Sometimes when we get together at the sew-op, everyone is working and the only sounds you’ll hear are whirring sewing machines and Mingus, Miles, Coltrane or Dizzy. Other times, the talking is so intense that a machine won’t even get plugged in. With more than six weeks before we have to turn in our quilts for the big show, the sew-op is a’buzz with chatter. Folks know what they are going to submit, but reality still hasn’t quite set in and so we like our piecing and cutting and measuring with a heavy dose of conversation.
Always a cut-up, Ms. Annie was telling me that I need to get some starch in my britches because otherwise, I’ll let people walk all over me and I won’t get anything done. Ms. Annie is often helping me navigate the new role of being director of an organization. I seem to upset at least someone at every turn and she gently tells me the straight truth so I can get back on track sooner than later. Having considered myself a multicultural-savvy woman of the 21st century, it is a shock to realize how little I know about the African American community. The sew-op often gets heated discussing topics such as religion and politics, but we’ve all become such a close-knit family that we can discuss these topics without becoming offended. Or if someone does get offended, the heat happens all in the open and the steam fizzles out of the argument as soon as Ms. Annie cracks a joke. She is our great diplomat.
Theresa recently became interested in quilting because we attend a weekly Craft Club together and I was working on a project and she thought, “I bet I could do that and it would be fun!” So she did some research and found a scrappy star pattern that excited her. We went in search of fabrics for the pattern and next thing I know, she’s ready to quilt the thing! This will be her first quilt ever and it will definitely be one of our submissions for QuiltFest.
Goodness but I love this woman. Our diplomat, our true leader – there isn’t a situation that can withstand Ms. Annie’s humor and her kindness.