Fiber Arts at Elyria Arts Council

Youth Challenge has a beautiful Makerspace at its Westlake Campus to create art, but sometimes we like to get out into the community! The Elyria Arts Council, a community art gallery that offers classes, hosted four Fiber Arts programs in March. The seven participants and their volunteers worked on two main projects—a pizza plushie and a tie-dye pillow. 

Over the course of three weeks, participants learned valuable sewing skills such as whip stitching and hand sewing. They also had the opportunity to use a sewing machine to create their pillows. The pizza plushies were made entirely by hand, showcasing the participants’ newly acquired sewing skills. 

One of the most interesting parts of the program was the tie-dyeing technique used on the front of the pillows. Based on the Shibori Japanese fabric dying technique, participants and volunteers folded a white cloth napkin, colored the edges with Sharpies, and soaked them in isopropyl alcohol to give them a tie-dye effect. This technique allowed for the creation of unique and beautiful patterns on each pillow. 

After three weeks of hard work, the program concluded with a pizza party and the opportunity for participants and volunteers to create their own additional fiber arts projects. This allowed them to put their newly acquired skills to the test and express their creativity. 

We are so grateful to Elyria Arts Council for donating their space to us. This generous contribution allowed the program to take place and provided a safe and welcoming space for participants to learn and create. Youth Challenge plans to participate in Elyria Arts Council’s Art Walk this summer, a community art gallery where individuals and community groups can create 4 by 8-foot murals to share their stories and to be displayed at Elyria’s Main Branch Library and receive a small donation from Elyria Arts Council.  

We look forward to seeing where this new partnership takes us! For more information, please visit