The best way for us to journal this for me to insert her report, so I'm just going to do that. :) Hope you enjoy, and may you be inspired to include a little community service sewing each month in your lives - be that making quilts for Restore Innocence, Quilts of Valor, firehouses or police stations, or battered women and children's center, Christmas stockings for children's centers, bibs for Alzheimer's patients, fetal demise pouches for stillborns, wheel chair lap quilts for nursing homes, or individual blocks for any variety of gifts of love to people near and far.
Here are Marissa's words:
For my Civics project, I made a quilt for Restore Innocence. This included piecing the top, basting all the layers together, and quilting it. The quilt I made used a rainbow of colors on a white background. The entire quilt is 165 separate pieces. This part took about six and a half hours.
|Finding a layout I like|
I went to the April meeting of my mom’s quilt guild to show them the top. It took my mom and I about an hour and a half to pin-baste the layers. I quilted it in a grid-work style that’s popular with modern quilting. My mom did about a third of the quilting to get it finished on time, and it took us each about four hours to quilt the entire thing. Once the quilt was finished it was washed, so it would be clean and ready for its future owner. On the third Saturday of May, I will show the guild the finished quilt, and then turn it in to Restore Innocence.
|Sewing rows together|
At the guild meeting I learned that my work making a quilt helps them at the same time that it helps the charity I chose. This is because the guild is a non-profit organization and keeps track of its community service hours to help determine its tax-free status. But the real beneficiary will be a girl, probably very close to my age, at the Cinderella House in Colorado Springs. “Restore Innocence is a faith-based, 501(c)3 non-profit organization dedicated to helping victims of child trafficking. Because of the lack of aftercare facilities specific to victims of domestic minor sex trafficking in the United States, Restore Innocence operates The Cinderella House, a safe house where victims can find true restoration.”
|Showing the top at the guild meeting|
What new skills did I learn? I learned more about color theory, such as how the traditional R-B-Y color wheel is all wrong. I learned how to use an advanced sewing machine, and also how to pin-baste a quilt. You need to tape the layers down on a flat surface. You can’t let the pins be too far apart, or else the quilt will have ugly creases in the back.
|Pin-basting the layers|
I would say it was a positive experience because nothing really happened that was negative. I scraped up my finger pulling pins when the quilt was done, but overall, it went well.
|Learning to use the safety-pin tool|
I have grown personally working on this project, because I learned that there’s so much more to community service than volunteering. The guild my mom goes to now does things like fetal demise bags, so mothers who have stillbirths don’t need to take their baby home in a brown paper bag. They also do firehouse quilts, so that if a child’s home burns down, the fire station can give the child a quilt. The Flying Needles quilt guild focuses on quilts of valor for military people who are injured on deployment, wheelchair lap quilts for nursing homes, quilted bibs for Alzheimer’s patients, and quilted stockings for children’s centers. And my mother told me about opportunities for community sewing that are organized in the blog world; for example, in the past year, she has answered calls for cheerful pillowcases for the surviving elementary students at Sandy Hook, quilt blocks for a woman whose husband died of a brain tumor, quilt blocks for a young bride whose husband was killed in Afghanistan, and most recently, blocks for victims of the Boston Marathon bombing.
|Showing the finished quilt to Mrs. Richie, my Guild supervisor|
|Here you can see the back|
When I took the finished quilt to Mrs. Richie’s house, she told me how I probably won’t be able to give my quilt directly to a girl because after the FBI bring them in, their identities and locations are kept secret for their protection. I’m glad I made a quilt though, because for a lot of them, this will be their first personal item, as they don’t even have the clothes off their back because they’ve been taken for evidence.
I just love the giant smile on her face when she was showing her quilt to Melissa. This quilt is 65" x 72", has a scrumptious batiste backing with a very thin poly batt, which made for a super-scrunchable feel that just begs you to squish it in a hug.
|You gotta love the rainbow ice cream fabric that called to her!|
The feature squares are the Mirror Ball Dot Michael Miller fabric. I let Marissa use up the set of 18 colors in fat-sixteenths that I got in my swag bag at the Crazy Old Ladies retreat in February, along with a bunch of my Kona snow yardage. Scott sponsored her for buying backing fabric since we couldn't find anything in my stash that looked really great for it, and it was going out as a special gift from the heart.
I did put the binding on for her since she was out of time, way over the required hours, and had never done that before. Whenever her next quilt-making time is, I'll teach her that skill, too.
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