June 14, 2024

The secret is out!  GRASG is the place to be!  There were 10 new smiling faces; some new members, some visitors and a couple of our Kzoo members who came to GR to join us in person.  We had a brief, but ‘loaded with information’ business meeting that featured Service Projects, Fall Retreat, August Picnic, the September Garage Sale at Fulton Street Market, the National ‘Sew Sustainable Scrappy Challenge,’ our own local sewing challenge due at Retreat, the latest Library update and the 4H Beginner’s Sewing Class.  AND…We topped our goal with 575 pair of socks to donate to In-the-Image for their  Back-to-School Sock Give away.   Whew!  That’s a lot going on.


The speaker, Meagan Williams, intrigued us with her extensive knowledge and love for cyanotype dying and even brought pretreated fabric squares for us try at home.  Her dress was an outstanding example of how beautiful and varied cyanotype dying can be.  It is truly a work of art!  Her shop, Adventure Textiles, is in the Diamond, Cherry area.  Thank you, Meagan.

Show & Tell is always an adventure.  Check out the pics on our Photos page.

May 29, 2024

The May meeting was full of juxta positional contrasts: A grandmother, Sheryl Miller, and her granddaughter showing 2 very different styles of sewing. Sheryl, owner of Miller Bridal, is a traditional sewist using her impeccable skills to create one-of-a-kind bridal gowns. She has frequently showcased her work in the Newago and Fremont Bridal Shows.  She could create any dress she envisioned without worrying about a bride. She even used the bodice of one dress and designed a whole new skirt for a completely different look.

 Her granddaughter, on the other hand, who was taught by Sheryl, uses her sewing to destruct and upcycle garments into an entirely new vision. Evidently, the more holes, cuts, and ravels, the better it is! She has an Etsy Shop called Koi Fish Fashion Design. She even sold a custom pair of jeans for $500. Way to go!


As an added bonus, Esther Carlson demonstrated a quick way to fix a broken zipper. When she was in high school working as a tailor’s assistant, she learned this technique as she did alterations on men’s and women’s suits. Thank you, Esther for sharing!

Show & Tell photos are on the photos page.

May 21, 2024

GRASG's Sock Drive for In-the-Image's Back-to-School Shoe Giveaway is in full swing. As of the May meeting, we have collected 220 pair of socks. Our goal is 500. So...add socks to your shopping list. We need all socks by the June meeting to give them time to sort.


Times a wasting!!!!! Let's go above and beyond our goal.

May 8, 2024

Join us next week, Tuesday, May 14, 2024, as Sheryl, from Miller Bridal in Newaygo County, will tell us redesign stories from the alteration room and show us how she pinches out alterations in bridal wear.  As an extra bonus, we are hoping her granddaughter, Meghan, will tell us about her Etsy shop.  If you are a visitor, check out our website for time and location.  We’d love to have you visit us.



In addition to our speaker, Barb Marconi, retired KDL librarian, will show us some new books she recently acquired for our GRASG library.  She will also display, as real librarians do, some special books she chose from our collection that highlight skills and topics of interest that relate to things presented by our speaker.  Barb is in the process of updating our library collection and inventory list to include contemporary books of interest and books that have not been cataloged yet, and weeding out some of the dated pieces.  If you love old sewing books, this is your day!  The older sewing books will be on the sale table for 25 and 50 cents.  Now, how can you beat that?


Other important things happening at the meeting include:

  • Reminder to bring your sock donations for the In-the-Image Fall Shoe Giveaway.  Deadline is approaching fast.
  • Mark your calendar now for the GRASG Sewing Retreat in Shipshewana, October 17-20.  Registration will begin soon.

April 10, 2024

The April 2024 GRASG meeting was fantastic!  Rita started out explaining that tech goals for the chapter now include live streaming on Zoom for those who cannot drive the distance to attend in-person meetings.  The collaboration with Dawn, Ingrid and Tammie made it all happen!  A few technical difficulties were quickly resolved and the meeting continued.  Way to go, Ladies!!!


The speaker, Jill McCloy, came to us via a live streaming zoom connection because of date misunderstanding.  Her presentation on sewing machine feet was excellent.  Sewing machine feet might be described in a user manual, but nothing like all the detail that Jill shared about these feet that make our everyday tasks look so professional.  The quarter inch foot and the blind hem feet both have guides that help feed fabric evenly and result in very straight stitching lines for hems, quarter inch seams, topstitching, tucks and other uses, (way more ideas that what is in user guide.)  Nineteen people registered for an all-day workshop to learn the specifics of numerous feet.  What a wealth of knowledge!



Show and Tell items were very interesting, but the most impressive were service project quilts made with scraps and a creativity way beyond ‘just-another-service-project-quilt’ to be donated to Sleep in Heavenly Peace.  Check out the Photos link above for more pics.

April 4, 2024

Can you Name all of these Feet?

Check below to see how you can become more foot savvy.


GRASG has all kinds of EVENTS coming up. Check them out.


Tuesday, April 9 at 6:30 pm is the CHAPTER MEETING at Northview Senior Center. The speaker, Jill McCloy, will talk to us about sewing machine feet.


The annual SOCK DRIVE will begin at this meeting as we provide socks for the ‘In the Image’ Back to School Shoe Giveaway. So BRING those socks for the benefit. Sock deadline is the June meeting.


Wednesday, April 10 9am to 3pm, at St Paul Lutheran Church, 8436 Kraft in Caledonia, Jill McCloy will lead an all day WORKSHOP called FEET FEATS, where participants will learn all kinds of cool things to do with their sewing machine feet. There are a few spots left, so hurry to the website and get your tickets and supply list.


Friday, April 12, 9am to 3pm PAWS WITH A CAUSE SEW-IN at 4646 Division, Wayland MI.


Three NEIGHBORHOOD GROUP MEETINGS are scheduled for the rest of April as well. Check out the GRASG calendar for times and places and agendas. https://www.grasg.org/calendar/



March 13, 2024

The March fascinator meeting was a big hit!  After 3 months of holidays and zoom meetings, it was so exciting to meet with GRASG friends in person again.  After a brief business meeting, we sat together, talked and made fascinators.  What a fun time! We had great Show ‘n Tell and a wonderful social time.  There are pictures on the Photos tab on this website.  Check them out.


March 6, 2024

Set your GPS to Northview Sr. Center

5255 Grand River Dr NE,

Grand Rapids, MI 49525 

Tuesday, March 12th at 6:30 p.m.

6:30 Social Time

7:00 Meeting

7:15 Fantastic Fascinator Fun! 

After a long winter's absence, this should be a fun and very social event!


Tuesday, March 12, we will each make a Fantastic Fascinator!

Check the GRASG Calendar page for what to bring for the fascinator.



Neighborhood Meetings and Service Sew-ins.



February 13, 2024

The February 2024 Chapter meeting was definitely second best to meeting in person for a really fun evening.. The social time was spent introducing and welcoming new members and guests. The short business meeting referred to plans for the upcoming year. Rita, the president, referred everyone to the online calendar, loaded with info about GRASG’s 2024 plans and dates. Some discussion followed about service project possibilities and even an offer to run a make & take workshop at the Fulton Street Sunday craft market.
The speaker, Sue from Baabaazuzu, gave a fascinating presentation about the upcycle business she started about 30 years ago, when a wool sweater got shrunk to felt in a laundry ‘accident’. It was the ah-ha moment that started her upcycled wool products business that began in Leelenaw and now sells to Amazon, Etsy, boutique shops and even Horrocks. She started with mismatched mittens, her signature, and expanded as customers asked for fingerless gloves, men’s items, hats, bags and more. She explained the process from ordering used wool sweaters, washing them in 180 degree temperature water, to rotary cutting and sorting the pieces by color, weight and suitability. We saw the equipment, the stock, patterns and some finished samples. What an intriguing night! Thanks Sue!

February 8, 2024

The newly formed Planning Committee has been busy setting up all kinds of fun and educational events and/or speakers for the coming year.  

February Meeting:  

February 13, 2024 on ZOOM,  Susan Burns will tell us about her Upcycling Business.  Zoom links will be emailed to current members on Monday.  Interested non-members who would like to visit can email gridamonette@gmail.com  requesting a zoom link to join us.

March Meeting:

March 12, 2024 at the Senior Center, we will be getting together for an extended Show & Tell (bring your winter projects (one or two per person) but the highlight will be the FUN FASCINATORs Project.  Check the calendar for all the details.  You won't want to miss the fun night!

April Meeting:

April 9, 2024 at the Senior Center,  Jill McCloy will present about all those mysterious feet that came with your machine.  


April 10, 2024 is an all day workshop with Jill McCloy where we will learn techniques for our feet and then apply those newly learned techniques on a project.  

January 9, 2024


What a great way to start off the new year.  The new president, Rita, started off with a simple trial/lesson on using Chat in Zoom.  Those little tips along the way will help us improve our skills in the long run.


Our speaker Devin, from Kai Scissors, was fascinating!  He brought up little things that the average sewist may not have previously thought of. 

·       He spoke about the leftie scissors with leftie blades and why that could be a disadvantage. 

·       He mentioned the purpose of curved blades and different shaped handles. 

·       He also discussed pinking and serrated scissors. 

·       He mentioned that polar fleece is a plastic fabric and will dull blades more quickly, just like paper will. 

·       He mentioned how to take care of your scissors to keep them sharper longer.

·       He even showed us a pair of scissors with a lazer engraved blade, which is a little extra that is available for free when you order Kai scissors online or send your Kai scissors in to Kai for sharpening.


So… Check out the Kai website at https://kaiscissors.com/.


To send your Kai scissors to be sharpened for $10, email: kaiscissors@gmail.com for the form and instructions on how to send your scissors. And…if you would like your blade lazer engraved, just ask!  They aim to please.

December 16, 2023


GRASG has recently added Sleep in Heavenly Peace to their Service Project (SIHP) list.  By partnering with SIHP, children without a bed are given their own bed, and warm bedding to snuggle up in.  SIHP provides the beds; we provide some bedding. (See our Photos tab for some pictures.) This December, GRASG has donated 11 quilts, 12 blankets, 4 sheet sets and 21 pillow cases.  Added to that, the Faith Lutheran quilters, where the NE Neighborhood group meets, has decided to join our efforts and add 8 quilts to our donation.  (What wonderful partnerships we make along our way!)  Thanks Faith Lutheran ladies and our own members who so generously donated to the cause.  But wait!!! We are not done.  When these donations were dropped off, we were told that SIHP had received requests for another 150 beds just last week.  So…QUILT AWAY!!!!  There is a real need out there just waiting for the fruits of our talents.  And…by the way, if you are a quilter with extra new never-used quilts that you would like to share, why wait?  Check out the SIHP website ( http://shpbeds.org )  for a location near you that would love to help reduce your quilt stash.  



Beginning in January 2024, the Battle Creek and Kalamazoo Neighborhood groups will merge.  That means there will no longer be meetings at St. Ambrose or Westlake Presbyterian Church.  The new meeting spot will be in the Galesburg area at the Congregational Church of Galesburg.  Whitney Brown, the pastor at Galesburg Congregational Church was extremely welcoming.  This space is available for as much time as we want on the 4th Monday of each month.  The kitchen is ours to use.  The room will readily accommodate sewing, cutting, and crafting projects.  Storage space might be available if we need it.


The first meeting as the Southwest Michigan Neighborhood Group will be Monday, January 22nd, 1:00 pm, at the Galesburg Congregational Church, 22 S. Church Street, Galesburg, MI Access to the parking lot is slightly southwest of the church on Battle Creek Street.  We will enter through the door marked "Office".  The meeting room is straight ahead.  January has traditionally been Battle Creek's planning meeting for the new year.  We will continue that tradition. If you have questions regarding the meeting's location or access to the church, feel free to contact Brenda Petrow.  Brenda and Joann Hyde are the leaders.


Nov. 15, 2023

MEETING  Nov. 14, 2023

What a great ending to take our chapter from 2023 to next year. Nancy, our outgoing president, gave the STATE OF THE CHAPTER REPORT.  It was fascinating listening to and reminiscing all of the wonderful projects, meetings and events we celebrated in 2023.  We certainly made up for the covid doldrums.  If you are curious about all of the great things we did, check out our calendar on this website.


After the report, Tammie Pontsler gave a very energetic presentation about TISSUE FITTING PATTERNS.  She presented samples of what we don't want to see in a garment and then what a nicely fitted similar garment looks like.  She showed us the tissue pattern with all of the adjustments and mentioned some of the steps to get it there.  The members were mesmerized.  When Tammie thought she was running out of time, members in the audience said they wanted to hear more.  Way to go Tammie!  We enjoyed your presentation immensely and look forward to your sharing more with us later!



Nine members braved the cold warehouse at the DeltaPlex green building to wrap gifts for Santa Claus Girls.  It was ever so rewarding as they are short on help and it is always fun to think of the faces of the kids on Christmas morning.  Go to the photos tab to see some of our volunteers in action.



The active Battle Creek Neighborhood Group took a field trip to the Novi's Sewing and Quilting Expo on Thursday, Nov. 9.  Some of the Grand Rapids members went independently with friends from the guild.  great fun was had. 



If you missed it before, our monthly Paws service project will happen again soon.  Check the calendar for future dates. Be sure to contact Pam Smith to tell her you are coming.  Because of the popularity of this project, scheduling may be necessary to limit the number of helpers at sessions.  The location is 4646 Division, Wayland MI.  We look forward to seeing you and having you participate in such a great cause. 

Shipshewana Retreat 2023

2023 Shipshewana RETREAT

 Shopping and Sewing, Learning and Sharing, Meeting and Eating pretty much sums up the fantastic weekend GRASG members spent in Shipshewana.  But wait…being with each other for four days and getting to know each other better, made the weekend super!  Newcomers to retreat were blown away with the camaraderie and friendship.  They could not believe the skill and knowledge shared during our very special time together.  That is one of the best kept secrets around. to see more retreat photos click the Photos tab.

Charlotte Road Trip

Road Trip!!!

 GRASG’s Battle Creek Neighborhood Group took to the road to visit a Charlotte member’s machine knitting studio.  With little idea what to expect, we were simply blown away!  Shirley’s studio was filled with yarn, patterns, garments, samples.  It simply spoke creativity and passion!  She designed patterns and sold knitted articles commercially for many years.  Now she gravitates to her knitting studio for pure pleasure, sharing her talent with friends and family.  Now, if we can just talk Shirley into doing a trunk show in Grand Rapids…

October 12, 2023

September 27, 2023 the ladies from the Kalamazoo neighborhood and one member from GR met to make fascinators, a fancy headpiece.  The end results were very striking.  


October is shaping up to be a very busy month.  


October 7, 2023 was our first Fashion Show in many years.  Almost 100 people attend the event and were intrigued with many entries including coats, dresses, wedding dresses, doll and vintage displays, and upcycled jeans jackets.  Prizes were great with many gift certificates for entertainment as well as to fabric stores.  Check out the photos tab on this website to see pictures of the many beautiful entries.


October 10.2023, at the October Chapter meeting, we elected a president, secretary and treasurer for next year.  Rita (President), Ingrid (Secretary) and Sarabeth (Treasurer).


The October speakers were ladies from Smith Owen who showed us how to assemble and use a Ditto pattern projection machine.  

October 6, 2023


Seven people carpooled to Conscious Clothing to see how the whole operation comes together to produce soft sustainable, organic clothing, made right here in Michigan.  Arriving at a beautiful hidden spot, Liz DeBraber welcomed us with a smile that radiated the happiness of the people that work there.  The first things we saw after the windows with a beautiful woodsy environment outside, were the huge cutting tables.  Hannah was laying out twenty yards of fabric to cut and be folded into sewing bundles. 

As we progressed through the large workroom, we met several ladies that were sewing.  The workstations were set up for maximum efficiency, with a straight stitch industrial machine, a serger and a worktable to layout a garment. The background window columns displayed pegboards full of beautiful colors of cone threads.  

A photo shoot was scheduled for the time we were there, so Hannah quickly switched from her work clothes to model one of the season’s casual but elegant paprika dresses.   Moving on we saw racks of lovely clothing of various sizes and colors, waiting for orders to be shipped.  We even saw the laundry room where all fabrics are prewashed and then pressed on a huge ironing machine.  Sustainability shines there even in the scraps that are carefully placed into makers boxes just waiting for the right sewist to create a work of art. 

It certainly was a happy fun place to visit.


Lunch followed at the Peppermill restaurant in Rockford.  It was so nice to enjoy the company of like-minded sewists who are true sewing friends. A fun time was had by all.

September 15, 2023


Fashion Show is almost here and tickets are going fast.  This exciting event is shaping up to be one of a kind you won't want to miss.  We have unique entries and displays, are serving light refreshments, and there are door prizes and over $1400 in raffle prizes.  Bring your checkbook or cash to enter the raffles.  scroll down to see more about Fashion Show.

     WHEN:  October 7, 2023, 1:00-3:30.  Doors Open at 12:30

     WHERE:  Whistle Stop Byron Township Community Center,  2120 76th st. Byron Center MI

     HOW:  Buy Tickets online. ( https://www.grasg.org/special-events )Non-Members $30, Members $25

We hope to see you there!


CONSCIOUS CLOTHING - An Eco Friendly, made-in-America, sustainable, clothing manufacturer and distributer.

On Tuesday, September 12, 2023, Liz DeBraber from Conscious Clothing presented the history and purpose of Conscious Clothing.  Their emphasis is to make and sell all natural plant based clothing without toxic ingredients.  They grow their own colored cotton and seek out the best organic linen for their clothing line.  being the high quality they demand, the fabrics are soft and wrinkle less.  She had many tips along the way like always prewashing fabrics with vinegar before cutting with weights and a rotary cutter.  They have their own very talented patternmaker, who creates and tests her designs on employees.  The employees  often second as models and come in all shapes and sizes, perfect for testing the real fit of their patterns.  Their clothing line is basic but timeless and fascinating.  Their patterns are graded to go all the way from junior small to 4X.  A great fit for almost everyone.  What an intresting and eye opening evening.  

A field trip to the Conscious Clothing Studio is planned for October 4.  Check the GRASG calendar for details.  www.grasg.org/calendar


Fall, 2023

GRASG is making up for lost time during COVID.  Coming on stronger than ever, our fall 2023 was great!


September 12 at the chapter meeting, Liz DeBraber told us all about eco friendly fashion made in Michigan.  This is a really cool story. 


September 18, is another Community Service day at Paws with a Cause.  You gotta love those dog vests we are making for a wonderful purpose.


October 4, we took a field trip to Conscious Clothing's studio in Belmont for a tour.  After the tour, we had lunch at the Peppermill Grill in Rockford.


October 7, a fantastic Fashion Show thrilled us with vintage and new fashions accompanied by other delightful surprises as well.  Raffle baskets were filled with prizes galore. 


Not to mention Neighborhood groups that meet monthly in Battle Creek, Kalamazoo and Grand Rapids areas and our annual Santa Claus Girls service project.   Stay tuned on that one.


For more details on any of these events, visit the calendar and click on the event.   www.grasg.org/calendar

August 9, 2023


A wonderful picnic was held in Hastings to accommodate members from all over the region.  The day started with Community Sewing for cancer patients.  Over 100 chemo caps were made.  The sock drive for "In the Image" was a huge success.   In all we made two deliveries with 526 pair of socks. (Woo Hoo!) Reservations for the Shipshewana Retreat were solidified and paid for and tickets were sold for the October Fashion Show. 


Potluck time was no disapointment with many many different dishes to choose from.  The day was wrapped up with a Tomato Pin Cushion craft led by Debra Schaap. 


Picnic kicks off another year for sewing friends to gather for fun, friendship and learning. 

June 24,2023


THE Grand Rapids Chapter of American Sewing Guild has slowed down activity for the summer.  Well, Almost.  Behind the scenes, things are still going on, but our chapter meetings have recessed for the summer.  In the meantime, committees are still busy working on the October Fashion Show and the August Picnic.  Neighborhood groups in the Kalamazoo/Battle Creek area are still meeting to sew.  Without winter driving and with longer daylight hours, a field trip to one of the Neighborhood groups south of GR might be a fun adventure.  And…you would get to meet some of our sister members before picnic.  Here is the lineup of events that are still on the calendar.  If you choose a field trip to the Kzoo/BC area, you might want to call ahead to the leader of the Neighborhood group just to be sure that things have not changed.  Info is in the calendar on the GRASG website.


Monday, June 26,2023, 1:00PM - Battle Creek Neighborhood Meeting at Westlake Presbyterian – Serger Exploration

Wednesday, June 28, 2023, 6:30 PM – Kalamazoo Neighborhood Meeting at St. Ambrose

Monday, July 17, 2023 1:00 PM – West MI (Kzoo) Garment group.  Call Nan for location & updates

Monday, July 28, 2023, 1:00 PM Battle Creek Neighborhood Meeting

Tuesday, August 8, 2023 PICNIC – Hastings 1st Presbyterian Church, 405 M-37.   

(This location is between Kzoo/BC and GR, so we are hoping for a great turnout, where we can meet

new friends from our extended chapter area.) 


June Speakers - Kris Curtis & Kay Solsbury - VINTAGE LINENS
Chris and Kay each have a personal story about when vintage linens became a collector’s item for them. But their interest really began in their childhood when they learned to hand embroider. Their presentation and display were fascinating as they brought back many memories of an era gone by. Many pieces in their collections, found in thrift stores, originally were purchased in dime stores long ago, where blanks with embroidery stamped transfers were commonplace, then lovingly hand embroidered. They walked us through every room displaying every kind of linens that could possibly be found throughout the house. Popular themes like flower baskets, patriotism, peacocks, sunbonnet baby and Scottie dogs dated the items from finger towels, baby kimonos, cutwork, crochet dresser scarves, laundry bags and even a dustcap. The last item in their presentation was imagined to be a prank gift at a 1940’s bridal shower, where an apron was crafted into the shape of men’s boxer shorts and even had an open fly. Guess what was inside.


May 18, 2023

MAY SPEAKER - Lauri Faulkner

The GRASG Chapter Meeting for May had another awesome speaker. Lori Faulkner, International teacher of the year and Professor and Chair at the Kendal School of Design, told us about the fantastic program at the school of design she put into place and still leads today. She started out by explaining the process of each student that attends the school, starting with mood boards. She talked about patternmaking, the Studio lab, the standards in the fashion industry, the community involvement with various Civic organizations in and out of Grand Rapids, the international student trips and the exposure students have to the world out there that need and use the skills they are learning. By the time students graduate, they have created their own fashion lines, traveled to some fantastic garment and textile regions and have some idea about how and where they want to use their new skills, in a large industry or a small shop. All in all, ASG members were very interested in auditing the phenominal classes and events the students experience along their journey to become fashion designers. Thank you Lori for the wonderful eye-opener. We LOVED your presentation and look forward to the next time we meet, at the GRASG Fall Fashion Show.



At our April meeting it became abundantly clear that many of our members would miss the May meeting.  It seems that traveling...and family...and many other things...would mean low attendance.  We couldn't even come up with a topic for May.  Therefore, we are cancelling our May 22nd meeting. 

We will meet again on June 26th.  The topic will be Serger Exploration.  This will be a hands' on meeting.

April 5, 2023

GRASG committees have stepped up the pace since Covid has released its grip.  Many exciting things are in the works for this month and months to come.  Always check the GRASG calendar (tab on this website) for the latest updates.  Hovering over a date will give details in more depth.


Here's what's in the works:

  • Tuesday, April 11, Erin Milbrook will share her presentation at the Northview Senior Center about the Underground Quilts story  Come at 6:30 for social time.   
  • Monday, April 17, at 1:00 pm, the Kalamazoo Garment Group will Meet at Nan Windsor's house. Brainstorming, a.k.a. problem-solving, is the primary activity. So bring your current project to share, or a recently completed one. Questions are always welcome. Call Nancy with questions.  Please RSVP if you plan to attend.
  • Tuesday, April 18, at 6pm, the NE Neighborhood Evening Group meets at the Senior Center.   Bring whatever project you are working on. 
  • Monday, April 24, at 1 pm, the Battle Creek Neighborhood Group meets at Westlake Presbyterian Church to bring a closure to the Safe Sleeper Community Service project.
  • Wednesday, April 26 at 6:30 pm the Kalamazoo Neighborhood Meeting will be held at St. Ambrose Catholic Church.
  • Monday, May 1 at 10 am the  GR NE Neighborhood group will meet at Faith Lutheran Church.  Bring a lunch and $1 and whatever project you are working on.  This group has several focuses; quilting, fitting, and lots of sharing.  New faces are always welcome.

AND as if that wasn't enough...APRIL is National SERGER MONTH.  Battle Creek Neighborhood is planning a Serger Exploration Meeting in May. Check the calendar on this website for more info.


PICNIC on August 8 is in need of planners.   We are looking for a site between GR and Kzoo/BC to be accessible for all chapter members to come together.  If you have any ideas, please contact Nancy Walenta or any CAB member.  


Not far behind, is the GRASG FASHION SHOW on October 7 at 1:00 pm at the Whistle Stop Byron Township Community Center. The planning committee is working overtime to make this a very special, memorable event.  Tickets will be $25 for members, $30 for non members.  Members can reserve a table for 8 for $200.


RETREAT in Shipshewana is scheduled for October 19-22.  Stay tuned for more info.


As always, visitors are welcome anytime to attend any two meetings free before joining to see if GRASG is a good fit for them.  We have so much variety.  There is something for everyone.


So there you have it friends.  We are sewing strong!

March 13, 2023

Almost 30 people joined Zoom for another great speaker and topic for the GRASG March chapter meeting.  Darlene, owner of Custom Lingerie in Wisconsin, had a LOT to share.  Bra fit with comfortable support was the most important thing she emphasized.  She shared her line of patterns with different designs, each with unique features to accommodate various shapes and needs.  The flexibility of those patterns was fascinating and ranged from sports bra, to front clasp or zipper, to ‘small ribs-large cup’ and flexibility for mastectomy and even nursing bras.  The questions that followed were as interesting as the original topic and showed the need for various accommodations.


Show and tell ranged from a mystery quilt, to Marsman messenger bag, Southwest American Indian banner, handmade tomato pin cushions for the TAG event coming up soon, a timely Celtic knot table runner to an upcycled wool sweater and even a bra made by one of the members.   


What a fun and informative meeting!  I don’t think we have heard the end of that topic.

FEBRUARY 19, 2023


The Garment Group is reminding everyone that sewing is no longer a solitary pastime! Especially when you are trying to fit a garment, extra hands and eyes can be VERY helpful! No wonder quilting is so popular - no peculiar body curves to maneuver.

Whatever type of garment you are working on - casual or fancy - the Garment Group gives assistance AND moral support. Given the famous Michigan winter weather, the February meetings are weather dependent but we are looking forward to Monday, February 20th. This gathering will be at Rosie SIllars’ home. 1:00 p.m. - 3:00 is the time, but if you want, any part of that time is fine. We all understand busy schedules.  Everyone is welcome - even if you are not currently/actively making a garment. All ideas are valuable!

Mark your calendars for the third Monday of each month, and feel free to call Nan Windsor for updates and any questions (269-365-0984).

February 13, 2023


We've come a long way, and now it's time for us to prepare for the future.

Based on the results of the recent survey, the Kalamazoo Neighborhood Group of the Grand Rapids American Sewing Guild chapter will meet on the 4th Wednesday of the month.  The first meeting will be held on Wednesday, February 22nd, 6:30 PM, at St. Ambrose Catholic Church Parish Activity Center.

JoAnn Hyde agreed to be the informal leader of the KNG.  However, she is in sunny Arizona until March.  Cheryl Knapp will lead the February meeting.  Results of the survey, planning for 2023 meeting topics, what to do about refreshments (remember...we no longer have a treasury to cover this expense), and anything else you want to talk about are on the agenda.

See you in February...the 21st! (Date changed because location is NOT availabe on regular meeting day.)

February 8, 2023

Mary Ray, former instructor at Appalachian University in Boone, NC and former Associate and Contributing Editor of Threads Magazine will be interviewed and give her perspective on Sustainability in the Textile industry.  This interesting timely topic is only one reason why you will want to be at the February 14, Chapter ZOOM meeting at 6:30 PM.



At the recent NE GR Neighborhood meeting, where quilters and garmenteers were working busily on their personal projects, there was buzzing and planning going on between members of the Fashion Show Committee.  The next evening, the CAB meeting was blooming with new and fun ways to share the love of sewing with our ASG friends.  Join the ZOOM meeting to hear all about the new ideas.

January 24, 2023

The Battle Creek Neighborhood group met to plan the first half of 2023.  Their meeting activities are all posted on the GRASG calendar.  Take a peek at the calendar to see some of the fun things coming up.  They meet on the fourth Monday of each month. Time and location are on the calendar.  Just click the calendar tab above.


Safe Sleepers story


For years the Kalamazoo chapter has stitched Safe Sleepers for Grace Health in Battle Creek.  Safe Sleepers are essentially a fleece or flannel sleeping bag that promotes safe sleeping…no blankets.  Both Battle Creek and Kalamazoo members embraced the project.  However, as membership has diminished and members have grown older, it has become more difficult to achieve the goal of 200-250 sleepers annually.  We have some remaining fabric…we’re going to cut it, stitch it, and give the sleepers to Grace.  It will mark the end of this long-term project.

January 18, 2023

For GRASG, the New Year has begun with a jump start!

  • The Monday morning NE Neighborhood Group met to work on their projects for 2023.  Fittings, quilts, and discussions about some new events for the year kept the room buzzing. 
  • (Second Tuesday evening,) at the CHAPTER meeting, some of the new chapter members from the former Kalamazoo chapter, participated in the Zoom meeting featuring Angela Wolf.  Angela literally blew us off our feet with a wonderful presentation.  Her focus on jackets and embroidery mesmerized us all.  Stories, beautiful samples and tips on how to polish a garment kept our attention. We could have listened almost all night.  Everyone was inspired and ready to kick off 2023 with more ideas than we know what to do with.   
  • The (third) Tuesday Evening Neighborhood group saw seven ladies bring various projects to the Plainfield Senior Center.  Consulting with each other was the main activity.  How to use a certain fabric for a coat was a topic that drew attention.  Several people were cutting out a new project and one was knitting.  So…While the stated focus of this group is fitting, it really has to do with ‘getting together’ to discuss the sewing topics of the day.  
  • The Battle Creek Neighborhood group, that meets the fourth Monday, has yet to meet under the GRASG umbrella.  Hopefully, we will have something to report after that date.    
  •  The Kalamazoo Neighborhood group, that meets the second Tuesday of even numbered months, is voting to consider a different time to meet so they will be free to attend GRASG Chapter meetings that on the second Tuesday if they choose.  Stay tuned for more about that later. 






At any rate, GRASG is off to a great start for 2023!  We are certainly making up for lost time with Covid.   YAY!

January 4, 2023

Welcome to incoming members from the former Kalamazoo ASG Chapter. We look forward to expanding and meeting new sewing friends.  Since the distance can be difficult for former Kalamazoo members to travel for Chapter meetings in Grand Rapids, they plan to meet in their established Neighborhood groups.  However, Grand Rapids is happy to welcome them to Chapter meetings (especially our Zoom meetings), CAB meetings, special events , field trips and retreats.  Grand Rapids members are also welcome to attend Kalamazoo and Battle Creek Neighborhood meetings too.  

November 15, 2022

It has been a busy fall 2022 for GRASG.


A whole album of photos were collected from these events. A few are posted here, but the rest can be seen on the photos tab of this website.


November 15 - November’s Chapter meeting 

A Night to Remember

Oh, What a Night! for members who braved the first snowfall of the season to celebrate the 25th Anniversary of the Grand Rapids Chapter of the American Sewing Guild.  ‘Celebrate’ is too mild a word for the wonderful time had by all.  Nancy started the meeting saying, “It takes a village”…  Then the memories began.  She started with recognitions and stories of those who served in the past 25 years and the many events and field trips we have shared along the way. She reminisced the meetings of the past year, remembering the wide variety of topics covered by our speakers. We reviewed the Community Service projects and recapped so many things we learned from the many national speakers and the sharing of knowledge that passes so freely between us. 


Renee mentioned that tonight was our annual meeting and we voted for and elected our officers for 2023.  Kate won the ‘silver anniversary drawing’ for the $25 gift card.  Then we took a break to celebrate the ‘silver anniversary cake’ and gluten free carrot cake cupcakes and punch.

The ‘silver activity’ had everyone in stitches, or should I say, ‘in foil.’  Everyone received a long piece of aluminum foil.  We were given 10 minutes to make a wearable.   Oh what a night!!!  Pictures do not do justice to the creativity, laughter and fun in the room. The wearables were priceless.

We had Show-and-Tell with some delightful creations crafted by our members.


Judy Ritz concluded the meeting with another walk down memory lane with her delightful sewing antique display.  There were antique patterns, a cherished button catalog, a tiny working sewing machine, sock darners and many more treasures too numerous to mention.  The walk down memory lane for the night was complete.


Thank you to Nancy and all the helpers behind the scenes who helped make this night such a huge success.


October 14-16 – Twenty four ladies gathered at the Bluegate Inn in Shipshewana for the Annual Sewing Retreat.  There was a lot of sewing and shopping going on.  Everyone accomplished more than they could have at home and had a great time doing it.  Show and tell had a wonderful assortment of projects including aprons, pillows, pajamas, bathrobe, bras, placemats, bowl cozies, cute stuffed frogs, door and wall hangings, clothing in various stages of completion and more.  There is never a dull moment at retreat.


October 11 -  After an icebreaker game, Jo McGavin presented a program on Ergonomics and Sewing Room Organization.  We learned all about how ergonomics is ‘fitting a workplace to the user’s needs.’ That involves furniture and other sewing room fixtures that are adjusted to accommodate the height and comfort of the sewist. Posture is an important element.   She tied that concept into sewing room organization.  Everyone took at least one idea home to help them sew more comfortably.


September 24 – A number of our members shared their love of sewing at Camp Anna Behrens with Cadet Girl Scouts.  Rita Reimbold organized an event to Teach Another Generation to Sew.  Nineteen girls made string backpacks and LOVED it!  In fact, it was the most mentioned event in the evaluation at the end of the Cadette camping weekend.  And…they want us back again!


September 13 – Our Chapter meeting welcomed Judith Rasband and Lorraine Henry.  Judith an image consultant from Utah, presented a program on She discussed the body shapes from the triangle, rectangle and hourglass, to the round, diamond, tubular and more, showing the different styles that are worn by people with those figure shapes.   It turned out to be a very popular topic with the GRASG audience.


August 20 – The Monday Morning NE Neighborhood Group met at Faith Lutheran after a summer break.  How nice to get back together again.   They met the end of August because the first Monday of September is Labor day. 



August 9 - Our Annual Picnic Potluck looked a little different this year.  We didn’t meet to sew, but did meet at Faith Lutheran Church to share a meal and drop off socks for the ‘In the Image’ back-to-school sock drive.  After dinner, we all settled in for show and tell to hear the stories of success and lessons learned as we viewed an array of summer projects.

August 6, 2022

GRASG has enjoyed many events since the last posting in April. 

CHAPTER MEETINGS have resumed and fascinating speakers have presented.

  •  In May, RagTops Hat Maker, Nate Bont Intrigued our membership and became an instant hit with his personable stories about his hat business.
  • In June,  Bonnie Brooks spoke about her bjb business. Bonnie makes custom bags.
  • The September meeting will feature Judith Rasband, from the Conselle Institute of Image Management in Orem, Utah.  

In summertime, meetings take a break, but many other local events have drawn members out on FIELD TRIPS.

  • April 7, Ingrid arranged for a trip to see Fashion in Nature at the GR Public Museum.  What some thought would be a ho-hum event turned out to be really great!
  • July 12, Dawn hosted a field trip to the Muskegon Art Museum to see the "Dressing the Abbey" exhibit from the Downton Abbey show.  What a great event!

August 9 is the day reserved for the annual PICNIC / POTLUCK.  This year it will be at Faith Lutheran Church.  See GRASG calendar for details.


In September, GRASG will participate in the ASG movement to TEACH ANOTHER GENERATION (TAG).   Members will travel to Greenville to Camp Anna Behrens to work with Girl Scouts.  They will be making string backpacks.  A lot of enthusiasm and surprises are planned for the girls attending that special event.


October 14-16, we will go to Shipshewana for our annual RETREAT.  That weekend is packed full of sewing, camaraderie, theatre, shopping and great fun!  This year, non-ASG members are invited to join us.  

April 14, 2022

April Magic was in the Air!

Spring is here and the Grand Rapids Chapter of American Sewing Guild finally met again in person.  What a treat to be with our sewing friends and have Beth Usadel come to teach us how to draw a croquis!  Besides using the 8 circles of height as a guideline, she discussed different methods of getting a proportional croquis for each individual.  She had marvelous handouts that will help us long after the meeting is over. It was a fun exercise and found the room quiet as we all got into doing our sketches. 

After break, we gathered around for Show and Tell.  We have not been able to see projects in person for quite some time due to the pandemic and Zoom meetings, so stories and precious projects entertained us for a while. 

  •        Aileen was pleased to try something new during the pandemic. Mary made a new shirt, a lovely bag and an in-the-hoop bear.
  •        Connie showed us her layered fiber art projects.·       Mary made a shirt, a purse and an in-the-hoop bear.
  •       Rosemarie made a fun chef hat for her sister and a bag for others for a special upcoming event.
  •       Nancy B. created a beach bag and matching hooded towel for her grandchild. 
  •        Nancy W made a blouse for a display at Fields and also made seasonal covers for an antique high chair. 
  •        Pam did a beautiful quilt.
  •        Sarabeth made 4 quilts we haven’t seen before.
  •       Starr did a unique pillow. 
  •       Our new member Sue, made a great jacket and also a lovely appliqued dish towel. 

Go to the photos tab and see all of the creative ideas and projects our wonderful friends have made.


We also welcomed new and returning CAB Members:

Rita Reimbold - Taking on the TAG Project (Teach Another Generation)

Ingrid Amonette - Organizing a fieldtrip to the Gr Public Museum to see the "Fashion and Nature" Exhibit.

Dawn Tarr - Organizing the fieldtrip to the Muskegon Art Museum to see the Downton Abby exhibit, "Dressing Abby" in July.

Nancy Jackson  


The Evening Neighborhood Group is starting up again.  Renee Fries and Rita Reimbold will be leading the group on the third Tuesday evening of the month from 6-9pm at the Northview Senior Center.  For the first meeting on Tuesday April 19, 2022 you are to bring whatever you want to work on.  We will be meeting in the large meeting room where Chapter meetings take place.  After the first meeting, the focus will be on FITTING.   So grab a project, sewing tools and even your machine if you like, and join us for the evening Neighborhood meeting.

March 25, 2022

Upcoming Community Events:

Muskegon Museum of Art is hosting The Dressing of Abbey
It runs from June 23 through September12, 2022. Dressing the Abbey weaves popular culture, fashion, and history in an exhibition borrowed from Downton Abbey’s™ wardrobe.

March Meeting:

The March GRASG Zoom meeting was another great learning adventure. Before the meeting, we received an email with notes highlighting the process. Dawn Tarr, from our local ASG chapter, demonstrated how to copy a ready-to-wear garment. She used clear plastic bags, exam table tracing paper, a sharpie marker, a straight ruler and a hip curve ruler. She made it look so easy! She showed the process, taking care to show how to get a good copy of the back, that folds under when flattening the garment to copy. She traced every feature: pockets, fly front, belt loops, seams, the whole thing on clear plastic. Then she traced the plastic drawing onto pattern tracing paper marking every detail and adding side seams and notches.


When finished with the demo, she showed finished garments she had copied. They were amazingly perfect replicas of the original fit and style! Voila! It was a great learning experience and a method a number of us members will be trying soon.

February 25, 2022

January Meeting:

Thus far, 2022 has presented itself via Zoom meetings.  In January, Susan Lighthart, who works at Jos A Banks, spoke to GRASG members about tailoring construction.   She started with an explanation of the layers that help shape jacket fronts. From the inside out, there is lining, a cotton fabric somewhat like a thin batting, a shoulder pad, canvas and the outer layer.  At the lapel fold, there is a ribbon of something like either twill or grosgrain to make the fold roll naturally.

Questions rolled in and Mary Anne's husband, Roger, was kind enough to model to make the whole thing more visual.  Pants questions varied from a front bubble to the differences in alterations between Men's and Women's pants.  Thank you Julie for all the valuable information.


February Meeting:

RC Caylan shared his story with GRASG members like we were sitting in the room together just having a casual conversation.  He explained his background and how he got where he is today at RC Caylan Atelier in Breton Village.  He is a fashion designer with true class who has done runway shows in Los Angeles and New York.  His designs for celebrities and for anyone who needs a special garment for a special occasion are truly phenomenal and made to reflect and complement the person he designs for.  His presentation for ASG included a wonderful tour of his studio. The front entryway chandelier to the sewing and design areas including his fabric stash and racks of beautiful creations were all on the tour and a thrill to see with a video of his former runway shows playing on a screen in the interview area.  It was truly a FUN evening!  Thank you RC.

Dec. 2, 2021


After Covid 'Stay-at-home' restrictions were lifted,  members started returning to GRASG events.  Pam Smith, Community Service Project Chair, began setting up new service projects for members to work on:  Santa Claus Girls Mitten Project and 'Sleep in Heavenly Peace' Quilt Project.  As of December 1, over 100 mittens were donated and 4  Quilts.

Nov. 25, 2021

Mitten Project

Five ASG members gathered in November at the Senior Center to continue working on the Mitten Project for Santa Claus Girls.  This ongoing project started with the August Picnic, when worker bees cut out,  assembled kits, and sewed a few pair of mittens.  Since then, members have sewn mittens at neighborhood meetings and at home. In all, there are one hundred kits /finished mittens to warm the hands of children throughout the community.




Retreat  October 2021 - Shipshewana Indiana (aka Amish Country)

Nineteen ladies traveled to Shipshewana for the annual GRASG weekend Retreat. How much better does it get than sewing, friends, shopping, stories, laughter, an Amish ‘whodunit’ musical/play, prizes galore, show & tell, free sewing advice, water aerobics, food and so much more. That only begins to describe the wonderful variety of things that happened around and about the Blue Gate Inn and Yoder's.  Thanks to Nancy Bender and Barb Marconi, organizers of the event, happy memories were made by all.

November 2021 Chapter Meeting

Joe Vecchiarelli, on his way to Novi for the Sewing Expo, stopped in at the November Chapter meeting to teach us tips and tricks. His stories were very entertaining. His fitting demos, draping with a dress form, and samples of things he had made, kept the audience very engaged. What a treat to have a known national sewing celebrity join us!

September 19, 2021

September 2021 meeting

Smiles walked into the room as more and more members spotted their long unseen sewing friends. It was wonderful to meet back in our normal space at the Plainfield Senior Center to kick off the 2021-22 ASG year.  We were happy to greet and meet visitors who came to see what we are all about. 


The speaker was a charming young lady named Ellen Leegwater, granddaughter of long time member, Barb Leegwater.  Ellen delighted everyone with her heartwarming story of learning to quilt and really getting hooked during the COVID shutdown. But she didn’t end it at that. She displayed a trunk show of quilts, she calls her babies. As she went from quilt to quilt, she shared new techniques that she learned with each one. One of her quilts is called “Two Elephants.”  She loves elephants and appliqued endearing representations of her and her Grandma randomly throughout the quilt.  Ellen used social media to learn techniques and often called Grandma for advice.  She is definitely a winner and a keeper in our GRASG family.

August 27, 2021

August Picnic

Fun and camaraderie filled the room at St Paul Lutheran Church in Caledonia where a group of busy ladies worked to make mitten kits for our Santa Claus Service Project.  A tasty potluck and games followed the service portion of the day. For more photos, visit our Photos page.

July 13, 2021

July 2021 meeting

Tomorrow, July 13, GRASG will be meeting at the Plainfield Senior Center (5255 Grand River Drive, Grand Rapids, MI 49525) for games and Show and Tell with lots of time to catch up. Social time starts at 6:30 p.m. and the meeting will run from 7-9 p.m.


Since we missed so many meetings last year, we decided to get together instead of skipping the month like we normally do. We would love to see the things you made during the pandemic. Even if you showed the item on a Zoom meeting, please bring it in person to share so everyone can enjoy.


Please come! Wear your nametag! We miss you. 😊

June 3, 2021

June 2021 meeting

On June 8, GRASG will have a social sew-in. It will be the first time we have been able to meet in-person, so we hope to have a lot of chatter among old and new friends.


While we visit and catch up on everyone's stay-at-home activities, we will be working on a community service project making mitten kits for the Santa Claus Girls/Toys for Tots program. Members will meet at the St. Paul Lutheran Church, 8436 Kraft Ave. SE in Caledonia. (Please note this a change in location from the previous announcement, when we initially thought we'd be meeting at D.W. Richardson Park in Plainfield Township). You can find patterns and instructions for the mittens we'll be making on our Patterns page.


An email will be sent with a supply list of things to bring for the first outdoor in-person meeting since last summer. If you are not yet a GRASG member and are interested in attending, please contact us for the supply list; we'd love to have you join the meeting!


As usual, the meeting will conclude with Show-and-Tell, so be sure to bring projects you'd like to share with the group.

May 16, 2021

May 2021 meeting

Kim Scherer from Kim Scherer's  Korner presented on sewing activewear, including the places she shops for her fabric and notions, the types of fabrics she buys and how to buy online and get what you really want. She discussed stretch, needles, threads, stitches to use and how to test before you sew. Testing on a scrap of the same fabric is the key to avoiding skipped stitches, correct tension and thread breakage. 


We welcomed several visitors to our Zoom meeting and hope they choose to join us again.  



Kim recommends these online shops for fabric and patterns:

April 22, 2021

 April 2021 meeting

The GRASG April Chapter met again on Zoom. The business meeting was followed by a lively group of our own members sharing. This meeting was the end of the Wool Challenge and definitely had some beautiful pieces that our members made.  One item by a new member of our chapter was a most impressive wool coat styled after the red coat of Nancy Pelosi. We definitely have a lot of talent among our members.   

Along with the display of wool items, members shared their favorite sewing tools. We had a lively display of many different items that make sewing easier. Seam rippers, in their various styles and shapes and functionality were mentioned the most. But, all in all, everyone took away at least one tool idea they had not thought of before. 

March 15, 2021

March 2021 meeting

Our Zoom meeting this month featured Elizabeth Rasmusson from Fabric.com. Her very interesting presentation on wools was fascinating.  She discussed about nine types of wool, where they came from, their properties and their most suitable uses.


Following her presentation, she let us know we're eligible to sign up for a 10% business discount on purchases from Fabric.com.  Watch the meeting video in the Members-Only section to get instructions.


February 2021 meeting

Our Zoom meeting this month featured Maxine Steadman, who spoke about clothing adjustments for people with disabilities: how to alter existing clothing and favorite patterns to create garments that help individuals with challenges stay more independent.

The American Sewing Guild is a national non-profit organization dedicated to promoting sewing as creative, rewarding activity for all. 

Advancing sewing as an art and life skill