It couldn’t happen to a nicer person


Susan Stewart is hot. Now stop it – you know I don’t mean it that way. Sue’s a big name on the quilt show circuit these days, winning big prizes for her elegant machine-embroidered and -quilted heirloom creations. She’s teaching in Paducah in April. Sue’s been in the news, too, from her hometown paper to the CBS Evening News, for her efforts to gather and distribute handmade first-day-of-school clothes for the children of tornado-devastated Joplin, Missouri.

In magazine land, we work so far in advance that when a story comes out in print it’s almost like seeing it for the first time. That’s how it was for me this morning when I saw the Helping Hands feature (in the brand new February TQL) we wrote about Sue’s charitable effort, Project First Day.

Not only did the article bring me smiles and tears, it brought back memories of August, when I had the pleasure of working on the article. At the time I was reminded of something my grandmother used to say when good things happened to good people: “It couldn’t happen to a nicer person.” Especially when Sue sent me this blast from the past, this picture of her pre-teen self in a back-to-school dress, and said we could share it.

Were you one of the generous people who made one of the 1,400 dresses Sue collected for children in Joplin? We’d love to hear from you.

Jan Magee, The Quilt Life

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Ruth Campbell

I truly enjoyed the Joplin project. Not only did it give me a creative outlet, a chance to “feel good about helping someone”, and cleaned out some of my fabric stash. All those reasons are really good!

Ann Peebles

Sue saw what so many miss – that these children needed something new, something made just for them to warm their spirits and souls as well as their bodies after losing so much. It was a great experience to be able to participate in the Project, one that I will never forget. Thank you, Sue, for making me feel good, too!

Edie Townsend

This was such a wonderful giving project. When I read about it, I jumped in with both feet. As president of the Ft. Lauderdale Chapter of the ASG, I encouraged our membership (300 members) to lend a hand. They went full out and sewed and sewed. We sent 247 outfits to Sue for this project, I was speechless when all the items began arriving for us to bag and box up to send to Sue. I am sure everyone felt just as proud as I did for all the giving that we were able to do. We attached little notes… Read more »

Children’s Corner was so pleased to donate so many patterns to Project First Day. Thank you, Sue for letting us be part of such a loving project.
Lezette Thomason

Susan Lasko

I made 15-16 garments for Sue’s project. It was both rewarding and creative – to make whatever moved me and know it would go to help the Joplin kids! I’d do it again in a heartbeat!

Shirley Ganske

Project First Day was such a treat for me and a couple of friends who knew Susan from the Martha Pullen School. We truly got into the spirit of it knowing that we were sewing for kids who would truly appreciate it. We got so much out of the experience that we have begun to investigate other opportunities for charity sewing. It couldn’t have been more rewarding. I wonder how Susan gets it all done with the beautiful projects she creates, the shows she wins and the classes she teaches. It’s a blessing to know her.

When I found out about Project First Day it spoke volumes to me. It was not only going to offer those wonderful children a new garment for the first day of school, but it would offer us an opportunity to make beautiful garments for them. I started spreading the word that The Sewing Tree and the NH Chapter of the American Sewing Guild would offer a community sewing event to benefit Project First Day. The response was wonderful, we shipped dozens of beautiful garments. But, the best, was how much each of us enjoyed creating them. Thank you Sue for… Read more »

Marvin & Gloria Meyer

We are very proud of our daughter. Mom & Dad

Ives Ort

This is one of the most rewarding projects I have ever participated in. It brought back so many memories of sewing for my girls and their “first day of school” dresses. Each day as I sewed just two dresses I could visualize some girl smiling and standing a bit taller while having a custom made dress that was hers. I feel very blessed to have been asked to be a part of this event. Thank you Sue.

Carol Barringer

I got involved through the effort to include the boys as well as the girls. While I just made three boys’ shirts, it was at a low time for me and it was just what I needed to perk me up!

Kathleen Ulinski

I loved making seven dresses with matching embellished socks and pony tail buttons. I was thrilled that the tv coverage included a girl wearing one of my dresses!

Michelle Smith

I was able to find a bit of time in my already busy days as a mom of 3 to make 2 tshirts for boys, since it seemed like the focus was more towards girl clothes. I have 2 boys of my own and decided to make a shirt in each of their corresponding sizes for another boy their age. They thought it was nice that Mama was making clothes for someone else’s boys.