Friday, April 25, 2014

Quilting Class: Final Report

Some days, we thought winter would last forever, but it just seemed that way.  It is gone, chased away by sunlight and south winds, although I found a little pocket of it hiding under the hickory tree yesterday morning.  The end of winter also means the end of quilting class.

It was wonderful, productive, and a great learning experience for all of us.  It was tough for us some weeks; we battled sickness and the cold to keep our meetings.  I applaud the students who came out on nights so mean and cold that no other living things were stirring.  We made it, and we did good.

It is the love of good things, of things made with hands, of things that will last that compels students to give up a cozy night at home to show up for class week after week and patiently put stitches in fabric.

I met Pam Osburn (Rosyln Carter) when she came to work at the chemistry department at the University of North Alabama several years ago.  The chemistry department is just across the hall from the physics and earth science department in the Floyd Science Building, so Pam and I see each other often.  We usually talk quilts when we're together.  Of course, every time I complete a quilting project, I take it to work to show it off, and Pam always appreciates it.  I knew she would be the perfect student, and she was.  She recently became a grandmother, and wants to make quilts for her little one to treasure. She learned to make those tiny stitches immediately.

Ann Evans (Dolly Madison) has too many talents to list here.  She is retired from teaching university level math and technology.  She is an accomplished musician and has published fourteen books. Her mother had given her some quilt blocks around forty years ago, and after keeping them stored and moving them several times, Ann sewed the blocks together last year and made her first quilt. She was a wonderful addition to this class, and I can't wait to see the quilts she will make.

I didn't know Denise Davis (Jackie Kennedy) until I was preparing for this class.  A mutual friend told me that Denise would be perfect for it, because she loved all things crafty.  After we talked, I knew our friend was right.  Denise does a variety of crafts, including making decorated cakes that are beautiful.  She was a natural at hand quilting, and I have no doubt that she can make anything she wants to.  I see stacks of quilts in her future.

I have been quilting for many, many years.  I learn more with every class I teach, not just about quilting, but about patience, sharing, giving, and making tangible things that will last long after I am gone. I'm always sad to see the class end.  I'm going to miss y'all, ladies, and we have to get together to quilt again!

The Alabama State Council of Arts provided a grant to make this class possible.  I'm so grateful for the opportunity to share this love of quilting.