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Helen Bunnell, home ec teacher extraordinaire!A call out of the blue

Recently I received a phone call from Helen Bunnell my 7th and 8th grade home ec teacher from Ben F. Geyer Junior High. Over the past few years Helen and I have bumped into each other at the Johnny Appleseed Festival where she demonstrates dried flower arranging and she visits my Born Again Quilts booth at Tapestry-A Day for Women.

Helen calls to inform me she and husband John are moving from their home near Decatur to Georgia in order to be closer to their children.  While preparing for the move, she discovers vintage fabric she thought I might enjoy.

Helen and I plan to meet at my studio after her “Solar pickle-making” workshop at the Botanical Conservatory.  On the appointed day Helen arrives with a cloth (naturally) bag full of bits and pieces of fabric from days gone by.  Fabrics from different decades, florals, geometrics and plain cloth -a quilt restorer’s dream stash.

I give Helen the nickel studio tour.  She heartily approves.  I think it does her heart good to see what one of her former students has done with her passion for fabric if not initially kindled by her (Thanks Mom!). The flame grew stronger under her tutelage.  Not only was “Mrs. Bunnell” my home ec teacher, she and my social studies teacher Nancy Miller co-sponsored the craft club.  There I honed my skills in painting, gluing, cutting, etc. often with pretty disastrous results, confirming fabric is my medium of choice.

Where did home economics classes go and is the world better off without them? When you read about rampant obesity due in part to poor nutrition, people losing their homes due to poor financial choices, or people who can’t make ends meet on less than $50,000 is it because the economics of running a home is considered something no longer worthy of being taught in school?  As for me, I make great money sewing on buttons for thirty-year-olds!

Contact Lois at 260-515-9446  or www.bornagainquilts.com

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Lois Levihn

She is the author of the "Around the Frame" quilting column. She is a graduate of Wayne HS. Quilts have always been important to her, she loves the stories surrounding them, the techniques used in making them, & restoring them. > Read Full Biography > More Articles Written By This Writer