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Stitching love for those in need: MA students make a quilt for Haiti



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Patty Payne shows Julia St. Amand, Tess Erskine, Kelsey Coppinger, and Quinlan Trexler quilting techniques. Erin Plummer. (click for larger version)
January 27, 2010
MOULTONBORO — Every arrangement of fabric and every stitch on the quilt was their own work. Now the students in the seventh grade Family and Consumer Sciences Class at Moultonboro Academy are sending their hard work to a school in Haiti, showing their generosity to those faced with devastation.

The students in teacher Patty Payne's class have worked to construct a quilt that will be sent down to a school in Fermanthe, Haiti, the class decided.

Payne makes four quilts a year with each half-semester class. Students start in the class learning basic handstitching techniques and eventually learn how to use a sewing machine.

The class votes on the quilt's theme and who will receive it. Most recipients have been members of the community, especially students at in the school district. Recipients have included a student with muscular dystrophy, a student with autism, one student who lost her father, and a faculty member who had a baby.

Student Jodi Bezanson brought forth the idea of donating the quilt to Haiti and the students voted in favor of the idea.

"They really need it and everything they have just disappeared from a natural disaster," Bezanson said.

The quilt will be sent to Wings of Hope School in Fermanthe, Haiti, which is also a sister school of Cotting School in Lexington, Mass.

Students worked together to put together all pieces of the quilt from the beginning idea to the finished product.

Bezanson showed a color chart for the quilt with each color square representing a concept. Blue symbolized hope, red for love, green for good health, yellow for healing, orange for happiness, and purple for peace.

"I thought they were showing a lot of this and I don't think that they notice they're showing this," Bezanson said.

The class worked out a pattern based on this color scheme. Fabric was donated by a student's mother and students worked together cutting out squares, sewing them together, then sewing the strips together. They then lined the top, added batting, and added the binding and did the quilting with hand stitches.

Payne went around the room showing knots and stitches and answering questions.

"Once they get familiar with it, they love it," Payne said.

The quilt consists of squares in each of these colors with a red border.

"The littlest things can help," said Tess Erskine.

"Just to know that people are thinking of them," said Julia St. Amand.

Students also made cards for the students of the school, taking a moment to sign their names on them when not working on the quilt.

Payne said the package will be mailed to the school on Friday.

"I think tit just makes them feel food," Payne said.

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