Posted by: marymarthatours | August 18, 2012

The Making of a Shakespeare Quilt

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Quilt in progress on the design wall

Our three oldest local grandchildren attend St. Michael’s Roman Catholic School in Olympia, WA. We grandparents are invited several times a year to musical programs – at Christmas and in the spring – where all nine grades of students participate. In fact, because of our “senior” age, we go to the noon time performance where we are served a lovely meal as we enjoy the live entrainment. I am always impressed at the fine caliber of singing, staging and music they create. It is so wonderful to see this level of musical arts encouraged and provided in a school today.

This last year our oldest granddaughter, Michael, was in the fifth grade. Each year the fifth graders spend the entire year learning about William Shakespeare and preparing to stage one of his plays. Granted, the student version of the play has been cut down a bit in length, but the language is still pretty much original. In order to have a role for each student in the production, some of the characters are “cloned” into several parts. Still, the leads have a volume of lines to memorize.

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Michael next to her picture on the quilt

We were kept abreast of this year’s play, The Tempest, all year as Michael tried out for roles, learned her lines, rehearsed and finally acted her part as one of the four spirits. The costuming, makeup and stage set where phenomenal; obviously adults were working all year too. The production was a huge delight, very well acted, and we had to keep reminding ourselves that these were 10 and 11 year old children.

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Quilter Linda Rech and the finished quilt

And now my role: My daughter-in-law asked me to make a quilt for the fall school fund raiser with photos of the cast. We made it a team project. Tamara made copies on fabric of photos of the individual cast members and a group shot. I designed the quilt top and made arrangements for my favorite machine quilter to do the quilting. The outcome is another fabulous and original production. My son Charles thinks the Shakespeare Quilt will bring in big bucks at the live auction. Oh, did I say, he and Tamara are the chairs of the auction and fund raiser dinner this year? We’re waiting to see if the Shakespeare Quilt is center stage at the auction and will hope that “All’s well that ends well”.

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The cast of The Tempest, flanked by Comedy and Tragedy on the quilt

(by Martha)

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