A group of residents at The Evergreens in Moorestown retirement community meets weekly to knit items of clothing for newborn babies.
The Stitching Bee was founded by Kathryn Mouber, Elvira DiCola, Janet Kaplan and Joan Harrigan. When Mouber first came to Evergreens about a year ago, she met DiCola, who taught her how to crochet. From there, the two women connected with Kaplan and Harrigan.
The group has since expanded to 20 members who crochet other items of clothing for the nonprofits Project Night Night – which serves homeless children – and the St. Vincent de Paul Society.
“One of the really, really nice things about this group is that people keep coming back, and it’s just a nice, comfortable place,” Mouber said of the Stitching Bee. “We just get together and we share experiences …
“It’s just something I look forward to every week.”
DiCola explained how the group came up with its name.
“The reason why it’s called the Stitching Bee is because The Evergreens has a mascot for when we compete against other facilities,” she said. “The honeybee is our mascot.”
During the pandemic, people donated yarn that DiCola and another resident used to crochet hats for the homeless. The Stitching Bee also used the yarn to crochet clothes for Project Night Night, and last Christmas, Evergreens’ residents helped fill more than 20 bags for the charity.
“They went out and bought books, teddy bears, blankets – you name it,” DiCola said.
Mouber thinks of Stitching Bee as a quilting group from years past.
“My grandmother told me about that,” she noted, “and they would get together maybe every day and the quilt would be on the frame, and they would just sit there and quilt and talk.”
The Stitching Bee is not limited to those who make clothes.
“Some people even come that do not knit or crochet, but they just enjoy the camaraderie of being together and that’s nice too,” Mouber said.
“This is a great place to come and live,” DiCola remarked of The Evergreens.
DiCola enjoys seeing members share their work with one another.
“I love to watch them start to crochet, and they’re all fingers, and eventually they get it and they produce,” she said. “Every Saturday, people bring what they made …
“I think that’s it, seeing them grow and be excited about what they made.”
“We love the getting together, the camaraderie,” Mouber offered. “Being able to talk to each other about our projects, what we’re doing, just anything at all that we want to talk about. It’s very relaxed.”