A while back, daughter #1 walked into the kitchen with a large box containing all her 4-H ribbons. She said she was planning to throw them away.
Tears came to my eyes as I had a bit of a “mom moment.”
“You want to get RID of your 4-H ribbons?” I was thinking, you’ve only been out of 4-H a year. You worked so hard to earn those ribbons.
“I have the memories and the things I learned and made,” she said sensibly. “That’s what’s important. Not the ribbons.”
Well, I couldn’t argue with that.
And yet. To me, it was what the ribbons represented.
To me, each ribbon was a memory. The thrill of walking … almost running … into the 4-H building on the first day of the fair, and then seeing a big purple ribbon on a project. The annoyance of earning a red ribbon — WHAT was the judge thinking???!!! Making cakes and cookies and muffins just right in the kitchen. Sewing skirts and pillows and American Girl dresses. And on and on and on …
“But I still have MY 4-H ribbons!”I said, and then I thought about it. My 4-H ribbons were in a box, in the basement, where they were rarely if ever viewed. Was that really any better than being thrown away? Not much.
So I decided to do something about it.
I located the ribbon box in the basement (I should say that this was no small task in itself), pulled out all my ribbons, and sorted them.
Online, I had done some searching for an idea for something to do with the ribbons. Just search for “4-H ribbon ideas.” There are many neat ideas out there. Beautiful quilts and wall hangings — and yet I didn’t really want something that large. I decided on a pillow.
Making a 4-H Ribbon Pillow
Once I’d chosen some ribbons to use, I arranged them in an order I liked and decided on a size. I ended up planning an 18″ pillow. I cut a square of cotton fabric 18″ square to use as my background. It really doesn’t matter if the fabric is solid or print since it won’t show anyway.
Here’s what my finished pillow top looked like. First I sewed down my top row of ribbons onto the cotton fabric beneath. Word to the wise: on this first row, I sewed down the left side of that first blue ribbon. Then, I slightly overlapped the next ribbon over the blue one and sewed with one seam. MISTAKE — with the stress of later turning the pillow right-side out, some of the overlapped ribbon edge popped out. For the bottom row, I sewed down each side of each ribbon. Good idea.
So, I sewed down my top row of ribbons. After that I sewed down the bottom row, I chose a blue fabric to sew across the center. Then, I cut an 18″ square of the blue fabric to use as the back of the pillow. I placed this piece and the ribbon piece right sides together and sewed around 3.5 sides, then turned right-side out.
I stuffed the pillow and added 3 of the “rosettes” from ribbons across the center strip.
I am happy with the 4-H ribbon pillow and even happier that now I can enjoy my ribbons in a tangible way.
How about you? Do you have a special way you enjoy bits of memory from your past?