Great Plains 4-H

Photo submitted by Jessica Gunkel

Jessica Gunkel
Club reporter
A quilting camp was held at the Lackman library in Lenexa by quilting project leaders and an art theory leader from the Great Plains 4-H Club.  Jessica and Abby Gunkel hosted the camp which included 4-H Club members from their club as well as a group of women and their teenage daughters from Hope Family Fellowship in Kansas City, Kan.  The camp was designed to teach girls beginner quilt blocks to put into a quilt that would be donated to the Shawnee Mission Hospital’s Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU).
Abby, visual arts project leader, taught color theory and how to match colors when choosing fabrics for a quilt.  She also taught what contrast in color meant and how to use it in quilts. Abby shared that dyes in fabrics contain chemicals that are harmful and pre-washing fabrics were necessary for charity quilts.
Jessica taught the girls how sew straight and accurate 1/4 inch seams with the help of painters tape which served as a guide.  She also demonstrated rotary cutter safety, how to cut five inch blocks called charms, and how to make the 4 patch, rails, half square triangle, and quarter square triangle from the five-inch charms.
After the demonstration of the blocks, the girls and their mother’s started assembling their own beginner blocks successfully.  These beginner blocks could be assembled into a baby quilt for the hospital’s sick and premature babies.  The quilts cover the isolettes to keep the isolette dark and to keep the baby sleeping, growing and becoming healthier.  They are also used by the parents to keep their child warm when they come out of the isolette.
The quilting group from Hope Family Fellowship frequently donates to the hospital, but the camp was offered to club members and daughters of the church members to interest them in quilting, grow their skills and increase the quilts going to the hospital in December.  A total of 21 Christmas quilts were donated in December to the NICU, and the hospital was very grateful for the donation.
A follow-up class in January with the Great Plains 4-H Club members will include helping them to make a pillowcase with a quilted band for their quilting project to be shown at the Johnson County Fair in August.