August 15, 2018
By Debra Davis
First-place winners in the quilting, sewing and tablescapes contests were, from left, Bonnie Savell of Baldwin County, Machine-Stitched Quilts; Bonnie Martin of Russell County, Tablescapes; Tamara Rashleigh of St. Clair County, Christmas Tree Skirts; Autumn Buckley of Lamar County, Youth Christmas Tree Skirts; Regina Painter of Lauderdale County, Baby Quilts; and Pam Madden of Baldwin County, Hand-Stitched Quilts.
Beautiful cotton quilts with thousands of tiny stitches, colorful tree skirts and a cotton-themed tablescape took first-place honors during the Alabama Farmers Federation's 46th Commodity Producers Conference Aug. 2-4.
The contests were coordinated by the Federation's Women’s Leadership Division.
Pam Madden of Baldwin County won first place in the Hand-Stitched Quilt Contest. Her quilt featured a honeycomb-shaped green and beige background with multicolored floral patterns.
“It’s called ‘Grandmother’s Flower Garden,’ but I did most of it while I was sitting with a lady with Alzheimer’s. Her name was Emily, so it’s now named ‘Emily’s Flower Garden,’” Madden said.
Madden started quilting in the early ‘80s, but said she got busy and stopped the hobby for a while.
“I got back into it in the early ‘90s and have been enjoying it ever since,” she said. “I feel like it’s a blessing from God to be able to do it.”
St. Clair County’s Jackie Stevens won second place in the hand-stitched contest. Third went to Deloris Mount of Crenshaw County.
Baldwin County’s Bonnie Savell won first place in the Machine-Stitched Quilt Contest. She said her quilt is a “Road to Paradise” pattern.
“A friend and I got together, and we wanted to do something together at the same time that was alike,” she said. “Quilting soothes my soul. When I’m upset, if I go in my sewing room and sew for five or 10 minutes, I’m just calm and at peace with whatever was wrong.”
Lauderdale County’s Regina Painter won second place in the machine-stitched division, and Melanie Connell of St. Clair County placed third.
A colorful zebra-themed quilt by Painter won the Baby Quilt Contest. Second place went to Mary Burroughs of Tuscaloosa County, and third went to Glenda Stewart of Geneva County.
Adult and youth contests also were held for Christmas tree skirts. In the adult division, Tamara Rashleigh of St. Clair County won first place. Second place went to Jacqueline King of Houston County, and third went to Geneva County’s Elizabeth Usery.
In the Youth Christmas Tree Skirt contest, Lamar County’s Autumn Buckley won first; Madison Cole of St. Clair County took second; and Brandi Schultz of Tallapoosa County was third.
Russell County’s Bonnie Martin won first place in the Tablescapes Contest with a colorful cotton theme. Kim Seymore of Winston County won second, and Mary Alice Helms of Coffee County was third.
A machine-stitched quilt by Melanie Stokley of Washington County won the People’s Choice Award, which was voted on by conference attendees.
First-place winners in each division won $150, second-place winners received $100, and third-place winners won $75.