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Sewing a new business in Clarksville with fabric scraps

Deanna Newkirk was inspired to start The Salvaged Stitch after collecting bags of fabric samples.
Deanna Newkirk was inspired to start The Salvaged Stitch after collecting bags of fabric samples. (HANDOUT)

As upcycling — turning old, discarded materials into something usable — has gained popularity, a local woman has turned her hobby of reusing fabric samples into a thriving side gig.

When a friend couldn’t bring herself to throw out several bags of upholstery samples that were taking up space in her garage, Deanna Newkirk assured her that she would put them to good use. Newkirk used the fabric to create totes and purses to give as gifts for loved ones. Before long, she had accumulated more stock than she had room to store. Her husband suggested that she “support her habit” by selling her work at craft shows.

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“I was hooked! I really enjoyed meeting people and getting feedback on my items, and it allowed me to create even more things,” Newkirk said.

Naming her company The Salvaged Stitch, Newkirk expanded her collection to include aprons, glasses cases, key chains, play mats and reusable sandwich and snack bags. In addition to craft shows, she started participating in farmers markets, which have led to the creation of seasonal products, such as decorative pumpkins and owls for the fall season.

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Her goal is to reuse materials as much as possible. What she is unable to use, she shares with friends and teachers. While she is still using fabric from the original supply, she has received some additional donations from family and friends.

“I’ve always been drawn to creating things from discarded objects,” Newkirk said. “I’ve created several miniature room boxes, doll house furniture and accessories from assorted wood, metal and plastic items that would have been thrown away.”

The Salvaged Stitch will be at the Howard County Farmers Market at the Clarksville Commons on Sept. 28 and Oct. 12. Learn more at facebook.com/the.salvaged.stitch.

For more upcycled, homemade and vintage goods, check out the Honeybee Home Market on Sept. 27 to 29, at Mary’s Land Farm. More than 50 artists, antiquers and designers will have their unique products available for sale. The event will also feature live music, tours and demonstrations, tastings and a full cocktail bar.

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Children will enjoy a pumpkin patch, hay rides, pony rides, face painting and bumblebee costume making. A ribbon-cutting of the farm’s solar fields by Howard County Executive Calvin Ball will be held Friday, Sept. 27, at 11:30 a.m.

Once a season, members of the Honeybee “Hive” gather for this retail and entertainment event. Hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday and Saturday and noon to 4 p.m. Sunday. The 160-acre working farm is at 4979 Sheppard Lane. Ticket prices range from $5 to $10. The River Hill High School Band Program will be collecting cash parking donations of $1 or more per car. Learn more at honeybee-home.com.

The St. Louis Church Concert Series will kick off its 14th season on Friday, Oct. 4, with Jazz in the Social Hall. Jazz vocalist Lena Seikaly and her quartet will perform at 8 p.m. Seating is limited for this fundraiser and sneak preview of the upcoming season. Tickets are $20 and include a reception with wine, cheese and light refreshments.

The 2019-2020 musical programs will feature professional musicians from St. Louis Parish and the greater Maryland, Virginia and Washington areas. Five full concerts and chamber performances will follow with genres ranging from classical to pop. For more information and to purchase tickets, go to stlconcertseries.org.

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