By Marlee Jackson
A common thread ran through creative quilts, blankets, pillows and wreaths on display at the Mobile Convention Center Aug. 12 — Alabama’s agricultural diversity.
The Alabama Farmers Federation Women’s Leadership Division sponsored the farm-inspired sewing and decorating contests, held during the annual Farm & Land Expo in Mobile.
“It always amazes me what our ladies can do,” said State Women’s Leadership Committee Chair Ann Whatley of Lee County. “They are so creative and talented in how they spotlight our different commodities.”
The contests included categories for hand-stitched and machine-stitched quilts; adult and youth divisions for lap blankets; machine-stitched pillow covers; and commodity-themed wreaths.
Dozens of conference guests viewed entries during the Farm & Land Expo, marveling at the time-intensive, colorful creations. Entries highlighted a range of commodities, from cotton, cattle and specialty crops to bees, trees and poultry.
Viewers included Twyla Smith of Crenshaw County, who soaked up fellow entrants’ inspiring designs. Smith won the hand-stitched quilt category with a variation on a log cabin pattern.
“Quilts are comforting,” Smith said. “I dabble in a lot of things. I paint, play piano, quilt, crochet. But I love to quilt.”
Winning entrants were:
First — Twyla Smith, Crenshaw County
Second — Martha Jordan, Monroe County
Third — Pat Norred, Randolph County
First — Glenda Stewart, Geneva County
Second — Ruby Nuss, St. Clair County
Third — Melanie Stokley, Washington County
Adult Lap Blanket
First (tie) — Tamara Rashleigh, St. Clair County; Elizabeth Usery, Geneva County
Second — Marie Slade, Clarke County
Third — Jackie Henderson, Lee County
Youth Lap Blanket
First (tie) — Holli Howell, Geneva County; Trevor Wicks, St. Clair County
Machine-Stitched Pillow Cover
First — Melanie Stokley, Washington County
Second — Rhonda Hughes, Jefferson County
Third — Glenda Stewart, Geneva County
First — Teresa Hatten, Crenshaw County
Second — Lucy Lawrence, Tallapoosa County
Third — Mary Helms, Houston County
First-, second- and third-place winners received $150, $100 and $75, respectively.