Phyllis Shipman has a passion for sewing. She enjoys making quilts, dinner placemats, table runners, decorative wall hangings and more. She belongs to a sewing club called the Sew Krazy Klub, she also serves as the secretary for the club. The group meets the first Tuesday of each month at the Henagar Baptist Church on Highway 40.
Shipman’s passion can be seen by the multiple quilts and other handmade items throughout her home, plus the 36 sewing machines she owns. Some have sentimental value having previously belonged to beloved family members. She plans to pass the family keepsakes on to her grandchildren when they grow up. Some are antiques and have nostalgic value. “The reason you need more than one sewing machine is because they are not all the same,” said Shipman. “Some are long-arm machines and some are mid-arm. You can also have more than one project going at the same time on various machines.”
A long-arm sewing machine has more throat space. Some have as much as 20 inches to accommodate larger projects such as quilts. The extra space prevents having to sew in an awkward position when the quilt won’t fit through the opening. A mid-arm machine has a throat space ranging from 10 to 15 inches.
Shipman said the Sew Krazy Klub began in 1999 and she was invited to join in 2001. “The classes we have at the club cover a broad range of projects,” said Shipman. “We learn about quilting, knitting crocheting, sewing, embroidery, color schemes, how to choose fabric, and more.” Originally, the members met in the evening, due to work schedules. Now the members have reached retirement age and they meet at 9:00 a.m.
Classes consist of a teacher bringing a project to demonstrate and giving the students instructions on how to complete the project at home. “We have a special event in September we call “Sit and Sew” where we all bring our sewing machines to class,” said Shipman. “We bring food and spend the day working on our projects together, it is a really fun day.”
Getting together with like-minded friends to work on projects is more than a hobby, it is an outlet for Shipman. She is raising three grandchildren ages 7 – 10 and her husband is a liver transplant recipient. Shipman is following the advice of Julia Child – “Find something you’re passionate about and keep tremendously interested in it.”
Shipman said the membership has dwindled down from double-digit to single-digit and they welcome new members. “Our youngest member is in their 30s and oldest in their 80s, ladies of all ages are welcome,” said Shipman. For more information call 256-638-8263.
Phyllis’ Motto: “It’s better to have a finished project that isn’t absolutely perfect than to have a home full of UFOs” (unfinished objects)
— Marla Ballard’s Who's Who appears in the Times-Journal Wednesday and weekend editions.