Alice Jost of Hillsboro went to the state fair in Hutchinson last week, and so did her prize-winning quilt from the Marion County Fair.
She’s going back this week to retrieve the quilt, and she’ll be coming home with yet another prize.
“I’m going to be in Hutchinson on Thursday to meet the governor, and he’s going to hand me my prize,” Jost said.
With the first entry the 85-year-old has ever had at the state fair, she won grand champion and best in show.
“When I brought it in I saw the other quilts and thought, ‘Maybe not,’” she said. “We went in the first day and there it was hanging with the ribbons. There were some things I’d like to have done more perfect, but it passed the judge.”
The May Day flower basket pattern Jost used was first published in Successful Farming magazine in 1932. She discovered it when a Wichita quilt shop featured it as a block-of-the-month pattern.
“There are 32 blocks in this quilt and every block is different, 32 different baskets,” Jost said. “It took me quite a few years to do this. I’d work on it, then lay it aside. It’s been a long, ongoing process.”
She embroidered each block by hand, and worked with her daughter, Charlene Driggers of Hillsboro, to hand-finish the quilting last winter.
Jost said she likes fabrics from the 1930s. She would have used them for the 1932 pattern if she could have found some.
“They’re pretty hard to come by,” she said. “You can maybe find them at shows where people collect. I used to go to auctions, and once in a while I was lucky.”
Jost started sewing when she was a young girl, but didn’t take up quilting until her children, Keith, Clyde, Clara, and Charlene, were grown and moved away from home. She’s made quilts for each of them, and for many of her grandchildren.
There won’t be any attempt next year to repeat as state grand champion, Jost said. There are more grandchildren who are waiting on quilts.
“I don’t think I”ll take another one to the fair because I have the others to be done,” she said. “I have a couple I need to finish. I’m not planning on starting any more.”