Love in every stitch: Bell creates quilts for area preschoolers


By Jacilyn Bruns, The Voice News - December 7, 2017

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Photo by Jacilyn Bruns, The Voice News

Marlene Bell of Adams annually sews quilts for preschool children, and gave some of them to Freeman students on Nov. 30. Jenifer Alberts’ morning class includes (standing)  Ellee Olesiak, Brody Fort, Sophia Nelson, Kyler Meints, Kylie Schlake, Jack Bruns, Izabella Orth, (sitting) Ethan Hoffman-Ideus, Keaton Novacek, Bently Adams, Alex Woltemath and Jack Ahlschwede.


ADAMS – Marlene Bell of Adams has sewed more than 1,000 quilts during the last 10 years she has been quilting. She has used her hobby for good, donating small 20-by-20-inch square quilts to preschoolers in the Adams area.


Bell began by making the quilts for friends and family, and then for children at Gold Crest Day Care using leftover satin material from her mother.


She quickly realized she could also make them for students at Freeman school, which she has been doing annually for the last five years. She makes the quilts for Sterling preschoolers as well.


This year, two classes of Freeman preschoolers, 28 Sterling preschoolers and several Gold Crest Day Care children received a handmade quilt.


Bell laid out 100 quilts in Jenifer Alberts’ classroom at Freeman on Nov. 30 for the kids to choose from of stripes, flowers, rainbows, dogs and beloved characters.


She left extra quilts so that students can use them in the classroom as well.


“They seem to really like them,” Bell said. “One of the quilts had dogs on it, and a girl told me she picked that one because she has dogs herself.”


Bell makes the kids’ quilts for nothing in return, because seeing their happy faces is well worth it. Quilting is one of Bell’s hobbies that keeps her busy, in addition to reading, she said. After she has the blocks sewn together, she presses them before attaching it to the backing.


“If I’m not cutting out blocks, I’m sewing,” Bell said.





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