In 1991, members at Westminster Presbyterian Church in Portland, Oregon USA, began a project to create unique needlepoint pew cushions for their sanctuary. What follows are images and descriptions for some of the hundreds of scenes that are included in cushions.
As the video says it all, I will let you see this amazing project and hear from the stitchers who are involved. The cushions look wonderful.
Needlepoint Pew Cushion Project from Westminster Presbyterian Church
Four women devised a plan to stitch these unique intricate needlepoint cushions for the pews in their church.. Only one of the four, however, knew how to needlepoint. She taught the other three.
Word spread, more teachers were brought in and other members joined the enterprise. Eventually, more than 150 women, a few men and some kids, ranging in age from 12 to 92, joined the Needlepoint Pew Cushion Project.
For nearly 30 years, they worked as a team, daughters and granddaughters taking over when older women died or quit because of failing eyesight. Here in the heart of the city was an old barn-raising group effort. People used their money, time and talents serving a greater good.
The 85 cushions in the sanctuary have been replaced. What remains are the cushions for 10 pews in the balcony.
If all goes as planned, the project will be completed this year.
The genesis began 5,000 miles from Portland in Hingham, a small town in England.
Judy Wyss, a Westminster member and Portland resident, spent time each year living in Hingham. She attended the town’s church and was taken by the beautiful kneelers used by parishioners during services. Each kneeler featured a needlepoint cushion depicting church history as well as secular subjects including local pubs, landmarks and buildings.
When Wyss returned to Portland one year in the 1980s, she heard that Westminster members were debating what to do about those old brown pew cushions. Wyss told a fellow member what she’d experienced in Hingham. They agreed needlepoint cushions would be grand in Westminster. Two other women heard about the idea, and the four formed a team to make it happen.
Read the full article This gift to a NE Portland church will outlive all who created it.