Tuesday, April 24, 2012

When I look back on all the things I learned in high school ...

So you can tell by my rhapsodic waxing last week that I was a fan of my high school teacher, Mrs. Mills. But hers weren't the only great classes I took. I loved Spanish all three years with Mr. Meredith, who wrote in my yearbook that I was one of the only true scholars of high school age, proving that not only was he a great teacher but an excellent judge of intellect as well. Mr. Fanning's Constitutional History class was mesmerizing and exposed me for the first time to the actor Sam Waterston, who I still have a bit of a crush on. Then there was Chemistry with Mr. Parker. He had a glass eye and was nicknamed "Gumby" for reasons lost to Appleton West history.

Although I didn't take sewing in high school, my junior high home ec sewing classes remain some of the most valuable, long-lived lessons I learned.  Sewing has been a way for me to relax, to contribute, to express my creativity. I've had articles about my quilting published in national magazines (fingers crossed for a new piece I'm submitting tomorrow) and I've enjoyed writing this blog tremendously. I never imagined when I was making that first doll dress and then the little apron that all these years later I would still enjoy it so much. And even though the teacher's name is long forgotten, I do remember that her husband was training to be a surgeon and would cut out her patterns for practice. We were all quite envious of that.

Yesterday I was at JoAnn Fabric and the young woman who rang me up started telling me how her high school sewing class changed her life. I don't know whether she was a star student overall, but she said that excelling in sewing class and having the items she designed and made modeled in two fashion shows gave her confidence she'd never felt before. Her career path, she said, would include fashion and sewing -- two things she had never considered just a few years earlier. She just looked so darned happy as she spoke, I wanted to hug her.

I have completed another Freedom Place quilt top. The featured fabric is a slightly more subdued cat print that has a lot of grey in it, which could be a problem. I didn't want the quilt to look too moody or dull, but foraging in the stash provided a great solution: a black and white plaid and a quirky heart-and-asterisk print that "called to me" during a late-night online shopping spree.

I think that together they are very young and refreshing.  They provide a counterbalance to the cat print and the other complementary fabrics.

Here's a closer look at the cat print. Cute, right?

And here's the completed top. 

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