Safe Passage

February was a trying month. We had another math teacher quit, creating chaos and stress in the math department. It is hard to find decent math teachers at the best of times – but in the middle of the school year it is nearly impossible. Noone wants to work so hard for so little pay. And surprise, surprise… it is harder to be a teacher than a substitute. Hmmm. So someone we hired in October has already handed in the towel because he just couldn’t take the work. I am not bitter or anything about the work load it added to me.

And then there is the parenting part of my job. My middle son is planning to go to Guatemala this summer with his Spanish Club at school.  They will be working with Safe Passage. (Safe Passage is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization working in Guatemala City to bring hope, education, and opportunity to the children and families living in extreme poverty around the City’s garbage dump. Our program includes approximately 550 children, ranging in age from 2 to 21 years, coming from nearly 300 families in the surrounding neighborhoods.) He is very excited to go, but it has meant lots of fund raising and organization.

They held a big Gala and auction on the 23rd. I provided a “green lunch kit” for the auction, and there was a bit of a squirmish  over it.

The entire ensemble
The entire ensemble

A friend had given me the fabric as he was clearing out his house.. his daughter had bought it and never used it, and now it was mine to enjoy. Everything was already coordinated, so I just had to figure out how much fabric I had and what I could make with it.

The pattern for the bag originated here. I made one for myself for work and have enjoyed it. But it is a tad small. So I wondered about making it larger, and decided to search and see if anyone else had enlarged it, and lo and behold, here was someone who had. The magic of the internet.

Then I made some accessories to go with it.


Everyone that must eat in a public place each day would enjoy a lunchmat/placemat on the table, I think. I know our teacher workroom is kept fairly clean, but the number of people that use the table, and for all the different purposes – I like having something under my food. This was a simple piecing of random strips, and then I enjoyed learning to free motion quilt with some new machine feet my in-laws gave me for Christmas.

Green lunchsacs

lunch sacsI also made some fold top lunch sacs. I have made these for our family, and love them. Rather than buy and use endless ziploc bags or foldover sandwich bags, we have a set of these. They just go in the wash at the end of the week with the dish towels and poof – as good as new for the next week. There are tons of ideas out there for these bags, but I didn’t want to use any plastic in them – cannot seem to find a source of food grade plastic anywhere, and with all the new studies about how plastics affect health, I just went with plain fabric.  This is my favorite bag so far – the link comes with a very well done tutorial. I have sometimes added paper bag corners to the bottom, to make a bag that opens out more at the bottom. You make the corners just like in the lunch sac tutorial, but on a smaller scale.

P1010880P1010876     In any case, it took me an entire day to get it all made and done. And it was a successful auction item – and a colleague of mine at school won the auction and is now using it every day, which is just what every handmaker/crafter wants to see!


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