We felt very pressurized to get the project finished – or at least get it to a point where Thembi would be able to finish it on her own and then teach it to her students at Vuleka School for the Deaf, so we began stitching very early on the last morning.
The techniques we have gone through can be used to make a quilt, a bag and a table runner, but we decided to make a bag.
We pieced some more batting together so that we would have enough to quilt the gusset of the bag.
We added borders around our two friendship stars to make them a little bigger and so that the binding wouldn’t “cut off” the points of the stars. We then joined an appliqué block to each of the friendship stars as these would form part of the gusset, and then I taught Thembi how to measure up for the remaining section of the gusset.
We joined all the pieces of the gusset together and then sandwiched and quilted the gusset section.
I then taught Thembi how to cut and join straight binding strips for the tops of all the bag edges. We then bound the top edges of the two bag sides and the gusset before putting all the bag pieces together. We then cut the binding strips we needed on the bias for the curved edges of the bag.
After we put the handles onto the bag’s side pieces, we rounded off the bottom edges of these pieces before carefully pinning and stitching the gusset in. Thembi got this done so quickly. She then pinned and stitched the binding on.
The hornbills, in their new spot of choice, just outside the window, kept us entertained and in fits of laughter with their chirping and silly antics. While Thembi stitched, I sorted out the very generous donations of the KZNQG Committee members and the members of Village Quilters Guild. I packed them into boxes and got them ready to be packed into the car.
The whole way through the day, Thembi kept commenting that she just had to come back again and that next time she wanted to make a quilt. On numerous occasions, Thembi mentioned that her students would love to sew like this.
Luckily the school’s driver and woodwork teacher arrived a few hours later than we had initially anticipated so we could finish the binding by hand. By the time she was ready to go, we only had a few of the ends of the bindings to stitch. Thembi decided that she would finish the hand sewing in the car. We piled all her bits and bobs in the car.
For me it was a sad goodbye as I was bidding farewell to my new quilting friend. She said that she had really enjoyed herself. She loves her bag and I am sure she can’t wait to show her students how to make some just like hers.
The driver and the woodwork teacher were really impressed with Thembi’s bag and we had a good laugh as one of them modeled the bag and claimed it for himself! I told him that although he looked really pretty with the bag, the bag was Thembi’s and if he wanted one he would have to go to Thembi for lessons on how to make it himself!
I really hope that Thembi will be allowed to come back again to learn more. We really just skimmed the surface of what there is to learn. I really hope the students become very interested in quilting through Thembi’s new love of quilting!!