About a year ago I blogged about a friend of mine, Betty Troxell, whom I met while volunteering with Habitat For Humanity. Many years passed before we hooked up again, I happened to see an article in the newspaper where Betty was asking for some help fixing her sewing machine. She was then 91 years old and living in a local nursing home. She was adding the finishing touches on shorts and tops she had made for the children in Haiti who had experienced the horrific earthquake.
I happened to mention sewing for kids on the rez while we were catching up on all the news and true to her good nature and caring heart Betty offered to help. She made quilts, burp pads, changing pads, shorts and tops. Sadly a few weeks ago Betty passed away, fortunately she had not been sick very long. While she wasn’t in the best of health, she definitely didn’t let that get in her way of helping others. She gave back to her community in many ways over the years and brought great joy with her gifts to children and families, especially to those with the most need.
A few months ago on one of my visits, Betty handed me her latest creations for the Rez kids, several pairs of summer pajama pants for toddler girls.
Betty grew up in times when one used resources wisely and fabric was never wasted. Using those skills she made the pants using brightly colored scraps of fabric paper pieced together to make a pant leg. She cut her pant pattern out of newspaper and drew lines at the same level on each front pant leg and back pant leg, then paper pieced different fabrics together to correspond to the opposite side as she went up the leg. On the outside of the pant she sewed across each seam where the materials joined so that the inside seam would lie flat.
The result is a pair of playful and unique pants that with the addition of a T-shirt will make a cute pair of pj’s to sleep the night away. I immediately thought of the I-Spy game when I saw some of the finished products. These will be special as few kids are lucky enough to have pj’s, they usually sleep in whatever they wore during the day.
If you want to learn to paper piece watch this video at Crafty Gemini.
Here is a sample of her last creations.
Also check out the photos here which shows some of the items she made last spring. Betty will be sorely missed but her kindness and compassion for others will never be forgotten. I was truly lucky to have had her as a friend and thank her for sharing her story and her gift of sewing with me. When I’m at my sewing making things for the Rez with the fabric she shared with me, I’ll think of her and our wonderful times together. Rest in peace Betty.