volunteer

SU-CASA CLASS QUILT SHOW AT PROSPECT HILL SENIOR SERVICES CENTER!

quilt class group

Many of the members of our quilting class and guests. (Clockwise from bottom center: Cyndi, Dottie, Iris from BAC, Guita, Reginalda, Coleen, Lily, Silkje, Brother John from the adjoining church, Nilda and Gladys.

This week marked the end of our current unit on quilting at the Prospect Hill Senior Services Center.  The latest unit was centered around the Batik fabric traditions of Indonesia.  With generous funding from a SU-CASA grant, the class was able to generate some of their own fabric with custom prints, and these pieces became part of a quilt.  We combined our homemade fabrics with commercial batik fabrics and the colorful quilt that resulted is by far our best group project yet.

new quilt

SU-CASA sponsored programming: Batik quilt project by the quilters at PHSSC.

 

The images below are just a few documenting the afternoon’s presentation.  We revealed our newest quilt to the lunch crowd at the center, and then invited them to come up on the stage to see the display and share some cake, cookies and a little sparkling cider to celebrate.

quilt show sign

Coleen makes a special sign announcing the quilt show.

Dottie hanging quilts

Dottie carefully hangs quilts for our display.

treats

Cyndi helps prepare the delicious treats that the PHSSC provided for our event!

quilt show panorama

A panoramic view of our display. Photo by Dottie McCoy.

center lunchtime

The busy PHSSC at lunchtime.

 

quilting the boys

Joe and Jimmy, some of our buddies who visit during class.

quilt show reception

Seniors enjoying the exhibit and the treats!

Quilting is often a philanthropic endeavor.  It is always nice to have someone or some purpose in mind when making a quilt.  The class decided as a group to gift our batik quilt to the center director, Carla Zecca.  Carla is one of the kindest people you could meet, and it is clear that she is loved by the members of the center as much as she loves them.  She truly has cultivated a home away from home for so many.  Carla has been in full support of our quilting program from the beginning over two years ago.  Each year we have donated our projects to help raise money for the center during its annual fundraiser and quilts are raffled off.  Carla always tries to win and hasn’t gotten one yet!  So, this quilt is for you, Carla, we hope that it will brighten your life and know that you will cherish it.

quilt show side

A closer look at our quilt show…

quilt show front

I am so proud of this group of students, and so grateful to my co-teachers, and for the SU-CASA grant funding that made this unit possible.  The extra funding allowed us not only to buy basic quilt supplies that will last us through the year, but also to get special fabrics that complimented our batik project perfectly.  We will be taking a break for the month of July, but we will resume our program in August on our regular volunteer basis, and we will continue building upon the skills we have.  I hope that a few of the excited faces I saw during our quilt show will become new students and friends as we begin again in August.  Come quilt with us!

quilting teachers

Coleen Scott Trivett (Lead Teaching Artist) Dottie McCoy and Cyndi Freeman (Assistant Instructors) Photo: G. Bauman

Q is for Quilting Issue 2 is complete!  Click the link to view a PDF version of the special magazine that details our recent quilting projects!

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QUILTING CLASS at the Prospect Hill Senior Center- A Story about Volunteering

Our quilting class at the Prospect Hill Senior Center

Our quilting class at the Prospect Hill Senior Center

Since July, I have had the pleasure of volunteering with some of the wonderful senior citizens at The Prospect Hill Senior Center in Brooklyn, New York.  I have always been around senior citizens, from the time I was a young child.  My parents and grandparents were part of The Elks Lodge, and we went camping monthly with The Roving Elks, a motorhome group of mostly seniors.  I was always very close to all four of my grandparents, and after losing my last grandpa at the beginning of this year, I have really felt the gap in my life and my heart, where the seniors are missing.  Probably because of my close relationships with my grandparents, I love seniors, and have been searching for an opportunity to work with them for years.  After a guest storytelling opportunity given to me by my good friend, professional storyteller and actress, Cyndi Freeman, I was hooked, and began brainstorming ways to get more involved with the wonderful people I had met.  Cyndi felt the same way, and was excited to continue working with these seniors she had built relationships with.

In July, 2015, we (Cyndi and I) sat down with Crystal and Carla at Prospect Hill Senior Center, for a programming meeting, and decided that a quilting class would be a great way to go.  We had to emphasize that we were interested in volunteering, and we made a small budget, and began thinking of other ways to get supplies we needed.

Now, I am a costume designer by trade, and a costume instructor at a private school in Brooklyn, so teaching sewing comes very easily, but quilting is a skill that I learned from my mother.  My mom Gayle Scott, is an avid quilter and artist.  She has been making quilts of all kinds for over 15 years now, and participates actively in the Quilting Guild in her city, Redding, California.

Over the years, I have learned many different techniques and tricks about quilting from my mom.  I’ve taken workshops with her, learned through practice while sewing on visits home to Redding, California, and I’ve spent hours with her quilting friends sewing at the community center Thursday sewing group.  I would consider myself a novice quilter and an expert seamstress.  I tend to enjoy the design process and the act of putting things together over the tedium of cutting pieces perfectly, or doing intricate handwork like applique’.  My mom has done it all, and so have most of her friends.  They are a talented bunch, and they are a joyful, and generous group of ladies.

Japanese Style Quilt with hand embroidered blocks by Gayle Scott

Japanese Style Quilt with Hand embroidered blocks by Gayle Scott

Original Photo by Ben Trivett

Photo Slice Art Quilt by Gayle Scott and 3 Redding CA, Art Quilters

I suppose it should have come as no surprise that when Cyndi and I were approved for this quilting class, the ladies of the Redding Thursday Group jumped at the opportunity to clean out their fabric scraps, and donated all of the fabric to get our class started.  Not only did they donate the fabric, but they cut all the fabric into 4″ squares for us.  Thousands of 4″ squares were then packed into priority mail packages along with some fabric yardage to back quilts, and all was mailed directly to me for use in our projects.  Mom and I made a plan of ways to make quilts with beginners, and through her experience, we designed accessible projects that would help everyone learn the basics, and help them feel like they had the opportunity to design.  We also made a plan to have layout boards for those who may not be able to sew, but wanted to participate.  I cannot express the gratitude I have for those women’s generosity, and for their enthusiasm about this project.  I know that they are still ready to send a whole new batch of fabric whenever we are ready for more.  Truly, the program could not have happened without them, and it has kept us going now for months.  We have finished four quilts, and tens of other small projects like tote bags, pillows, pin cushions, and pot holders- all made from the squares they sent.

We are still going strong over at Prospect Hill, and will finish this time with them at the end of December.  We hope to move to another center in the new year through June, possibly with funding from BAC in a special grant for senior arts programs.  We truly look forward to meeting new seniors and working with some of our new friends from PHSS who recommended this new space to us.  We will always have a love for that center, and hope to return there with more programming as well.

I am so grateful to my mother for teaching me the basic quilting skills I have, for being the doer that she is, and for organizing and helping me plan this course from afar.  Her creativity and generosity is unparalleled, and I am so lucky and thankful for her in my life.  Soon, California will connect directly with New York, and mom will be a guest in our quilting class in Brooklyn, on her visit in the new year.

Here is a video of the seniors having fun, and chatting about class- you can see by the smiles on their faces, that they are as happy as we are to be quilting together.

Quilts made by seniors in the Quilting Class at Prospect Hill Senior Center

Quilts made by seniors in the Quilting Class at Prospect Hill Senior Center

The bottom line is this: volunteering is good for your soul.  I feel connected to senior citizens, but maybe you feel connected to children, or animals, the homeless, or the sick.  The point is, it feels good to give back to the community, and it feels even better if you can share something you love with others, without stress, without pretense, and without any reason other than to create for the joy of it.  I highly recommend it.