Saturday, May 13, 2017

Refugee Update

Late last August, I became part of a four-congregation group of volunteers who worked to resettle a refugee family of eleven; these people had lived in a camp in Tanzania for years after being forced to leave their home in the Congo.

The two children who have been in elementary school astonish us with their grasp of the English language. One of the two who attend high school had a great deal of English before coming here and he, too, has flourished. The other high school student is less motivated and the team is struggling to understand her. The three preschoolers will be in kindergarten in September, so there is every reason to believe that they, too, will do well.

The parents are working full-time at a meat packing plant. The work is hard but they are paid well, have health benefits, and even have their own retirement accounts. The other two young adult women are working as hotel maids. So much has been accomplished in these ten months, and yet there is still so much more that they need to learn, to master, to accomplish.

The resettlement team leaders have a weekly conference call and the rest of us receive weekly news bulletins. The most recent bulletin contained a brief report that I found endearing and reminded me that our adult refugees are still somewhat childlike because of the narrowness of their life experience.

"I had fun teaching F and J [the hotel workers] how to mail a letter. (There is a box . . . across from park area.)  They giggled as the letter disappeared.

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

With or Without?

With or Without? In Philadelphia, that question ordinarily has to do with one's preference for or against onions on one's cheesesteak. Just sharing that info, in case you come to our city sometime.

I've been making these fun 9" finished blocks, not quite Churn Dashes, not quite Shooflies, but something quite marvelous, IMNSHO. 

I put them up on the wall, and all I could see was Snowballs. 

Then I thought, what if there were tiny squares in the centers of those big white spaces. Would I see the blocks more or would I still see Snowballs. So I cut some little squares and stuck 'em up there. I think I like it better. What about you? With or Without? Squares, not onions.

Sunday, May 07, 2017

Charming Apron

Every time I post a picture of one of these aprons, someone will ask what pattern I used. I've made aprons from this pattern for years, ever since Nicole at Sisters Choice introduced her readers to it (and I bet even Nicole doesn't remember how long ago that was!). I usually make the waist ties longer than the patter calls for, and the cat food apron I made for Sherry was the first time I just used a plain piece of fabric insert rather than make those cute little pinwheels. Charming Trio by Anka's Treasures.

Saturday, May 06, 2017

We'll Always Have Paris

 A little more than a year ago, Himself and I were in Paris in anticipation of our Viking river cruise to Normandy. The day that we arrived, we met up with our darling great niece, Abby, who was spending her second semester of her junior year studying there. I believe we were the first folks from home and she was awfully glad to see us. We had a wonderful time together.

Now Abby's graduating college and plunging right into a master's program. A family celebration was held in her honor.

Here's Judy modeling the gift I made for Abby while we were on retreat a couple of weeks ago. I believe you can click the photo to enlarge it and see that the apron fabric is all scenes from Paris. I made my niece a pair of pot holders from the scraps.

Wednesday, May 03, 2017

Black Rock, April 2017

Five of the usual suspects eight participants went away to Black Rock a couple of weekends ago. Three of us went on Thursday and were joined by the others the next day.

I was productive. I had brought along several different projects and got everything done that I wanted to.

My daughter has been fascinated by the idea that there is fabric with cat food on it. She's never been an apron-wearer, but declared that if she had a cat food apron she'd wear it! Here's dear Judy modeling the CF apron that I made for Sherry. There were enough scraps of cat food that I could make her a pair of pot holders, too. Also I put together the tops for a set of four placemats, but have to get some fabric for the back before I can finish.

I managed to get my bee blocks for the month together as well as two other projects that must remain a secret for a time; I'll reveal them within a couple of weeks after they've been given to their rightful owners.

My major accomplishment for the weekend was the completion of this granny square baby quilt that I'll be donating to an agency that helps young moms who don't have a lot of money to get started. My Circle will be gathering baby things in October for this agency and my hope is to have four little quilts ready for them by then.

It was, as usual, a really wonderful getaway with lots of laughter, too much eating, and the joy of just being together. Interestingly, there was another group of quilters at the retreat center, about thirty representing the Flying Geese Guild of Hereford or Harford (unclear exactly which), Maryland. These fun ladies invited us to come up for a game of chance on Saturday night and -- rather embarrassingly -- one of our number was the winner of 72 FQs!

Tuesday, May 02, 2017