Friday, July 31, 2009

Happy Village interview

My two girls came yesterday for a quick finish on their Happy Villages quilts. I finally did find some large pieces of felt so I opted for the easy solution to my binding problems. Thank you all for your suggestions on other ways to bind these quilts. I will try the knife edge and the fusible edge at some point.

The girls came and I showed them their quilts and they shyly smiled! I explained that the tasks for the day would be sewing the quilts on to the felt (first machine sewing), hiding the stitches with yarn and then making a label.

I take so much for granted when teaching these kids. For example, I explained they needed to pin the quilt to the felt and I'd show them how to work the sewing machine. They both stood there with a pin in their hands with a look on their faces...

"Pin? Where do we put this pin? Stab it from the back? Pin just the felt?"

I gave a lot of demonstrations and it would have been faster to do it myself but that wasn't the purpose of the task.

Machine sewing was fairly successful and then I gave the girls yarn and glue and made suggestions on how to hide the raw edge of the quilt. And finally they made a label and we glued it on to the back...

Over cake and cola I interviewed them.

"So, what do you think about sewing?"

(Please look at the floor, then the ceiling, then tip your head from side to side, then smile shyly, then make a silent plea for me to ask someone else, then finally whisper your answer.)

"Yes. I like it." "Just so-so."

"Okay. Do you like art in general?"

"Just so-so."

"What do you like doing the best?"

"Reading books." "Writing Chinese characters."

"How about this sewing project? What was the most difficult part of it?"

"Overlapping the pieces." "Putting on the roofs and windows."

"What was the most enjoyable part of doing this?"

"Putting on the yarn." (WHAT?) "Using the sewing machine." (WHAT? We used the sewing machine for two minutes!)

"If you did this again, what would you do differently?"

"Put in trees." "Use only solid fabrics."

"Do you think you could do this again by yourself?"

"Yes, I could." "No, I couldn't."

I suggested that the girls write me something about what they thought about their villages and sewing but neither wanted to do that. BUT, they did allow me to take their pictures! Wow! That's a breakthrough. On a previous project they had said no!

AND they said they want to do some more sewing next week! Next they want to try piecing! With all my headaches with these girls, why am I so happy that we will be doing more sewing together?


Leslie said...

Just look at those smiles! They will remember this long after they are no longer your students. Wonderful wall hangings!

Janet C said...

You made great progress, Tanya getting the girls to be photographed. Their smiles tell it all - I bet they are pretty proud of their work and I think you have potential quilters to-be! Have a nice weekend! ;)

G'G'ma said...

The girls look so happy with their villages. I marvel at your patience trying to get a response from them. From their smiles I think you made a break through!

Anonymous said...

very HAPPY faces!

Yuki said...

The girls look adorable holding up their projects. Have they seen any of the quilts that you have made? I'm thinking that might inspire them.

ttfn :) Yuki

Allie said...

Oh just look at those faces - those girls are beautiful, just gorgeous when they smile. I LOVE their quilts - and Tanya, they must've enjoyed more than the yarn and sewing, they want to do more!

I think the breakthrough will come through art. The art of sewing, manipulating fabric. What they did is simply amazing and wonderful!

Quiltin' LibraryLady said...

Why do you take all the trouble? Well, you're a teacher at heart and you want these girls to find enjoyment in something that gives you joy. They look very happy in their picture. Maybe they liked it better than they were willing to let on.

Anonymous said...

Tanya, When I was teaching in China, my students(Middle School) were not shy at all. They couldn't wait to hang out with me after school, bring me shopping and eating, hang out in my office to talk and even wish to be invited to my apartment to hang out. They would extend invitations for me to join them to the beach on holidays, visit their families, etc... They were great students and I miss them.

Hedgehog said...

What a great project! She liked using the sewing machine, huh? The other liked yarn? Maybe there's hope for them finding their art/craft inner self still!

Timi said...

You are a very good teacher, Tanya!!
The villages look great! And the girls- they look very happy, too :o)

Marilyn R said...

What beautiful quilts, what beautiful smiles! It's going to be fun hearing about your next sewing lesson!

June said...

The villages are beautiful and so are the girls. I know that you are proud of their accomplishment and are happy to have found a common ground with them. Patience pays off!

Jenny Bear said...

These quilts will stay with them forever.

I am in UK and have just foound your blog via my friend Ros.


Anonymous said...

Sooooo happy for you that this project worked out....and happy for the girls, too! And you have to speak to them while working, so there is your English teaching....this has to be so thrilling for you, even with the little headaches they've they give later, hugs, Pat

Rae Ann said...

You'll never know the impact you had on this young ladies. I've been sewing for over 25 years, all my kids were the best dressed French Machine Sewn Party dresses to Smocked Bishops down to Prom Dresses. Not one had an interest....until one of my daughters was in her late 20's, and my youngest not 26 decided she wanted to learn to sew. Sew....with that in mind give them another few years!

Joyce said...

Wow! What beautiful little quilts they made. And you with so much patience with them. The happy smiles says it all!

Keep up the good work of reaching out to the children!

Joyce B., USA

Meggie said...

The girls really do look so happy. I think their villages are lovely.
Well done Tanya!