Power To Save: Memory Artist

WEST PENN TOWNSHIP, Pa. --  After a loved one passes away, it can be difficult to donate or throw away their clothes because of the sentimental value placed on them. One woman in Schuylkill County is turning those sentimental clothing items into memorable keepsakes.

Inside a small home studio near New Ringgold, you'll find Trina Schellhammer hard at work taking old clothes and transforming them into lasting memories.

"I was always looking for a hobby," Schellhammer said. "My husband had his hunting and fishing and softball and I was always the one at home like, 'woe is me.' Finally, I had my own thing."

Schellhammer is a memory artist and the owner of The Green Snail. You give her clothes from loved ones who have passed away and she turns that clothing into tasteful crafts.

"It's hard to donate sometimes with those special items because you don't want to see someone walking around with your dad's shirt."

The crafts Schellhammer creates are made using a variety of antique treadle machines.

"Each machine is so unique and each has its own history."

A treadle is a sewing machine without a motor. Instead, it uses a foot pedal which drives a flywheel and belt system to make the stitches.

"A lot of times, the vintage of the antique machines make a better stitch than the modern plastic machines," Schellhammer said.

Schellhammer has transformed loved ones' clothes into things like ornaments, bowls, and pillows.

"The neat thing about bowls (is) depending upon how I cut my fabric, these two bowls, they look totally different but they're from the same shirt," she said.

"It's just a simple pillow but instead of hanging in a closet or being stored in an attic, now it's something that people can hold onto."

Each item is an original and includes an infinity angel.

"The infinity part of it I see that as like never-ending love. Their love never ends even though they're no longer with them. They'll always be with them in their hearts."