Where to start? With the patterns and the gracious designers? With the friends who
No. With the woman.
But it's going to be a long story.
She runs a ballet school in the town where my daughter and her family live. It's a wonderful dance studio; my granddaughter has been a student there for half her life. In the spring, she holds a spectacular tea party, a two-day affair with tables beautifully set, triple-tiered plates of goodies, and an abundance of raffle baskets and opportunities. Moms and grandmas wear pretty dresses; some wear gloves and hats. The little girls wear even prettier dresses and hair looks its very best. At some point, these little girls ever-so-gracefully walk down a red carpet to show off their finery. The big girls assist in refilling teapots, replenishing the crumpets and mini-sandwiches. The place is full. It is a glamorous affair, done in the very best of taste.
The first year that Sherry invited me to attend, I presumed it was a fund raiser for the ballet school. But I was mistaken. Partway through the event, the studio's director made a speech. She spoke of how many years the tea party has been held (more than ten!), how much money had been raised, and then went on to say that every single bit of the money went to Susan G. Komen to assist in the battle against breast cancer.
I was wowed. I still am. Jane Lopoten is an extraordinary woman. I admire her tremendously.
After that first tea party, and after learning who the beneficiary was (all of us!), I made a quilt to donate each of the following years. This year I wanted to do something that was specific to the dance studio. Long-time friends and readers know that until recently I was
Now, here's where it all comes together. I've been participating in a bee block exchange through my Guild, and the group I work with is called Anything Goes and Gorgeous -- there are no holds barred in the kinds of blocks that participants can request. Because we are meticulous about copyright, I knew I would need to purchase a dozen patterns, one for each block-maker. I hesitated. Then I wrote to the patterns' designers and explained about the bee and the quilt and the cause and within literally minutes heard back from each of them, granting me permission to print out the copies I needed of the patterns I'd already purchased. Their only request: "Please send a picture!" Shout out to Juliet of The Tartan Kiwi and to Linda at Paper Panache for their kindness and generosity.
In August I designed the lay-out. September I printed the patterns. In October I distributed them to the AGAG participants. In November the beautiful, precise blocks came back to me. One participant with an embroidery machine provided a label for the back. In December I put it all together. In January the machine quilter applied a quilting motif called, appropriately, "dancing ribbons." And I bound the quilt and took it to Guild for Show and Tell. In February I will delivery the quilt to Jane. In March, someone will take it home and breast cancer research will be all the richer for it.
My gratitude is to all who helped in any way with this effort. And especially to Jane Lopoten.