Walker gets satisfaction from sewing

1/26/2014

By SCOTT AUST

By SCOTT AUST

saust@gctelegram.com

Doris Walker has long enjoyed arts and crafts.

"It's relaxing and fun. It's my therapy," Walker said. "My sister does the woodcraft, the scrollwork, pictures, all that."

A longtime Garden City resident, Walker makes decorative cloth table centerpieces and purses, something she's been doing for a couple of years.

"They're all different. All one of a kind," Walker said. "I sell more purses than I do anything."

Walker, who sews farm patterns, nature scenes and even pieces in University of Kansas and Kansas State University colors, displayed her wares over the weekend at the first-ever Something Special craft show in the grandstand meeting room at the Finney County fairgrounds.

In addition to handbags and centerpieces, Walker sold woodworking pieces made by her sister, Orvilla Grenz, who lives in Loveland, Colo.

Walker takes her crafts to various shows during the year and was set up at a local farmer's market over the summer. It usually takes her a couple of hours to make a purse or centerpiece.

"It doesn't take long to plan. I just see material and decide that's what I need to do with it. The material just comes together when I see it," she said. "I've sewed for years. I do alterations and things, but I had made some makeup bags for the bridesmaids in my granddaughter's wedding two years ago."

Those initial makeup bags sparked an idea to make purses. Walker said she and her sister got on Skype and started sharing ideas back and forth.

The Something Special show, which was also a fundraiser for Garden City Arts, featured vendors offering original artwork, crafts, jewelry, handbags and home decor. Organizers hope to make the show not only an annual event, but possibly offer it a few times per year.

"I think we've got a nice beginning. We sold out all our vendor spaces within three days," Kim Inderlied, executive director of Finney County Convention and Visitors Bureau, said. "If this is something folks in this area will support, we'd love to keep having it. You can never have enough handbags."

Arts and crafts is kind of a family tradition. Walker has two brothers who also like to craft, and during family reunions, everyone makes something and they hold an auction.

"My brother has made canes. He's made chairs out of trees. He does all kinds of things. My other brother used to do some woodcraft," she said.

Walker, who worked for Dillons for nearly 22 years before retiring in 2006, said she and her family were raised in the Garden City area from a young age. She has two children, six grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.

One great-grandson, Dylan Dohogne, 14, was helping Walker staff the booth at the Something Special show. Dylan also sews and has made his own share of purses and other projects. He credits his great-grandmother with teaching him how to sew.

"It just kind of happened," he said.

Walker said she has taught all her grandchildren to sew because it's a worthwhile skill to know.

"There's not many that do that anymore," Walker said.

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