Monday, April 19, 2021

Catching up on this, that, and the other

 My tuning fork quilt is coming along nicely with some horizontal quilting and quilting in the bigger forks.  Once it's finished, I plan to face this rather than bind it.  It will be my first time for facing.

In the studio I've been working on bringing things to completion.  This "Get Happy!" quilt for my doctor which has been finished since late March now has a label and is wrapped.  I just need now to get it over to her office.

But mostly the studio has been all about purses - Sew Powerful.  I'm working on a PowerPoint for my guild about the actual construction of these purses and have been doing a lot of photographing for step-outs.

I like to group my purses by straps and flaps.  And then I can fill in the rest - body, lining, and pockets.

Here's are all the parts for five purses.  From the bottom up: lining, front body, and back body,  These purses may only be 7" x 9", but there are several pieces to the pattern, most of which are interfaced.

These purses are based on flaps made from scraps of a project for a guild mate.  Rather than try to organize the leftover strips, I just improved them together.  Along with an orange body, some fun living, and a blue strap, I think these are great.  We pursemakers hear over and over that the girls in Zambia love orange.  

But before mailing, each purse needs a note to the young girl.  In exchange for the purse which contains underwear, reusable pads, and soap, girls pledge to stay in school and do their best.  In addition to hearing that the young ladies love orange, we also hear how much they treasure these cards.  The cards are my least favorite part of the process.  But I'm learning to use graphics and washi tape to make them attractive.  

I'm also learning to keep my messages short and sweet.  All the girls read and speak English, but they do no read cursive.  So this is a task I have to take my time with. 

Since I'm so eager to get this batch posted to Washington state, I'l get them done very soon,

Now I'm getting back to a baby quilt that's in process and solidifying a plan for the youngest grandson's (he's 19 - it'll be his 3rd) quilt.  

Saturday, April 17, 2021

An Early and Deep Grief


In 1991 I was transferred from Hyde Park High School to Kennedy High School - a welcome change since Kennedy was a much shorter commute.  But it was the first time I ever had white and Latinx students - and this led me to another MA, this one in Multicultural Eduction.  But as is true with every group of students I have ever had, I connected deeply with several despite the change in demographics.  

In order to teach Jane Eyre, which was part of the Brit Lit curriculum with juniors, I piloted a unit using Warrior Woman (Kingston), Caged Bird (Angelou),  Learning Tree (Parks), House on Mango Street - (Cisneros)  and Lakota Woman (Mary Ellen Brave Bird) as small group reading before we all read Jane Eyre.  The culminating activity was for each student to examine the three strongest influences on their personality development, making references to our readings.   I recall this unit being successful, and the juniors did some great introspection based on issues that come up in these coming-of-age novels.  

Shortly after the unit was completed, one of the counselors came to our classroom to make an announcement to us all.  One of our classsmates died the night before in a horrible choking incident at North Riverside Mall.  Jennifer worked at Arby's and was taking a break.  She was eating and started to choke and ran to the bathroom.  It was there she died.  Jennifer had a delightful sense of humor, a great work ethic, perfect attendance - and I loved her.  Her funeral was the first eulogy I ever delivered.  Jen's essay for this unit was a tribute to her parents, her faith, and - I don't remember the third point.  I graded this after her death, and the only thing I could do was give it to her parents.  

About six weeks later I was at an in-service at Kenwood High School and could not stop the tears.  Delayed grief?  Yes.  When I got home, I hit my fabrics.  And this is what I created.  The spot of brightness is Jennifer.  I delivered this to her mom - many tears were shed.  

I just came across this Polaroid, which is why the quality of this picture is so poor.  What a sad memory of  good grief.