Beth Wehrman of Maxwell was excited to bring four girls from the Collins-Maxwell community to this past Saturday’s meeting of the American Sewing Guild (ASG) in Huxley.


The ASG meets monthly during the school year to do a variety of sewing projects with its 95 members from many communities in the state. At their most recent meeting, the focus was on making pet pads for dogs and cats at the Animal Rescue League. The member turnout was what the group normally draws to its monthly meeting, around 40, and this time, there were at least a dozen kids who had come along as guests.


Wehrman, who is a charter member of the ASG, which has been meeting for over a quarter of a century, said bringing kids to the gathering was an opportunity for her and her sewing friends to share their passion for the art and help kids learn something about how to sew. Some of the kids in the room, who had come with their moms and grandmothers, seemed quite knowledgeable about sewing, admitting they have tried it at home or at their grandmother’s home.


Pacey Bogue, 10, of Carroll, was a guest of his grandmother, Sue Bogue of Ogden, on Saturday. He and his grandmother have made pillows and pillow cases and also made clothes for stuffed animals together. Pacey said he always enjoys picking out the fabric, and shared that he has some crazy, funny fabric with squirrels on it waiting at home for a blanket that he plans to make for his bed. It will look great in his room, he said, which is filled with 21 stuffed monkeys.


As the group came together Saturday morning, ASG member Mary Hilliard gave directions to the group about the project. She told them how the pet pads would come together, with three different layers, and she pointed out tables along the wall where participants would find fabric and a lot of batting.


The room had a number of sewing machine stations set up for the children and their adult helpers.


As the morning went along, a bell was sounded each time a pet pad was finished. Those present, if they were counting, would have heard 84 dings.


Wehrman said her group of girls completed 13 pet pads, and they all seemed to enjoy the morning. “All four (girls) took home a bag of fabric and were excited to do more (sewing),” Wehrman said. “One talked about doll clothes, often how we started sewing.”


What Wehrman loved most about the morning was seeing the youth get excited about learning new things and seeing them making new friendships.


The American Sewing Guild meets at Trinity United Methodist Church in Huxley, usually on the third Saturday of each month while school is in session. Member Diane McCauley of Ames said that the group’s website: www.centraliowaasg.org, gives information on upcoming events and meetings, for those who might be interested.


McCauley said while a lot of the members are also quilters and that there are a number of quilting groups around, it’s nice to gather with the sewing guild, which focuses on garment and project sewing, along with other sewing projects. As she looked around the room, she noted that a lot of the Guild members were wearing clothes they have made.


“The beauty of this group is (that) if you have a problem with something, there’s always someone with the answer,” she said.