Every year, the school that my little sister attends (and perhaps Emma will attend one day, too) holds a smARTS Week. Local artists, crafters, and teachers host a variety of classes and for those three days, regular schoolwork is put on hold while the students get up to their elbows in art. Classes cover the whole spectrum of interests from nature-journaling, cake decorating, flower arranging, gospel singing, sculpture, photography, glass fusing, pottery, and so much more. It's the kind of thing an adult could get mighty jealous of, (and I've been hinting around that I'd love to see a smARTS week for adults, too.)
Inspired by Jade's Craft Hope project, I threw out the idea of offering a quilting class to the students–having them create quilts that could be given to needy children in our community. The idea was a success. There were sewing machines available, the school's music teacher was also a quilter and things were set in place.
The original plan was for me to be on location, helping with the class, but when my babysitting fell through, I found myself as the behind-the-scenes help for the class.
The students in the quilting class created two quilt tops–in quite interesting color schemes 🙂 –and they were sent home to me to add the batting and the backing, and then sent back for them to hand-tie the next day. Most of the students in the class had never sewn before and I was given some interesting quilt tops to work with. But with a little squaring up, some reinforcing of seams, and a bucketful of God-given patience, I was able to send back their quilts, tied up in bundles to be hand-tied and sent off to someone in need.
I've always noticed in my sewing experiences that projects truly motivated by love and giving tend to go so smoothly for me. I'm constantly guilty of making silly mistakes, moving through my projects sloppily or quickly. Yet, when a project is inspired and driven by love and a giving heart, it seems that things always come together perfectly, as if my head and hands and heart are working together despite my shortcomings.
I love that about handmade work.
As I sat at my sewing machine, with the quilt draped across my lap, I noticed immediately the warmth it was providing in my very cold, farmhouse kitchen. And I could only think of the sweet little child whose lap and weary body these quilts would bring warmth to. The thought of that warms my heart.