In February I started a sewing group with asylum seeking women from Irak and Afghanistan. At first we were 7 women and three girls and many children, after seven weekly meetings (two hours in the afternoon) we are now 11 women (one from Syria), 4 four teeanage girls and about 10 children (coloring, playing and running around). There is also one woman from this town that I got infatuated with hexagons (yeaah). It is a very lively sewing circle. Only two women knew how to handle needles and thread, for all others it´s been the first time.
I made little sewing kits (freezer bags with a zipper, just love them now) with paper hexagons, pin needles, a sewing needle, fabric squares and thread. With this first kit we started to make hexagon flowers, first basting, then sewing together, sewing them onto a bigger fabric square, basting again to batting and bottom fabric. They could decide if they wanted to make a mug rug (I sewed the binding onto the front, they hand sewed the binding to the back), or I made a little bags out of the quilted block.
The first two afternoons we talked with hands and feet as none of them could speak my language nor could I speak theirs. But the words needle, scissors, thread, basting thread are now well in their vocabulary and are often spoken out like mantras.
Those afternoons are immense fun and the feeling I have when driving home is overwhelming. I know that I will not change the world with all its bad vibes and wars through this sewing circles. And I am well aware of the culture clash we experience in those two hours - but it is my small contribution that I can make into the opposite direction. A small bridge to cross the gap and everybody is welcome to join crossing this bridge. And expressing my admiration for all those people who do voluntary work day and night in this matter.
Here are some pictures from the beginning, I will post more about the progress we make - we are now already into our second sewing kit - again paper half-hexagons, squares, rectangles and triangles to make a pin-cushion (pattern from the book "Easy Patchwork" by Jessica Alexandrakis).