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‘Quilts for all Seasons’ to be featured in October at Arts Center

‘Quilts for all Seasons’ to be featured in October at Arts Center
Joyce Laffe speaks to the audience at the Floyd County Quilts of Valor ceremony held at Riverside Senior Living in Charles City last May. Lisa Gebel holds up one of the quilts that she helped make. Laffe is president of Patchwork Pals Quilt Guild in Charles City, which will be the featured exhibit for the month of October at the Charles City Arts Center. (Press file photo by Kelly Terpstra.)
By James Grob,

Autumn is perhaps the most colorful time of the year in nature, so it’s fitting that the featured October display at the Charles City Arts Center will be a whole bunch of quilts.

“When you walk into a quilt show, it’s an explosion of color,” said Joyce Laffe, president of Patchwork Pals Quilt Guild in Charles City. “That’s what we want people to appreciate.”

Patchwork Pals, currently 38 members strong, is traditionally featured at the CCAC every other October. The display this year is entitled “Quilts For All Seasons,” and will feature quilts of all sizes, according to Laffe.

“There will be bed-sized quilts, and some others will be very small,” she said. “There will be wall hangings, some of them designed by the quilter, and the display is even open to quilted objects, like bags, table runners, purses or vests. It’s not just quilts, necessarily. It can be quilted accessories.”

There will be a reception for the quilters starting at 5 p.m. Friday at the CCAC. Hors d’oeuvres and drinks will be served, and Laffe promised some of the guild members will be bringing homemade treats.

Laffe said the items on display are “not necessarily for sale,” as the show is intended to share talent. She said there will be a wide range of quilting styles, techniques and a different talent and skill levels.

“Some are beginning quilters, and others have been quilting for 20 years or more,” she said. “Each member can put in as many quilts as we have room for.”

Local Patchwork Pals members who will have their work featured include Laffe, Connie Rasmussen, Collette Schmidtke, Joyce Wood, Kay Young, Sue Heibrick, Sharon Schneider and Wyona Stewart, among others. One must be a Patchwork Pals Quilt Guild member to have a quilt in the show.

Patchwork Pals contributes many projects to community service. The group donates what members call “quilts of comfort” to families that have suffered through a fire, or have had a family member who has been sick or badly injured.

“We take a quilt, or multiple quilts to those families,” Laffe said. “Usually when there is a fire, we take a quilt to each member of the family.”

The guild also contributes quilts to local police, sheriff and EMTs, to keep in the trunks of their vehicles to wrap someone up after an accident and help keep them comfortable. The guild also makes different quilted items for local nursing homes, such as bags to keep supplies in that can be hung on residents’ walkers.

“We do lots of community things that I don’t think a lot of people know about,” Laffe said. “We don’t really advertise any of that, but it’s good for people in the community to know that there are people who do those things.”

Although it’s an entirely different group, several Patchwork Pals members are also members of Floyd County Quilts of Valor, which is an organization of quilters who are part of a larger national nonprofit organization dedicated to honoring veterans with a handmade quilts. In addition to having a lot of crossover membership, Patchwork Pals has contributed fabric and other materials to Quilts of Valor projects.

The Patchwork Pals Quilt Guild holds meetings the first Monday of each month, except for January and July, at Bethany Alliance Church in Charles City. Meetings begin at 6 p.m. and consist of food, a program, a business discussion and “always a show and tell” so that members can show others the work they’ve done.

The guild is always looking for new members, and anyone interested in joining is welcome at the monthly meeting.