Handmade in Iowa

My boy and I are traveling across Iowa to see relatives we haven’t seen in a while. Monday, we stopped in a town near where my grandparents and my momma grew up: Schleswig, Iowa.

My momma’s cousin, Karen, who is more like an aunt to me and who I adore, lives there. It it just so happened that she and her amazingly talented volunteer friends were gathered together in her home.

The purpose?

They were making quilts and things for the upcoming hospital auxiliary craft sale. They hand-make items to sell to raise money for scholarships for students.

When I first heard they were doing this. I got all teary, thinking ‘quilting bee.’ Remember those? Women used to get together and sew quilts. Perhaps I’m sentimental, but the thought of seeing women sharing their talents together, got me all choked up.

Here’s some photos:

Karen embroidering a towel
some of Karen’s work
hand made by Karen
a quilt the ladies were doing, all the details are hand sewn
Karen’s ‘in a pickle’ towel
everything on this towel is hand embroidered,
even the mason jar details

It was such a treat to be there. Sitting around the table, the time was rich in stories and laughter. Three hours flew by, then it was time to go.

Things I ‘took’ with me:

  • friends creating at the same place and the same time is an awesome endeavor
  • sharing talents to help others (for example, the scholarships) could really make a difference in someone’s life.
  • quilting bees still exist and could even be adapted to whatever art talent we have, such as painting bee or jewelry art bee
  • friendship + sharing creative talents= bliss
  • fun memories await when friends get together and make stuff

We’re back on the road, so my jewelry art is on pause. I thought it’d be amazing if I showed you some things that are handmade in Iowa.

Thank you for reading.



  1. I love this. Her work is beautiful. I have a group of friends–bible study sisters, who get together once in a great while for crafting. Being together is the best part. How special that you were able to be there.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Bible study sisters and crafting sound like the perfect combination. My momma’s mom was in the Ladies Aide at her church and they gathered together and made things for people. The idea of a group of women sharing artistic talents, sounds so great to me. I may try to set something up like that here… Thank you for your kind words. Being there was a gift.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Hi!! You’re welcome and thank you! I hope you are doing great! I bet you’re right! I’d definitely buy them if I saw them or something similar at a craft sale. So pretty.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Beautiful work and story! It made me recall the times I went to quilting bees with my grandmothers and my mother when I was a child. I learned to embroider at an early age and still have a hoop!


  3. I love it! For so many reasons – fellowship, creativity, handmade items, helping others, laughing! In the first picture, there is a sugar bowl with a face on it and legs – I bought a similar towel several years back at a craft show. I also bought two others and gave them as gifts. They made me smile. My daughter and DIL each bought a little embroidery kit when we were in Pentwater. I am glad you are having a good trip. Safe travels and Enjoy!


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