Elegante Mother was active in the Empty Nesters group of her church. We hosted the sewing ladies meeting at our home once a month, and I got to know the ladies as I helped with desserts and an occasional project. This year I became friends with a new member to the Empty Nesters and when I found out that she quilted, I invited her for a quilting day.
Mary lives half the year here with one son, and half the year in Texas with another son. She has been very active in a charity quilt program in Dallas. As we pieced and chatted, it was decided that we would try to get our Empty Nester group to participate in one of these programs. We began putting together kits for small quilt tops, and chose meeting dates for September and October.
Today was the big day, the first meeting for this new activity. We had been working for about six weeks, cutting fabrics and trying to make the best use of scraps that had been given to us. I had five kits ready to start sewing and two or three more on the design board. Mary had made some kits up, too.
I got up early, did dishes, cleaned, shopped for raspberries, green grapes, strawberries and blueberries for a fruit salad at lunch, and swept the front sidewalk. At 10:00, Mary arrived, and shortly after that just one more member came up the drive. I have no idea where everyone else was.
The situation gave me the chance to work one on one with a woman who had never pieced quilts. Hildy is an experienced seamstress, but she had never worked on quilts before. She chose a kit of squares that will make a three dimensional pinwheel quilt. I showed her how to press the squares into the right sized triangle, and then how to assemble the blocks. I was able to talk to her about the need for a consistent quarter-inch seam, and show her tricks to make it easier to get the seam allowance right. She seemed happy as a clam to take the kit home with her to work on this month!
So, perhaps this was a really good thing. Not all of the ladies are quilters, so I may learn from today and type up a page with a few tips that will help. I hope in the future we will be able to give them fabric and a pattern and get them started, but I think for now, I'll need to do the cutting to create the kits.
It will be good to have the sweatshop up and running and the ladies visiting here again. I've missed them.