By Debra Davis
Cotton and poultry were top winners for the Alabama Farmers Federation’s Women’s Leadership contests held during the organization’s annual Farm & Land Expo in Montgomery Aug. 5-8.
The sewing contests starred cotton and cotton-blend quilts, lap blankets and quilted pillow covers, while a wreath contest featured farm commodities. First, second and third place winners received $150, $100 and $75 respectively.
Ruby Nuss of St. Clair County won first place in the Hand-Stitched Quilt Contest with her pink and white comforter featuring a flower basket design. Stella Edwards of Randolph County won second place, and Martha Jordan of Monroe County was third.
Melanie Connell Harville of St. Clair County won first place in the Machine-Stitched Quilt Contest with her dinner plate dahlia entry. Betty Kennedy of Wilcox County placed second, and Anita Crabtree of Geneva County won third.
Harville also won first place in the Machine-Quilted Pillow Cover Contest with her New York Beauty quilt design. Glenda Stewart of Geneva County won second place, and Melanie Stokley of Washington County was third.
Clarke County’s Marie Slade took home first place in the Lap Blanket Contest where seamstresses presented a patriotic theme. Pat Sexton of Crenshaw County won second place; and Melanie Stokley of Washington County was third. St. Clair County’s Olivia Hogan won first place in the youth division contest.
A poultry theme elevated Montgomery County’s Kim O’Connor to first place in the Commodity Wreath Contest. Debbie Dunn of Geneva County won second place; and Lucy Lawrence of Tallapoosa County was third.
“This year’s contests featured creative and talented ladies who took inspiration from the commodities our state produces and the patriotism that’s prevalent among our members,” said Women’s Leadership Division Director Kim Earwood. “The cotton sewing contests always attract a lot of interest and participation, and this year’s lap blanket combined both. Many of the seamstresses who made lap blankets have chosen to donate their entries to veterans.”
The Commodity Wreath Contest was new this year, and by gauging interest and participation, it could become a routine event.
“The wreaths were beautiful and featured nearly every commodity grown in Alabama,” Earwood said. “A wreath can be hung on a door to welcome visitors to your home, or it can be used on the wall to brighten up a room. No matter where they are displayed, we enjoyed seeing how different commodities were emphasized.”