Mad Hatters stitch together for friendship and fun

There is a sewing society that meets weekly and helps keep this community warm. Up to 25 members bring their cutting tools, sewing machines and projects and meet every Thursday morning at Hollister Senior Center. It’s a society because it’s members socialize while sewing. They chatter away. They laugh and tease, tell stories and share life experiences. They describe themselves as kind of crazy, sometimes a little nutty and they call themselves the Mad Hatters.

Membership fees are a very reasonable $0.25 per week. That pays for the rent. Although each member provides their own tools and fabric, expertise is not a requirement. People join who want to learn to sew and quilt. No fee for a lesson. They welcome fresh faces. There are about 25 members-mostly hardy Michiganians, but some go south for the winter.

The first Thursday of the month is what they call “charity project day.” On this day quilts or hats for low income kids or lap robes for residents of Grand Oaks are on the work tables. Fabric and batting donations are sought for use on this day. The quilts in the photo were stitched by one Mad Hatter and will be donated to the Department of Human Services for kids in foster care.

The Mad Hatters like to have fun. Some travel to quilt shows as far away as Ohio. Some travel together to quilt shops as far away as Grayling. Some celebrate holidays together.

Perhaps it was in the year 2000 that Hollister offered this space to stitchers on Thursday. Regardless of how long ago it began, one member says, “I’m so glad I found this group. Boredom is not a problem anymore.” Another says, “Sewing for others makes me feel so good!” It is a good thing to have fun with friends and provide warmth for others!