Hello everyone, this is Heather speaking…
It’s July, and in Iowa – particularly if you are anywhere near Des Moines – that means it’s time to start gearing up for the annual Iowa State Fair. According to the countdown clock on their website, we have a little over a month until the fair kicks off. So it was no surprise to me to find a preview ad about the fair in the Sunday paper this past weekend.
There are several new attractions, including a contest for sculpting butter (you have to have seen the famous butter cow sculptures to understand the appeal of this event) and the chance to learn about wine making.
But, there is a new event that really caught my attention – a quilt sew-in. The Iowa State Fair has a long tradition of contests in the “Fabric and Threads” category, but this is different, not a contest at all.
According to the information posted on the Fair’s website:
Stop by the first-ever State Fair Sew-In to try your hand at simple quilting. Volunteers will be on hand to teach quilting basics. Each participant will receive a commemorative pin, and completed quilts will be donated to the University of Iowa Children’s Hospital and Iowa Angel Tree Camps.
Naturally, this prompted some questions from Yours Truly, so I sent an email and got a bit more information from State Fair officials.
This event will be free and open-ended, during the entire run of the fair (August 13 – 23, 2009), from Noon until 5pm, people will be welcome to stop into the Varied Industries Building and participate. There is no registration, and no requirement to bring fabric or any other supplies (although donations are being accepted in advance of the fair) for this event. You do not have to pay to participate, and you are welcome to be involved for as long or as short a time as you like (a great way to get into an air conditioned building and out of the summer heat for a while).
I also asked about patterns for the quilts and was told that these would be choosen in advance by officials, but that there would likely be several patterns being used at any one time during the Sew-In.
I think this is very exciting news, and if I get to the Iowa State Fair this year, I intend to participate (yes, me, the non-quilter) at least for a little while. And, while I’m there I’ll get to stop into see the quilts that have been submitted for judging – always a treat! If I go (subject to weather and scheduling), I’ll be sure to report back with some pictures. Hope that I see a few of you there as well!
Sheila Reinke, Heart of Sewing