Photo by Heather Middleton
By Curt Yeomans
How much is that doggie quilt in the window?
A network of 50 quilters -- all tied together by a quilting shop in Jonesboro -- has been working since last August to make dozens of quilts, featuring images of dogs and cats. The bed coverings range in size from small baby quilts, to large king-sized quilts. Some of them have panels featuring different breeds of dogs and cats, while others have the added bonus of stitching done to create the shapes of dogs and their bones.
The quilts will be sold Saturday, from 9 a.m., to noon, at Quilts and Fixins, located at 7986 North Main St., in Jonesboro, during the shop's annual quilt sale fund-raiser, to benefit the Clayton County Humane Society.
"We love making them, first of all, but we started out just because there was such a need with the animals," said Quilts and Fixins owner Jeanne Lowery. "Our local humane society is just wonderful. Those girls [at the humane society] do a wonderful job, and they don't get any real funding ... They're all donation, all volunteer. I just can't do what they do, but we can do this, and it helps keep them there."
This will be the seventh year that Quilts and Fixins has held a quilt sale fund-raiser for the humane society, which is currently providing care, and a home, for approximately 100 animals who would otherwise be homeless.
Maria Dorough, the humane society's director of community outreach, said the shelter relies on donations and fund-raisers to stay in business, with the quilt sale serving as its biggest fund-raising event of the year.
The no-kill shelter, Dorough said, does not get any funding from the local, state, or federal governments. Last year, the quilt sale alone generated approximately $12,400 in funding for the humane society, said officials with the shelter and Quilts and Fixins.
"If we didn't have these events, the humane society [in Clayton County] would have to close its doors," Dorough said.
Gwen Lyle, an event co-coordinator for the humane society, said the money that is raised for the shelter goes into a variety of functions, including operations of the society's shelter, but the money mainly goes to providing care to animals housed at the facility. A major part of that care includes veterinarian bills for the animals.
Those bills can include heart worm and flea medications, as well as other types of medical care, Lyle said. "$12,000 sounds like a lot of money, but in reality, a few high vet bills will eat it up really fast, so we need every penny," she added.
Lyle and Dorough said they, along with other representatives of the Clayton County Humane Society, will be on-hand at the sale to talk with customers about the work that the shelter does.
In addition to dozens, upon dozens of quilts, Lowery said there will also be a variety of other handmade, animal-related items available for purchase at the sale, including tote bags, stuffed animals, clothing and even clothes hangers in the shape of cat and dog heads. She said the prices of items available at the sale will range from $5, to $250. The items are made by customers and employees of the store, she added.
"They make everything," Lowery said. "The girls make what they like to make, and somebody will buy it all."
There will even be quilted University of Georgia and Georgia Tech Christmas ornaments, made by a customer of the store who lives in Fort Valley, on sale on Saturday, she said.
"Georgia Tech has nothing to do with cats and dogs, but the Bulldogs do, and you've still gotta buy these [Georgia Tech items]," said Lowery, picking up a hint of pride in her voice as she mentioned the University of Georgia's four-legged mascot.
So, perhaps the question should really be how much are those doggies, cats and yellow jackets in the window?