Friday 13 March 2015

The Joy of Volunteering

2015 is turning out to be one of those years. In a good way. A good and very busy way. At times I don't know whether I'm coming or going and catching up on missed calls and emails makes me wonder if it wouldn't be easier to just unplug my phone? March has come in a whirlwind and I keep pinching myself when I consider that AQC really is just around the corner now.

Yesterday I started volunteering sewing skills at a local school. It's been many years since I taught young children to sew and the the enthusiasm and determination they showed was really contagious. I just loved it. I've also started volunteering in a local women's group - just essential sewing and pattern skills right now, but you never know, I might make some quilters out of them yet!
Aren't these just great?! Such an achievement for beginners- these kids just loved making their own felt critters and really focused on stitching all the way around these shapes, I'm so proud of them.And I'm really impressed with their positive attitude too. Both the girls and boys really did so well. Just being around them recharged my battery. 

These days, in order to volunteer in a school setting you need a special working with children safety check. Here is a lone photo of me helping one of the children along, I had a little queue at my 'station' here but for privacy reasons, I've cropped them all out as I don't want to possibly  upset anyone or infringe on their privacy rights. When my own children were young it was normal to take photos of them with and around teachers and strangers in settings such as this one. My own caution reminds me just how much the world has changed since my own children were young and, most dramatically, since I was a child myself. I understand completely why these measures are in place now and I am in no way criticizing them -in fact I recognize that they are sorely needed. It's just that this recognition makes me feel a bit sad for society. Still, I do believe in doing what you can and it's been a real treat for me to share my passion for sewing skills with young people. 
And that's got me thinking about how to keep them engaged in sewing in a relevant and fun way. When I learnt to sew, it was all hard work and repetition but children are much too savvy for any of that these days! Luckily my DD who is a teacher now, is full of resources and has even set me up with a children's sewing inspirations Pinterest board. All I have to do now is work out how to import it into my own Pinning stream! So far I'm feeling the enthusiasm and just need to find some plastic sheets with perforation holes at a good price. I got really lucky with these felt critter packs - they were on sale at Spotlight and the special was that you when you buy 2x you get 1 x for free. A nice perk when you're stocking up for classes like this one. 
Goodness, its been such a long time since I received thank you letters. I think the last one must have been when my eldest DD was a Girl Guide.
Today I'm re-washing Lily Rose so that I can move on to quilting it next week. I've done a lot of reading up on dye running and think it's going to be fine. I'll let you know how it works out when I pull it out of my machine and can see the results for myself!

Over the weekend I hope to put down some serious hours for my LE2 hand sewing and when my hands can take no more and need some stretching, I'll be working on my workshop booklets and getting them ready for binding.

Oh March, slow down!


  1. good luck on washing the quilt and I sure hope it turns out great for you .

  2. Oh my Esther what fun. But you amaize me with all the time and talent you give freely. I know Volunteering is so very rewarding. bless you.
    Hugs Bunny


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