An article in the July 18 issue of the Wilsonville Spokesman features Coffee Creek Quilters. Sparked by an exhibit of student- and instructor-made quilts at the Wilsonville Library, the article multiplies the public exposure for CCQ’s prison quilting program. Volunteer Molly Skeen has taken the lead in setting up the exhibit’s electronic slide show using photos taken at Coffee Creek Correctional Facility by The Oregonian’s photographer Beth Nakamura. CCQ received a $900 grant from the City of Wilsonville to fund the costs of creating the traveling exhibit.
CCQ received a letter from Chaplain Wendy Fish at Good Samaritan Hospital thanking us for quilts made by our students and donated to their hospice program. Here’s an excerpt from her letter:
First, let me say a heartfelt thank you! It means so very much to families to have your quilts. The quilts are put on a patient’s bed when a patient is near the end of life. The patient is most often not communicative, although patients sometimes indicate through body language (nod/ eyes open/ finger raised) that they feel the love you provide through your generous gift. Families, on the other hand, and we most often place quilts when loved ones are present, families are often tearful, always grateful to feel held in kindness, generosity, and a wider love just when they feel so sad, full of heart-ache, and often experience a sense of needing to be reminded that they are not alone.
Chaplain Wendy went on to give stories about 11 quilts and the patients who received them. Here’s one:
Michelle F made a quilt with stars and planets. This patient had a thirst for worldly understanding and particularly the Hubble telescope. He was a well-loved man with a sense of humor who would have appreciated the gift. The quilt went to our patient’s mother. His two brothers and sister were also present. Thank you!
On July 7, Merriley Smith, a retired special education teacher, shared her expertise in teaching students with challenges in a roundtable discussion with CCQ instructors. We find that some CCQ students have a variety of learning challenges. Some have cognitive impairment from past drug use while others lack a basic education. In these situations Merriley recommends using techniques that special ed teachers use with students who have attention deficit disorder. Some of these techniques include using simple language, making eye contact, giving directions with a minimum of steps, showing examples of the quilting techniques being taught and offering appropriate affirmation and praise.