By Greg Ritchie
GRAPELAND – Every Tuesday, if you visit Grapeland’s First Methodist Church’s Family Life Center, you will come upon the Tuesday Stitchers. The group meets once a week to fellowship, laugh, create numerous different crafts and make the tapestry of Houston County a little more interesting.
The group, which just celebrated its tenth anniversary, is open to all and meets from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. with some breaking for lunch and some bringing their own. The group is made up of ladies from all over Houston County – some born and raised here, some just a few years out of the big city.
All come together to make new friends, learn new techniques and no doubt share a bit of local gossip. Delilah Dreger said the group is open to everyone – no matter what your talent and passion.
“Crochet, knitting card-making, sewing, embroidery, weaving and just general crafts, with everybody working on different projects,” Dreger said.
The ladies were camera-shy, but fun and inviting as they showed off their work. Each one seemed to be doing a different project while they chatted and shared stories and tips on how to make the projects more beautiful or less work.
Some use the group for emotional therapy, telling The Messenger it’s nice to relax and be with friends and get away from the outside world to work on a craft. One said, “The work is therapeutic, until something doesn’t want to cooperate and stresses you out!”
There is an aspect of physical therapy to the work, too. One of the ladies loved needlework but feared after a recent stroke she might never be able to use those talented hands in the same way again. Walker in tow, her progress sat proudly on the table, a beautiful work that will soon say, “Michelle,” no doubt a gift-to-be for a lucky granddaughter or other loved one.
The stitchers, along with the Davy Crockett Guild, showed off their amazing work at the recent Houston County Fair Home and Garden Show. Some of the group were working on little toys to give to the less fortunate next Christmas. There were drawings and knittings, plush rugs and yarn galore. This reporter admitted to being amazed by it all but not sure about the patience required to do such detailed designs.
“Sit down, we will teach you,” they said.
The group is informal and free, there is no membership or anything to join. They just enjoy each other’s company and are eager to welcome others to the fun. One can see how well they have gotten to know each other and their arts and crafts over the years.
“We help each other out if we have questions or if somebody starts a project and needs some help,” Dreger said. “But it I think it’s mainly the camaraderie, being able to meet once a week with people that speak your language.”
This reporter did nothing productive but enjoyed that camaraderie and hearing the stories of the ladies and their homemade creations. One, for example, was a work of art to be displayed on a wall, made entirely of left-over odd and ends such as old buttons and bits or worn-out washcloths. Another new arrival from the Pearland area was glad to find the group, fearing moving to Houston County she might not find any friends.
The Tuesday Stitchers would love to have you stop by and show off your craft skills or come to learn something new. If the crafts don’t keep you, the fellowship certainly will.
Greg Ritchie can be reached at [email protected]