Saturday, 17 July 2010

A young quilter's experience

Some months ago our local quilting group had an exhibition. During the weekend a young high school student visited the show having seen an advertisement for it in the local newspaper. While walking around she eyed off the quilts that took her fancy – one of them being mine. So a member took her to meet me and so the conversation evolved. Lauren is a Year 10 student doing a “Middle Years Program” and as a part of that program students have to undertake a ‘personal project’ which is based on research and reflection. Lauren decided to make a quilt. She was not sure why as no family member quilts but she thought it would be a journey which would eventuate in her donating the quilt to a childhood cancer group. The aim of the school program is to also teach students to serve others so this seemed like a great idea.

So Lauren set to work with no knowledge – she did not know of rotary cutters, she bought poly-cotton fabrics and thick polyester wadding. All the fabrics were cut out with scissors and when it came to quilting without a walking foot she was ready to give up! So you can imagine her despair at the result! Lauren was certainly discouraged and I think intuitively came to the exhibition to seek further advice. As she was telling the story to a group of us I secretly hoped someone would put up their hand to help her. But no-one made a move! My life this year has been quite overwhelming with the 2nd book almost complete, the fabric range projects in progress and more quilts to design – and teaching in could I find the time?!!

So it was that I took Lauren under my wing a week or so later. On that day my offers of help led to her crying, her mother crying and me crying as well – tears of hope of course! And I have to say it was wonderful to encourage this delightful young lady to the world of quilting with cottons, correct battings and a book full of advice!

So here is the result. Lauren designed it all herself and she plans to give it to a child with cancer. Lauren hopes to enter the International Baccalaureate Diploma next year at school and I am sure she will achieve that.

I also hope that one day she will continue her quilting – it was an honour to be a small part of it.


  1. Michele You have such a big soft heart. Lauren looks so pleased with herself. She definately has the face of a quilter :-) and a big heart also. So glad that somebody put their hand up and wasn't she so lucky it was you :-)

  2. Michele, How thoughtful and generous of you to take this young lady under your wing and help her! I'm sure this is something she will never forget and your kindness may inspire her to do great things for others. Plus, you are spreading the joy of quilting to a new generation :)

  3. That is such a pretty quilt, and such a wonderful cause. Thank you for sharing.
    Happy Quilting!

  4. She is being tutored by the best, and I'm sure she will continue with it. What a perfect gift for a sick child. Nothing is as comfortable as a hand made quilt.

  5. Oh Michele, you are going straight to heaven you wonderful person! Look at that quilt she made! Look at how young she is and those little toes sticking out underneath hehe...what a great story and an inspiration to help others. xo Pam in Chico, Ca


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