OCCHS students 'sew' happy to help others through quilting
The Messenger 03.07.08
PIECE BY PIECE — Students in English teacher Nancy Johnson’s classes at Obion County Central High School have made four quilts and donated them to Reelfoot Rural Ministries.
Editor’s note: Obion County Central High School English teacher Nancy Johnson’s students recently made four quilts and donated them to Reelfoot Rural Ministries. The following account of the experience was written by two of the sophomore students involved in the project.
By ALEXIA TANSKI
& LIESEL GROSSNER
The quilts may not win first prize in the county fair, but the families receiving the quilts are definitely first place in the hearts of the sophomore students.
During the first semester of Nancy Johnson’s English classes at Obion County Central High School, three twin-sized quilts and one crib-sized quilt were handmade with care by her students. Each student brought in an eight-inch by eight-inch square of fabric that represented a special meaning to him or her. Then the creativity began.
Whether the students were piecing, setting it together, quilting, tying or binding, we were constantly putting our best efforts toward the making of the quilts. Our goal was to present the quilts to some families in our community who could use some extra warmth.
We read the literary work “Everyday Use” by Alice Walker. This was when our interest in quilt-making first began. To help us get started with our quilts, Joe and Ann McEwen took time to come into Mrs. Johnson’s classes. They helped explain the process in which handmade quilts are crafted and the importance of the history of quilt-making. We greatly appreciate the McEwens for the gift of their time and for the valuable lessons they taught us.
“I think that all of the students enjoyed it more than they first thought they would. I am very proud of what they did and pray that these quilts will keep others warm during the winter season,” Mrs. Johnson said.
A few students also expressed their thoughts. Brian Randolph said, “I felt that I was helping someone who was less fortunate than I. I was glad to do so.”
“I really enjoyed making the quilts. I learned a lot and would jump at the chance to do it again. It was really cool,” added Emily Taylor.
This has been a great learning experience for the students and we are thankful for the opportunity to have completed a project of this nature. Our class was able to take part in the design and creativity of an old traditional craft and experience the atmosphere of an old-time quilting bee. Every piece stitched together has a part of our sophomore class from Obion County Central High School.
Cory Luther, the sophomore class president, presented the quilts to the Rev. Michael Blake, executive director of Reelfoot Rural Ministries, and the Rev. Judd Mowery, a trustee for Reelfoot Rural Ministries. Both men were very impressed by the students’ hard work and excited about having the opportunity to give the quilts to some very fortunate families. It is our hope that the quilts will warm someone both inside and out on a long winter’s night.
Nancy Johnson, Obion County Central High School, quilting, quilts, Reelfoot Rural Ministries