kathy bagioni

Color outside the lines . . .

Stone Soup Potholders: A fundraiser for Foodshare

Written By: kathybagioni

I am raising funds for Foodshare this holiday season with potholders. This is my small “stone” to add to the pot of Stone Soup.

What is Stone Soup? 

Years ago my children’s PreSchool would make a yearly field trip to my home garden.  Once there, the 3- and 4-year-olds would rush about discovering tomatoes, and green beans, and potatoes, etc.

This field trip is one of my fondest memories.  I remember the joy of the children running into the garden, helping each other find vegetables, and later having their snacks together on a blanket laid out in the September sunshine.

Back at school they would peel and chop (under supervision, of course) all these vegetables. Then, it was so hard to wait while the pot simmered in the kitchen.  The teacher would read Stone Soup to help pass the time.  Finally, a delicious soup was ready.  Everyone shared.

Stone Soup is an old folk story in which hungry strangers convince the people of a town to each share a small amount of their food in order to make a meal that everyone enjoys and exists as a moral regarding the value of sharing.” From https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stone_Soup

It is the season of the sharing and caring now.

Why Foodshare?

I volunteer some of my time to Foodshare, a food bank located in Bloomfield, CT which operates in Hartford and Tolland counties.   Foodshare’s goal is to “provide food for people who are hungry”.   It is as simple and as heartbreaking as that.

We distribute food to our clients in our church’s parking lot. We laugh together at silly jokes. Trade complaints about the weather.  Congratulate or commiserate about sports teams. We share recipes. Sometimes clients forego their place in line to help out the volunteers.

I enjoy my time there every other week.

But,

I wish we did not have to be there.

Because,

I wish there was no need.

And,

I wish the numbers weren’t steadily increasing.

So,

I am raising funds for Foodshare this holiday season with my potholders. This is my small “stone” to add to the pot.

Why Potholders? 

Everyone needs potholders.

As a fiber artist and longtime quilter I don’t have stones, but lots of fabric scraps in my studio. So with some improvisational stitching I produced a pile of colorful potholders. I used them to practice my quilting stitches each morning.  10 to 15 minutes of warming up stitching before getting down to the work of the day.  Being a frugal Connecticut Yankee, the motto — Use it up, wear it out, make it do, or do without — is stamped on my psyche. What to do with them? So I cut them into nine inch rounds, used more scraps to make the binding and finished them off.

Each pair is unique.  No pattern, no mass production, no pre-cut templates. Just a one-of-a-kind-exclusive-design-never-to-be-replicated-ever-again. Some are beautiful, some are artistic, and some are ugly ducklings that only a mother could love.

Each coordinated pair of potholders is filled with cotton or wool batting.

They are washable because we know that no matter how pretty they are you know you will get spaghetti sauce on them.

But MOST IMPORTANT — for every $10 you spend for these potholders, $9 goes to Foodshare.  The $1 is to cover some costs of shipping and handling. That’s all.

A donation to a great organization and a new pair of potholders.

So, what do you say?

Don’t you need a brand new pair of potholders?  Think how good they will look lifting the lid off that big pot of soup simmering on your stove ready to warm you and your family and friends?