Common Threads: Delivering hope and meaning through sewing machines

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Product Details
$17.95  $16.69
Little Creek Press
Publish Date
5.5 X 8.5 X 0.48 inches | 0.6 pounds

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About the Author
Margaret John Jankowski is a writer, maker, and nonprofit leader living in Madison, Wisconsin. She is the founder and director of The Sewing Machine Project. A lifelong sewist, Margaret's mind is "on fire" when she is planning a project in three dimensions. The Sewing Machine Project represents the intersection of Margaret's passions as it provides the opportunity to sew, serve, and write about the incredible individuals she encounters. Margaret divides her time between her home in Wisconsin and Switzerland, where she spends time with her husband, Peter. Margaret finds deep joy in traveling, reading, walking with friends, and sitting and laughing on the front porch with her two kids.

"A visionary is defined as both a dreamer and as someone with foresight and imagination. Margaret Jankowski had a vision of helping others, saw how it could be achieved, and then engaged the collective power and generosity of others to bring her idea to fruition. Through her faith, compassion, and sheer willpower, Margaret has positively impacted thousands of lives, and like a pebble thrown in a pond, the ripples continue to spread outward in ever-increasing circles. My heart nearly burst at this tangible manifestation of how one person can make such an incredible difference."

-Alex Anderson, founding partner of The Quilt Show and The Quilt Life magazine

"I can't begin to express how much our organization appreciated partnering with Margaret and The Sewing Machine Project for sewing machine donations following the devastating losses due to Hurricane Katrina in 2005. The continuous shipment of sewing machines to the cultural community provided hope and stability to artists in the various African-based art forms of music, masquerade, and processional celebrations. Because of The SMP's generous efforts to the cultural community, many artists were able to recover and are again sharing their beautiful creations in exhibitions around the world."

-Herreast J. Harrison, the Guardians Institute/Donald Harrison Sr. Cultural Museum

"Imbued with grace notes of hope and humility, Margaret Jankowski's Common Threads reveals how one compassionate woman's determination to help others inspired the Sewing Machine Project, a remarkable nonprofit dedicated to empowering people in need with the gift of a sewing machine. Quilters and sewing enthusiasts in particular will be moved by this compelling story of how kindness and generosity can transform lives and strengthen communities."

-Jennifer Chiaverini, New York Times bestselling author of the Elm Creek Quilts novels

"I am delighted that Margaret has written down the story (to date) of The Sewing Machine Project, as I have watched it unfold over many years. What began as one person's compassionate response to suffering has become an ongoing act of faith by many. But at its core is Margaret's trust in the goodness of humanity. The SMP has grown not so much because of a grand plan but through an openness to Spirit by Margaret and a growing community of others with her. It is a story worth documenting and sharing widely as it offers a powerful example of what individuals and small groups can do to make a difference in a world that holds such great need and suffering."

-Reverend Winton Boyd, Center for Courage and Renewal, United Church of Christ

"Margaret Jankowski takes us on a journey that starts with a simple, altruistic idea-the notion that a functioning sewing machine can make a difference in a person's (usually a woman's) life. Since 2005, The Sewing Machine Project has distributed over 4,000 sewing machines to people who need them. Sewers are among the kindest, most generous folks on earth, and it is no wonder that this idea resonates. If you would like proof that one person, one idea, can generate meaningful change, read this wonderful book!"

-Marianne Fons, co-creator of Fons & Porter's Love of Quilting on public television stations nationwide

"The Sewing Machine Project is an amazing ministry of faith. Margaret Jankowski recognized how access to a simple sewing machine could enrich and enhance the lives of women in the U.S. and around the world. She has poured her heart and soul into finding ways to connect communities with the resources they need to be able to start their own sewing ministry. Lives are changed!"

-Pastor Julia Hollister, First Congregational Church