Friday, September 20, 2013

It's the Northwoods

In one of my classes, we've read Alice Walker's "Everyday Use" and a chapter from bell hooks Yearning on quilting in African American women's lives, especially about her grandmother.  We've also looked at a couple picture books and websites focused on the African American women's quilting community surrounding Gee's Bend, Alabama.

And today, two of my students brought in the most amazing crazy quilt cake.  They must have spent hours baking, cutting the baked cakes into "pieces" for the crazy quilt part, and then putting frosting between.  It was amazing and creative and oh so cool.

They didn't bring any way to cut the cake, though, or napkins.  So I sent a classmate down to the Social Forestry department on the same floor as our class, where the admin assistants are super nice, and told her to ask if she could borrow a knife for me.

And a few minutes later, she came back carrying a 10 inch knife that looked like Crocodile Dundee might pull it out as an extra.

Can you imagine in some places, a department member lending some random student a huge knife, and that student walking down the hall without raising even an eyebrow?

There are good things here, for sure!


  1. Did somebody get pictures? I've never heard of a crazy quilt cake, but I'd love to see it!

  2. Anonymous5:47 PM

    That sounds awesome--the knife part but also the cake part!

  3. This is awesome!

  4. No pictures, alas.

    Imagine baking say for cakes: yellow, green, chocolate, and red. They cut them up into triangles and squares, about 4" by 4" or so, and then arranged the blocks with some space between them in a largish rectangular pan. Then they put BRIGHT green frosting between the blocks to glue them together, but not on the top. So, you could see the different cake colors from the top, with green frosting between the colors.

    It was VERY sweet and yummy! (And the story was that one of the students had brought it to campus strapped to the back of his bicycle.

    My students are just such fine people.

  5. I love the whole idea of a crazy cake, and even more I love the fact that your students were so inspired by your class and the discussion that they spent their time baking it. That's lovely!