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Through sewing, two people learn the gift of mentorship

Diane Minke had no idea how much a chance conversation two years ago would ultimately enrich her life today. She was attending a mentoring conference at the Evangelical Free Church in Willmar, admittedly overwrought by how she could make a differ...

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Diane Minke was attending a mentoring conference at the Evangelical Free Church in Willmar, when she learned of the opportunity to mentor Teagan Miller. DAN BURDETT | TRIBUNE

Diane Minke had no idea how much a chance conversation two years ago would ultimately enrich her life today. She was attending a mentoring conference at the Evangelical Free Church in Willmar, admittedly overwrought by how she could make a difference in the life of another. “I was hearing all these ways on how to invest in women’s lives and telling myself I have no idea how to do this,” Diane recalled.
When the conference concluded, Shannon Miller greeted Diane. The two women knew each other through Bible Study and eased into conversation, their banter eventually turning to Shannon’s then-9-year-old daughter, Teagan. Shannon suggested Teagan, self-effacing but creatively effervescent, could benefit from Diane’s tutelage as a longtime quilter. As Diane recalls, the proverbial bulb went off. “ … And that was my answer to all my fears,” Diane said. “I had my means to mentor.” Two years on, Diane and Teagan are simpatico. Each weekend, Teagan and Shannon venture from their Pennock home to Diane’s property on the north shoreline of Green Lake, spending hours sewing with Diane and crafting coverlets, quilts and the like. [[{"type":"media","view_mode":"media_large","fid":"1905547","attributes":{"alt":"Diane Minke, left, and Teagan Miller share a bond nurtured by their affinity for sewing. DAN BURDETT | TRIBUNE ","class":"media-image","height":"309","title":"Two peas in a pod","width":"480"}}]]“I love it,” said Teagan, who in her spare time hones her skills on a Swiss-designed Elna sewing machine, a gift from Diane. “… It’s so much fun to be able to create so many new things.” “Her creativity was always there, but sewing is such a great outlet for her” added Shannon. “Diane helps her stay focused and the avenue of sewing is a great way to incorporate all the different talents she already has with the arts and crafts and being able to put colors together to create a finished product.” Sewing has also nurtured Teagan’s growing altruistic desires, as she presents her creations to family, friends and those less fortunate. Most recently, she sewed a pillowcase for a local cancer patient and plans to sew and donate more cases stuffed with books for children in women’s shelters. She’ll also auction off a new quilt during a raffle from noon to 4 p.m. today as part of the annual Pennock Fun Days gathering. “She has such a generous spirit,” Diane says. “All she does is think of ways to make things for other people.” “It’s fun to give back,” Teagan added. “One day, I’d like to mentor someone, too.”            Diane Minke had no idea how much a chance conversation two years ago would ultimately enrich her life today. She was attending a mentoring conference at the Evangelical Free Church in Willmar, admittedly overwrought by how she could make a difference in the life of another. “I was hearing all these ways on how to invest in women’s lives and telling myself I have no idea how to do this,” Diane recalled. [[{"type":"media","view_mode":"media_large","fid":"1905545","attributes":{"alt":"Teagan Miller uses a Bernina sewing machine on the seam of a colorful quilt. DAN BURDETT | TRIBUNE ","class":"media-image","height":"356","title":"Learning as she goes","width":"480"}}]]When the conference concluded, Shannon Miller greeted Diane. The two women knew each other through Bible Study and eased into conversation, their banter eventually turning to Shannon’s then-9-year-old daughter, Teagan. Shannon suggested Teagan, self-effacing but creatively effervescent, could benefit from Diane’s tutelage as a longtime quilter. As Diane recalls, the proverbial bulb went off. “ … And that was my answer to all my fears,” Diane said. “I had my means to mentor.” Two years on, Diane and Teagan are simpatico. Each weekend, Teagan and Shannon venture from their Pennock home to Diane’s property on the north shoreline of Green Lake, spending hours sewing with Diane and crafting coverlets, quilts and the like.
“I love it,” said Teagan, who in her spare time hones her skills on a Swiss-designed Elna sewing machine, a gift from Diane. “… It’s so much fun to be able to create so many new things.” “Her creativity was always there, but sewing is such a great outlet for her” added Shannon. “Diane helps her stay focused and the avenue of sewing is a great way to incorporate all the different talents she already has with the arts and crafts and being able to put colors together to create a finished product.” Sewing has also nurtured Teagan’s growing altruistic desires, as she presents her creations to family, friends and those less fortunate. Most recently, she sewed a pillowcase for a local cancer patient and plans to sew and donate more cases stuffed with books for children in women’s shelters. She’ll also auction off a new quilt during a raffle from noon to 4 p.m. today as part of the annual Pennock Fun Days gathering. “She has such a generous spirit,” Diane says. “All she does is think of ways to make things for other people.” “It’s fun to give back,” Teagan added. “One day, I’d like to mentor someone, too.”            Diane Minke had no idea how much a chance conversation two years ago would ultimately enrich her life today.She was attending a mentoring conference at the Evangelical Free Church in Willmar, admittedly overwrought by how she could make a difference in the life of another.“I was hearing all these ways on how to invest in women’s lives and telling myself I have no idea how to do this,” Diane recalled.
When the conference concluded, Shannon Miller greeted Diane. The two women knew each other through Bible Study and eased into conversation, their banter eventually turning to Shannon’s then-9-year-old daughter, Teagan. Shannon suggested Teagan, self-effacing but creatively effervescent, could benefit from Diane’s tutelage as a longtime quilter.As Diane recalls, the proverbial bulb went off.“ … And that was my answer to all my fears,” Diane said. “I had my means to mentor.”Two years on, Diane and Teagan are simpatico.Each weekend, Teagan and Shannon venture from their Pennock home to Diane’s property on the north shoreline of Green Lake, spending hours sewing with Diane and crafting coverlets, quilts and the like.[[{"type":"media","view_mode":"media_large","fid":"1905547","attributes":{"alt":"Diane Minke, left, and Teagan Miller share a bond nurtured by their affinity for sewing. DAN BURDETT | TRIBUNE ","class":"media-image","height":"309","title":"Two peas in a pod","width":"480"}}]]“I love it,” said Teagan, who in her spare time hones her skills on a Swiss-designed Elna sewing machine, a gift from Diane.“… It’s so much fun to be able to create so many new things.”“Her creativity was always there, but sewing is such a great outlet for her” added Shannon. “Diane helps her stay focused and the avenue of sewing is a great way to incorporate all the different talents she already has with the arts and crafts and being able to put colors together to create a finished product.”Sewing has also nurtured Teagan’s growing altruistic desires, as she presents her creations to family, friends and those less fortunate.Most recently, she sewed a pillowcase for a local cancer patient and plans to sew and donate more cases stuffed with books for children in women’s shelters.She’ll also auction off a new quilt during a raffle from noon to 4 p.m. today as part of the annual Pennock Fun Days gathering.“She has such a generous spirit,” Diane says. “All she does is think of ways to make things for other people.”“It’s fun to give back,” Teagan added. “One day, I’d like to mentor someone, too.”      Diane Minke had no idea how much a chance conversation two years ago would ultimately enrich her life today.She was attending a mentoring conference at the Evangelical Free Church in Willmar, admittedly overwrought by how she could make a difference in the life of another.“I was hearing all these ways on how to invest in women’s lives and telling myself I have no idea how to do this,” Diane recalled.[[{"type":"media","view_mode":"media_large","fid":"1905545","attributes":{"alt":"Teagan Miller uses a Bernina sewing machine on the seam of a colorful quilt. DAN BURDETT | TRIBUNE ","class":"media-image","height":"356","title":"Learning as she goes","width":"480"}}]]When the conference concluded, Shannon Miller greeted Diane. The two women knew each other through Bible Study and eased into conversation, their banter eventually turning to Shannon’s then-9-year-old daughter, Teagan. Shannon suggested Teagan, self-effacing but creatively effervescent, could benefit from Diane’s tutelage as a longtime quilter.As Diane recalls, the proverbial bulb went off.“ … And that was my answer to all my fears,” Diane said. “I had my means to mentor.”Two years on, Diane and Teagan are simpatico.Each weekend, Teagan and Shannon venture from their Pennock home to Diane’s property on the north shoreline of Green Lake, spending hours sewing with Diane and crafting coverlets, quilts and the like.
“I love it,” said Teagan, who in her spare time hones her skills on a Swiss-designed Elna sewing machine, a gift from Diane.“… It’s so much fun to be able to create so many new things.”“Her creativity was always there, but sewing is such a great outlet for her” added Shannon. “Diane helps her stay focused and the avenue of sewing is a great way to incorporate all the different talents she already has with the arts and crafts and being able to put colors together to create a finished product.”Sewing has also nurtured Teagan’s growing altruistic desires, as she presents her creations to family, friends and those less fortunate.Most recently, she sewed a pillowcase for a local cancer patient and plans to sew and donate more cases stuffed with books for children in women’s shelters.She’ll also auction off a new quilt during a raffle from noon to 4 p.m. today as part of the annual Pennock Fun Days gathering.“She has such a generous spirit,” Diane says. “All she does is think of ways to make things for other people.”“It’s fun to give back,” Teagan added. “One day, I’d like to mentor someone, too.”      

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