To Marcia Young and her family sewing is more than just putting needle to thread.
Young, 37, of Callonwood subdivision in Matthews has been sewing since she was 13 years old.
Young decided, after intently watching her grandmother, mother and older sister sew for years and being the recipient of many heartfelt, handcrafted gifts, to ask her mother, Vera Hammond of Buffalo, N.Y. to teach her.
Young said, "My mother sat me in front of a sewing machine with a pattern and told me to figure it out."
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More than the act of sewing stuck with her that day because she has been "figuring it out" ever since.
From the time Young was in fifth grade, her mother battled with viral meningitis. Going undiagnosed for years, she lost independence, money and most importantly time.
Sewing gave back what the illness took away.
Young remembers helping her mother sew holiday and home décor to sell at craft shows in upstate New York. Sewing also helped Vera fight against the loss of eyesight by concentrating on the intricacies in each pattern.
Sewing helped Young by allowing her to take an active role in her mother's healing and giving her an outlet to deal with the grief of seeing her mother in pain.
Fortunately after five years of battling the disease, Hammond got better. And 24 years later, Young is still sewing.
Young said, "Sewing is about the power of giving."
And sewing continued to give her hope through her years as a domestic violence counselor, when the dark realities of life were visible.
It also gave Young hope when she saw her premature twin girls, Lauren and Emma, bundled in blankets and beanies made and donated by Threads of Love, a Christian faith-based, national organization made up of volunteers who create and donate handmade articles of clothing and blankets to premature, sick and deceased infants.
In 2008, Young wanted to give others what sewing had given her, so she opened a sewing studio in her home, naming her business Sew Inspired. She now teaches day and evening class to adult beginners for $15 per lesson. There are fall (Sept. to early Dec.) and spring (Late Jan. to May) terms. She also offers a five-week summer term (July to Aug.), mainly for school teachers.
Sew Inspired has remained prosperous throughout the years. Young and her husband, John, who works in the financial services industry, were concerned that her business would fail in the recession.
But it was just the opposite; her business grew out of what she calls "the people's perseverance."
Some people came to her looking for a hobby to distract them from the uncertainty of the times. Some came looking for a way to save money by learning to mend their own clothing or create home décor when they couldn't afford it otherwise. Others wanted to learn a new trade in hopes of making money and relieving their family's financial burdens.
Young feels fortunate to be able to give others the inspiration that sewing has given her.
But Young believes the greatest gift sewing has given her is the ability to work from home, so she can spend more time with her twin girls, now 8. They, too, have learned to sew, entwining them with the traditions of their heritage and bringing the hope it encompasses for generations to come.