Sally Sager, a resident of Sebastian since 2004, offers a complimentary sewing class at the North Indian River County Library every Saturday between 10 a.m. and 12:30 p.m.
“I’ve been sewing since I was 10 years old,” Sager told Sebastian Daily.
An enthusiastic quilter, Sager has been a member of multiple quilting guilds and even showcased her work in quilt exhibitions.
Wishing to share her skills, Sager explained, “I’ve enjoyed showing others how to sew, so I decided to offer some free classes at Operation Hope in Fellsmere in February 2020.”
Her quilt guild members made numerous contributions, including sewing machines and materials. But, the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic halted the sessions.
“So I restarted classes in Fellsmere in September 2023. It was taking place in a warehouse, and there was no climate control. When the weather started to heat up, I knew we needed a more indoor location. I was surprised when the Sebastian library said I could use the large meeting room every Saturday morning,” Sager recounted.
Sager has since sourced most of the sewing necessities, predominantly from her quilting peers.
“In Fellsmere, we only had about four members showing up on a regular basis. At the library location, the response has been much stronger. We’ve had 7 or 8 show up on a regular basis. We took the months of July and August off this summer, and since we’ve returned in September, we’ve had 15 or more each week,” she said.
Sager’s students are diverse, encompassing males, females, and children. “To my surprise, some have been coming continuously ever since the start. They seem to enjoy having others to sew with, even after they learn the basics. It becomes a social event for many of them,” she observed.
Volunteers like Bonnie Rice have stepped in with the class’s increasing popularity. Rice, also a quilter, has been a steadfast contributor since May 2023.
“She is a fellow quilter. She has a good attitude, is an accomplished sewer, and she’s been willing to give up her Saturday mornings for this group. Sometimes, she fills in for me if I can’t be there. She’s good at troubleshooting if a machine is being uncooperative. I don’t know what I’d do without Bonnie,” Sager praised.
Community is evident as all class participants actively assist one another. The library even facilitates storage for the sewing machines while members collaborate in the weekly setup and wrap-up.
“I’m so glad I decided to teach this class and thoroughly enjoy it,” Sager said with a smile.
For further details, one can connect with Sally via her Facebook Page or personally visit the North Indian River County Library (1001 Sebastian Blvd.) on Saturdays between 10 a.m. and 12:30 p.m.