Sherman woman seeks help with sewing projects for those in need

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SHERMAN – Martha Osborn, who sewed lap blankets and earmuffs for veterans, crocheted hats and scarves for the homeless in New Milford, made 100 heart-shaped pillows for Matthew’s Hearts of Hope last year to be given to patients awaiting heart surgery.

She does it all from her “shop” above her garage, where she has two sewing machines and a serger, numerous tables full of baby bibs and quilted and crocheted blankets and cupboards full of fabrics. Their 900 patterns are organized in boxes grouped by type. She spends four to five hours a day in her shop and keeps stopping to enjoy the view as far as Quaker Hill in New York.

But she needs some help to continue the work she and her friend Karen Castle have done over the past two years. Castle moved to North Carolina and Osborn is now hoping to revive a craft group at Sherman Church to help them carry out these projects.

These small cloth bags hang over the bed railing to make the items easier for the patient to access. She did 180 of them last year. She made bags for chemotherapy patients at the Praxair Center at New Milford Hospital so they could take instructions and water bottles home with them.

“We also make small pillows for mastectomy patients that are placed under the shoulder strap to make driving less painful,” she said. And when C0VID struck, she and Castle conjured up 250 masks to send them to the VA hospital. She has also made bibs and car blankets to give to the Hopeline Pregnancy Resource Center in Danbury.

“We are blessed to have a jewel like Martha in our ward,” said Marie Hatcher of Sherman, founder of Matthew’s Hearts of Hope. Hatcher’s youngest child, Matthew, was born with a severe congenital heart defect (CHD), and her organization is raising awareness of this number one birth defect and helping CHD patients and their families.


“Martha is one in a million,” added Hatcher. “She received the ‘Bless your Heart’ Award from Matthew’s Hearts of Hope in September 2012. She has cut, pre-sewn and sewn up thousands of heart pillows in the past 10 years. She recently made quilts with her friend Karen, using the scraps of fabric left over from cutting the hearts. You have brought comfort and smiles to many children of the heart in the intensive care unit at Morgan Stanley’s Children’s Hospital in New York. “

Osborn’s love of sewing and her skills come from her Dutch grandfather, who was a shirt tailor for Sulka Shirts, one of the world’s most prestigious men’s brands, until it closed in 2001, according to The New York Times.

She and her husband, Glenn Osborne, moved to Sherman in 1986, raised three sons and now have six grandchildren, aged 18 months to 11 years. Glenn Osborne is a retired design draftsman, and Martha Osborne was a children’s librarian at the Sherman Library when their children were little, then worked for Nestle her children and grandchildren for years for 1993 until retirement in 2018.

Her hope in reviving friendly service at Sherman Church is that women – with or without skill – will be ready to crochet (or learn to crochet), cut, and sew quilts for heart patients, veterans, and the homeless.

Osborne plans to continue making all of the items she and Castle made, but with lots of extra hands to complete the job. For more information on joining the group, email [email protected] or call 860-354-6114.


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