always does a good job. This past Wednesday she patched blue jeans - a certain way because the blue jeans are strategically ripped by the manufacturer for looks. One of the holes got too big, and well, one could see more than one should!

She had another pair of running pants to repair and teased the gentleman for "blowing out his crotch." Linda is so funny! 

I love Tabatha and Linda both - they are awesome sewists and sewing companions. I can't wait to get to Listening House's new digs - more room and possibly teaching sewing to people. 

Be blessed people and grateful for having a home with a working toilet, toilet tissue, and soap. They were hard to come by at Listening House this past week. Toilet tissue is not something i can sew - and made of fabric would clog the drain. So...

Be blessed, be well, thank you for reading.

June 21, 2023

Greetings! Today at Listening House Tabatha reminded me that I did not blog last week, so today, a double blog.

Last week I was by myself sewing, Linda and Tabatha both had other events in their lives going on they needed to attend. I mended two things for one gentleman. You how those knit cuff sometimes wear out and are no longer elastic? Well, a gentleman came to have his cuffs tightened up. He likes to run the cuffs up his forearms - I do that too. And, well, you know what happens. Easy fix. He also had a little hole in a tshirt he wanted sewn up. That was really easy - he didn't want the hole to grow. Not much else going on so I had time to make a few diddy bags for the guests. 

Wow! Someone donated a sewing machine to Sew We Work and it was waiting for me when I arrived at Listening House last week. It's a Singer and a nice model. I sewed with it and it sews well. I put it under the table for today, June 21. And, guess what? Mary, one of LH guest's stopped by today and wanted to sew with us. So i brought out the machine I usually use and she sewed on that one. She's good! Well, as it happens she needed a sewing machine, and we all know, God is always on time - I provided her with the donated sewing machine,, thread, etc. so she could get started sewing at her domicile. She wants to join us and sew for people at LH! Isn't that amazing!

 I also sewed a bunch of diddy bags and brought them. And, I perfected the duffel bag pattern I altered from a free pattern giveaway. Now it is really easy to cut, and sew and takes about 1.5 hours from cutting to sewing. I will try to make two per week to bring in.

Today, June 21, Tabatha requested a diddy bag for her mom to carry her inhaler - a bag that could go from bag to bag, so I made a little bag with a clip. Worked out well. I had made a bag called Zippidy do dah - it is a three zipper pouch. Bekah said after I offered it to her, "that's mine! I'm traveling next week and need that!" So, i guess it might be a hit. It is another bag what was a free pattern - I will alter it a little - it needs a strap or a wristlet.


This past week I found several side-body bag patterns, head band patterns, and diddy bag patterns and had fun times sewing them. As usual, I altered the pattern somewhat to make easier to sew - I would like to make a bunch and bring them to Listening House. 

If you want to know a little secret - I watch, when I'm not sewing, reels on facebook and find lots and lots of sewing demonstrations of bags, headbands, purses, coin purses, wallets, etc. 

This past week i also splurged on a cm ruler! Awesome new tool. Did I tell you I'm a gadget and tool kinda girl? Most of the reels I watch are foreign and work with metric measurements.

June 8, 2023

Yesterday, Linda and I sewed at LH, and Tabatha monitored our activities. For about two days at home, I sewed duffel bags; probably the most needed item for the guests - so they can carry their stuff. I made two from this free pattern - ( I altered the pattern slightly, serging the inside seams to finish them instead of adding a lining making the pattern quicker to sew. I also shortened the hand straps and the shoulder strap for easier carrying; also lengthened the side panel to make the bag more sturdy to carry. Oh! Thanks to Melissa, one of our benefactors, who gave us a large roll of reflective tape - Linda suggested sewing reflective tape on the bags - so - there is now reflective tape on front and back! The zipper pockets on the front and back are especially nice for keeping things safe, the side pockets are nice for water bottles, etc. I wrote the author of this pattern and she said she was okay with me making these for the guests at Listening House. By the way, all of the fabrics were donations.

In addition, Linda and I sewed the usual repairs - Linda, patching jeans with a hole and in addition to other mending. I stitched straps on a fanny pack that was needing reinforcing. Plus, sewed a laundry bag from a pillow case: one of the other guests saw it and requested one. I sewed another one for her. No one wants to be left out!

Also, Linda brought several bandanas (from her sister's estate) and handed those out. She gave me two and I sewed two diddy bags from one of them. 

A little preaching: today's gospel is Love God, Love Neighbor and some ask, "who is our neighbor?" Here is today's gospel: Gospel

Mk 12:28-34

One of the scribes came to Jesus and asked him,
"Which is the first of all the commandments?"
Jesus replied, "The first is this:
Hear, O Israel!
The Lord our God is Lord alone!
You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart,
with all your soul, with all your mind,
and with all your strength.
The second is this:
You shall love your neighbor as yourself.
There is no other commandment greater than these."
The scribe said to him, "Well said, teacher.
You are right in saying,
He is One and there is no other than he.
And to love him with all your heart,
with all your understanding,
with all your strength,
and to love your neighbor as yourself
is worth more than all burnt offerings and sacrifices."
And when Jesus saw that he answered with understanding,
he said to him, "You are not far from the Kingdom of God."
And no one dared to ask him any more questions.

A lady came in that I met a few weeks ago - she is bringing me a sewing machine today at LH - I will go pick it up. What a blessing - a new class starts on Tuesday and I need sewing machines. Another lady I know texted and has a sewing machine and several rolling carts for sewing machines along with scissors, and other sewing gear. I am so blessed that these folks donate and help people learn to sew!

I love this work and praise God that I am allowed to sew for LH guests!

A little back story - my oldest son was born on this day in the 1970's - combination of me being a young, unhealthy mom, and him having ADHD, made him a not so healthy young man. He ended up homeless and using drugs. He died on June 5, 1990's. When i first saw him after he died, I told him that i would make his life worthwhile. That is my commitment to working with folks at Listening House.

May 28, 2023

Greetings friends! This past Wednesday, Linda sewed solo. She reports that a gentleman came with three items to mend and she mended them. Did I tell you she also mends hearts? She's a great listener and always offer ideas for change. I'm so proud of her!

Both of us are back this Wednesday - I look forward to being there. I'm baking rhubarb bars with cream cheese frosting - one of Johnny's faves that i bake. When i saw him on Friday I told him the rhubarb is up and ripe and he said, "YES ma'am!" He always makes me smile.

Just a note - we never know what God has in store for us. On Friday walking the dog, we met up with a gentleman doing yard work who just got to St Paul by greyhound to live with his daughter. He asked us if we knew of anyone who could help me haul away the lilac trims he was cutting. Well, I got on NextDoor and posted about him needing help. Several people responded. Then, I asked him if he needed anything else - he said he came up with the clothes on his back and needed clothing and hygiene items. I got the car, took him to Listening House and they were able to help him out with clothing and hygiene items. Also! Guess what! There was a barber there, offering hair cutting services to guests - and Ray received a nice hair cut as well as all the other needs! Oh! He's a vet who served in Korea and Fort Jackson. This week we will visit Listening House and Dietre promised him vet resources - medical, housing etc. He was purposeful with his gratitude. And I am grateful to God for letting me help him out. 

May 20, 2023

Greetings readers! This past Wednesday Linda and I both had short Vacays so we were not at LH.

However, that did not stop my brain on how we can better serve the guests at Listening House. I'm thinking of diddy bags, zipper bags, neck wallets for phones, cross-body bags for phones, etc. Sew We Work was donated lots and lots of fabric and I am able to use that up for the guests. 

Thank you for reading this far - i ask only for prayer or a mass said for Sew We Work so that our work can continue. 

Sew We Work is finding a home at Listening House and will work to further develop our partnership when LH moves to the old Savoy's on 7th and Lafayette.

May 11, 2023

Greetings readers! Yesterday was a fun day at Listening House. I was fortunate to meet Sister Kathleen (SSND), a long time volunteer at Listening House! I love her! If you met her you would love her too! And! get this! My mother's cousin, Sister Mary Dennis, or after 1965, Candace, was a SSND (School Sister of Notre Dame) and she taught Sister Kathleen! Small world, eh?

Guests are starting to learn our presence on Wednesdays, 10 to 12 or until we are done with mending. I love being there, i love the guests! Oddly enough, in mass this past Sunday, God inspired me to create a tshirt for Listening House. And, I did! It says: LH (listening house) guests, I love you, & I care, signed the sewing lady. Great fun! Some of the volunteers requested one, so I might make a few more with their specialty, "signed, the kitchen ladies" or whatever they want to be known as. there is a picture on this blog; the pink vinyl is a little hard to see.

So, this week, someone dropped off a huge crate of yarn and sewing supplies, Thank you! 

One of my favorite students stopped by with repairs for her husbands pants - both knees were "blown out" she says. I patched them - he's a special size, so we try to keep the pants he has going for as long as we can. Also repaired a hole in her favorite sweatshirt. Made it look like it was part of the logo on the shirt; Nightmare Before Christmas. That was fun to do. Also repaired a strap on a backpack for her that I had originally lengthened - next time, remember a lighter to burn the edges of the strap! Good thing she was within the 30 day warranty! ;)

Linda shortened suspenders that looked like rulers - kind of something Bob the Builder would wear. Then she worked on a pair of sweater cuffs that had stretched out of shape. She had taken home a pair of shorts and repaired them at home for a guest and brought them back yesterday. The guest was ecstatic and put them on right away! Linda continues to take apart and manipulate dog food and bird seed bags (40 pound size) and fashioning them (we don't want them in the landfill!). Yesterday she showed me a backpack out of these bags she working on. Amazing vision and skill she has! She turns the bags inside out and then sews clips and strapping to them and makes the backpack. She's amazing, eh?

Two days before our scheduled appearance at LH, i caught the sewing bug and made about 10 drawstring ditty bags, 5 cloth wallets with zip pocket for coins, a half dozen coin purses, and a bunch of cord keepers for the guests. When the guests pick up free hygiene items, the items can be put in a ditty bag - a little more dignity for our guests.

Melissa gave me a HUGE roll of 2" wide 3M reflective tape (i had it for a few months before I "saw" an arm band); i had in my stash 2" wide velcro, both sides, and 2" wide black elastic. in my head i had a vision of a reflective arm band for guests to wear so at night they would be seen. I made three for the guests to try out. I hope they work -- I would like them to be safe in the dark.

Oh, i had 4 dead bananas and made banana bread for the guests. Johnny, one of the employees at LH loves my banana bread (me and Betty Crocker are BFFs). Soon the rhubarb will be up; Johnny has requested rhubarb bars with cream cheese frosting. Last spring when i made these he wasn't too sure about the rhubarb; however, after tasting them, he is in love with rhubarb bars! The rhubarb is up and not yet ready to harvest, but when I do . . . . 

Neither Linda or I will be at LH next Wednesday, however, I continue to think about the guests.

Thank you for reading! Be well, be blessed! 

May 4, 2023. A day late in blogging.

Check out the image on the gallery page for a pic of the ditty bag made by Linda at Listening House. She's amazing that she could turn denim pant legs (cut off from a guests hem request) into a ditty bag. She's awesome! 

I had two blouses to work on - removed sleeves and turned under the armholes. Person did not like the sleeves, so now she is sleeveless and she looks great! I also repaired a bag - as you can probably guess a zipper. I could take that show on the road!

the day before Listening House i made 5 neck wallets - the kind that a person wears around their neck and the wallet is on their chest. It can hold a phone, money, cards, etc. I gave them to the desk person to hand out as he sees fit. I also made a bunch of wallets for the guys - simple vinyl wallets, folded in half and each side holds cards and ids. A couple of the guests expressed their gratitude because they keep loving their ids. I'm so glad I can help.

today I'm working on coin purses and little bitty ditty bags - tiny! Someone on line said it would make a really cute Tooth Fairy purse. 

Be well, be blessed, until next week!

Love, LauraRose

April 26, 2023, Sewing at Listening House

Wow! Linda had on her creative thinking cap this past week! Let me show you! Last year I made a couple of tote bags out of dog food bags and they were well received. This past week, Linda took the bag idea one step further: she turned the bag inside out. i asked her how she cleaned it. She said her dog licked it clean! I asked her if he does dishes. She said yes! Too funny. She added a long strap for over the shoulder and two short straps to carry like a suitcase. Very creative. We're back in the dog/cat/bird food sack recycling business! 

Linda also worked on ditty bags this past week: we had hoods from sweatshirts left over from a quilt and she made ditty bags out of them, using the draw string portion as the opening for the bag and inserting the draw string. Linda also made two telephone bags, the kind that one wears around the neck and the phone sits in the bag so the phone is always front and center. Linda gave it to a guest who had her phone stolen out of her hands at the bus stop. Now, she has a new phone and a bag to keep it safe. I'm so proud to call Linda my sewing partner.

Remember the coat from last week? The guest brought the coat back and now it needed buttons! I didn't have four that matched however, he was okay with with them. 

There is a clothing room at Listening House - the volunteer who works in that room sorting clothing, shoes, etc., brought a pair of jeans that needed a button so Linda sewed that on for him.

One of my favorite people came and asked me to make a ditty bag for her niece - my friend could have sewn it but her niece insisted that i sew it. She even brought her own fabric. Slow day for mending today so I could do it.

I'm starting to gather data on what repairs we do, how many, etc. Can anyone say 'spreadsheet'? Yes, i will create one and keep adding different repairs - we have not in the past kept track and i think it is time we do. We have an inkling about what repairs are asked for the most, and putting them in a spreadsheet will tell us.

Attached picture is of Linda, another one of Tabatha, and Hugo, employee of Listening House.

On another note - a gentleman came to me just as i was leaving and asked me for help. He had cut his finger pretty badly - and we found Hugo again, who applied peroxide and cleaned up the wound, applied antibiotic cream and a gauze bandage. Such is life for a homeless person. I will pray for him to find a shower if he wants one.

April 19, 2023

Good morning dear ones! I want to update you on sewing at Listening House in St Paul Minnestoa. Listening House,, is a day drop in shelter for homeless or otherwise disadvantaged persons. My sewing partner, Linda and I sew on Wednesday mornings from 10 a.m. to noon or until we are finished with the days repair requests.

This past Wednesday i replaced a jacket zipper - completely took the zipper out of the jacket and replaced it with a new one. Looking at the jacket, there were holes in the lining and pockets, so I mended those as well. i returned the jacket to the gentleman and he soon came back to me and showed me, something was inside the lining and because I mended the lining, he couldn't reach it! So, I opened the lining for him - it was a sock and a mitten! Too funny! Repair those linings and pockets, people! The other thing i noticed is that all of his cards - driver's license, credit cards, etc., were loose in his pocket. This week I will sew a wallet and present it to him next Wednesday.

A different gentleman came in with a trash bag - i asked him what was in the trash bag - he said "my clothes! I just got out of treatment and they gave me a trash bag for my clothing." I decided to make him a duffel bag! So, i went into our little "Listening House Sweatshop" and sewed him a duffel bag for his clothing, strap and all! He was a happy camper.

I love what i do there! I always go there with a happy heart and leave with a heart full of gratitude and peace. Sometimes I just sit and listen to the folks who are there. I have made many friends there - and we chat and catch up on our lives when we see each other. 

I'm so blessed! God has blessed me with a big heart.

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