Funky Frugal: Patti’s sewing she shed

by Tanner Cangelosi

There is a very special woman in my life named Patti Kimble. She has adopted my large family and cooks for us, prays for us and sews for us. For someone like me, with no sewing bones in her body, she is a great friend to have. 

Besides having a heart of gold, she is a wonderful seamstress. She has made us pillows and dresses and has monogrammed anything that would stand still long enough. I heart monograms. 

With all the sewing Patti does, she needed a place to do her sewing and her sewing lessons. Did I mention she also teaches my girls to sew? I know, she is amazing! Well, she decided with her son and husband to build a wonderful SEWING SHE SHED, and so she did. I was able to ask her a few questions about her well thought out and organized she shed:

What was your inspiration?

Seeing my friend Sue’s sewing room that she has in her house. We love to sew together.

What did you know you needed in the she shed? 

I knew I needed cabinets and storage for all of my fabric, thread and parts for my machines.

How did you build the ironing board/fabric holder?

I first purchased the two Rubbermaid drawer sets. I then purchased a pre-cut finished 18-by-48-inch board from Lowe’s. Next, I covered the top of the board with two layers of thick batting and a layer of heat resistant batting, and stapled it with a heavy duty staple gun. 

My husband gave me measurements of what I would need to make the frame. He is physically unable to do this type of work any longer.

I had the boards cut to his specs at Lowe’s. He sat beside me and told me how to drill holes, then assemble and screw together the back and sides. The boards cost about $12.

I then covered it with duck bright colored fabric. Finally, I stained all the wood with black stain. (If I ever do it again, I’ll stain the wood before attaching the topping).

What is a cost breakdown of this specific project?

Rubbermaid drawers $60.

Boards $22.

Stain $5.

The batting and fabric I had on hand, so I’m guessing $25-$35.

What are your favorite projects to do in your she shed?

No doubt it is embroidery work. It is so personal, and everyone loves it.

How do you use your sewing as a ministry?

My best friend, Sue, is the reason for getting me interested in quilting. She loves quilting, and I love teaching the Bible to ladies. The two of us decided to teach stories like Ruth and Esther, and book studies by Beth Moore. Sue designed quilt patterns that tell the story we studied. We call it “Covering You With God’s Word.” The ladies are invited to come and sew with us (on different days) in my shed.

Another way I love to serve others through sewing is making memory pillows. Recently it came to my attention that one of our church family ladies lost her dad, and she was very disappointed that no one reached out to her other than our pastor and wife.

That very Sunday the sermon was about the mark you leave on someone’s life. I truly believe God told me to start a ministry of making memory pillows from a lost one’s shirt, and giving it to the family. I just finished two pillows for that sweet lady, one for her and one for her mom. It is a memory they can keep and a tangible way to love people.

Tanner Cangelosi
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