Weekly Update from Our Executive Director (4.06.20)

Weekly Update from Our Executive Director

Dear DI Family,

When I am not being a wife and mother, or a DI Executive Director, or a Board of Education Member, I am a quilter. Let me restate that. I am a QUILTER.

Quilting is my hobby and my passion, and in my very limited spare time, I am usually thinking about it, shopping for fabrics, or thinking of ways to improve my skills or develop new techniques.

This became relevant recently when the Centers for Disease Control announced its recommendation that everyone should be wearing a face mask when leaving their homes, to protect others and hopefully “flatten the curve” on the spread of COVID-19. I decided that it was my duty to fire up my sewing machine and dig into the massive fabric stash collected over the years and whip up a few hundred masks.

I quickly learned that it would not be that easy.

First, I never made a mask before. So, I searched through the many patterns available online. Most of them required elastic. After digging through my supplies, bad news. I don’t have one scrap of elastic. Not to be deterred, I found several patterns that did not require elastic. Great, but those masks take twice as long to make. Okay, so I won’t make hundreds of face masks, but I will churn out as many as possible. I selected a great pattern, but it required a filter—like one from a vacuum cleaner bag. I have hardwood floors in my house, so I have lots of Swiffer pads, but only one vacuum cleaner bag. I finally settled on a pattern that did not require elastic, did not require a filter, and worked great with “tightly woven” quilter cotton, like Batiks. I like Batiks, but my stash is very limited in that kind of fabric.

Finally, I just decided to use what I have to do the best that I could. My masks are not suitable for health care workers or frontline folks, but they will work for my loved ones and friends who need face coverings for limited trips to the grocery store.

On a much smaller scale, my face mask making endeavor runs parallel to DIHQ’s efforts to plan and implement a virtual Global Finals. DI clearly has the skill, expertise, creativity and talent to create a virtual Global Finals. But we quickly learned that this was a new experience and that it would not be easy.

We have never held a tournament in a virtual space. We had to figure out if we had the tools necessary to actually pull it off (no elastic!). We had to test solutions and think critically about what could work best for our kids anxious to present solutions to the Challenges they worked so hard on over the course of the past few months. We have engaged in endless Zoom calls to ensure that the lines of communication stayed open and all voices were heard.

I am so proud of every member of the DIHQ team who have collaborated to pull together a virtual event that is innovative, exciting and will present a new challenge to anyone who wants to participate.

Like my masks, our virtual solution will not be a perfect fit for or satisfy the needs of everyone who experienced disappointment due to the cancellation of DI tournaments. But I am confident that for many in our DI family—the kids, our wonderful Team Managers and volunteers—Virtual Global Finals will be an exciting and challenging experience. You will be hearing the details later this week, so I ask that you keep an open mind, and enthusiastically join us as we venture into uncharted waters.

Stay Healthy. Stay Creative.


PS: You can look at some of my quilts by visiting ponderfulquilts.weebly.com!