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Quilting and Oceanography:

The 1998 Oceanography Camp for Girls at the University of South Florida

Click on the images for a full-size picture.

Story and photos by Christina Holland

The department of marine science at the University of South Florida hosts an oceanography camp each summer, designed for girls age 13-14. The university is located in St. Petersburg, Florida, and all of the girls come from Pinellas County.

They are specifically selected to be as diverse a group of  young girls as possible. They come together for 3 weeks to learn as much as they can about marine science and what scientists are really like.

You can find out more about the camp at http://www.marine.usf.edu/girlscamp/.

This year, thanks to Ann Puffer, of The Sewing Circle quilt shop in St. Petersburg, they also learned a bit about quilting.


The campers in the first session made this colorful fish quilt. The fish are done using paper piecing, an excellent choice for novice quilters. I believe the eyes are done by applique.


The campers in the second session opted for this blue and gold star quilt. I love the blue fabric, with the stars and moons and whales and dolphins. They used paper piecing on this one, too, since it had worked so well the first time.


The camp counselors got in on the act, too, with several fish quilts. This first one uses paper piecing for three different fish, ranging from the simple to the rather intricate.



The counselors got so into making appliqued fish blocks that they ran out of quilt to put them on. USF staffer Linda Kelbaugh came to the rescue by assembling some of the better leftovers into a whole new quilt.

The quilts made by the campers were raffled off to raise money for the camp endowments. The ones made by the camp counselors, and several others donated for the cause, were auctioned off, also to benefit the camp.


"Morton the Manatee" was one of those donated quilts.


Some of the other items for auction included embroidered table runners and napkins, and the baby quilt at right. The baby quilt is called "A Stich in Time" and is done with panels containing animals, planets, and stars.


Tracy Christner, another USF staffer, showed off her school pride with her very first full-size quilt, at left above. Some of the squares are from USF T-shirts. Others were made using photo-transfer of newspaper and magazine articles. And of course, it's all in the school colors of green and yellow.

On the right are a couple of "quillows". They're pillows, until you pull out the stuffing to discover a whole quilt inside.



Both of these beautiful quilts were donated by members of the Suncoast Quilting Circle, which meets at the Sewing Circle quilt shop. The members also helped out with some of the machine quilting of the campers' quilts.

In the bottom left photo, you can see some of the people who run the oceanography camp, Theresa Greely, Tracy Cristner, and Linda Kelbaugh, setting up for the auction.

Here, Ann Puffer shows a camper how to keep the piecing accurate.



Perhaps the most important thing is, a good time was had by all.


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