Sewing With Grandma

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The last two weeks have been filled with a lot fabric scraps and thread. My ongoing program to teach high school students how craft for charity has started sewing simple patchwork blankets. The idea was to get each student to sew simple quilt blocks of four squares and then sew everyone’s squares together to create a series of kennel blankets for the local humane society. I had no idea this project would stir so many emotions.

As I was cutting out squares for my students to sew, I found myself using my grandma’s block templates, seam allowance bar, and scissors. The memories came flooding back – summer at grandma’s where we learned how to sew. Grandma showing me how to hold a needle and how to pinch the fabric to make uniform stitches. Those wonderful memories made me dig through some of her old quilt patterns and I pulled one in particular.

Initially, I thought I would trace and cut the pattern pieces for students who exhibited higher level sewing skills. I sewed the first few blocks to remind myself how to work the pattern, but it quickly turned into something else. I realized I had inadvertently started this project two days before my grandma’s birthday. Perhaps it was subconscious action or kismet, but I could feel her with me. I ended up sewing every block and eventually pieced together an entire throw size blanket. The process was deeply cathartic.

Every skill she ever taught me came back, even though its been many years since I’ve sewn a quilt. I ended up with a beautiful little blanket that reminds me grandma is never really that far away.

The cat has already claimed it.

As for my students, they are learning quickly and we will be piecing together our first blankets next week. I made another blanket as a model for my students and even this project stirred some wonderful memories and sitting and sewing with my grandma. I can only hope my students feel the same kind of warmth – our little group has accomplished so much and we are all connected by what we’ve learned from one another.

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c.b.w. 2017

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Catnip Christmas

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It’s a little crazy around here with only days to go before Christmas! In the midst of wrapping presents, baking potluck cookies, and finishing up some last minute crafting, the day job is filled with final exams and grading! Ahhhhh!

So, instead of a post about writing, crafts, or vintage love, how about a little Simon’s Cat chuckle?

Hope your holiday is merry and bright! 🙂

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c.b.w. 2016

Take Off

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I.
blue jays launch
wings outstretched
cloudless sky

II.
a cricket leaps
floor to window
dodging the cat

sleeping-cat-1862.jpg!Large

III.
a day free
to watch the sunrise
and just breathe

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Image: Sleeping Cat – Pierre-Auguste Renoir, WikiArt.org

Words: haiku, senryu, c.b.w. 2016

Part of the 2016 April Poem A Day Challenge (via Poetic Asides on Writer’s Digest) for the April 27 prompt: take off

 

Time Out

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I.
sun-dappled leaves
hold a moment
of bliss

autumn-path-through-the-woods-1876.jpg!Large

II.
the door slams
it’s all been said
not even crickets speak

III.
the cat lays
on the keyboard
stop and pet

 

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Image: Autumn, Path Through the Woods – Camille Pissarro, WikiArt.org

Words: senryu, haiku, c.b.w. 2016

Part of the 2016 April Poem A Day Challenge (via Poetic Asides on Writer’s Digest) for the April 14 prompt: time out.