HARTINGTON — Several Cedar County 4-H members have taken to heart the 4-H pledge “my hands to larger service.’
A quilt that took top honors at the Cedar County Fair will end up in the arms of a soldier.
Sarah Lammers accepted the Quilt of Valor Challenge involving hours of time stitching together a quilt that would be a gift for a soldier.
“It is really cool. It is a way to say thank you to the soldiers who keep us safe,” said Lammers, who just turned 14 years old.
Lammers started working on the quilt last winter when she stitched together one quilt block every week or two.
She cut quilt blocks from red, white and blue fabric with stars for a patriotic theme.
“I started making the blocks in January. I used the same material but the design for each block is different,” Lammers said.
Lammers laid out the blocks and sewed the quilt top together.
A lady in Meckling, S.D., machine-quilted the quilt top, the batting and the quilt back together. Lammers then finished the quilt by doing the binding.
Fabric companies had donated the material and gave it to several Nebraska Extension Offices for 4-H members to use for the Quilt of Valor projects.
Lammers’ quilt will be given to a soldier, but not before it makes a stop at the Nebraska State Fair in Grand Island.
The quilt received a purple ribbon, was chosen as one of the Top Exhibits at the Cedar County Fair and was selected to be exhibited at the Nebraska State Fair.
The quilt will be presented to the Quilt of Valor Foundation during the State Fair and donated to a soldier or a veteran of military service who has been touched by war.
The Quilt of Valor Challenge is a way for 4-Hers to serve their country.
Dresses exhibited at the Cedar County Fair in a 4-H Citizenship Project will be sent to little girls in Africa as a thread of hope for those in need.
Emily Soll and Hannah Kleinschmit, both from Coleridge; Alea Reifenrath, Wynot; Devin Martinez, independent 4-H member from Fort Worth, Texas, and Sarah Lammers, Hartington, made dresses by using new or gently used pillow cases.
The dresses will be distributed to orphanages, churches and schools in Africa by the non-profit Christian organization Little Dresses For Africa.
It is an attempt to plant in the hearts of the little girls that they are worthy.
Emily Soll is hoping the dresses she made will make a difference in a little girls life.
“I hope the dress will make them feel special. I have always had clothing, such as dresses, and can not imagine not having clothing,” Emily said.
Alea Reifenrath has relatives who have spent time in Africa and she has heard them talk about the poverty some people endure.
“I had an aunt and uncle who went to Africa on mission trips and have heard stories about how different lives in Africa are from our lives,” Alea said. “There, if a family owns one cow they are rich. Here, people own lots of cows and it is considered normal.”
Alea said she had fun decorating the dresses she had made for the 4-H project.
The 4-H members turned pillow cases into bright little sundresses that are well-suited for the African climate.
The bottoms of the pillow cases are cut off, then it is folded in half and two arm holes are cut out on each side. The top is gathered together with a piece of elastic.
The girls could add a special touch to each dress by stitching on pockets, lace and other embellishments.
Sarah Lammers had already made dresses from pillow cases that had been distributed to young girls in another country.
“My mom and I had made some dresses that were sent to Haiti,” Sarah said.
A variety of colors and patterns can be used for the dresses according to Sarah.
Sarah enjoyed sewing the dresses and thought about the little girls who would be receiving the gift of clothing.
“It was fun to sew – the dresses are quite simple,” Sarah said. “It was fun to think about the girls who would be wearing the dresses.”