Wednesday, March 25, 2015

To Share the Love of Quilting

I have something really fun and dear to my heart to talk about.
I'm refraining from saying names and adding too much detail as I didn't ask anymore for permission to published their names to the web. Some people feel this or that about the web and I'd rather stick on the safe side of keeping that kind of information confidential.
A week before the retreat, a friend of mine had some amazing news. But first, let me know from the beginning. This friend, although we aren't best friends today, she was my best friend in high school. We have kept in touch, but with kids, husbands, work, running a house, and so forth, we are just busy.
When I  think of this friend, I have so much love for her still. I don't know what it is. But she is part of my heart and my past. She was part of my many firsts during my teenage years. She was the one who taught me how to apply make-up. She was the first one to have me drink my first underage alcoholic beverage. Shh, Don't tell my mom or dad. :) She was the first person who actually loved hearing about my Korean culture and was so nice to my mom, rather than making fun of me because of some of the things that were different in my home. She was my first friend I brought to church. She was the first one to tell me I was pretty and even helped me to be more pretty. I have so many fond memories of her and even some of the childish things I did, because well, she was my first friend. In a friendship, it is a relationship that requires work, forgiveness, and understanding. All those things were new to me and I didn't always make the best decision when I was young.
But all that aside.
She has a son about my daughter's age, 3 1/2 years old. He was born with a bad kidney. This resulted in months at the Children's Hospital, a list of meds, daily dialysis, constant monitoring of his weight/blood pressure/diet, and much more.

The day came where her son was ready to be listed for a kidney donor. Very quickly thereafter, the family received a call that there was a match. And quickly, they were back at the Children's Hospital for yet another surgery, but this time improving his quality of life. It all happened the week before my retreat.

Within a week, they were back home. They are in 'lock down' for 8 weeks. This is where I had this idea. An idea to get a group of people to make the family a quilt, but I wanted it done quickly and presented while the family was in lock down. All of sudden I thought why not ask the retreaters if they wanted to participate. The retreat organizers thought it was great idea and gave me the go-ahead.
Two nights before the retreat, I was up to about 2am, designing a quilt pattern, writing it, pulling fabric, and drafting an email to the retreaters to ask for volunteers.
The beginning of the retreat, I prepped and organized, made an announcement and was happily stunned by the response. Everyone wanted to participate, but I didn't organize for everyone to participate. O no.
By the end of the retreat, I had every block made and even a volunteer to long-arm quilt and bind it. Amazing. All I had to do was complete the top.
Fast forward to yesterday, I received the finished quilt. Beautiful. I'm ready to ship it.

As quilters, even crafters, isn't that what we enjoy most about our hobby? To warm someone's heart with love by something we handmade for them. What gets better than that? I know, a group of people getting together to make a handmade quilt. Although the retreaters didn't know the family, I knew this kindness would mean so much to them. They have gone through enough and I wanted to show them they are loved through our love of quilting. Something I didn't expect, the retreaters were so honored to be part of the quilt, too. There were so many hugs, love, and even tears. I'll always remember this retreat and the special ladies that made this o-so special.

I mean, really. Look at what the world can to do make it better. Sometimes we get caught up in all the negativity, but boy, I would love to see the news/social media talk about a group of quilters who did a kindness for someone to brighten the day. Let that be the top story.



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