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Crafting Special Memories For Fraser-Woods' 35th Anniversary



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Crafting Special Memories

For Fraser-Woods’ 35th Anniversary

By Larissa Lytwyn

 What do you remember most about your grade school days?

 For students at Fraser Woods Montessori School, memories of holding hands with a close friend, engaging in a spirited soccer game, or tackling cherry-topped cones at ice cream socials remain close to the heart.

The proof is in the threading.

To commemorate Fraser Woods’ 35th anniversary in Newtown, students are creating a quilt tracing the school’s history.

“The intention was to tell a story,” explained Special Events Coordinator Aileen Hopper. “Here, we can see that each picture tells its own unique tale.”

Middle School aged students in the 18 months to eighth grade school are doing the actual handiwork through the guidance of Sandy Hook-based weaver Liz Alpert Fay. Ms Fay’s appliqué pillows, chair pads, rugs, quilts, and other works have been featured in art shows across the nation.

Ms Hopper laughed as she recalled meeting Ms Fay for the first time. Both women had been attending one of their sons’ soccer games. While in the stands, Ms Hopper noticed Ms Fay “sewing right there, the most beautiful piece!”

When the 35th anniversary approached, Head of School Myriam Woods wanted to plan a distinct way to mark the occasion. She and Ms Hopper collaborated with Ms Fay to establish the special project.

First, the older students drew pictures of their favorite memories or pieces of the school’s past, such as a rendition of the red barn it in which it was originally established. “Now the red barn is used by the Housatonic Valley Waldorf School,” said Ms Hopper.

The school has been at its current location along Route 25 for about three years.

After the pictures are drawn, they are carefully replicated on the fabric. Younger students do more of the simplistic sewing. If a student makes a mistake, Ms Hopper said the threading could easily be reversed so that the error can be fixed.

“I think it’s important to remember that the process of making the quilt is as important as the finished piece,” noted Ms Woods. “Our students creating this project are a reflection of our philosophy. There is no prescribed way of how this quilt should look. Each symbol has its own meaning. I’m sure the children can tell you each of the pictures’ stories themselves!”

The quilt will be finished in June, said Ms Hopper, the end of the school year. “It will be a great piece,” said Ms Woods. “Something we can hold onto and always have.”

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