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Library crafters stitch hand-warmers

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By Amelia Tarallo
Hometown Weekly Staff

Using a sewing machine for the first time can be as intimidating as driving a car. They’re loud. They require a lot of focus to properly use. They’re controlled by a pedal that, if pressed too hard, will destroy the project (or some fingers).

But for crafters who visit the Medfield Library, the sewing machine has become as easy as driving is for a seasoned trucker. On Tuesday, January 14, visitors to the library made hand-warmers out of fabric and rice.

Crafters began their project by picking out the fabric for their hand-warmers. With such a variety of fabrics, no two looked alike. After careful measurements and deciding on a shape for their creations, crafters were ready to face the sewing machine.

The sound of the fluttering sewing machine filled the room as crafters carefully stitched together the pieces of fabric, leaving a gap to insert the rice. “It’s easy once you get a handle on it,” commented one crafter as she rotated her first hand-warmer to start sewing the next side.

As serious as crafting can be, the hand-warmer crafters filled the room with laughter and fun. One crafter burst into laughter when she realized she’d forgotten to leave a seam open. A couple crafters couldn’t stop laughing as they tried to get rice into the newly made hand warmer, only to lift the funnel a tad and have all of the grain overflow into the fabric.

Though the project isn’t complicated by any means, it does appear to have encouraged participants to use the sewing machine in the future, successfully fulfilling the hopes of Adult Services and Programming Librarian Bri Ozanne. “When we do sewing machine classes, I like to keep the projects fairly simple, because the truth is that using a sewing machine is really easy, but people are intimidated by it,” said Ozanne. “Once they successfully complete a project with me at the library, I hope folks will feel empowered to come use the machine we keep set up in the library Makerspace, or to check one out from our Unusual Items Collection to take home.”

At the end of the crafting session, each participant was able to return home with two hand-warmers - perfect for those bone-chilling days when the cold seems to seep through gloves and mittens. These hand-warmers not only keep their owners warm, but their adoration of sewing alive and well.

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