Their names are Sharon, Ruth, Sue, Colleen, Carol, Nancy, and Patti. They are sisters who love to craft, sew, and quilt – hence the name “The Seven Sisters of the Cloth.” For the third year, they will participate in Shop small in GRANDmont Rosedale, the Shop Small Saturday event that will take place on Saturday, Nov. 30 from 11 am – 4 pm at several locations along Grand River. The Seven Sisters of the Cloth will be just one of over 40 vendors, but their mission is a bit different. The sisters get together several times throughout the year to craft and sew and catch up. Over time, the tote bags, quilts, cloth purses, tiny sleeping bags for stuffed animals, mittens, felted trees, crayon holders, etc (!) accumulate. Sharon LeMieux, the second youngest sister and long-time Grandmont Rosedale resident, loves getting together with her sisters and she especially loves to craft, but she wanted her crafting to “have a greater purpose. And also to make room for more crafting.”
THE CRAFT OF SHARING
Sharon asked her sisters if they would be game to sell their crafts at the Shop small in GRANDmont Rosedale event and to give all the proceeds to the United Community Housing Coalition. Sharon has worked at UCHC for nearly 16 years as a Tax Foreclosure Prevention Counselor and knows how much a little help for families in need can help make the holidays a bit more cheerful. Her sisters did not hesitate. Growing up along with their five brothers in Fraser, Sharon says there wasn’t extra money for crafting supplies so Sharon’s particular affection for crafting was something she came to as an adult. Some of the sisters made their own clothes growing up, but that was out of necessity. Crafting and sewing for fun and for others is something they all enjoy.
TOWN HALL CAFFÉ JOINS IN THE GENEROSITY
Last year Grandmont Rosedale resident Mindy LePere joined the group as an honorary sister, selling her handmade jewelry and pottery. Together they raised over $700 for UCHC families. The money was used by several families to help pay bills and to help some families buy back their homes. “It takes some of the pressure off,” Sharon says. It also happens that their inventive generosity is contagious. Each year that the Seven Sisters has had a booth at Small Business Saturday, Town Hall Caffé owner Lindsey Marr has donated the space. Selling their creations is “fun,” Sharon says. “Last year our booth was very busy. We don’t want to be a bunch of old ladies making stuff that no one else gets to enjoy. This gives our crafting and sewing a purpose.”
This year the Seven Sisters of the Cloth will again be offering their wonderful variety of handmade items. Some of this year’s items, as shown below, are crayon holders, pine trees made of felted wool, (a wooden spool and topped with the dried center of purple coneflower), and Sharon’s whimsical wee gardens – tiny succulents nestled and growing in walnut shells. The prices range from about $3 – $5 with maybe something higher if one of the sisters takes on a larger project. Sharon also plans to teach others how to make rag rugs at this year’s Shop Small if you’d like to learn as well as shop. As is their tradition, you can help yourself to a felt heart or an origami peace crane because, as Sharon says, “Love and peace are free.”
Shop small in GRANDmont Rosedale is on Saturday, Nov. 30 from 1 pm – 4 pm at several locations along Grand River. The Seven Sisters of the Cloth is one of over 40 participating vendors. Food trucks, entertainment, and s’mores will also be part of the fun. Stop by and support your small businesses and your neighbors.