Sunday, August 15, 2010

School Days and a Nosegay

School started this week.  (Insert descending chord here.)

As you may recall, I moved to the middle school this year.  I spent most of the month of May packing up the tons of teaching gear I've accumulated over the years and dividing it in two parts: a Mt. Everest size pile of primary (grades K-3) materials and a Mt. McKinley size pile of intermediate (grades 4-5) material.  Mt. Everest got transferred by my always-patient-and-helpful husband and me over two hot and sweaty weekends to a storeroom I am lucky enough to have access to.  Mt. McKinley was moved over the summer to my new classroom, just waiting for me.  It took the better part of a week, but I managed to get all the boxes emptied and broken down and the stuff put away before the doors opened on the first day of school.

This week I felt as though I had started a whole new job. New procedures, new forms, new computers, new schedules, new students, new faculty and staff, new everything.  This year is going to be an adventure for sure.

As far as sewing goes, except for my Friday night sewing group, I haven't picked up a needle for a week or more. 

I do have a quilting story to share, however.  Two weeks ago at our Friday night sewing group, one of my friends brought over two absolutely beautiful heirloom quilts that belong to her neighbors.  One was an appliqued poppy, done in several shades of red and dark pink on white muslin, which I didn't get a picture of.  The other was a nosegay pattern. I borrowed these pictures from my friend Anne's cell phone.

I know that had I seen this pattern in a magazine or book I might not have taken a second look, but in person it is truly amazing.  This one looks as though it was sewn last week.  All the fabrics are bright and unfaded and it showed very little wear. 

We all began to try to figure out how to make the kite shape at the bottom of the bouquet.  Anne found an older pattern, but it called for making 1-inch grid paper and tracing the pieces (remember those?).  I thought I had directions for rotary cutting a kite shape, but it turns out that the angles are the wrong size.  What to do? 

Saturday I googled the pattern and I found one at the McCall's website, but I couldn't get the templates to print out at the right size.  And then I saw several references to a Marti Michell pattern that was in the October 2010 issue of American Patchwork and Quilting.  The very selfsame issue that was sitting on the table next to my computer.  In fact, we had been paging through that magazine the night we all saw the quilt. The paper templates are, of course, in the magazine, or you can order plastic ones from Marti's website. 

It just blew me away that I had paged through that magazine so many times and never noticed the quilt.  The quilt featured in the magazine is very pretty, but not "my colors".  I guess my eye just skipped over it without absorbing what it was. 

So another project is added to the list..


Ali Honey said...

Good luck with your new class. All your description made me feel quite nostalgic. It's a long time since I was a teacher - but I loved it. I too taught at several different levels - still have some things left ( little Mt. Everest )from way back when.
With the little kids I just love that look on their faces when the light comes on and they get it. Just the best feeling for a teacher.

Nancy said...

I made a similar move 5 years ago, from an elementary school library to a combined middle-high school library. I didn't want to move, but I am so glad I did. I loved every part of the job, and I loved working with older students (I retired in June.) You will enjoy working with middle school kids; they are trying hard to grow up, but they are still children in many ways. Good luck!