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A little suggestion in a Zoom invitation to my quilt friends changed my outlook on Christmas this year. When I asked them to bring an ornament, they also brought memories and life stories. I was so touched that I wrote about it and submitted the story to the Baltimore Sunpaper. It’s in print this morning! http://www.baltimoresun.com/opinion/op-ed/bs-ed-op-1223-dietrich-ornaments-20201222-t7cuwgdggzfp7af2jj77py2ige-story.html
Oh, dear! I just realized I haven’t written a blog post since June! What have I been doing? The biggest thing is teaching my classes on Zoom. Back in March, I had two year-long classes. One was in the middle of the year, the other had only had one class out of twelve! That has truly kept me busy, learning to use Zoom, realizing that the classes needed to be shorter than 2 hours, so we met twice each month. I’ve also kept my Grad Schools going…and it’s a delight to meet with them on Zoom each month. Last week I did a program of Favorite Things for the Baltimore Applique Society, where the virtual programs are amazing! Here’s my photo from that night! What could be in all the boxes….actually a fun surprise later this week!
My granddaughter Julia came to visit for a few days. She will be 16 in August and has taken her driving class and just got her learners permit last week. So….of course….we went on an adventure and Julia drove my car! We explored the parking lots at UMBC, then drove all the way around the UMBC loop…and the second day drove around our Catonsville neighborhood. What a fun visit! ￼
This week I found out that the iconic RCA Nipper who lives on top of the Maryland Historical Society has been wearing a mask and reminding people to wash their paws! I also found out that his mask is made from some very special fabric. That blue looks great on him.
I’ve been working on this quilt top for about two years… off and on… in between other projects. But lately I concentrated on finishing it. The top is done! It is a kit quilt from the 1950’s, started by my friend Susan’s mom. Most of the applique was done, but I outlined everything with a buttonhole stitch… and added one of my signature birds to the top of the basket. She needs to be hand quilted, so I’ll be taking it to Jean Fries at Bellwether Dry Goods soon! She’s a beauty!
Just one block, but a block from one of my favorite quilts, The Margaret Potts Quilt. I’ve been planning to applique this dear little bird and had time to do it. I have a list of some projects I’d like to do during this time. It feels really good to check them off. It’s also very important to date projects we make during this time. This is history!
To remember this day….the front page of The New York Times.
We are living in history right now. We are responding by staying home, while some people are working from home, some are essential, and some are protesting. Gatherings have been cancelled, schools are closed, graduations are taking place in very creative ways. After being closed since March 13, shops are starting to open up. It’s important to document this…by writing, photographs, art, and in any way possible.
I always loved hearing stories and seeing photos of women finding a place in history by talking care of others, as nurses or by making fabric bandages for hospitals.. and of course, Rosie the Riveter. Who knew that quilters and the sewists would be on the front line of this pandemic making masks! The Maryland Historical Society is gathering Letters from the Homefront to document everyday stories about our life during this time. Early in April, I made some masks and wrote about it. This morning MdHS used my story on their Facebook page.
“When life gets tough, quilters often react by doing what we love…we love to sew. I’ve been sewing all morning, and as I sent fabric under the needle of the sewing machine, it occurred to me that this is really a picture of what prayer looks like. Hugs and prayers to all the nurses, doctors, medical personnel, patients, and caregivers out there. May you all know how much we appreciate you as you wear your masks.”
May 21, 2020. This morning is the undergraduate commencement at UMBC. Fifty years ago, our Class of 1970 was the very first class to receive our diplomas from this new university. We have been planning to celebrate today…a dinner, a lunch, a reception, and graduation. We all hope we will be able to get together, party, and celebrate later! Today….congratulations to the new UMBC graduates! 🖤💛