Before I get to the topic of this post I feel I need to set some groundwork first. Let’s go back 40 plus years. I was just hired as a reading specialist for grades five through eight at Upper Dauphin. It was my second, and last, teaching job since I stayed there until I retired 38 years later.
I was not the only one hired that year. Others also came on board. One was a sixth grade teacher who would leave the following year after she got married. The other was a seventh/eighth grade reading teacher who would move to the sixth grade position the following year. This woman stayed until she retired many years later.
I don’t want to single this woman out so I will give her an assumed name – Dolores. Oh, wait. That is her name. Anyway, you all know how friendships are formed. Some are temporary and some last a lifetime.
Dolores’s room was the first room you would pass on the way down the hall. Mine was the last room. Because of this most mornings I would stop in her room on my way down to mine. In fact, most of the sixth grade teachers would stop in her room for a chat.
No mater how busy Dolores was she would never ask us to leave because she had things to do. Dolores taught social studies as well as one section of reading. If my memory serves me correctly she is the one who first brought Kathy in to speak to the students about quilts since there were two stories about quilts in the reading series that was used at the time.
Our friendship grew over the years and when she decided to retire I knew I wanted to do something special for her. I talked it over with Kathy and she agreed to make a special quilt, in this case a wall hanging, for Dolores that would commemorate some special times in her life.
Last week I was talking with Dolores and she asked me to refresh her memory on the significance of some of the blocks in the quilt. This sent me and Kathy on a search of our brains trying to remember what the blocks were and what significance they had. Luckily Dolores sent us a picture of the quilt to help us.
So, here goes. Many of these pictures are blurry because I cropped them to highlight an individual block. Sorry about the quality.
Starting with the center block we had to include a schoolhouse. Because Dolores had three children Kathy fussy cut two boys and a girl from some fabric and put them in the windows of the building. She also quilted their names in the block.
Twelve blocks surround this center. The first is a wedding ring block. This signifies Dolores’s long marriage to Dennis.
Then we have a school bus. Kathy just fussy cut this and included it. After all, Dolores is a teacher.
Everyone knows that teachers get apples from their students. So, naturally, Kathy designed an apple block.
Because Dolores lived and taught in Alaska it was only fitting that a bear paw block be included.
Because she has four grandchildren, a grandmother’s flower garden was a must. If I remember correctly, Kathy included each grandchild’s name on a flower.
Because Canada was one of the units Dolores taught in social studies, Kathy included a maple leaf.
This next pattern we haven’t figured out yet.
I mentioned that there were two quilt stories in the reading series. One pattern that was mentioned was the road to Oklahoma.
Books are a part of every teacher’s classroom.
Here is another design we are still working on.
Because we worked at Upper Dauphin, Kathy designed a UDA block.
The last block is a turkey track block. This was also mentioned in the reading book.
Put all together, this is what the wall hanging looks like.
As an added memory, Kathy quilted the names of all of the teachers who were in the building at the time Dolores retired around the border.
Dolores, if you are reading this just know that we will eventually find information on the two blocks and get it to you.
As I said earlier, some friendships last a lifetime. I am blessed that this one is still going strong.