Making Potholders At Bishop Maginn

Hser Nay showing Paris how to retrieve the bobbin thread.

She just stepped in and started helping. I asked her name and told her mine, but I’m bad with names and forgot it the next moment.  I didn’t think to ask again or write it down, I was too busy going from one person to the next, showing them how to make a potholder along with helping to untangle bobbins and re-thread machines.

Everyone did get a potholder started, including the girl whose name I’ll get next class.  She understood the workings of a sewing machine, but didn’t know how to sew.  Jayla was the only one to finish her potholder, the others put theirs away till next class.

I brought my Gees Bend Quilt book thinking some of the students might be interested in sewing what other quilters have done.  They were polite about it, pretending to glance through, but all they really wanted to do was make something.

I admired that, they know how they want to spend their time,  and they wanted to create.

I was once again struck by how the students help each other.  They’re ll eager to show someone else what they’ve learned and are just as easy in getting help.

They work around each other comfortably, a little sewing dance, as they circle and trade places to cut their fabric, iron and sew.  They are also  generous, passing scissors back and forth and giving each other time on the sewing machines.

I feel like I’m beginning to understand what they want to learn, by what they make.  Small simple things are a good place to start.  They also want to make things they can give to other people.

Sue Silverstein wanted to learn how to make a potholder too.  But even though it’s the lunch period, she was caught up in all the many things she does. So she was counting on one of the kids to show her.  Which they’d be happy to do.

The hour always goes too quick.

Next time we’ll get there a little early and I’ll set up the new sewing cart  and plastic bin for fabric, that we’re getting with some of the donations some of you have given me.  It’s much needed since there isn’t a lot of storage space in Sue’s classroom.  And  it should make things a little easier, to be able to quickly find what we need.

I think Sue will appreciate it for cleaning up too.

Jayla with her potholder

One thought on “Making Potholders At Bishop Maginn

  1. This is so great! I LOVED learning to sew when I was their age. Toys for nieces and nephews (the whole Winnie the Pooh line up), my prom dresses. My mother was a great sewer, and a quilter as she aged. My dad got me started with a “toy” sewing machine when I was about 10. Best Christmas present ever. He was amazed at the things I was able to create on that “toy”. I am loving seeing these kids discover this enormously creative outlet. It’s so empowering. God bless them and you!

    1. Thanks for your story Jill. My grandmother taught me to sew by hand. When I was showing the kids how to tie off the thread after sewing the openings in the pillows, I though of her and how she showed me how to do that. She died when I was five or six so I had to be around that age.

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