Cowbelles continue 52-year quilt tradition

Yavapai Cowbelles members displayed the one-of-a-kind quilt at the annual Yavapai Cattle Growers Association Calf Sale Sept. 28. Proceeds from the sale go to support the Cowbelles Scholarship fund.

By Anie Wayman-Trujillo

Sun Correspondent

With one look at the trademark quilted squares and embroidered brands that adorn the heirloom quilt on display, there is no doubt it is one of the famous Yavapai Cowbelles Scholarship Quilts, raffled off every year at the Yavapai Cattle Growers Association annual Calf Sale.  

For 52 years, the cowbelles have been producing a one-of-a-kind quilt created out of patches of fabric intricately stitched with legal, registered Yavapai County brands that are submitted by the brand holders. Because these brands are personal symbols that can identify long standing families and businesses in the cattle industry and document the history of Yavapai County, each quilt tells an unspoken story of a part of history of Yavapai County.

Usually averaging around 50 brands, cowbelles Carla Foster and Sharon Brooks spend several months creating the unique design and putting the quilt together, with Foster embroidering the brands, then Brooks stitching together the masterpiece. Once the quilt is finished it goes on a road show, being transported and put on display to the many events the cowbelles attend while promoting the cattle industry. At any of these events, tickets can be purchased for the drawing, which is usually held at the end of September. All of the proceeds from the raffle go to support the Cowbelles Scholarship fund. Scholarships are awarded at the end of every school year to graduating seniors or continuing college students within the agricultural industry, with five recipients receiving support in 2019.

Tickets for the 2020 quilt went on sale at the Turquoise Circuit Finals in Prescott Valley the weekend of Oct. 3-4. When the quilt is not traveling, it will be displayed at the Western Heritage Center located in Prescott on Whiskey Row, where tickets can also be purchased.

Since 1949 the Yavapai Cowbelles have been an auxiliary to the Yavapai Cattle Growers Association. To learn more about what they do, visit their website or Facebook page.

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