A Port Alberni student won a top prize at the recent Alberni District Fall Fair for her handmade quilt—despite having no previous quilting experience.
Last school year, Lauraleah Jeffery’s Grade 6/7 class at John Howitt Elementary participated in a “Genius” project, where students could spend one hour every day for 30 days learning anything they wanted to learn.
“It was for more of a hands-on kind of project,” explained Jeffery. “Some students did blogging, some students learned video making, some learned beading or jewelry making.”
One student, Devynn Holst, decided she wanted to learn how to quilt. Although she had never used a sewing machine before, she had inherited a Singer sewing machine from her great-grandmother. With only the help of a few YouTube tutorial videos, Holst managed to complete an entire quilt.
“I helped her thread [the sewing machine] but that was it,” said Jeffery. “She did the rest herself.”
After completing her quilt, Holst entered the Alberni District Fall Fair’s 12 and under category for quilting and ended up winning first place.
Holst, who is currently in Grade 7, said she developed an interest in quilting because she has family members who quilt.
“I always thought it looked really fun,” she said. “I really wanted to try it and I thought I would enjoy it.”
Her first project was a toddler-size quilt, so she picked out youthful fabric—bright colours with woodland creatures and gnomes. She didn’t follow a pattern, instead choosing to freehand the project.
She said overall she enjoyed the experience.
“But I didn’t like making the trim,” she added with a laugh.
Holst is now working on her second quilt, which will be for a queen-size bed.