For members of the Paul Bunyan Auxiliary who volunteer to organize the annual Camp Knutson Quilt Auction, the joy and anticipation of opening Christmas presents also happens in the summer.
Opening the boxes of quilts that people donate for the quilt auction always brings surprise and delight, and this year is no exception.
Camp Knutson partners with organizations that provide summer camp experiences for children with disabilities and/or special needs, giving them a time to immerse themselves in nature in order to experience the freedom and fantasy of childhood.
Pat Chilgren is one of those quilters whose donations were received with gladness this year, as she has donated two of her beautifully hand-quilted creations. One of the quilts has an array of blocks that features many different breeds of ducks. The ducks are appliquéd on each block and are accented with complimentary borders with her exquisite hand-quilting to top it off.
The second donated quilt has a theme of shining stars using the colors orange, yellow and white on each block. Once again, it is highlighted with her hand-quilting.
Chilgren became interested in quilting in the 1960s. It was during this time that she quilted both of the quilts she has donated. Chilgren said she and her husband traveled a lot and she would quilt while he drove. However, when she hand-quilted a large quilt she would use a frame.
Chilgren never used the quilts so she decided to donate them to Camp Knutson for its auction. When asked how she became familiar with Camp K, Chilgren said her severely handicapped daughter attended Mount Olivet Rolling Acres, a Minneapolis facility that offers a variety of programs and services for people with developmental and other disabilities.
Her daughter passed away at age 31. She never got to attend Camp K as a camper, but Chilgren said she is so thankful that there is such a place. It was a perfect fit for her.
After being widowed for 12 years, Chilgren remarried six years ago. She and her husband have a summer place in Crosslake and spend their winters in Florida.
This year’s Camp Knutson Quilt Auction will be Saturday, Aug. 10. The silent auction and quilt preview will be from 9-11:30 a.m. and the live auction will begin at noon.
Camp Knutson is located at 11169 Whitefish Ave., Crosslake.