Feb 28, 2017
After much preparation and fretting, our sewing circle has begun. Marla and Jen have been ordering supplies, organizing items, and Marla was busy sewing together a sample quilt to start on. It’s been a hectic few weeks, especially for someone who calls herself an amateur seamstress and unsure of how this whole quilt thing works. I have tried to work as her lovely assistant, visiting building stores (carrying 8 foot 2x4s back and forth on the tram) and trying to help where I can. In the end, I try to follow instructions and stay out of the way. My job is to look after the children that are accompanying some of our single moms.
Last night was our first gathering. We had young and old, mothers and daughters, arrive to find out what this was all about. After a brief introduction as to what we were doing and why we were gathering, they were off. It was wonderful to see some of our church members working beside our students, using their German to communicate as best they could.
As I’ve learned over the last weeks, there is a certain amount of precision required to make a decent quilt. For example, cutting material into squares is important when sewing the pieces together in the end. If you don’t pay attention to this, you can have some awkward looking patterns and a blanket that isn’t really square. In the end, we aren’t trying to produce Amish Country quality quilts that we can sell for thousands of dollars. But, we are hoping to create blankets that will last and keep someone warm at night.
As Marla was reflecting on the evening, she wanted to share with everyone, before our next gathering, what these blankets are all about. The patches that we cut are like us. We come with different backgrounds, from different countries and even with different beliefs. But through our gathering, we are able to create a warmth, a beauty that is not possible alone. It’s the sewing together of these patches that creates the warm, cozy blanket. Likewise, it’s the gathering of these different people, the coming together, that has the potential to create a warm, embracing community that can nurture and sustain us through the days ahead.
One of the reasons we decided to add this project to our Friedenshaus program was because it fits so well into the goal of this endeavour: bringing people together and fostering a culture of peace. Once basic language skills are in place, we can begin to work together and share more of who we are. Therefore, this quilting project has the potential to continue long after language classes are needed.
German Word of the Week: die Kanalisation (the sewer). So, we’ve noticed during the last couple of weeks that the sink in the church kitchen is draining quite slowly. One of our students offered to clear the trap, which he did. Despite this, the drainage was still quite slow. He suggested returning with one of these pipe snakes to go further down the pipe. Before this happened, we had a bit of rain last night and … you guessed it! We were greeted this morning by the not so welcoming aroma of sewer back up. The plumber is on his way. And we are busy cleaning up.