Quilts, quilts and more quilts

Monday, July 25, 2022
(Sentinel Photos by Kim Fickett) An eclectic array of quilts will be on display at the annual Life Skills Foundations Quilt Auction on Saturday, July 30, at the Plymouth County Fair. More than 70 quilts in varying sizes and themes will be on display and auctioned off to raise money for the Life Skills Training Center.

PLYMOUTH CO. — The year 2022 marks two special anniversaries for Life Skills Training Center. The first is the 50th anniversary of its founding. The second is the 25th anniversary of the Life Skills Foundation Quilt Auction.

The 2022 auction will be held at 2 p.m., Saturday, July 30, in Century Hall on the Plymouth County Fairgrounds during the five-day fair.

“This year we will have 77 quilts on the auction,” said Marketing and Development Coordinator Shelly Thomson.

With the two anniversary years in mind, the auction will start with a special presentation.

“Some of our quilters are making handmade gifts for all of our clients here at Life Skills. We will start the auction off with the clients receiving their gifts,” Thomson said.

“We will then kick the auction off and we will try to move it right along. That is a lot of quilts, but you need to stay to the very end,” Thomson said.

She noted the final quilt, one donated by Jean Erickson, is one that will be judged in the open class at the fair.

“You will want to save some money for the very end,” she noted.

Thomson continued, “I’ve been doing this for seven years, and this is the first year we have only an Iowa State quilt, no Iowa quilt, and we only have two John Deere quilts, no Case IH. It’s the first time for that.”

There is definitely a farm theme going with this year’s quilts, such as chickens, farm animals and more.

“There is just a solid farm theme that will roll through,” she said.

“There are also other on-trend type patterns. We have gnomes, we have a heavy-weight quilt, it is a lot of on-trend quilts, fabrics. I know I say this every year, but these quilts every year get better and better,” Thomson said.

There are several table runners, one in a watermelon pattern, another in sage green with an herbs pattern.

There are also several vintage quilts in the mix.

“I have a vintage quilt that was donated by the Glenda Haverhals family. You can just feel the years of love that quilt has experienced,” she noted.

Overall, Thomson calls it a very eclectic group of quilts this year.

One quilt has already received a lot of interest.

“It’s a Pork Producers quilt and it’s a first time quilter for us, Sterling Meyer. It has little pigs, the Pork Producer T-shirt blocks, the whole eat pork thing,” Thomson said. “You know, we’re in Plymouth County and there is a lot of pork in the county.”

“And don’t get me started on the baby quilts. Every year, they are just adorable. A perfect baby shower gift,” she said.

Thomson also gives ideas for who to buy that quilt for.

“If you’re not sure what to get your mother or mother-in-law for their birthday or Mother’s Day, we have all sorts of quilts that will fit on the back of the sofa. You can change those out, they can be seasonal. A lot of opportunities for those quilts and this auction as well,” she said.

“If you don’t come out to the auction, you are missing all sorts of opportunities,” she said.

The quilt auction isn’t the only place at the Plymouth County Fair where Life Skills is represented.

The staff and clients operate the Ice House in the Pioneer Village.

“The forecast is looking perfect for snow cones so make sure if you are in Pioneer Village to stop in and get one of those refreshing treats,” Thomson said.

The other event is the popular Cow Chip Bingo which is held at 2 p.m., Sunday, July 31, near the Pork Producers grilling area.

“Again this year, we will get one of the 4-H Holstein cows. That cow always puts on a really good show,” she said.

She added there are a few bingo tickets at Primebank, Iowa State Bank, American Bank and at the credit union, or check at the Ice House in Pioneer Village during the fair. If there are any left, they will be sold at the quilt auction.

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