When I moved to Kentucky in 2008, and no longer worked, I started looking for other things to do with my time, and among other things signed up with Big Brothers and Big Sisters of the Bluegrass. It took them a while to match me with a Little Sister, but on September 1, 2009, I was matched with Marisela Cruz, and since then it has been my privilege and delight to get to hang out with her for a few hours every week.
She's a really cool kid and we have a lot of fun together, and it's been fun to see her grow and become more mature. I don't know how obvious it is from the pics, but she has grown like a weed in the alomost three years I have known her, from being a little girl at age 8 1/2 - picture on left - to the beginning of a young adolescent now at 11 - picture on right. We share the love of animals and dogs in particular, so that has been a great joy. But in some ways we are very different. Marisela has ADHD, so the idea of sitting down and spending a long time sewing little pieces of fabric together to make a quilt is very foreign to her. She has very little patience and a very short attention span; it is very near impossible for her to consentrate on any one thing for more than a very short time. So trying to teach her to quilt would not be a god idea.
Nevertheless, she loves my sewing room, all the fabrics and colors and all the unusual gadgets, tools and notions are very attractive and intriguing to her and from the very first time she came to my house, she has wanted to go in there to find out what I do there. And, of course, I wanted to make a quilt for her. So we decided that she could help me design the quilt. She started out working exclusively from my scrap box and would design a bit which I would then sew and when she came back the next time she would continue to add to her design. When the quilt top got to a certain size, however, the pieces of fabric left in the scrap box were no longer large enough for her and she asked for bigger pieces. Initially we picked out some animal fabrics from my stash and at the end she asked me to buy some basketball fabrics.
In Kentucky there is a heated rivalry between our two big school teams, University of Kentucky and University of Louisville. Where we live in Central Kentucky, most people are UK fans, but Marisela's mother is a huge Louisville fan, so Marisela couldn't make up her mind whether she wanted UK or Louisville fabric and we ended up with both on the quilt. When the top was finished, meaning big enough to cover her bed, I told her that I would make the back and she would have to wait until it could be quilted before she could have it. For a while she asked about it a lot but then I think she forgot about it.