The National Governor’s Association meets in Iowa this summer and each state leader who attends will take home a unique piece of handmade artwork, something to snuggle up with for many winters to come. Mavis Simms, a grandmother from LeMars, is one of about 40 Iowa women who are making quilts, one for each governor. Hers features the Iowa State House and is in three colors: red, ivory and blue. Simms doesn’t know how much time she’s put into the quilt, but says she did put a lot of passion into it. “When it’s something you love, you don’t keep track of the time,” Simms says. “I have really no idea how many hours it took, but it’s just something that comes from the heart.” Simms says she was thrilled to be chosen as one of the quilters. “It’s really an honor to be a part of this project. It’s good to look around and find things that are bigger than you and see if you can be a part of it.” Simms says they were given packets detailing their options of quilt blocks to use, each with Iowa significance. Each quilt will showcase Iowa’s heritage and spirit of hospitality. Iowa’s First Lady Christie Vilsack, who’s also a quilter, came up with the idea, saying “I wanted something that was handmade that was representative of how we do things homemade here and from the heart.”Mrs. Vilsack says “When you look at Iowa from above it’s a patchwork quilt and our industrious women in Iowa took those scraps and made something beautiful and useful with it.” Simms jokes, she hopes California’s Governor Arnold Schwartzenegger gets her quilt. The Des Moines conference is in July.
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