Next, we cut out another Saw Tooth Star but this time we stitched it by machine. Thembi whipped through the cutting in record time for a new quilter – it feels good to say that she is a new quilter.
We had a problem when we took out the machine that had been issued to Thembi by the school. It had no presser feet. We had little choice but to use my machine.
After this hurdle, the block came together really quickly and by 11 o’clock Thembi had her second block done. We added borders to both Saw Tooth Star blocks.
The “left-overs” from the flying geese were used to make two Friendship Stars.
As we only had scraps of batting, we joined pieces together so that there were no lumps and bumps in the batting. We then sandwiched the finished blocks like mini quilt tops and started quilting them in the ditch. Again, Thembi amazed me with the way that she took to quilting.
What came up in conversation was the fact that there are 20 sewing machines at the school. However, many are in various states of disrepair. As minor things go wrong, they join the pile in the storeroom. The machines are not maintained at all. There is nobody in the area who can fix the machines. This means that there are many wasted resources.
I wondered whether or not one of the students at the school could be trained to fix sewing machines. I have no idea how this could be organized but it would be so beneficial to that particular student with regards to future self-employment. It would also help the other students to be able to use the sewing machines.
One thing that Thembi has said repeatedly is that the students at the school may not be able to hear or write but they are extremely good with their hands.
I have to be honest that I am concerned that there may not be enough time available for us to complete the project that we planned. We have so much left to do yet I am looking forward to what tomorrow holds.