This year we invited the girls from the Seals Community Center, an after-school and summer program in Syracuse NY, to view the nearly 200 quilts on display at Thumbstall’s Quilt Show, Building Community. We also thought it would be a good venue for them to gather some ideas for their next quilting project.
Over the past couple of months, guild members have helped 13 girls each make two blocks (a fusible applique and a machine pieced 9-patch) and fashion them into 2 quilts that will hang in the Seals Center. We also featured them in our Community Outreach Display at the show.
What delight shown on their faces as they saw ‘their’ quilts hanging!
As they looked over the other community outreach projects we have completed since the last show, one of the girls asked if they could also make the school bags for Church World Service.
The thought came to mind – this is great. They’ve learned a skill and now they can use it to share with someone else. How great is that? It really gives meaning to the saying.. (as I paraphrase)..’teach a girl to quilt and you’ll give them a skill that will last a lifetime.”
We are planning on adding a project to our schedule next year that will allow the girls to share their new-found abilities – and they’ll also make something for themselves. We’re also planning on making all the children at the center a gift for Christmas – possibly throw pillows using their initials and fabric featuring their interests, ie. sports, dancing etc.
Additionally, as they were viewing the quilts they stopped to talk with one of our members who was preparing for her demonstration on Needle-turn Applique. They were so interested that she showed some of the techniques she uses to get ‘ perfect’ applique elements.
We had no idea last Christmas that the pillowcases we made, along with purchased pillows, would turn into such a rewarding relationship for all of us.
When I dropped off their quilts at center the other day, everyone was eating lunch – a couple of the girls waved to me and smiled so of course I took the opportunity to talk a bit with them. It certainly made my day!There is always time to quilt!