Wednesday, June 29, 2011

The President's Quilt

As many of you know, I am a member of the Frisco Quilt Guild. I have been since I started quilting for others in 2006. I have found the members of the local guild to be friendly, knowledgeable, and generous to a fault. Members are always anxious to share their latest finds and or donate their time to help each other.

For the past two years I served as the president of the guild. Largely, it was a job that no one else wanted to do consisting of a great deal of juggling of people and projects. My favorite projects had to be the creation of the last two raffle quilts. Both were constructed from various blocks created by the membership adherent to a central theme.

The remainder of the job, at least as I saw it, was to keep the group going through what ever might come our way, to be point person and general encourager to everyone who crossed our threshold. During any given month during my two year term of office, this included 90 to 100 people.
It is the habit of our particular guild to make a president's quilt for the outgoing bearer of that title. The quilt is usually created as a surprise. Things that are customary are seldom a total surprise, but it has been a while since our guild last did this. A series of unfortunate events prevented the past couple of officers from completing a two year term. I had supposed that the tradition might die from disuse. Silly me. What was I thinking?!
Last night was my last meeting with any role remotely resembling that of the leader of the guild. The buck has been officially passed onto my friend Rose. (She is going to do a great job.). Not two minutes after I sat down I was asked to stand again. My eyes were covered while I listened to some suspicious rustling and the room went silent.
To add to the suspense here....I knew that my friends had been making a quilt for me. No, I'm not that nosey. I was accidentally included in a mass emailing. The subject line read, "Shhhhh President's quilt for Cindy". I didn't read it. In fact, I'd mostly forgotten about it. However, when I reviewed the books to create a financial report a receipt with the words "for Cindy's quilt" caught my attention. Up until last night I was having a lot of fun speculating about what they were up to. It is very much in my nature to be a tease. I think it is genetic.
So, I'm standing in front of my Quilty friends, listening to our new president Rose waxing elegant about myself and my contributions to the guild, and looking at a room full of Cheshire Cat grins.....
They turned me round to this...

Wow! (That's what I said. So much for Rose's elegant words.). I still haven't become familiar enough with all of it's details to adequately share how precious this gift is to me, but off the top of my head I am stunned that something so fun and cheerful was created as the result of my impact on my wonderfully creative friends. It is enough to make me dare to believe that my hope of eliciting a spirit of joy in the memories of those around me may actually have come to pass. That, dear ones, is a blessing even greater than the gift of this wonder filled quilt.
Some details that you have to see

The center piece of the quilt is this label, designed for this quilt, and embroidered specifically for me by my very own and very beloved Mom. She is a "give me a pattern" girl who created a special row sampler complete with funky little buttons just for me. She worked the label in over dyed threads, which are not washable, and then made the label removable so that the quilt could still be washed. Have I told you that my Mom is brilliant? (FYI See those tiny little buttons? She had me order them for her a couple of months ago to go one "something she was making")

The outer border is made of lovely yellow and black signature blocks!! AND there are signatures on them. How awesome is that?! It is like having a little bit of my friends in the room with me.

The clever creators of this quilt not only included bright colors, and critters (two of my favorite things) they included a nod to my favorite fellas too. There is a dog house for each of the men in my husband and my three sons. LOL - Gilbert gets a TV in his dog house!

This block was created by my friend Nancy Howse and is a portrait of her dog Misty. She and Misty compete in agility trials and pulling.

And pointy footed yappy dog makes me laugh out loud with pink embroidered bark bubble.
And there is so much more to look at...did you notice the quilting? Oh My Gosh! Kathy Bradbury of Bear Paw Machine Quilting custom quilted it for me. I know because her signature block is signed as a continuation of the quilting. Amazing! I don't even want to think about what it would look like if I tried that. It's not going to happen. She designed different fill for each block...go back and it!
The next time you see one of your very creative quilty friends, give them a hug from me and tell them thanks! That is what I am planning to do.

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