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Monday, January 18, 2010

The Quilting World

I am a paraeducator for special needs children at an elementary school in Southern California. I have worked with physically and developmentally challenged adults and children in one way or another for many years. Many of my very close friends are physically or developmentally challenged. I think I developed a heart for this a long, long time ago when my own brother became physically challenged 100% from a brain tumor suffered in Vietnam, and later a spinal injury that left him with a steel rod in his back and PTSD. It seems like as time goes by, more and more people suffer from some type of physical or developmental challenge, and not all of them are visible, which makes it difficult for those who are not in any way to understand. I remember the first time I took a survey in a large online group of fiber artists of how many were physically challenged. I expected to find perhaps half a dozen or so, but so many responded, I was truly shocked. I was trying to write an article about physically challenged fiber artists and the things they did to adapt their sewing areas and tools to meet their needs. That article could have become a book. So that told me there was a need for some sort of special help for those physically challenged fiber artists. I had seen some post about how difficult it was to get their work out to shows because of the tight deadlines and mostly the expense. I began to think about this and it was how I came to found Fiberarts Connection of Southern California, this very small nonprofit organization.

The little quilt is the top part of the door decoration for the school where I work.  And yes, I made it. It is just a fun and quickie piece, but it is colorful and makes the children laugh.