Sewing for Healing

The ultrasound photo from the embryo transfer that resulted in my one and only pregnancy has been hidden away for years. It’s been tucked inside a green folder from my clinic alongside other important papers and favorite books on the desk in my home office. I’ve thought about it from time to time. It’s one of the few mementos I have of the twins I lost to miscarriage. However, it’s not the kind of photo I want to frame and put on a shelf for daily viewing.  What exactly do you do with this kind of object? One that is sometimes a painful reminder but too important to discard.

Last weekend, I collected some materials and sat down to make some hearts for the HeArts for Baby Project Fiber Arts Workshop we’ll be holding with Art Therapist and Counselor Raina Cowan in Evanston, IL on September 30th. It was then that I knew what to do with my ultrasound photo. I’d sew it inside one of my fabric hearts and give it a resting place of sorts.

We’re inviting those who have been impacted by infertility, miscarriage, or pregnancy loss, and those who want to support those who have, to join us for a sewing circle of sorts at the Open Studio Project in Evanston on Sunday, September 30 from 2:00 pm to 5:00 pm. You don’t need prior sewing experience and this event is free and open to all. It’s an opportunity to join together with others and create a heart in remembrance of a baby lost. Those attending will also make a heart, or hearts, to be included in an art installation that will be included in our upcoming exhibit, Challenging Conception: The ART of Infertility in Chicago. The installation will include an antique baby carriage filled with hundreds of fabric hearts, those made at the workshop and those made by the community.  Visitors to the exhibit will be invited to choose a heart to honor their own experience of reproductive loss and take it home with them.

You can find more info about this community project, including the pattern and instructions to make your own, at Raina’s website. Visit Eventbrite to reserve your spot at the workshop. All the materials you need to make your hearts will be provided. However, you’re welcome to bring your own meaningful fabrics, embellishments, and, if you’d like, your own mementos for inclusion. We hope to see you there!

Elizabeth

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