A Colorful Story of Repurposing

Sharon and Phyllis sit with the backpacks they made for LWR School Kits

We have been so delighted to see the many creative tips, tricks, and wonderful stories shared by quilters and kit-makers who have completed the Quilt & Kit survey in recent months! Below is one of those stories – enjoy! Share YOUR story today!

September, 2015: At First Lutheran Church in DeKalb, Ill., Sharon Wadle, Jan Womack and Jan Rhodes spent their summer sewing 140 backpacks, while many members of the congregation set about collecting back-to-school items. At the end of the summer, the sewing team finished their work, the congregation youth filled the backpacks, and Sharon and her friends were finally able to relax!

Or so they thought.

Not long after, they were presented with a new challenge. Phyllis Franzene, one of Sharon’s friends, came to her one day and said, “I have a parachute that our family is no longer using. Sharon, I think you could make backpacks out of it.” Sharon’s first thought? “Please, not now. I don’t need another challenge!”

The parachute used to make 46 waterproof, lightweight backpacks for LWR School Kits
The parachute used to make 46 waterproof, lightweight backpacks for LWR School Kits

But come late winter when she unfolded the beautiful, multi-colored parachute, the joy of creativity kicked in. A month later, she’d constructed 46 backpacks out of the perfect, waterproof, lightweight fabric. Sharon’s new perspective on the project came in the form of a prayer: “Thank you God for giving us this vision and opportunity to reuse fabric and cord for a new, life supporting, wonderful purpose.”

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