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Saturday, November 5, 2011

Boy Quilters?

I guess I should have taken the time to have a pre-post blog yesterday.  I will try to catch up my readers on a little project my boys (along with 3 other boys) began last March.  We had heard about a quilt challenge that would take place at our Ste Round Up in June.  We were told to send off for a block of the theme material and then proceed to make a quilt in a pattern of our choice.  Since the boys had been in Clothing & Textile, we decided to participate.  Little did we know that the quilt would end up being an all-boy quilt from start to finish.  Also, none of the mothers had made a quilt before so it truly was a first time quilt for all involved.  Here is the finished product after its completion last May.

Now the boys sent the quilt in to the Round Up Quilt Challenge and found out a nice surprise.  All quilts entered in the contest would be displayed at the International Quilt Show in Houston!  Skip ahead 6 months and here we are today!  If we could incorporate what it means to be in 4H in one was the day!  And what an amazing 4H day it was!

After the two hour road trip this morning at 6am, we arrived at the quilt show.  We were allowed to enter early so we could be ready for the show attendees.  We would spend the next 3 hours promoting 4H.  The boys were a little shy at first but after being asked to have their picture taken with their quilt many times throughout the morning they got into the spirit of 4H.  They each spoke to those who ventured into the 4H displays; they spoke about the quilts and the challenge, and the desire to donate the quilt (as all the quilts would be) to a local women's shelter.  However, they also talked about 4H in general...promoting other projects along with Clothing & Textiles.  All who spoke to the boys were impressed that they had made a quilt.  These are a few of our favorites, especially our own and the one made by our friend, Brianna.

After noon we were able to go explore the quilt show.  We saw so many quilts but not even close to seeing them all.  I will have some pictures of our favorites at the end of the post.  However, as we rambled around the show, we came to our service opportunities of the day.  The first was the Quilts of Valor booth.  Quilters from all over the United States get together and make quilts to give to wounded soldiers.  This booth was set up at the show to ask attendees to donate to the funds to provide material for quilts, as well as sign a quilt square to be pieced together for a quilt.  We were happy to participate and find out more information to see if we can participate locally. 

Then we went around the corner to learn about the 1 Million Pillowcase Challenge.  This group is trying to provide beds and bedding for 1 million children in the area.  They also promote the idea for other communities.  They had a pillowcase assembly at the show, so the boys each made a pillow case.  They even learned how to use a serger for the first time.  This is another service opportunity we hope to bring back to our community!

But, our 4H adventure was not over yet!  We turned the next corner to find a very large quilted hamburger, and a quilting workshop set up for children.  Now, I have to admit that even though the boys had made a wonderful quilt, we had much to learn about quilting.  So, the boys and I decided to learn from the pros.  Henry chose to work on his machine quilting techniques.  Sean and Edward chose to make a hand quilted square.  I was able to sit back and gather information, while Brendan took a rest from the backpack.  Henry was able to complete his machine stitched square, however, the other boys will need to finish theirs over the weekend.  I learned a lot as well and hope to work on my own quilt at home.

As the boys worked on their quilt squares, our eyes kept drifting off to the side where a car was placed in the building.  So we knew the next place we were headed was to the quilted car.  Who would have thought to quilt a car cover!?!  However, it was nicely covered with care by several quilts pieced together.  I guess this might keep your car warm and keep you from frost on those cold winter mornings!

This was followed by more quilt viewing.  Just when we were about to leave we happened upon a section of the show for historic quilts.  Unfortunately, we were unable to take pictures of these quilts.  We especially enjoyed seeing the 150 year old quilt that survived a shipwreck in Galveston Bay.  We also liked the quilt shaped like Texas with all the counties pieced individually.  We did not take a picture of it but there were several Texas quilts like it on display. Then there was the diary quilt.  It was a great way to 'weave' family history into a quilt.  We were unable to take a picture of it but the woman who made it spoke to us about the research that went into making the quilt.  It looked like it came right out of the page of a diary and represented many passages from across the generations.  What a great way to represent family history!

As you can see it was an awesome 4H day.  We truly lived out the pledge of 4H: 

I give my head to clearer thinking (learning how to quilt),
my heart to greater loyalty (promoting 4H ),
my hands to larger service (service opportunities),
and my health to better living (learning about historical quilts),
for my club, my community, my country, and my world (International Quilt Show).

Here are a few of our favorites from the day.  I have placed all of our pictures of quilts on my Facebook page if you would like to see more.

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