Saturday, August 16, 2014

Quilts Finished: Early August

The whirl of school has begun!  Whew!
Before I took the College Girl back to NM Tech and returned for my new year the following day, I finished three quilts:

This is a prayer quilt for my friend Kristina.  I'm sure she's received it by now, so I won't have to be concerned about ruining the surprise by showing it.  The border is a Grunge fabric in heavenly blue and violet colors. The rest of the fabrics are those incomparable Peppered Cottons by Pepper Cory for studio e. I used a variety of Fil-Tec Glide threads for quilting.

I also finished and presented "Sweet Loreta."  She loved her quilt, and I'm thrilled that I was able to make it and surprise her with it.

I finished quilting Judy's music quilt--

I managed to get this picture when we went to set up the sanctuary for the blessing.  I think it's interesting that Judy held it at this angle because in my mind I saw the right edge as the top.

Here's the scary stuff that was in my office when I returned:

Yes, a leak (that I repeatedly reported last April/May), complete with black mold, a trash can full of water, and plenty of evidence on the rug that the water had overflowed the can throughout the summer.  Our school is located in what was once a dialysis clinic, and the landlord has refused to do much maintenance and has been exceedingly reluctant to let us make any changes.

Anyone who has had experience with these kinds of things in public schools is likely to know the difficulty getting things fixed there as well. (We are a stand-alone state chartered school, so we are not part of a large district.) While we were in training, the landlord and his wife appeared wearing masks and finally ready to investigate and take care of the problem. While this was being taken care off, one of the founders of the school kept us frequently advised of progress.

However, there is more!  For the last couple of days the cooling unit in one upstairs section of the building failed, and the downstairs hallway has flooded. (Less than an inch of water, but still treacherous.)  To our amazement, one of the best rated plumbing/heating/cooling businesses in the city arrived to take care of the air conditioning, and then returned the following day when it failed again.  The same business sent other technicians to solve the plumbing problem, and they snaked the line to the street.  When it happened the second day, they returned again.   Here's the part that would be totally amazing at any other school: when I went back to my office after my upstairs class yesterday, having been told all students and staff would need to walk around the school instead of using the stairs, our Executive Director and one of the school Founders were the ones cleaning up the flood waters while the plumbers were on their way. I know from experience in other schools, that what usually happens in such situations is that the administrators ignore the problem and label the squeaky wheels as trouble-makers or, if they are more prone to action, stand around twiddling their thumbs while they wait for help to show up.  It's a mark of the high quality of the people I work with that the "people at the top" immediately pitched in and were doing the actual clean-up.

Furthermore, my experience over decades of teaching has been that teachers return for the school year knowing they have hours and hours of preparation to do on site after preparing at home for much of the summer, and are condemned to hours of "professional development" that consist of unpleasant interactions with administrators denouncing our teaching abilities and just generally putting the screws to us for not getting better learning results from children whose families are burdened by poverty and dysfunction.  By contrast, our in-service included 12 hours of training with a phenomenal trainer who truly helped strengthen us as educators and human beings, commended our positive school culture, and empowered us to build even stronger skills.  What a difference that makes!

I'm working with sixth grade students and teachers this year (we're a 6-12 school), and while we were all exhausted by the end of the week, it's great to have such a wonderful, talented, and diverse group of students to serve.

I'll try to post more photos of Kristina's quilt later.  I'm still working on the tutorial for "Sweet Loreta."

I'm missing blog reading, and I have way too much to do, but I will continue plodding along here in our delightfully damp desert!

Here's one more glimpse of Sweet Loreta's quilt:

Happy quiltmaking...and knitting!


ipatchandquilt said...

How wonderful!
I am looking closely at all those feathers to see their details. I am impressed by the variation!!!

Grit said...

Your finished quilts are so wonderful. Fantastic quilting.
Grit from Germany

DragonPoodle said...

Your quilting is amazing as always! And the best places to work are always the ones where real leadership begins at the top. What a difference it makes!

Beth Strand said...

What gorgeous feathers. I have a quilt to machine quilt for a friend and I'm trying to figure out what to've certainly inspired me! The school sounds great. I have friends in charter schools and they love it! Best wishes for a great year! Beth @ Words & Stitches

Kathy said...

Beautiful work. Love the colors in Sweet Loreta.

Gayle Bong said...

WOW. Are all those done on your treadle? I'll be watching for your Shoo-Fly quilt.

Cheryl's Teapots2Quilting said...

Hopefully the problems have been repaired by now. When I was a preschool director, I was the one pulling the toilet paper out of the overstuffed toilet in the 3 year old room. I didn't wait to see if a plumber would be called. My father was the same way in his business. If employees left dirty dishes in the sink, the owner of the company would wash them (all while standing under a sign that said "Clean your own dishes, your mother doesn't work here').

Lynn said...

Wow Wow Wow!! I love them all! Thinking Sweet Loreta might be just the thing for those lovely hand dyed fabrics I've been gifted with!

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