Birmingham certainly is a small town, but people will tell you that it is bizarre just how interconnected lives seem to be...six degrees of separation usually becomes two to four degrees especially in the case of this Sew-Op customer. Marnie brought a quilt top made by her grandmother to the shop late last summer and as tends to happen with projects that require some thought and care, the top sat by patiently as I searched for a member to quilt it.
Lucky for all of us, "Mama Glo" is a speed demon when it comes to hand-quilting and she took the project on earlier this year. When the quilt was finished and we were admiring her work, Gloria said, "Now Lillis, I think I know this young lady. There aren't that many 'Marnie's in the world. I think I worked with her father some time ago". She went on to tell me all about the family - and indeed, it sounded as though she had become an honorary member of it herself by the time everyone parted ways.
When I wrote to let Marnie know that her quilt was finished, I told her who had quilted it and she replied that YES! She remembered Gloria well! When Marnie and her daughter came to pick up the quilt yesterday, the two caught up on family members and Gloria remembered attending the funeral of the woman who had made the quilt top that she had finished quilting.
All in a day's work, folks! If you come to Bib & Tucker Sew-Op, we just might reconnect you with friends from your past!
At noon on Friday, November 18th, our four Woodlawn Sewing Trainees had the honor of donating the fruits of their labor to the Occupational Therapists (OTs) of UAB Highands' Acute Care for Elders unit. After twenty consecutive weeks of training sessions (and a total of 80 hours), our trainees completed ten soft-goods therapy tools for OTs to distribute to patients with dementia. The tools will be outfitted with fidget gizmos that replicate activities of daily living (ADLs) and hopefully these tools will help patients strengthen and reinforce necessary functions for independence. One of our trainees said this was the best job she has ever had. Another trainee had never been behind a sewing machine before and was able to keep up with the class as it sped forward. Another trainee learned fractions (a skill she missed out on in school) and our most adept trainee (initially, she called to be the trainer not a trainee) said she learned all sorts of skills from our fearless leader, Heather Hood. Stay tuned for more stories and photos from this fascinating 20-week experiment. Bib & Tucker Sew-Op owes a huge debt of gratitude to The Community Health Innovation Awards, which is supported by The University of Alabama at Birmingham and UAB’s Center for Clinical and Translational Sciences (National Institutes of Health Grant UL1TR001417).
We were so lucky to have Leanna Leithauser Lesley demonstrate needlepoint to the campers today. Leanna takes needlepoint to the next level and hopes to revive the art form with her contemporary take on one-of-a-kind canvases. Bib & Tucker member June Solomon assisted the campers with their technique.
Today, Bib & Tucker member Stephanie George taught our campers about up-cycling and they made scrunchies, draw-string purses and reversible shoulder bags from t-shirts. Stephanie talked about the throw-away culture of the fashion industry and encouraged our campers to search out materials in thrift stores and yard sales in order to create one-of-a-kind clothing and accessories. Another day of high-paced machine work!
Today, Bib & Tucker member and quilter extraordinaire Barbara Willingham taught the campers how to make a complicated-looking quilt block called the Reverse Four-Patch. Then she taught the campers how to add sashing to a quilt block to make it larger and how to make a simple pillowcase. Campers then stuffed and sewed the pillow shut. Another busy, busy day!