It might only take a few minutes to bid on items at an auction, but it takes more than a year for quiltmakers to carefully stitch each piece of multi-colored fabric together in preparation for the Salvation Army Basket and Quilt Auction. The annual event raised about $5,000 Friday evening to go toward helping Jasper County residents.
A local club, 1/4 Inch Quilters, (the length of a seam on a quilt), meet each Thursday afternoon for quilting and fellowship. Many of the women have been working together for more than 10 years to make quilts donated to the Salvation Army fundraiser.
Joyce Conley, of Newton, and a member of the quilter’s club, laughed as she said she will begin on Thursday working on quilts for next year’s auction. Though it might seem like a timely project, Conley said the hobby is rewarding.
“It’s very rare to have a group of quilters like this,” Conley said. “It’s really fun to get together with everybody, and this year we worked in small groups.”
Conley said she turns 70 next month, and the quilter’s club includes many women from her high school class, which has provided her with many lasting friendships.
The finished products hung on the walls of the chapel of the Salvation Army, some with bright colors — others black and white. Conley said to make the large quilts it typically costs more than $300 in materials. The quilts were auctioned off for $200 or more.
Captain Janelle Cleaveland of the Salvation Army said the event drew in more than 120 people. It was Cleaveland’s first time experiencing the auction as she began serving Jasper County this year.
Cleaveland said she believes the annual auction is an important community event because the quilters work really hard all year long.
“All of the money goes to Thanksgiving and Christmas food baskets and the Christmas toys, and all of the services we have to help those in need in the community,” Cleaveland said.
Each gift basket was donated by a Salvation Army advisory board member and was arranged based on a theme such as kitchen, bath and body, children, movies and more.
The items were auctioned off by Major Greg Thompson, divisional commander for the western division of the Salvation Army.
“I’m very blessed and thankful they attended our event,” Cleaveland said. “Thanks to everyone who showed up and supported the Salvation Army.”
Contact Kayla Singletary at 641-792-3121 ext. 6533 or firstname.lastname@example.org