Photo credit: Beverly Van Buskirk

Story originally published on Le Mars Daily Sentinel

The Life Skills Training Center in Le Mars, Iowa, was preparing for their 20th annual quilt auction when 150 pounds of donation fabric showed up on their doorstep. Shelly Thomson, the center's marketing development coordinator, knew she wanted this fabric to be included in the upcoming auction. She enlisted the help of local quilter Phyllis Woll to help turn the fabric into something beautiful.

"I sorted through the fabrics and kept what could be used for the quilts," Phyllis told the Le Mars Sentinel. "Then I wondered if the block party girls would want to sew quilts using the fabric."

The Block Party Quilters is a group of women who meet once a month to get inspiration from the other members, assistance with quilting challenges, and to show what projects they've been working on. Phyllis is a member of the group and knew she wanted to include the other women in the charity project. This marked the beginning of a multifaceted project to create the quilts and return them in time for the auction.

"The only thing I asked is if they took the fabric, it had to come back to me in the form of a quilt and I would provide the backing and batting, and give it to them to bind, with the quilts donated to Life Skills," Phyllis said. And that is exactly what they did. With the help of the Block Party Quilters, Phyllis was able to donate 21 quilts to the center, contributing to the 118 quilts included in the auction and the $21,000 that was raised for the Life Skills Training Center.

"The Block Party Quilters were very helpful," Phyllis said. "It's been a great adventure and has been real interesting."