4-H students branch out in many directions, but a small, studious group has taken up sewing.
Jovita Black, vice president of the local Oklahoma Home and Community Education brand and an OSU master volunteer, started the Sew it Seams project group for 4-H kids in May. The group will hold a pancake breakfast during the Carter County Free Fair to raise funds for supplies.
“Most people don’t think about sewing,” Black said. “It’s kind of a lost art. These kids come busting in the door, they want to learn, do it, finish it and take it home. They love to sew and they inspire me.”
Black runs the club from her home in Lone Grove in a building her husband built. Black said she provides many of the supplies herself and the OSU Extension Office provides the machines.
“They needed someone to teach sewing to young students,” Black said. “This way, I can buy them their own supplies.”
Black has students from 4-H clubs in Ardmore, Dickson and various private schools and has about 10 students total.
“Educators at OSU mentioned they could use someone who could teach sewing,” Black said. “Gerri Ballard and Danielle  Wells worked with me to get this started.”
Black started out sewing clothes for her Barbies, when she was about the same age as her current students.
“I’ve been sewing all my life,” Black said. “I’ve just always wanted to.”
Now a retiree from Michelin, she teaches students the basics of sewing. She also occasionally teaches classes for adults at local libraries.
“These kids are amazing,” Black said. “They want to learn so fast that I have to slow them down.”
Her youngest students are six and her oldest are about 12, but all of them make bags, pillowcases, quilts and backpacks. Some of their work will be on display during the fair.
“It takes a lot of time to make quilts, and in May some of these kids didn’t even know how to turn a machine on,” Black said.
The pancake breakfast is scheduled for 6:30 to 11 a.m. on Saturday, Sept. 8. The breakfast will be held in the OHCE Kitchen, which is located on the south side of the Hardy Murphy Coliseum. Breakfast is $6 and $3 for children five and under.  
The Facebook event can be found at https://bit.ly/2MEwYXM.