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Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Quilting Changes Lives!

Do you remember me writing about the Tweens & Teens Quilt Camp at the Glendale Quilt show? Oh how I love to see girls SO EXCITED about creating and doing and making ---

One reader contacted me back with a story of her own and I’d like to share it with you, just for something to make you feel good this afternoon ---

She writes:

Hi Bonnie,

It's lovely seeing all those girls making quilts or sewing. I teach children with behavioural issues, who've been excluded from mainstream school and most need anger management classes. I've been working with students and teaching them to sew.

One girl in particular, who was violent to the point of the police having to restrain her and keep in her a cell over night, has recently learnt how to quilt.

She will sit with me for two hours, absorbed with cutting material, stitching, ironing and making things. She's made a bag and a cushion so far.

She is so proud of what she's made and has such an interest that her parents are going to buy her a sewing machine.

I've attached the photo of her cushion,

I hope you like it.

J.C.

This is what it’s about folks!

I know through my darkest hours, through heart-break, depression, fear, despair --- Just the opportunity to put the other senses forefront –TOUCH the fabric, SEE the color, LISTEN to the sound of the machine humming –even the SMELL of the iron hitting that fabric spritzed with a bit of spray starch or best press ---moves me far enough away from the things that are tormenting my soul to where I can let “those other things” fall into better perspective while I am simply putting the pieces and shapes of a quilt together.

Our young folks are there at an age where they are too young to do this, to old to do that -- choices are being made for them, and often times their frustration comes out in anger. I love how this story put her focus into working with fabric, and turned everything around!

Thanks for sharing this, J.C.! It made my day!

29 comments:

  1. OK, you should have posted tissue alert! What an awesome story. I am a mom of adopted children with BiPolar and when they get interested, it is the best feeling! I pray this young girl goes far with her quilting skills!

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  2. What a GREAT story ... really, really what I needed today. Thank you for sharing and my prayers will be that this young woman (and all the children like her) find solace in fabric, creating and quilting. The pillow is adorable ... she has every right to be proud. YOU GO GIRL!!!

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  3. I think it should be compulsory for all children,both boys & girls to be taught quilting in schools !! maybe we should teach our politicians the world over they could have quilting shows instead if war

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  4. I am so glad that this young lady found her calling in quilting! I know that I find it very soothing to piece and quilt. Thanks so much for sharing this wonderful story!

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  5. Bonnie thank you for sharing. I too needed this today. So proud for that young girl that she has someone in her life that she can find happiness learning to sew with. I feel better just felling fabric.

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  6. Such a wonderful story. I hope there are many more out there, even if we don't hear about them. It's so true; sewing, piecing, quilting, cutting all make me feel better. It kind of pulls me away from my problems and stress and lets my mind wander in a calm way. Good for the soul! Thanks for sharing!

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  7. we know i take 24 hour pills in the morning and another at nite

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  8. What a cool cushion. That girl is a natural! And a big thanks to J.C. for sharing our joy of quilting. It really is good for everyone's soul.

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  9. Great story. I believe creativity is good for the soul!

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  10. What a wonderful thing this woman has done and her student. Thanks for sharing
    and for naming your machine after me.LOL

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  11. That is fantastic. It's an adorable cushion, made even more awesome knowing what it means. <3

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  12. what a touching story. it is so true, that quilting has gotten me through some difficult times. i can so relate to that. fear, depression, anxiety, these and other trying times have been made easier by spending time quilting. it's my therapy, that's for sure! oh, could i use that as an excuse to buy more machines/fabric/books...it's cheaper than therapy? hahaha doubt it would fly, but i could try!

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  13. at elementary school in 4th grade they learn about quilt blocks, I've done 2 show and tells already at my kids school and I've heard that in middle school they actually do SEW a quilt.... I did look into a school for troubled teen girls to teach quilting, they were booked for this year. I'm sad I wasn't taught this in school, I DID learn to sew, just not quilting, guess it's more an american thing too.

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  14. Anonymous4:31 PM EDT

    Ohhhhhh so awesome!!! My prayers are with this young lady and J.C. for nurturing and assisting these young people. We should have more J.C.'s around. I, too, find great relief in quilting and have recently taken up cross stitching and that is very soothing as well. I refer to both, quilting and cross stitching, as my psychiatrist - I can't think or worry about anything when my mind is engrossed by "works-of-art" when quilting and/or cross stitching.
    Debra

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  15. Hi Bonnie,
    I agree! All craft- and skill work have allways a therapeutic touch in it! Sewing, painting, what ever makes your soul flow.
    I just had this experience again with my "In Momory"-Quilt, that helped me to go through the sad time after loosing my Mom.
    I whish everybody has a hobby and something that do this for him/her when you need it the most!
    Hugs from Germany :o)

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  16. What a wonderful story... I hope the young woman continues to find herself in sewing! I know I call sewing/quilting my therapy....

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  17. The cushion is so sweet and that young girl must feel such a sense of accomplishment and probable the peace coming from you as you are quilting. Good for you to take the time to help these young girls.

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  18. I know through my darkest hours, through heart-break, depression, fear, despair --- Just the opportunity to put the other senses forefront –TOUCH the fabric, SEE the color, LISTEN to the sound of the machine humming –even the SMELL of the iron hitting that fabric spritzed with a bit of spray starch or best press ---moves me far enough away from the things that are tormenting my soul to where I can let “those other things” fall into better perspective while I am simply putting the pieces and shapes of a quilt together.

    You just described me!!!!!!
    XOXOXO Subee

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  19. Thank you for sharing this. There is just something about quilting that does that to a person. It is calming in so many ways and sounds like it was that way to this young girl. Thank you J.C. for taking time to teach her.

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  20. Wonderful story, sewing is the best therapy! Thanks for sharing.

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  21. Anonymous7:25 PM EDT

    To J.C., please tell your young friend that I really like her pillow.
    Marci

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  22. It still amazes me that I can take a couple of pieces of fabric, cut them into pieces, sew it back together, and I have a beautiful quilt! Just think about it.....that makes me happy and all my cares just go away.

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  23. Thanks for sharing such a great story, Bonnie! Very touching! I agree that quilting is very theraputic and it really does touch us all.

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  24. Fantastic Cushion! Keep up the great work!
    So glad she is sewing. I have always said that sewing and creating puts me into a world void of my problems. We all have those days when every nerve ending is raw. I have been sewing for 51 yrs and still find it the most rewarding hobby. It is cheap therapy and you always end up with something to show for it. Be in good, bad or what was I thinking??? It is all good!

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  25. Wow, how wonderful! Thank you (and J.C.) For sharing this.That cushion is darling.I too find the process of making a quilt, sewing, creating something is very therapeutic.

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  26. Dr. William Rush Dunton was right! (author of "Old Quilts)

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  27. You can see how her life has progressed with the cushion construction - crooked centre but straight at the ends. Her life is getting back on track :)) So good to hear these stories about young people - so many don't have a clue how to enjoy life like we do.

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  28. "Earth" without "art" is just "eh" - which we hear all to often out of the mouth of youngsters (and oldsters, but that is a different topic all together).

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