In my previous blog I showed you some of the Best of Show quilts located in the Varied Industries building. Well, just down the hall from those quilts is the room for the State Fair Sew-In. In it’s ninth year, the Sew-In project is not new, but the creations volunteers will be crafting out of donated scraps of fabric will be completely original. Last year, the Des Moines Area Quilt Guild and trusted fair volunteers finished 437 quilts; since 2009 when the project began, 1,933 blankets have been quilted for Iowa youth. You don’t have to be a sewing expert to try quilting, and the public is welcome to visit the south hallway in the William C. Knapp Varied Industries Building to be a part of the collective effort. Finished quilts are given to kids at agencies such as Child Serve, Angel Tree Camps, Children’s Behavioral Health Unit at Iowa Lutheran Hospital, and Lutheran Social Services of Iowa. Here is a short video clip about the sew-in from IPTV.It features the founder of the sew-in, Sharon Meisenheimer who was there sewing when we were! It is a good sized room with about 20 machines. Noelle and I were just passing through and we came to the end where a volunteer asked us if we wanted to help? Our family was at the fair just 2 days so we had limited time to see and do everything we wanted to. We asked if there was a time commitment and she replied that any amount of time would be great, so we decided we could probably get a quilt top done between the two of us. First on the list is to sign in.Next you choose your quilt top, which can be from pre-cut strips you choose yourself, or a kit you select. We chose a kit with frogs on the print fabrics and greens and yellows for the solids. The kit contains twelve, five inch wide strips that you sew together, the backing and the binding. It was all nicely organized and the gal that helped us gave clear directions.
Another gal, instructed us briefly on the machines, since we sew on a Bernia and these were all basic Janomes. After using them we appreciated our, needle down setting and the knee lift presser foot attachment on our Bernia at home!There is a constant stream of fairgoers passing by, we asked one of them to take our photo!Besides sewing the strips together, you also can pin the top, batting and backs together, machine quilt the tops with straight line quilting or attach the binding, you choose.
The completed quilt measure about 40 x 54, we timed ourselves and were done with this in 14 minutes. I am happy we did this during our day at the fair. We laughed and said, “Like, we don’t do enough sewing at home, we come to the fair and sew too!”The State Fair Sew-In appreciates any donations of fabric, here is a link with that information.Volunteers and donations.Let us know if you have been involved in this project, or other projects like this one. I am really glad we stopped to sew, now we know what it is about, and really, who doesn’t have 14 minutes to sew!