Saturday, June 2, 2012

4-H Quilt Camp Doubles in Size

Day two quilters with projects as completed by noon.  Most kids had their projects finished by the time we left.

“Tell me and I’ll forget; show me and I may remember; involve me and I’ll understand.” (Chinese Proverb).  If this is the case 32 Blanding youth now have a pretty good understanding of how to make a quilt.
Day 1 photos taken at 3:30 shows what kids had completed on day 1--amazing.

For some who attended the two day 4-H Quilt Camp, it involved lots of math as they enlarged patterns or learned to sew ¼ inch seams; for others learning to thread and maneuver a sewing machine (without stitching your finger!) was the challenge, but for most the concept of selecting compatible fabrics, and then piecing parts into an interesting whole was the fun part of quilting.

Unfortunately, Ethan was the one student out of 33 who did have a sewing needle accident.  He was hurrying to finish on day two, and got his finger too close, and the needed went through his pointer finger, and broke in two places -- so it was a mini- surgery performed at camp.  He was pretty shook up about it, but within the hour had calmed down, and was making jokes about it.
 This shows his wounded finger as well as the quilt which he made for Ryan.
This is the 2nd year for quilt camp, and there were twice many teachers and students this year (22 and 32 respectively) as last year.  Because quilting is not a gender specific skill, it was great having 7 boys in the group this year, and all their shades of camo!
I got to teach my grandson Ethan, who loves monkeying around with machines.  I knew if I didn't teach him soon, he'd try to figure the sewing machine out on his own.  We had a great time together for two days, though I was working with two other neighbor kids as well.  This blog is mainly the press release I sent to the paper, but I'll add a few more personal insights as well.

“We had a terrific group of volunteers who donated their time for two days, helping to pass on their love and skill of quilting, “stated Janet Wilcox, guild chairman for the event.  Ten members of the Grayson Country Quilt guild joined with another 12 community volunteers as instructors for the camp.  Because most of the students were novices at sewing, it took lots of time and patience teaching the basics, especially considering many were working with 2 to 4 students.  Most of the teachers had met 2-3 times prior to camp, giving students practice time sewing, helping them pick fabric, and cutting it out.

There were lots of kids calling “Grandma” for help through the day, but teachers also included moms, neighbors, visiting teachers, as well as teens and college students.   “The high point for all of us,” teachers agreed, “was seeing kids discover they have the power to create something wonderful, through learning a new skill.  It becomes very empowering and fun for them.”
Caitlyn Winn got her quilt totally finished at camp.  She tied it while we were there.
The guild struck up a partnership with USU in 2011 at their first camp, which provided a wonderful facility, as well as administrative help.  Lou Mueller, local USU professor and 4-H extension agent, and her assistant Karah Shumway made sure registration was completed, and that the students learned something about 4-H values.  They also provided healthy snacks, a lunch and break activities – all of which are important for elementary age children.

    Some teachers like Eve Lynn Perkins and Jeri Montella  started working with their girls several weeks ago, and Skye Jeppson and Precious Smith had their quilts nearly finished before the actual event began.

Prizes were awarded when quilt tops were finished.  Each participant received some fabric for their “next” project which was donated by local guild members. 
After all, as Oliver Wendall Homes said, “Man’s mind, once stretched by a new idea, never regains its original dimensions.”  And quilting is definitely a mind stretcher!

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