Three seasoned quilters from the Beaver Dam area are ready to exhibit their latest quilting masterpieces in the open-class division during the Dodge County Fair in August. Janet Flint, Sally Shoemaker, and Tammy Lind have enjoyed the detailed art of quilting for many years.

“I was in 4-H and FFA when I was young — exhibiting in crocheting, arts and crafts, and steers. I didn’t do open class right away after high school, it was maybe 10 years later. I started quilting with Sally, and now I enter quilting, sewing, and sometimes crocheting,” commented Flint. Most open-class-department judging takes place on Wednesday of the fair. “I meet up with Sally on judging day every year; it’s our day together watching our quilting projects being judged.”

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Each friend has a different story about their growing interest in quilting and exhibition. “I started quilting about 20 years ago, when my kids were exhibiting at the fair,” added Shoemaker. “They were entering projects, so I did, too. Now I like watching the judge, listening to comments, and learning why they place the way they do. It’s a good experience to compete against other people and see how your projects compare. It’s rewarding to win a ribbon, especially a merit ribbon.”

“I’ve been quilting for more than 16 years,” added Lind. “Janet got me into quilting. She was cutting my hair, we got talking, and she remembered I did some sewing. That was when the quilt shop was open in Beaver Dam. She suggested I take some classes, and now I’m a member of the quilting guild and have such a wonderful network of quilting friends, I don’t know what I’d do without them.” Lind went on to add, “I’ve been a member of our quilting guild for about four years. At about that same time, I started exhibiting at the fair. Janet always does pretty well at the fair; she’s a very talented seamstress. In 2012, I won a special merit award for one of my quilting projects; Janet has won many of those for her work, so I was pretty happy to win just one.”

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The Phi Beta Cabin Quilt Guild includes members from all over Dodge County and surrounding areas. “The guild had started before I joined,” added Flint. “Today, I am president, and we did a brat fry recently to raise money for supplies to make quilts for the community. We get together once a month and sew when we can. We’ve done some quilts for hospice families, tornado and flooding victims, the police department, service men and women, and families in need.”

“We’re a tight-nit group,” added Flint. “We’ve really gotten to know each other well; it’s our passion. I wish everyone in their lifetime could experience a passion, and that’s what quilting is for me.”

In addition to quilting, the ladies enjoy exhibiting other talents at the Dodge County Fair. “I exhibit flowers, vegetable, and canning, usually, too,” added Sally. “There’s more competition in these categories, so it’s especially rewarding to win a ribbon. My neighbor competes in flowers, also, so it’s a friendly completion to see who does better.”

Those interested in exhibiting in open-class at the Dodge County Fair can find the open-class exhibitor book and entry form online at; click on Dodge County Fair and scroll down to “exhibitor info.” Copies can also be obtained at a variety of banks and small-town grocery stores throughout Dodge County. The deadline for non-animal categories is Aug. 8.

The Dodge County Fair is scheduled for Aug. 16-20, 2017. Visit for more information.

Written by Dori Lichty — farm wife, 4-H Mom, and full-time communicator