Saturday, March 22, 2014

Years 23 to 34: Education Specialist for Spokane Public Schools: Babies, Babies, and More Babies (and quilts)!

It's interesting when you have a job that allows you to work with lots of different people. So many different personalities, ages, approaches to teaching, etc. I had this opportunity for twelve years in Spokane and the teachers, psychologists, therapists, administrators and other support staff encompassed all ages, sizes, shapes, and dispositions!

Probably the most cohesive group, by age anyway, was the preschool group. Except for a few in my age group or older, most of this group were young, just married, and/or having babies! Wow! For a while there, these young women were contributing to the increased population of Spokane at what seemed like an alarming rate! I say that because as a quilter, I decided to make baby quilts for many of these babies. It seemed like a good idea at the beginning, but then I couldn't keep up! Most of the quilts I made I designed myself, and all of them used fabrics that did not come from places like JoAnne's, but instead from quality quilt stores. These fabrics have a much higher thread count and longer life span.

In 2000, two teachers I worked with had their first babies. One was a self-contained teacher I did my Master's with, and the other was a teacher I worked with first in Cheney, but who now worked in Spokane. Kellie's quilt was all in stitchery with angels. This quilt also involved applique and was entirely quilted by hand. Around the inside border I hand stitched the Prayer to My Guardian Angel. Susan's quilt was done using a technique called paper piecing and was all sailboats and seagulls. Unfortunately, I don't have a picture of it.

I did a quilt with ducks for Jessieanna, one with circles for Carmen, and one with hearts for Louise.

A quilt with crayons for Meghan, one with brown and pink stars for Dawn, and one with crazy squares for Kristi.
And teachers having babies weren't the only recipients of quilts. There were quilts to be made for people who were retiring like Judi and Mary. And quilts for those who were sick, like Bonnie.

Judi's quilt I made with the hand prints of her students in the shape of caterpillars and flowers. Then I added hand prints of all of the preschool teachers. That was a fun quilt and a big surprise for Judi!

Leslie Weller and I worked together on Mary's retirement quilt. Leslie did the beautiful piecing of the quilt in wonderful colors and fabrics. I did the machine quilting, quilting pansies throughout the quilt.

Bonnie's quilt was extra special. Sometimes when I begin a quilt, I start to get thoughts about who should get it when I'm finished. I had thought I was making the quilt as a wall hanging for myself, but then the thoughts about Bonnie persisted and I knew I needed to make it for her. I called this quilt "Once in a Blue Moon" as a person like Bonnie comes around about that often.

There were more quilts like this one I made for Regal principal Mallory Thomas. She was kind enough to provide me office space for many years.

And I've continued the tradition in Central Valley. Last year Deb Lathrop and I worked together to make Geri a retirement quilt that included T-shirts from all 14 of the elementary schools. And almost two years ago, I designed and made this baby quilt for Stacia, a wonderful OT that I've actually known since she was 3 years old (her mother was my hair dresser lo these many years ago!). Since she works at McDonald, I made a barn quilt and machine quilted "Old McDonald" around the border. It turned out very cute!