McALISTERVILLE - A class science project meant to demonstrate the importance of recycling will be going on the auction block Oct. 6.
A patchwork quilt made with blue jeans was created by three Juniata Mennonite School seniors in Margaret Varner's environmental science class.
Varner notes the small class of three young ladies made it possible to do a project that was a bit out of the ordinary.
Sentinel photo by TABITHA GOODLING
Juniata Mennonite School students Norma Montesino, Rachel Allen and Lydia Sheaffer stand with the quilt they created for their environmental science class.
"I wanted them to do a project that was more than just slapping something on a poster board and say 'This is about recycling,'" she said.
The teacher contacted Abundant Blessings hrift shop in Mifflintown and asked for pairs of jeans that were not able to be sold on the racks due to stains and tears.
Instead of the materials going into a trash bin, the fabric will be used to keep someone warm at night.
Two hundred patches were cut by seniors Lydia Sheaffer, Rachel Allen and Norma Montesino.
As many as 16 patches could have been cut from an average pair of blue jeans.
The quilt is 70 by 90 inches in size and should fit a single size bed, Varner said.
The three students have taken their free time to cut and knot the patches.
"It's been so much fun," said Montesino, "Others around the school see us on the floor in the cafeteria laying out patches and working on it. They're like 'We want to do that!'"
None of the girls have had experience making patchwork quilts. Varner taught them the process step by step.
Allen said she has made fringed blankets with purchased material but has never worked with clothing recycled into patches.
"This is just neat because people don't really make something like this."
Varner said she hopes the girls will use this new skill in the future and learn not waste old materials.
Word has spread throughout the school that Varner is using creative methods to recycle.
"I have people coming to me all of the time saying, 'You should do this or that,'" Varner said, noting one idea that may be put to use involves old T-shirts. "Right now we're just focusing on this."
The quilt will be auctioned during the second day of the school sale which takes place Oct. 5 and 6 at McAlisterville Park and fire hall. Quilts of all varieties, including the recycled denim quilt, will be auctioned at 2 p.m. Saturday in the fire hall.
Material remains from the blue jeans donated by Abundant Blessings. As a thank-you to the store, the students are going to begin working on other denim items that can be sold at the ministry-based thrift shop.
"We're calling it 'Denim For Dog Beds, Dorm Rooms and Your Den,'" Varner said, which will consist of various sizes of denim pillows made to function in one of the spaces mentioned.
The girls are also working on their own individual denim patchwork quilts. Each girl has chosen her own background material and is still deciding whether to use the blankets as gifts or keep them for themselves.
"I just love it. I kind of want to keep it," Montesino said with a smile.
More information on the school sale is available at www.jmsonline.org.