The Good Earth Village Quilt Auction, set for Saturday, Aug. 17, features numerous handmade quilts and other items to be sold to benefit the camp located outside of Spring Valley. <br /><br /><!-- 1upcrlf2 -->GRETCHEN MENSINK LOVEJOY/SPRING VALLEY TRIBUNE<br /><br /><!-- 1upcrlf2 -->
The Good Earth Village Quilt Auction, set for Saturday, Aug. 17, features numerous handmade quilts and other items to be sold to benefit the camp located outside of Spring Valley.

GRETCHEN MENSINK LOVEJOY/SPRING VALLEY TRIBUNE

Quilts for this year's Good Earth Village quilt auction come in all varieties, even one entitled "Moo-rah-lous," a children's blanket with Holstein-spotted fleece backing and pictures of toys, cars, stars, shapes and animals.

"We have a large variety of items," said Good Earth Village quilt auction organizer Geraldine Williams, showing off the storeroom at the camp filled with quilts created by donors from Albert Lea, Spring Valley, Wykoff, Austin, Northfield, Rochester and even as far away as South Carolina. The auction is set for Saturday, Aug. 17, at Our Savior's Lutheran Church, 805 S. Broadway, Spring Valley. Preview of the quilts is at 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., and the auction begins at 2:30 p.m.

This year's auction, from which proceeds will be used to "change the world," features 135 quilts of all kinds - machine- and hand-pieced and quilted, hand-embroidered, hand-tied, appliqued, children's, flannel, log cabin, crazy, yo-yo, star, pinwheel, Christmas, patriotic, fall, sock monkey and baby comfort-sized.

"Primarily, congregation members of churches that belong to Good Earth Village make them," said Williams, "and it's people from all over southeast Minnesota. The people who make things for the auction have their personal dedication and funds invested in them, and they are willing to give their time to help the camp ministry at Good Earth Village."

According to a statement from camp director Chad Campbell, "Good Earth Village is dedicated to developing Christian leaders who will change the world. That's no exaggeration. Alumni can be found all over the world, working for peace, advocating justice, and alleviating suffering. They do that because they've been changed by their experience at camp. In coming summers, we're expecting 150 to 250 children with financial needs to request scholarships each year, and we'd like to provide for all of them. We do that, in part, through the funds raised at this auction."

The quilted and hand-tied quilts donors have so graciously created for the camp offer pinwheels, log cabin, rectangular blocks, offset blocks, crazy, appliqued and bold-colored blankets for mid-winter snuggling, and the hand-embroidered quilts include children's quilts with bears and another quilt stitched with delicate flowers on a white background.

Children's quilts on the auction, in addition to the "Moo-rah-lous" quilt, include a flannel jungle-themed blanket with monkeys, lions and giraffes, a sock monkey quilt complete with pillow and a pocket that's home to a small sock monkey, a Noah's Ark quilt bordered in blue, a flannel fish-themed quilt, and two 1930s ditzy print quilts from a mother-daughter pair of Albert Lea quilters - one of their donations has fleecy backing and prairie points, or triangles sewn to the edge, for little fingers to play with.

Among the non-blanket donations, GEV's auction will include hand-sewn tote bags, table runners - rose-appliqued and another with cardinals, a "Footprints in the Sand" wall hanging, a basket with a teddy bear, book and small quilt, a felted winter table centerpiece cloth with pine trees and houses, an apple pie-themed casserole carrier, assorted throw pillows, and a scrapbook with pages ready to fill.

Williams and volunteers assisting with preparing the quilts and other items for auction are pleased to see the generosity of donors continue.

"The quilters give such a variety of items, Paul Witte Auction of Lake City volunteers his time and has for the past several years, and at the auction, people like it because it's a fun way to support the camp," said Williams. "I've heard comments after the auction that 'it's fun', and I like it because it's a way to find wonderful gift items, items that fit anyone's budget. If someone has a camper in their family, it's one way to buy something meaningful for that camper. I like to buy things for wedding gifts, and my granddaughter likes to help with the auction. Last year, she liked a quilt and realized she had the money to buy it, so she did. It's just a great way to support Good Earth Village."

Volunteer Lynn Snider added, "It's the fastest way to get a handmade quilt if you want one."

During the auction, refreshments will be available for purchase, and supplemental funds have been provided by two chapters of Thrivent for Lutherans. For more information or to view quilts as they appear on the Good Earth Village Facebook page, log onto www.goodearthvillage.org.

"There is the opportunity to see many very fine articles crafted by supporters of GEV. While we have many items that should command a high price there is always a wide price range," added Williams. "Best of all when you have the final bid you have a good feeling that you have helped a camper. It's all about the kids."