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Sewing Hope Inside Prison

How HeartBound's quilting program is changing lives.

People come to us with ideas all the time – our job is to filter out the good from the not so good. Take for example, a bad idea: hypnotherapy for incarcerated individuals. I don’t know the science or effectiveness of hypnotherapy, but I do know that idea ain’t gonna fly with the Department of Corrections. 😊 And then sometimes we’re presented with ideas that I don’t understand. One example: quilting. I’m a 27-year-old guy who has never quilted in my life. I don’t know what sort of difference a quarter inch seam makes, in fact, I don’t even know what “quarter inch seam” means. But I do know when I hear one of our quilting students at the Metro Transitional Center talking about how proud she is of her quarter inch seams, we’ve made a difference. On September 14, HeartBound staff travelled to the Oglethorpe University Museum of Art to meet “The Ladies of Sew Beautiful.” Six students, as well as their four instructors, were at Oglethorpe that day to see their first-ever quilt on display (pictured above) at the Museum. For the past few months, the students have been learning how to quilt. When Lucy presented us with the idea, we simply said, “Sure,” because Lucy knows how to make great things happen as proven by her brilliant idea, Art From The Inside. Little did I know how much of an impact this simple quilting class is having on these women. As the students wandered around the museum, looking at their quilt, as well as art from this year’s Art From The Inside show, I kept thinking, “How cool is this? These women don’t get access to art while incarcerated. They don’t get to walk around a beautiful gallery and learn about art and history.” Something we take for granted – visiting a museum – was a profound experience for them. Many hadn’t been to a museum or gallery in years, and I suspect that for some of our incarcerated learners, this was their first ever visit. Soon enough, the ladies were met with a great surprise. Oglethorpe’s President, Dr. Kathryn McClymond, was on hand to see their quilt for herself. Dr. McClymond stood before the class and expressed her appreciation for their visit: “As a quilter myself, I know just how therapeutic quilting is. We are honored to have you all here today and thank you for your contribution to this year’s show.” Incarcerated women, now honored guests! That’s the power of these programs. Dr. McClymond spoke about how quilting gave her an opportunity to make a homemade gift for a loved one and how important that was to her. It was then that I learned our students are now making quilts for their own families this Christmas. All while being mentored each week by women who love them and love the Lord. I mean, come on, how cool is that?! The Ladies of Sew Beautiful’s next quilt will be up for auction at this year’s Songs in the Night event on November 30th. We hope you can join us to see their work. VIP tables, which include an exclusive gift and up-front seating, are $1,200 and individual tickets are $75. You can purchase your tickets today by visiting We hope to see you there! Thanks for supporting the ladies of the Sew Beautiful program. You are sowing God’s love into them with each and every class.

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