Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

May 10, 2013

Greenup extension sewing class so popular, another was added

Lee Ward
Associated Press

WURTLAND — If a family that sews together, stays together, Josh Barker and  Rhonda Burkhart are a sure thing.

The Flatwoods residents who are engaged just finished taking sewing classes togther at the Greenup County Extension agency.

“I did a little sewing. If I needed something done, I just did it, just figured it out,” Barker, 36, said, as he ironed a piece he was finishing. “Now I know there’s an easier way to do it.”

Burkhart said he tinkered with her sewing machine so when she heard about the class offered by certified Master Clothing volunteers, she invited him to join her in class.

The volunteers offered beginning sewing classes which started March 5 and continued through March 29. Teachers Claudine Williamson, Rita Spence, Joan Litteral, Ann Howard and Martha Edwards led the largest class of beginners they’d ever had; they had to cap the class and create a waiting list.

Beginners learned the parts of their sewing machines and how to clean and operate it. They also made a few items, including pin cushions, a traveling sewing bag, a pad for the machine to rest on and a table runner. They learned to make buttonholes and seams, how to use interfacing and how to read a pattern, among other things.

On the last day of class, students begged for more and the teachers gave it to them.

Even though they had never offered an intermediate class, volunteer teachers created one because of the demand from the beginning class.

The intermediate class made more advanced pieces, like shirts, pillows and shorts. Many students worked on their own projects.

Barker said he’s working on a backpack and Burkhart had completed shorts she saw on a television program; she found the pattern and got to work. Next on her list was a top to match the shorts.

Students said they were sad to see the intermediate class end, too, because many had made friends and enjoyed the opportunity to socialize.

Connie Minix said she drove an hour from Louisa every Tuesday and never missed a class.

“I made a lot of friends in the class,” she said.

Amy Boggs of Russell got to know one of her neighbors who also took the class.

“I didn’t even know sewing machines had foot pedals when I signed up,” Boggs said. “Now I’m working on a shirt.”

LEE WARD can be reached at lward@dailyindependent.com or (606) 326-2661.