Susan’s blog: Sewing

On sewing day the Ubuntu Community Care Centre is just a-humming. I actually intend that description as a double entendre – one of the many things I love about the African people is the way they uninhibitedly sing (or hum) wherever they feel like it. The worker stocking grocery shelves will break into song, or the server in a restaurant when she’s not busy waiting tables, or the gardener pulling weeds and pruning bushes (no, they’re not plugged into ipods).

Gogo sews her work to a blanke as her grandson watches.

Gogo sews her work to a blanke as her grandson watches.

So about 35 gogos were very pre-occupied with their current sewing project, chatting, singing, comparing their products, as a few of their grandchildren played about. They are working on English paper piecing, taught to them by Cherryl Taylor, an American who has been living in Sabie for the past three years. Joy Burton, who assists Ginny frequently, helps to cut out the hexagonal pieces, and the gogos hand stitch them over paper before piecing them carefully together in starburst patterns. They will be giving a number of them to me to carry back for the Grannies à Gogo handicraft group to use in their creations, which in turn will raise funds to be sent back to Sitabogogo. A wonderful full-circle effect.

Gogos share and compare their sewing projects

Gogos share and compare their sewing projects

Since I was last here 9 months ago, I can see that they’ve settled into their sewing routines. They assist each other by cutting fabric for those with trembling arthritic hands, or threading needles for those with poor eyesight. It’s also good to see many of them now wearing reading glasses as a result of our collecting blitz last spring which rounded up about 45 pairs of glasses. Sewing is clearly a very popular activity, and they are stretching their creativity, using the starburst patchwork product to appliqué on to cushion covers, table runners, and wall hangings. I suspect some of their handiwork will show up at our annual Pot Luck & Auction in February.

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5 thoughts on “Susan’s blog: Sewing

  1. Thank you for drawing us to the wonderful circle of renewal through your words and photos. You clearly show us the personal connections we have to this universal symbol through our many ways of assisting the song-filled gogos in Sabie, South Africa.

  2. On Tues. our United Church Women are having their Christmas party and the theme is Hats! Hats! Hats! We’ll be using many of Lorraine’s hats in our “fashion show”. I made a copy of the Gogos in their hats as they sew – love that photo – and I’ll have it, and part of your story, on our sign-in table at our party. Thanks Susan.

  3. Dear Susan,
    I love the blog. The grannies are an inspiration to all. Thanks to everyone who has made this blog possible and all the grannies on both sides of the globe for coming together for the good of all!
    Louise

  4. Hi Susan,
    Thanks so much for the wonderful photos and news which left me with tingles as I recognised some of the faces, and even aprons made last Feb. The photo of Maria and her wonderful boys, made my day! Thank you for that, and keeping us informed. This is where computers are really worthwhile! (I’m getting a new one this week).
    God’s blessings, Beverley

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