Perry Piecemakers show off quilts made for Hotel Pattee during Fiber Festival, look for nominations for Quilts of Valor

Allison Ullmann
Perry Chief
A quilt created by the Perry Piecemakers Quilt Guild is on display in the R.M. Harvey Room during the Fiber Festival of Perry on Saturday, May 14, 2022, at the Hotel Pattee.

A brightly colored quilt lay on a bed under the big top in one room at the Hotel Pattee on Saturday, May 14.

The quilt was one of five on display during the Fiber Festival of Perry. Members of the Perry Piecemakers Quilt Guild were on hand to talk about each quilt the group made for the hotel over the past year.

“We had a lot of fun making this quilt because of the bright fabrics and cheerful colors,” Nikki Whitney, a quilt guild member from Grimes, said on May 14.

Pat Mundy, quilt guild vice president, said in a separate interview that the group started making quilts for the Hotel Pattee following the Fiber Art Month event in May 2021. The guild had quilts on display at the hotel, including a Japanese quilt Mundy had made out of hand-blocked fabric.

A quilt created by Pat Mundy is on display in the Japanese Room during the Fiber Festival of Perry on Saturday, May 14, 2022, at the Hotel Pattee.

“I was asked if I was interested in maybe making it a new home in the hotel,” Mundy said. “I said it’s a very odd shaped quilt because I had made another quilt for my niece and I had bought extra fabric so I wasn’t sure if it would work or not. The Japanese room has a futon bed that is built on an upper level and we put it on and it fit to within ⅛ inch, it was perfect.”

Jenny Eklund then asked the guild if they would be interested in creating quilts for the hotel. Mundy brought the idea to the group and around 13 members said they were interested. 

Work then started on the quilt for the Woodworking Room. The group took a look at the room to see how they could complement the design and not detract from the woodwork. The colors for the quilt were pulled out of the fresco painted near the ceiling and an arts and crafts style tree pattern was created. Pillows and a small lap quilt were also created with extra fabric. 

A quilt created by the Perry Piecemakers Quilt Guild is on display in the Welsh Room during the Fiber Festival of Perry on Saturday, May 14, 2022, at the Hotel Pattee.

The next quilt was for the Welsh Room. Mundy said they were drawn to the hand woven curtains and the quilt was created using a similar pattern with rustic fabrics.

“Sometimes it takes longer to pick out the design and the fabric than it does to actually make the quilt,” Mundy said.

“We try to keep with the history and the story of the room,” Whitney added on May 14. “We just have fun each time we walk into a room trying to put it all together and make it work with what’s in there already and just complement that.” 

From there, the group created quilts for the Italian and the R.M. Harvey, or the circus, rooms. The group recently completed the quilt for the Telital Room, which was set to go to the quilters, and are currently working on the Bohemian Room. Work will then turn to the Barry Kemp Room.

A quilt created by the Perry Piecemakers Quilt Guild is on display in the Italian Room during the Fiber Festival of Perry on Saturday, May 14, 2022, at the Hotel Pattee.

The quilt guild meets at the hotel every Wednesday to work on the quilts. Though when there isn’t enough for everybody to work on the hotel quilts, Munday said the group’s other big project is creating Quilts of Valor. The guild is planning to give out two quilts at Memorial Day and is working on quilts for Veterans Day this fall.

“There is an award presentation agenda that we follow and we wrap the person in the quilt and welcome them home for their service to our country,” Mundy said. “It’s very touching and we really enjoy doing that.”

She added that the guild’s mission is to cover the World War II and Korean War veterans first before opening it up to Vietnam War veterans.

The guild is looking for nominations of WWII or Korean War veterans in the Perry area. Those interested in nominating veterans to receive a Quilt of Valor should contact Barb Hansen at 515-290-2140 or Judy Tomenga at 515-240-9014.

A Quilt of Valor created by the Perry Piecemakers Quilt Guild is on display during the Fiber Festival of Perry on Saturday, May 14, 2022, at the Hotel Pattee.

As for the hotel quilts, Mundy wasn’t sure what to expect when the idea was first introduced last year.

“It’s funny how ideas hatch out of nowhere. We really didn’t start sewing until August so we’ve really accomplished a lot,” she said.

Each quilt the guild has made for the hotel has a personalized label on the back detailing the room and when it was presented as well as a care label.

“They’re meant to be used and hopefully, after a few more quilts are done, maybe they’ll get a reputation as you can come to this hotel and sleep under a handmade quilt,” Mundy said.

“Someone can lay underneath it and feel the love and the work that was put into it, that’s what we love about the hotel quilts,” Whitney said. 

Members of the Perry Piecemakers Quilt Guild lay out a quilt they created for the Woodworking Room at the Hotel Pattee on Wednesday, Aug. 18.