To Mentor, To Inspire, To Engage

Have you ever been in a position to mentor someone? In any aspect, such as work, schooling, quilting? Over the years I’ve been lucky enough to do just that, in a variety of settings and themes. I’d been asked to write an article on the development of a quilter and in my research I came across an archive of photographs of an 8 week quilting program that I taught to some Canada World Youth (CWY). This group was from various parts of Canada and Namibia. The Namibians were drawn to the colour and patchwork of quilts they saw at my home. It reminded them of some of their traditional Herero dresses. At the time I was facilitating a sewing program through the day program where I worked and was given permission to use the sewing space and equipment to teach the CWY how to quilt in the evenings. I enlisted my friend & fellow quilter Wanda to assist me in teaching sewing/quilting skills. Some of the girls had never seen an electric sewing machine, let alone use one. It was an awesome experience for all of us involved in this project. Four of the participants actually completed a quilted item and all were thrilled with what they had experienced. We had been given an older model sewing machine that we had serviced and cleaned. We decided to give it away and, through a draw, Pia won the machine. She was so thrilled that she began to cry. Pia told us her mother was a seamstress in her native South American country but didn’t have a machine to sew on in their new home in Toronto, Canada. Pia was making plans to teach her mother quilting when she finished her stint with CWY. I always come away from these experiences inspired and look forward to the next opportunity to engage and be engaged.

Traditional Herero dress made with patchwork

Agripine making a Double Friendship Star table topper

A Smile so Bright!

Veronique & Martha

Pia and her new sewing machine

Quilting with CWY 2007

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