Proceeds go to Inwood swimming pool
Rachel Gutting | Editor
Donna Rentschler recognized an opportunity to use her life-long passion of quilting to help her community by donating a quilt to the Inwood Swimming Pool Capital Campaign Committee.
Among the hundreds she has made and still owns, the choices were narrowed to four. Eventually a quilt named “Summer Garden” was chosen. The pattern entitled “Hidden Wells” is an intricate mix of colorful pieces.
“They should be bright; it brightens your life,” Rentschler said when explaining how she chooses the fabric for her quilts.
The quilt was designed by Mary Ellen Hopkins of California; designed, interpreted and pieced by Rentschler, and custom-quilted by Kathy Knox of Estherville.
“It has a whole language of its own,” Rentschler said in regards to the different steps of the quilting process.
While Rentschler explained the complex process of quilting, she also stressed the importance of why she wanted to donate one to the cause. As an Inwood native, and still having family in the area, she said she wanted to be able to do her part.
The former swimming pool had made such a difference in the area she said. “It was a wonderful thing for the community, not just Inwood.” But for several reasons, including enhanced regulations, a new pool was needed.
To date, the Capital Campaign Committee has met an initial goal of generating $600,000. However, contractor bids were higher than anticipated and continual donations and funding are needed to keep the project moving forward.
In addition to the quilt, Rentschler chose a wall hanging she pieced to be raffled off as a second-place prize. The hanging, entitled “Americana,” features an adaptation of an old American Indian pattern called “Lonestar.” She explained that she chose this particular hanging because “it is in tune with the Fourth of July holiday,” which is when the drawing will take place.
Quilting has been a hobby of Rentschler’s for a long time, and she has made many for special occasions such as family members’ births and graduations. Additionally, she makes seasonal wall hangings that she displays on a rack above her fireplace.
“It’s an addictive hobby; you can’t make just one, you keep making them,” she said.
While the hobby may be addictive, it is not cheap. The cost of fabric can vary greatly, but averages around $100-150. Factoring in the 50 to 60 hours that it takes to piece a quilt, as well as the additional $150 it costs to have it custom-quilted, a finished item is worth a substantial amount.
In addition to piecing quilts, Rentschler has been actively involved in many shows. In 2009 and 2011, she co-chaired the Sioux Falls Quilters Guild Show. The guild has over 160 members who, at the last convention, displayed over 400 of their creations.
She said a quilt should always have a label for historical purposes. The labels state quilt and pattern names, as well as information about who designed, pieced and custom-quilted it.
Ultimately, Rentschler is using her knowledge and passion for quilting to help the Capital Campaign Committee and the community. Between now and the Fourth of July, tickets will be sold at several events throughout the West Lyon area. Connie Rentschler and Betty Kock can be contacted regarding questions, donations and ticket purchases.