by Cori Hilsgen
If you missed out on getting the highest bid at a recent quilt auction, you still have a chance to pick and choose from a large selection of quilts at the St. Stephen Catholic Church’s annual parish festival which will be 11 a.m.-7 p.m. on Monday, Sept. 2 (Labor Day).
At the festival, attendees will have a chance to purchase or win any of the 51 quilts the St. Stephen Quilting Group has been busy creating and stitching for the festival. These quilts which include 25 queen/king and 26 baby/youth and twin-sized quilts will either be auctioned, sold or raffled at the festival.
The quilt auction will be at 2 p.m. and 10 quilts will be raffled by chances.
Liz Legatt and Barb Nathe are the co-chairs of the festival’s quilt stand.
“Hand quilting is an art,” Liz said. “Thanks to everyone who helped me work on the quilts this year including Jeanette Trobec, Ruth Vouk, Carole Mehr, Barb Nathe, Jay Seaton, La Vonne Legatt, Cindy Swenson, Rosie Keul and Ruth Supan. Also thanks to our auction quilt holders Alex Legatt, Matthew Hellmann, Candice Koopmeiners and Peter Schumer.”
The quilt tops are assembled and sewn together by Liz Legatt, Barb Nathe, Mehr, Annette Grebinoski and Lori Nathe. Liz Legatt, Mehr, Seaton, Swenson and Trobec sew the binding on the quilts.
“What a wonderful group of people we have for quilters,” Barb said.
“We get along so well, it’s a great winter project and we look forward to getting together every Monday,” Mehr said. “We share quilting tips and learn new tricks.”
“I can’t quilt very fast, but the sit-down job is great for me,” Supan said.
“We have lots of fun and it goes for a great cause,” Seaton said.
Liz Legatt is the youngest quilter and Vouk is the oldest, having recently turned 90. Among the group, Vouk is considered the youngest at heart and is known for her tiny “perfect” little stitches done with a very tiny needle.
“I enjoy quilting with the ladies,” Vouk said. “Also, just seeing what our next quilt top will be, there is also a surprise to it. The girls do such a great job.”
Trobec is a more detailed person and often gives good suggestions to encourage the rest of the group to do a little extra sewing.
“Gets me out of the house and I love to be with the ladies,” she said. “We tell some fun jokes and laugh a lot.”
The quilts are hand-stitched by the quilters. Liz Legatt said it varies on what type of quilt the quilters want to work on. Together, they decide what type of quilts to make by discussing what they would like to create for the next festival, along with input from Liz Legatt and Barb Nathe.
Liz Legatt said this year’s selection includes wildlife and patchwork options.
The group has been displaying some of the quilts in the church and church annex since the beginning of June and will continue to do so until right before the festival.
The group quilts from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. every Monday in the church basement from the first Monday in October to the first Monday in May or whenever the last quilt on the frame is finished.
They take coffee/tea breaks at 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. and share snacks with each other. In September, Barb Nathe will host a “thank you” meal at her house to celebrate the group’s hard work.
Liz Legatt and Barb Nathe work on making some of the quilt tops during the summer on rainy or very hot days, as time allows. So far, they have created eight new ones for next year’s festival.
The annual quilt auction and raffle helps raise funds for the parish.
Along with the annual quilt auction, the event will include a bake sale, beer garden, children’s games, country auction, country store, dice game, face painting, farmers’ market, grandma’s attic sale, inflatables, silent auction and more.
A homemade chicken and ham dinner, which includes pie, as well as bouja, hamburgers, hotdogs and taco-in-a-bag will be available to eat at the festival.
JJ’s Band will perform from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. and Laverne and the Starlights will perform from 2-7 p.m. A grand raffle will take place at 5:30 p.m.
For additional information about joining the St. Stephen Quilting Group, call Liz Legatt at 320-251-5062 or Barb Nathe at 320-251-0462. Quilts can be viewed online at greatrivercatholic.org.