Crafty ‘sisters’ all heart
FOR about 10 years, The Friday Girls have been quietly caring for each other and their community through their big hearts and clever hands.
The group, which meets weekly at Toowoomba's Sew Handy, hit the news last month for preparing quilts and handmade Christmas stockings stuffed with gifts for victims of the recent fires.
Sew Handy donated most of the materials and other individuals and businesses kicked in for toiletries and other goodies.
Group member Norelle White said they had wanted to do something, especially for the children, so they would have "something of their very own because they may have lost everything too".
But store owner Michelle Huth said the group has been helping others and giving to charity from the beginning.
Born at Sew Handy from a project to create a giant teddy bear for a local dentist, Michelle said once the bear was finished, the ladies found they had enjoyed getting together so much, "they just kept coming".
"And we've just accumulated ladies from there," she laughed.
The regular group of about 12, rises to as many as 20 with "drop-ins"; some staying a couple of hours and others all day.
The women come to sit, sew, crochet, knit, quilt, chat, share patterns and recipes, and help each other and customers out when they hit craft-related problems.
"Everybody's welcome … they are just a lovely, caring group of ladies who do things to help each other and the community," Michelle said.
"Even when we are closed for a public holiday on a Friday, they come on the Thursday, because they don't want to miss the interaction."
The Friday Girls have become so much a part of the small business's "family" that when Michelle and the other staff members are busy, they answer the phone or help customers.
Throughout the year, Michelle said, group members put some of the items they make in a box, so that when a charity event comes up, or when they have collected enough pieces, they can donate them for sale or auction, or run their own stall.
She said over the years, many of the ladies have experienced cancer in one form or another, so they often create pieces to sell or raffle for the hospital and cancer charities.
And of course, when one of them is sick, there is always plenty of help at hand.
But "there's always room for one more", Michelle said.
To find out more about The Friday Ladies or if you've been hit by the fires and can use a crafty hand or something for the kids, call 07 4632 1257 or drop in to Sew Handy at Northlands Shopping Centre.