The annual softball tournament to raise money for the memorial scholarship fund in honor of my nephew Danny was a little over a week ago. I've been itching for days to finish this post so that I can reveal the 2 quilts to all of you....but I've been waiting on others for the final info.
Well I'm not waiting any longer. I finished sewing the label onto the back while on the ride there so I didn't get good pictures of the larger one in advance. Instead before it was raffled, I got one of my other nephew's and one of my brothers-in-law to hold it up so that I could get some nice shots. But the wind refused to cooperate. This is the best one that I could get.
I am very proud to show you
Tribute to Danny
This is a quilt made through the generosity of so many quilters from all over the US and several international countries. As I have said before, I could have never done this without all of you that answered my request for blocks. Thank you, thank you, thank you. I only had to make 2 blocks myself to have enough for both quilts.
I backed it with this cool black fabric with interesting white dotty circles. I know that it is tough to see in this picture. Sorry. If I ever get the better pictures that the newspaper guy took, I promise that I'll replace these. Deciding which blocks would go into each quilt was a struggle but in the end, I think I managed to come up with a well balanced mix. I even received a block that could have been used as a signature block but instead I centered it in the middle of the backing.
The quilting is a meandering loopy design in red thread on the front, white on the back. I was totally blown away by my long arm quilter on these two...she received them around 10 am on a Tuesday and called me that they were done around 1pm the very next day. Two quilts in about 24 hours. Wow.
The remainder of the blocks went into the smaller lap quilt. I named this one Remembering Danny.
The original plan was to make these exactly the same but some how my quilt shop owner and I both flubbed the math on the fabric requirements. I ended up with way too little red and way to much black. So the smaller one's theme got reversed and an additional border was added. I love the result from this little oops.
The tournament raised the most money ever, a staggering $6,100 before expenses which thankfully this year were really low because we were able to get the majority of everything needed donated. I don't have the break out details yet in order to tell you what part of that total is from the quilts but I will say that we sold a lot of raffle tickets. That bag was packed full!
Everyone that had heard about these quilts and had bought tickets in advance came by the event to see them. And those that hadn't heard about them before, just fell in love with them, especially once they saw them in the school's colors and saw that they all are 8 pointed stars. Those that knew him, knew the significance of that number.
So who won the quilts? That is a cool story. Well, as I've mentioned before, my sister, who was Danny's mom, wanted the queen quilt for herself bad. She just yearned to be able to feel the comfort sent with each block contributed when she is feeling her most down. She actually thought that she shouldn't buy any tickets herself but I kept telling her that her money was just as good as everyone else and she had the same right to buy tickets if she wanted to. I don't remember just how many she did buy but I do remember flipping through the available tickets to find her the ones with the number 8 on them, for good luck. Unbeknownst to me, along with all the other tickets sold to everyone, my mother and my other two sisters bought about $100 worth of tickets themselves. They had their own plan.
After all the smaller items were raffled off, we were onto the big items. The queen quilt was 2nd to be drawn. The name on the ticket? My youngest sister Boo! Then they raffled off the TV, the IPad and the Wii. Next came the lap quilt. Everyone held their breath and cheered loudly when Danny's mom's name was called.
What happened next was the best part. As soon as all the raffles were completed, Boo grabbed the queen quilt she won and gave it to our sister Diane, Danny's mom. Boo felt that it was only right that Diane have it. And then, because Boo gave her the bigger quilt, she decided to give Boo the smaller one that she had won. So in the end, both quilts are staying in the family. Totally unexpected but also so wonderful. During the clean up, I lost count of just how many players and event supporters came up to me and said they had the same plan, to give Diane a quilt if they had won one. Everyone felt that it was what needed to happen...that Diane end up with at least one of them in the end.
I wish I had captured a picture of this quilt exchange moment. It still brings tears to my eyes. The surprise on Diane's face and the love in Boo's eyes was a precious moment. My oldest sister and I joined in on the very long hug that is so typical of us 4 sisters. It is with the support of each other that we get through the tough times together and especially these difficult ones. We can never bring Danny back but we can always remember and honor him together.