With two and a half days off of school marking the end of the first quarter, eight Great Bend girls took the opportunity to learn valuable sewing skills in a class offered by the Great Bend Recreation Commission. The class, “Sewing t-shirt pillows and quilt”, was taught by Cindy Warner over two days, Friday and Monday with space and sewing machines donated by the Barton County Extension Service. At the end of the final class, the girls had a pillow to go home with, and had helped to create part of a quilt to be given away.
The girls brought t-shirts from home for the pillow project. Some had team logos, others were from vacations, and still others had deeper meaning. One girl brought a T-shirt made from a picture drawn in preschool.
“It was a good project for me because it was my first time sewing,” said Mara Fletchall.
Most planned to decorate their own bedrooms with their creations. One planned to do a little more embellishing when she got it home.
“I’m going to have some of my friends sign it and keep it in my room,” said Karlee Dougherty. Jayden Johnson said she planned to display hers in the living room.
“This was a great group of girls,” said Donna Krug, Extension educator. “They were excited about the project, paid attention, and did a fantastic job.”
After mastering the skill of stitching in a straight line and pressing, the girls returned Monday afternoon to put together squares for a special quilt. Made from T-shirts donated by the Dominican Sisters, the girls began work on a quilt for the 2013 Relay for Life event. The T-shirts belonged to Sister Lorena Bolte OP, 58, prioress of the Dominican Sisters of Great Bend, who died July 4, 2007, in a car accident near Syracuse. She had been an avid supporter of the event, and had acted as team captain more than once, said Krug.
Volunteers Eileen Huslig and Alice Stoskopf will piece the quilt top together, and Warner hopes to get the class together again before the June event to tie it. When it is complete, the quilt will be given to the Dominican Sisters, who will decide ultimately what will happen to it. It will be on display at the 2013 Great Bend Relay for Life.
Warner brought finished projects from future classes and asked the girls to “exercise their brains,” and suggest ideas of projects they would like to try next. Pajama pants were mentioned by more than one girl, and several were excited about learning to make a caddy to hold items at their bed or at the sofa and to make fleece scarves and hats. This will be covered in the Dec. 4 class, “Sewing fleece for charity”.
“Nine years old and older is a great age for kids to learn to sew,” Krug said. “They have to have good eye-hand coordination and their feet need to be able to reach the pedal of the sewing machine.”
Those are the furthest things from the girls’ minds though. Shailey Clark summed it up with two words.