Photo by Heather Middleton
By Joel Hall
Dogs and cats will have their day this weekend, thanks to Quilts & Fixins in Jonesboro, and dozens of volunteer quilters.
On Saturday, starting at 9 a.m., the quilt-and-fabric store will host its Annual Quilt Sale, to benefit the Clayton County Humane Society.
The sale will feature hundreds of cat-and dog-themed quilts, accessories, and novelty items, with all the proceeds going to the continued operation of the county's only no-kill animal shelter.
Jeanne Lowery, owner of Quilts & Fixins, said this is the sixth year of the sale, which grew from a raffle item donation, into a fund-raiser for the county's humane society.
In preparation for the sale, some 50 local quilters have spent 10 months stitching together more than 300 items, all bearing unique images of cats and dogs.
"We've been sewing hard," Lowery said. "Last year, we had about 170 items. This year, we have about twice that ... We counted 325 items (Tuesday), and we'll have more coming in later in the week. These girls are very competitive about it.
"The first year, we raised $1,500. Last year, we raised $11,300 ... that's a big jump. It sounds like a lot of money, but it's nothing compared to what they need. That's three good vet bills. We have fun with it, but we're serious about it."
Included in the sale are quilts of various shapes and sizes, as well as slippers, bibs, boxer shorts, Christmas stockings, cell-phone holders, pocketbooks, throw pillows, canvas bags, aprons, bowls, and books, all made with stitched fabric.
The designs range from cute, to humorous, and include illustrations incorporating favorite team mascots, such as "Uga," the bulldog representing the sports teams of the University of Georgia.
On Saturday, around 1 p.m., Quilts & Fixins will also raffle off two large quilts, each with a unique pet theme. Raffle tickets are being sold for $1 each, or $5 for six, all this week at the store. They also will be on sale prior to the raffle on Saturday.
Ginny Galvin, a Jonesboro resident who has made many items for this year's sale, said quilters enjoy participating.
"I love sewing and you can only sew so much for yourself," she said. "I just admire the dedication they [Clayton County Humane Society volunteers] have. I couldn't work at the humane society, because I'd be crying all the time, and I'd have 37 dogs. I can't do what they do, but I can contribute in this way."
Maria Dorough, development and community outreach coordinator for the Clayton County Humane Society, said last year, the shelter took in nearly 300 animals who had been abused, abandoned or given up by their owners. She said in recent years, the Annual Quilt Sale has served as the shelter's single, largest fund-raiser, helping pay for food, vaccinations and other treatments.
"Our donations are down 50 percent this year," Dorough said. "We've had to put a new roof on the shelter, and we've had a lot of extra vet bills. With the economy being the way it is, if we didn't have this sale, we would be devastated. We're hoping that with all the stuff in this sale, we can sell more, because we really need it."
Quilts & Fixins is located at 7986 North Main St., in Jonesboro. For more information about the sale, call (770) 472-0015, or (404) 630-8515.