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Timpview students and teacher make quilts for Midwest tornado victims

By Genelle Pugmire daily Herald - | Mar 22, 2017
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Theresa Thomas and her students at Timpview High school make quilts in a class on Thursday, March 16, 2017. The quilts are designed to help with people in the Kansas City area who lost their homes to recent tornados. Sammy Jo Hester, Daily Herald

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Theresa Thomas and her students at Timpview High school make quilts in a class on Thursday, March 16, 2017. The quilts are designed to help with people in the Kansas City area who lost their homes to recent tornados. Sammy Jo Hester, Daily Herald

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Lars Christensen works on making a quilt at Timpview High school in a class on Thursday, March 16, 2017. The quilts are designed to help with people in the Kansas City area who lost their homes to recent tornados. Sammy Jo Hester, Daily Herald

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Lyndsey Wrencher works on making a quilt at Timpview High school in a class on Thursday, March 16, 2017. The quilts are designed to help with people in the Kansas City area who lost their homes to recent tornados. Sammy Jo Hester, Daily Herald

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Markayla Curley and Hana Hamdan show the Jelly Roll quilt tops they are making with their Clothing II class at Timpview High School as a service project for families devastated by tornadoes in the midwest. 

Many people go about doing good deeds in their families, neighborhoods, organizations and church congregations. “Utah Valley Everyday Heroes” will celebrate these unsung community members and bring to light their quiet contributions.

On the evening of March 6 and early morning of March 7 more than 30 tornadoes touched down throughout the Midwest.

While 153-mile-per-hour winds whipped homes in the Missouri towns of Oak Grove and Odessa like they were butter, Theresa Thompson was in Utah waiting to hear if her family and friends were OK.

“I grew up in Odessa,” Thompson said. “Twenty-nine tornadoes were spawned by one storm.”

By the end of the week another storm was producing more. Not being there to help was tearing Thompson apart.

Thompson teaches clothing, interior design and fashion design at Timpview High School. The following day she was telling her students in her Clothing II class about the devastation and how much she wanted to help.

“I told the Clothing II students I was planning on making a quilt,” Thompson said. “It was a jelly roll quilt.”

Jelly roll quilts are made up of 2.5-inch-wide strips of fabric rolled together like a jelly roll. The quilt has 40 pieces that require one to sew and flip the cloth, sew and flip, and repeat the action several times.

Thompson didn’t know that in her class were a group of everyday heroes who wanted to step up right then and help.

Thompson said 12 students in her class immediately wanted to get involved. The incentive for the class was a Jelly Roll Race with a prize.

Jelly roll races are events gaining popularity among quilters; the prize would be one of Thompson’s homemade pies.

The winner of the fluffy chocolate cream pie was sophomore Markayla Curley.

“I was happy about making the quilts because I liked the idea of helping other people. I imagined they were smiling when I was finishing my quilt,” Curley said in an email. “I wanted them to know there was someone out there thinking about them and helping them out.

“I liked the signature piece of fabric that we put into the quilt tops and how it looks in the finished quilt. I wish I could go out there and deliver the quilts with Mrs. Thompson.”

Thompson said each student took a piece of fabric from their current projects and incorporated it into their quilt tops.

“I thought this would act as their signature and they could always feel like a piece of them was with the people who received the quilts,” Thompson said. “This is what Markayla means by signature piece.”

Curley wasn’t done sharing and caring.

Curley shared her pie with fellow student Hana Hamdan, a ninth-grader. Hamdan had only tasted pie once in her life. She was surprised Curley had Thompson cut the pie in half.

“She (Curley) shared half her pie with Hana because Hana had only had pie once and she has stayed after school today to make another Jelly Roll top,” Thompson said.

“Fortunately, as a student at Timpview High School I was given the chance to do what can be referred to as a service project, to help sew a quilt to give to the displaced families in Missouri after the unfortunate natural disaster (tornado),” Hamdan said in an email. “Yet, this was not a ‘service project’ to me. This was my chance to give back to the small communities that make this country so great.”

“We performed this task in the way of a race,” Hamdan added. “My class had a healthy competition of a Jelly Roll Race. Of course, with a race, there is usually a prize. Ours just happened to be a pie. I was conflicted to pursue this competition with intentions of winning because the motivation was to win a pie. To me the moral was to help create a well-produced quilt that would actually help the displaced families.”

Curley and Hamdan both have added more quilt tops to the collection and the class will now have approximately 20 quilts to ship to families devastated by the storms.

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