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Following the Thread

Owners of Love it Sew Are Spreading Their Passion and Serving Others in the Process

Writer / Jamie Hergott
Photography Provided

Last fall, a passionate mother-daughter duo opened Love it Sew, a unique quilt shop, right in the center of Hendricks County on U.S. Highway 36 in Avon. The shop serves many capacities, including teaching the community to sew, bringing quilters together, and using the gift of quilting to serve others.

Love it Sew is a space designed to help people learn to create quilts by offering classes, tools, fabrics, threads and services to support the creative process. Classes range from beginner courses to special-project classes on how to use a serger sewing machine.

Darlene Phillips and her daughter, Katie Dynes, have been sewing quilts for years. Phillips’ interest started when her third-grade teacher taught her how to sew. She made her very first baby blanket by hand at the tender age of 8 for her new cousin. Through the years she continued to learn, and eventually passed on that passion to her daughter. One of their first joint ventures was attending a quilt show together when Dynes was in college.

“We really are passionate about helping other people learn how to sew because it is very relaxing once you understand it,” Phillips says.

One aspect Phillips loves about sewing is how it guides people into the creative process.

“Quilts are very artistic,” she says. “You can get a pattern and follow it. You don’t have to do all the creativity yourself.”

Dynes also loves the uniqueness of a handmade quilt.

“It’s not something you can just go grab at a store,” she says. “Every quilt is unique and one of a kind. Everybody can express themselves however they want with each quilt they make.”

One significant way these ladies use Love it Sew to bless the community is by working with local nonprofits that offer blankets to comfort those in need.

One of these nonprofits is Project Linus, a national organization with a two-fold mission. They want to provide love and a sense of security and comfort to ill, traumatized or needy children through handmade quilts lovingly made by volunteer “blanketeers.” The Project Linus team also wants to provide a rewarding and fun service opportunity for individuals who want to make those blankets. Phillips and Dynes asked their friend, Lisa Ramey, if she’d be interested in heading up the Hendricks County chapter, and it turned out to be the perfect fit.

Love it Sew scheduled their first Project Linus sew day in February of 2023. Many people came to help complete or donate quilts. Since then, Love it Sew has donated 52 quilts to Project Linus.

Phillips will never forget one little boy who received a blanket recently. When his blanket was handed to him, his eyes got very big and he said, “Did somebody make this for me?” The presenter was able to tell him, “Yes, honey, they did.” It was a handmade gift for him that he could keep for his very own, and it made an obvious impact on him.

Love it Sew also donated 10 quilts through Project Linus to Avon High School this past May. The school has a stocked cabinet for students who may be in need. Several of the blankets were quickly given to students in need of a comforting quilt, so that they know people care about them and their future.

Blankets provided by Project Linus are also delivered to local emergency rooms, homeless shelters or any other place where a need exists.

Love it Sew also works with Quilts of Valor, a national nonprofit organization that strives to provide comfort and healing to deserving service members and veterans touched by the war. Phillips says the woman who started Quilts of Valor had a son in the service, and had a dream about a soldier coming back from the war distraught. In the dream, someone wrapped a quilt around the soldier to give him comfort. Phillips herself works with many former veterans at her day job at Rolls-Royce.

“They’ve experienced so much, and knowing the product we put out helps men and women in the armed services is our way to somehow give back,” Phillips says. “I am very proud of the quality products provided to military men and women to help them protect our country and the freedoms we enjoy. Many of my coworkers have served in the military. They personally know and understand the pride as well as the struggles that come along with service life. It is in their honor, as well as the members of my family that served our country, that I feel so strongly about providing comfort to active as well as retired service members through the Quilts of Valor Foundation.”

Phillips loves that sewing is a stress reliever that also benefits the community. It’s another reason she loves teaching her passion to others.

“When I’ve had a stressful day, running the fabric under that needle helps me not think about anything,” Phillips says. “When you have someone there to guide you and give you tips, it’s so much easier to get the hang of it. We love teaching people how to make their own quilts.”

One of their most popular classes is a homeschool sewing class for students. Many home-economics subjects have been taken out of public school curriculums, so the need is great.

“Quilts are a special thing,” Phillips says. “They are pretty and works of art, but they also provide comfort. It’s a way to tell someone, ‘I made this for you.’ I want to help people learn how to sew, and create and develop their passion for it.”

Love it Sew is a drop-off point for both Project Linus and Quilts of Valor. Fabrics donated should be high-quality, 100% quilt-weight cotton fabric that is new or like new. It should be free of odors and stains, and unused.

There are several free patterns available for individuals to complete quilts. Patterns are available for single blocks that can be made, collected at the shop and then assembled to make a complete quilt.

Love it Sew schedules workdays for Project Linus and Quilts of Valor throughout the year. To participate in the sew days, sewing skills are not required. Activities include cutting, sewing and ironing. Check loveitsewshop.com for upcoming sew days. The shop is located at 7270 East U.S. Highway 36, Suite 104 in Avon. Also call 463-202-6750 for additional info.

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