Wednesday, October 24, 2012

A first and a second

Riel over at the Q and the U continuously inspires me with all her selvage creations, so I finally bit the bullet and tried a selvage block.  I didn't use her tutorial, but rather Jodi's at Pleasant Home, using some fusible interfacing as a foundation.

The only reason there is only one block here is that I had to come back to town for a Cub Scout committee meeting and a karate class.  Otherwise, I'd have made block after block after block.  It was much easier than I had anticipated, and so gratifying to use the parts that are usually thrown away.  I was momentarily skeptical about having a foundation in there - as a hand quilter, I'm not sure how that would work - but I came up with a strategy that I think will nullify that concern.  Nothing more on that until I give it a try.

While sewing the selvage block, I also sewed my second Split Star for Block Lotto.  I love how crisp and clean these blocks appear in solids and white.  I think I have enough solid white for 2 more blocks.

Lastly, I want to share an experience my children and I had on Monday night.  Several months ago, I met a woman at the Community Festival in my quilting booth.  We talked about quilting and flower pressing (which is her craft and home business), and eventually talked about the Community Table.  The Community Table is a weekly restaurant style meal (complete with 4 courses, waiters in red aprons, white tablecloths and cloth napkins and live music), served free of charge to anyone in the community.  Those who can afford to make a donation at the end of the meal are able to do so as they walk out the door, but anyone can attend these meals and eat a healthy, home-cooked style meal in a collegial, non-judgmental atmosphere.

We went for the first time this Monday, and picked up my new friend from the Community Festival (she is 83 and unable to drive) to bring her along, too.  There were professors there.  There were families there.  There were people from local nursing homes there, out for a meal in town.  My kids saw friends from school.  I saw some quilting friends.  It was AWESOME!  I am so proud of my community.  To me, this is a really ingenious way to feed people in need without segregating them or taking away their dignity.  My family and I will definitely be going back.

When we took my new friend back home, she invited us in to see some things:

  • her flower pressing, but also how she has incorporated real snake skins and real cicada wings into some of her creations (she is super talented!) 
  • her antiques - including a Victrola hand crank phonograph from over 100 years ago with the THICK records (my kids danced and danced and danced to the scratchy tunes)
  • her many motorized chairs (she said she gives driving lessons to young people)
  • her chair lift to take her down into her basement (I've always wanted to try one of those!)
  • her play rooms that she set up in her basement for her grandchildren where they create fantasy worlds behind the fabric and beads that she has hung as walls

Can I just tell you, my kids were MESMERIZED!  She invited them to come back and play anytime, and they have asked to go several times just in the two days since!  I'm so glad that my kids 1) have active imaginations and 2) don't share the sentiment that so many young people have these days that older people have nothing to contribute.  They recognized my new friend for what she is - a vibrant, interesting, exciting person who is really cool to hang out with!