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Iowa State Fair Sew-In seeks donations, volunteers

The Iowa State Fair Fabric and Threads Department is seeking fabric donations and volunteers for the fifth annual State Fair Sew-In. The free program offers Fairgoers a chance to try their hand at simple sewing and quilting while providing warm blankets to local children in need. “Nothing Compares” to the Iowa State Fair, set Aug. 7-17.

Donations of five-inch wide strips (cut with the fabric) and two-yard cuts of fabric in all-cotton juvenile prints and patterns are needed for quilt fronts and backings. In addition, cash donations are needed to help cover the costs of quilt batting and materials. All donations can be dropped off at the Competitive Events Department in the Administration Building on the Fairgrounds or mailed to the Iowa State Fair Competitive Events Department: P.O. Box 57130, Des Moines, IA 50317-0003. All donations should be labeled for the Sew-In Project.

The Fair is also searching for sewing assistants to help Fairgoers make the simple strip quilts. Volunteers are asked to commit to four-hour shifts from noon to 4 p.m. or 1-5 p.m. A site supervisor will be on-hand to supply materials and help with machines. All sewing assistants will receive one parking pass and an admission ticket to the Fair.

Volunteers at last year’s State Fair Sew-In completed 305 quilts as a part of the Des Moines Area Quilt Guild Education Committee. This year’s quilts will be donated to the children at the Angel Tree Camps, Bidwell Riverside Center and families of deployed troops. Since the Sew-In began in 2009, volunteers have created 1,294 quilts for children at the University of Iowa, Iowa Lutheran Hospital, Blank Pediatric Oncology Clinic, Youth Emergency Shelter, Beloit Children’s Services and Lutheran Social Services of Iowa.

The Sew-In will be open daily during the Fair from Noon to 5 p.m. in the south hallway of the William C. Knapp Varied Industries Building. Fairgoers are invited to stop in and try their hand at quilting basics (no experience necessary). Each participant will receive a commemorative pin for their efforts.

If you are interested in donating, volunteering or receiving more information about the Sew-In, contact Sharon Meisenheimer by phone at 515-986-1145 or by email at rmeis@aol.com.

“Nothing Compares” to the 2014 Iowa State Fair, Aug. 7-17. The Fairgrounds are located at East 30th and East University Avenue, just 10 minutes east of downtown Des Moines. Discounted gate admission tickets are on sale now through our convenient print at home ticket option at iowastatefair.org. For more information, call 800/545-FAIR or visit iowastatefair.org.

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