22 November, 2002
Mahwah, NJ – What happens when several dozen women put their heads together over a favorite hobby? There's some learning, some laughing, and the in the case of one such group in Virginia, there's some love to share.
The Janome Memory Crafters of Fairfax, Virginia began when Jean Smith suggested to Patty Whitmore, her local sewing dealer, that they try to organize a Memory Craft embroidery club. Now, six years later, the club is thriving and creating many items for charity. Their latest contribution was more than 200 hats for women and children receiving cancer treatment at Inova Fairfax Hospital. The styles varied from a traditional turban to a wild "Cat In A Hat" variety. Each hat is decorated with embroidery, beading, or appliqué. Some polar fleece hats were left blank to be used for sleeping.
Smith had just purchased a Memory Craft 9000 when she approached Whitmore, who runs Fairfax Sewing Center with her husband Skip, with the idea for the club. They looked up the name of every woman who had purchased a Memory Craft 8000 or 9000 at the store. Out of 48 women contacted, 35 joined Janome Memory Crafters, which meets six times a year at the store. Some drive for as long as two hours each way to attend. Now Smith and many other members of the club are avid Memory Craft 10000 owners, but their goals of learning and enjoying sewing haven't changed.
"We teach each other," says Smith. "That could be the motto of our club." In addition to classes, the club also holds seminars and brings in guest speakers.
Each November, members of the Janome Memory Crafters submit nominations for the charity for which they'd like to create. In January the work begins. The inspiration for this year's "cancer caps" was a club member who'd survived the disease and gone through the program at Fairfax Inova.
"There' something special about having an item made by somebody just for you," says Smith. "We hope it's an encouragement."
Janome America, Inc. (formerly The New Home Sewing Machine Company) is an industry leader in innovation, having produced the first programmable computerized sewing machine, the first computerized sewing machine to offer Professional-Style embroidery, and the groundbreaking Memory Craft 10000. Janome sewing machines are recognized throughout the industry for their ease-of-use and unsurpassed stitch quality.