This fall one of our members, Rebecca Roher asked the Guild for donations of fabrics, notions, tools – anything members could spare to help her start an after school quilting program in local schools. Not only did members contribute by the bagful but the Guild supported Rebecca with a gift certificate at a local fabric store so she could buy what she needed to supplement what she was given. It sounds like this program has been a wonderful success, following is Rebecca's report -
This fall, I have been coordinating and facilitating two free after-school Collaberative Quilt Workshops for kids at Bridgewater Elementary School and Bridgewater High School through the Second Story Women's Centre and with the support of Nova Scotia Communities, Culture and Heritage and the Mahone Bay Quilters Guild.
We are making a "Peace Quilt" at the Elementary School to address issues of bullying and to promote positive social engagement, and female students at the High School are making a "Baby Quilt" and addressing issues that face teen girls.
The workshops have been running smoothly since September, and will be winding down early December. The High School Group quilt has seasonal themes, with plant and animal imagery and blocks that encourage interaction between parent and child to engage in learning letters, objects and colours. The workshop provides a safe space where girls can talk candidly together about things going on in their lives in the comfort of an all-female environment. Last week, we started sewing the patches together and will soon be hand-quilting the piece together.
The Elementary School "Peace Quilt" is full of bright images of peace signs, and people and animals interacting positively together. All the students are comfortable with the sewing machine and the other tools and materials we have been using through the workshops.
Over the past few weeks they have been naturally collaborating on patches, working in teams to make a patch together. The students are enthusiastic about the workshop, they want it to continue through the year, I wish it could too! It's been wonderful getting to know the kids in my workshops and watching their skills and abilities improve.