Tuesday, June 23, 2015

VBS Day One: Many Hands Make a Quilt Top

This morning, I am exhausted in a way that happily is unusual for me.  I knew I would be.  After a regular work day yesterday, I headed over to my church.  We had to do all the set up for Vacation Bible School before it started at 6.  Our church sanctuary and fellowship hall are in almost constant use all Sunday afternoon and evening:  we've got 5 groups who share our space.

And then we were off and running.  I was on my feet for most of the time between 4:30 and 9:15.  I realize that many workers are on their feet for double that amount of time.  How do they do it?

I am the Arts and Crafts director.  Last night, we were decorating quilt tops for the quilts that we will assemble for Lutheran World Relief.

As we planned for VBS, one woman suggested that we have the children stamp their hands and make hand prints on muslin.  I worried about the clean up.  I decided we'd have children trace their hands.  And instead of muslin, I bought white cloth--it was less expensive.

We thought about having a large square for each child.  But then we'd need to sew them together.  I decided that from a time management angle, it made sense to keep the quilt top as one big piece and have everyone work around a table.

It was a great success.  I had a vision that we'd have hands and other drawings too.  But most of the little artists really liked drawing their hands.

I didn't anticipate that the littlest ones might have problems drawing on cloth.  I didn't expect that we'd have so many little ones.

But after a bit of time to get settled, the littlest ones really enjoyed drawing other things.  One child who took the longest to show interest drew a large circle with an orange marker over and over again.  Eventually the circle flattened to an oval.  I like the way it looks like an eye.

There was a moment last night when I wondered about the recipients of the quilts--what will they make of these decorations?   Will they recognize the work of children or will they wonder about our overall design aesthetic?

But that's really not the point.  They will have a quilt to keep out the cold and damp. 

I also wonder if our VBS children take away anything from our arts and crafts time.  I hope so.  I always think about the ways I could have said more, could have tied the activity to the larger lessons.

But for the most part, I'm simply trying to ward off the chaos that threatens when one assembles a large group of children. 

Tonight, it's on to clay! 

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