Last week I spent a lot of time sewing for and with my son. He's working on a Women's History Month research project for his 5th grade class. Each kid was assigned a notable historical figure to learn about. The final output of the project is a "place setting" with all the items in the place setting -- the plate, cup, fork, etc. -- representing something about the famous woman. The objects are not literal representations of what you would find on a dinner table, but abstract artistic interpretations.
Munchkin's subject is Eleanor Roosevelt, first lady of the United States from 1933-1945, delegate to the United Nations, and architect of the U.N. Universal Declaration of Human Rights. For his "plate" Munchkin chose to sew a baby blanket to show that Eleanor was born with the courage of her convictions.
He searched for an appropriate symbol for courage, and chose the Tabono (oars), an Adinkra textile symbol from West Africa. The symbol represents confidence, strength and perseverance.
Munchkin has used a sewing machine in craft class, but this is the first time he's asked me to teach him. I put on the binding, but he did everything else, including selecting the fabrics, cutting and sewing, drawing and applying a fusible webbing template, basting the quilt sandwich, and quilting. It turned out great. I love that he chose a textile symbol, and the fact that it's from Africa reflects Eleanor Roosevelt's internationalist vision.
Last week's other project was a pillow for Munchkin to take to 5th grade science camp this week. He wanted the word "camp" and an Angry Birds pig. He loves those pigs.
I imitated one of Chawn's lettering styles.
The pig pattern is from Le Borse di Gaya via Fandom in Stitches. I enlarged the template 150% and added pieced pupils to the eyes.
And yesterday morning I sent him off to camp. I know he'll have an amazing time, and I can't wait to hear about his experience when I pick him up Friday afternoon.