The Story of a Survivor

This is a story about a friend, and a quilt.  It all started with a package of pink and green 5″ squares that I picked up from a local quilt store.  In the package were several squares of fabric with the pink breast cancer ribbon.  As soon as I saw that pink ribbon I knew I wanted to make a friend, a breast cancer survivor, a quilt.   This friend has been a breast cancer survivor for 6-7 years now.  And although I didn’t know her at the point in her life that she was battling this horrible disease, she truly is the definition of a survivor.  To say that her journey of breast cancer was probably the lowest point in her life is an understatement.  But she overcame and she beat cancer’s butt!  More than that though, she is thankful for the journey and for where it took her.  She uses her past experiences to be an ‘angel’ to others taking the same path, and she has walked over 180 miles to raise money for cancer research.  So, in celebration of life, in celebration of her journey, and to honor her for her continued fight against cancer, I felt that using my talents to make her a quilt was a small way that I could recognize and support her.

from her facebook page

from her facebook page

The two small packages of squares that I purchased were barely enough for a baby quilt, so I raided my stash and scrap bin — turns out I have quite a bit of pink and green fabric — and found enough matching fabric to make a lap quilt.  A total of 154 5″ squares to be exact

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I had the top pieced in fairly short order and then it sat for almost 4 months.  My favorite parts of quilting are the designing, picking out the fabrics, and piecing the top.  I find so much satisfaction in the creative process of it all.  Sandwiching the quilt and actually quilting it all together is a drudgery to me.  Might I feel different if I had a long arm?  Maybe.  But my brain doesn’t find that part as stimulating, and I therefore just don’t enjoy it as much.  But it has to be done.  So, when I went to the beach for a weekend in November with my guild for a retreat, I thought that would be the perfect project to take with me, and hopefully complete before the weekend was over.

And, I am happy to report that I did finish it.  It took the entire weekend, but it was quilted and bound before I left.   I was able to take pictures of it before I left the coastal region.  It was such a beautiful day and the sunshine really brought out the bright colors. I love it!  It finished at approximately 55″ x 70″.

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The back was pieced with even more of the same pinks and greens.

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And she loved it too!  Dear friend, may you continue on your journey of inspiring others!

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Linking up with Finish it Friday at Crazy Mom Quilts, Link a Finish Friday at Richard and Tanya, and Can I Get a Whoop Whoop at Confessions of a Fabric Addict.

Best of Show!

Each year for the past 4 years I have entered my handmade items into competitions at our North Carolina State Fair.  The first year I entered just crocheted items.  I have been crocheting many, many years and knew that I did good work, but I really didn’t know how my work compared to others.  All three items that I entered that first year won ribbons — 2 first place, and a second place.

(I looked for and could not find a picture of the christening gown I crocheted that year.  I’m sure I have a picture somewhere, just not sure where.)

After that first year, I was hooked.  It’s not the prize money — each first place wins just $6-$8 and second and third place win even less than that.  It’s the thrill of the competition!  It’s exciting to see a ribbon on an item you made.  It’s exciting to see others appreciate your hard work.

2012 Fair Win

2012 Fair Win

Since then, I have expanded my entries into other areas.  I usually win several ribbons, and usually do best with the items that I made throughout the year rather than the items I try to make at the last minute. And these are items I would be making anyway — they are baby gifts, Christmas presents, birthday gifts, or usually just something I wanted for my own use.  This year I focused on quilting and embroidery more than crochet.

The first quilt I entered 2 years ago, didn’t win anything.  It is still one of my favorite quilts though, and I have kept it for myself.

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The Mexican Rose original design quilt I entered last year won 4th place.  I was very happy with that because there is stiff competition in all the quilt categories, and it was my first quilting win.

Mexican Rose

Mexican Rose

My entries for the 2013 fair did great…

Torreya Turtle won 1st place in the stuff toy category.

Torreya Turtle

Torreya Turtle

Ellie the Elephant came in second place in the baby quilt category.

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My nativity embroidered quilt won a first place ribbon.

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And last but not least, my goose tracks quilt won BEST OF SHOW.  Finally, that Best of Show award is no longer evading me.  I was so excited, I was giddy.  I was like a kid in a candy store.  YAY!!

IMG_3250I’m still shooting for a best of show in the crochet/knitting category too.  Maybe next year…