Traditionally the last Friday of each month is "supper and sew", but this Friday was a bit different with our Mazatlan sewing ladies" doing the cooking. We expected 50 but with lots of competing events (Halloween, the world series parade, etc.), only about 20 showed up. Oh well, we now have tamales for 3 days! No cooking! A highlight for me was my cousin Mary Ann and her friend joining us for the evening. Good food, good friends (and family), lovely singing by Cecy! And of course more sewing lessons til the wee hours of the night.
Friday, October 31, 2014
Thursday, October 30, 2014
Today was a big day of preparations, as tomorrow (Halloween) we are having a big party where our sewing ladies are in charge of the dinner. We're having 50 guests so this is not a LITTLE party. We did a major shop for the tamales, tostados, arroz con leche and other delicious things the ladies will be cooking. Then the ladies helped Linda set up her boutique of beautiful fabric arts that are right next door to where we are. This is where the accompanying photo is taken...of some of our amazing workers. We were treated to an amazing pot roast dinner from Jeanne, a Quiltworks board member, and an earring raffle from Wanda, another volunteer. Dinner was followed by more quilting demos. We are trying to pack every moment with learning, fun, friendship, and new adventures. And we are!
AND, I thought I was through with driving, but now that I know the city, a little shopping trip across town is NOTHING! BUT, we are NOT going to the World Series parade tomorrow, so maybe I'll have a reprieve from the steering wheel.
Wednesday, October 29, 2014
The San Francisco Giants won the World Series tonight...and we were in the midst of all the post-game craziness as we drove home from a quilters' event at the Presidio. (And I was a driver...more white knuckles!)
Today was another FULL DAY of classes...AND Linda gave each woman a new sewing machine to take back to Mazatlan with them. She is so generous, and they were so thrilled. The photo here is of Linda giving machine lessons: taking it out of the box, setting it up, proper care and operation, etc. Linda knows little Spanish but her warm and animated personality communicates so much.
We all finished our sweatshirts that we cut apart on Monday, then embellished with beautiful fabric designs. The women are learning so much and having such a good time. They are away from all their family responsibilities and able to just enjoy being together, sewing and creating, laughing and telling stories. I feel so blessed to be a part of this amazing group of women and this San Francisco adventure.
Please, no more driving for me!
Tuesday, October 28, 2014
Today we were tourists in the beautiful city of San Francisco by the bay. In our morning session to organize ourselves, Linda informed me that I was needed as a driver. GULP! It wasn't just that I was unfamiliar with the city, but my car has STANDARD transmission. I requested NO HILLS, but it didn't quite work out that way. Now that I'm back home after a long day and everyone is still alive and breathing, AND my car is in one piece, I can proudly say "I survived driving in San Francisco!" But yes, my knuckles were VERY white.
We started out at the breathtaking scene at the Marin side of the Golden Gate Bridge, followed by a cable car ride. Then to downtown to Union Square for a bit more sightseeing before we began our scheduled events.
Linda and her nonprofit Quiltworks are involved in numerous programs and organizations throughout San Francisco and she wanted us to witness how quilters and sewers can give back to their communities. The first visit was to the sewing program at HPP or the Homeless Prenatal Program, focusing on maternal health. Here Quiltworks has been instrumental in setting up a sewing program for pregnant women. The women there were involved in their individual projects and welcomed our group of Spanish speaking women. We all were so interested in how the program was organized as we possibly could get something like this going in Mazatlan. And our new friend, Linda, wants to help to make this happen. The photo here is of one of our women, Dora, as she pitched right in and helped another with some pant alterations that she needed for a job interview tomorrow.
Now for MORE DRIVING!!! The next stop was to the embarcadero area to check out the Delancey Street program. This is a large residential complex for ex - offenders and other folks with similar issues and also provides good vocational opportunities. We visited the sewing and upholstery shops to see the great works they are creating there. We followed up with dinner at Delancey Street restaurant (also run by residents at the program) where we were hosted at a dinner by the Soroptomists of San Francisco. They had goodie bags for all of our women AND little coin purses which they couldn't open until we all finished dinner. At the signal, they all opened theirs and discovered a ten dollar gift, but for one lucky woman, she discovered one hundred dollars. She was thrilled to say the least.
It was another day of amazing hospitality, huge hearts, experiences in a most beautiful city, and sharing with our wonderful group. Linda doesn't want us to say thank you anymore, so we'll just stick with a great big "MUCHAS GRACIAS" every chance we get.
Monday, October 27, 2014
Linda's facility consists of four storefronts in South San Francisco - her four story home/quilting room, a fabric shop, a classroom, and a sewing boutique where our ladies have sold things in the past. Today was a classroom day, where Linda taught three different and ambitious projects: a basic quilt square, a fabric bowl (actually taught be a volunteer, Jeanne), and transforming a basic sweatshirt into a unique fabric jacket. All this was on top of learning how to use a different machine, AND absorbing a full day in both English and Spanish. Our ladies did great! We were super busy all day long, got so much accomplished, and now have an agenda and projects ahead of us (along with more lessons coming up). The women were exposed to so many new and different things. For one, they are learning to use rotary cutters and mats...something we "north of the border" sewers take for granted.Their eyes are wide open and they are taking it all in...with much happiness! The last three hours of the day were spent just straight sewing, being together, laughing and telling stories (me with my rusty Spanish), and helping each other with problems that arise. It was a bit like HEAVEN. In this photo, Magui is showing us phase one of her sweatshirt transformation project. Muy bien Magui!
My 6 hour drive from Oregon was uneventful (except for the wonderful visits with family and friends along the way), but my Mexican friends weren't sure whether they were in a dream or reality with two flights (the first for many of them), and then a limo ride from the airport in SF to the fantastic home of Linda Hannawalt, who is making this amazing experience possible. Even though everyone was exhausted, we gathered for food and a welcome/information session with Linda, translated by Toy, our fearless leader. We rolled into our bunks around 1AM, still a bit wired, all heading for dreamland in either Spanish or English, all with similar content of great adventures ahead. This photo was taken the following morning, all looking more rested, at Linda's home.
Friday, October 17, 2014
Friday, October 10, 2014
What a great class we had last Saturday at Sew Creative in Ashland. "Improvisational Applique" produced eight wonderfully whimsical birds using colorful scraps and the ladder stitch. Take a look at what nested in our classroom!