Friday, June 12, 2009


I spent Thursday morning at the craft center, teaching their sewing production unit how to do crazy quilting with chitenge scraps.

The craft center is run by nuns as an extension of their adult trade training center. It's populated with disabled people, Rastafarians, and one Japanese volunteer [edited to add: who wears a ponytail on the very top of her head and made me an origami bird with flapping wings!]. They iron atop a blanket spread on the floor and sew on Singer machines ranging from brand-new (which looks broken) to hand-crank to ancient industrial style.

I got Mr. Banda piecing scraps and within minutes he was embroidering zigzags, flowers and butterflies. He made one little pouch, complete with zipper and wrist strap, and immediately started another. It felt like he's been waiting to unleash a flood of creativity.

When I left, folks were gathering up big piles of fabric and commandeering machines. Next week: log cabin blocks.

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