Friday, October 26, 2012

Tribute to Danny-My Blogger's Quilt Festival Entry

Amy's Creative Side

I didn't realize that this is the week for the annual Blogger's Quilt Festival but I quickly wrote up this post so that I can join in too.

I have another quilt that I would love to enter but since it still is without the binding and hence not completely finished, I chose another instead.

This is my Tribute to Danny quilt.

I know this isn't the best picture, but since I was finishing the binding on the way to the event, I didn't get nice pictures in advance, I had to get some family members to hold it up for me just to get these, and the wind wasn't cooperating that day. Sorry.

This quilt has a very special story attached to it. For those that didn't see the original posts, I'll tell it again.

My nephew Danny was killed December 2004 in a car accident by a drunk and extremely reckless teen driver, one week after he turned 16 and one week before Christmas. To say that it was and still is a painful situation for my entire family is a huge understatement. Christmas for my family will never be without major mourning.

Anyway, my niece (his sister) suffered an almost equally horrible tragedy this past April when the house she and her young family lived in burned to the ground in the middle of the night. Thankfully they all got out safely but it was a close call.  Our angel Danny was most definitely looking over them that night.

While down in her town with the rest of my family that day, as we took breaks from the shock and helping them get immediate needs replaced, we got to discussing the annual memorial softball tournament held in Danny's honor and that funds the scholarship fund in his name that would be held in July.

During my long 3 hour drive home, I got to thinking about wanting to do something very special this year for the tournament. Danny has been gone 8 years this December and since his number was 8, it seemed very appropriate to make this year's tournament over the top.

Almost immediately the idea to make a quilt to be raffled at the event came to mind. But one huge problem loomed....I was in the midst of making not 1 but 3 full sized quilts for teacher end of year thank you gifts and there was no way I'd have time to make another full size quilt before the tournament. But then I thought about all my terrific blog readers and how quilters are always willing to help out each other. So I put out the help call all to my readers and they responded in droves, more than I could have ever expected.

Since his school colors were Red and Black and since his number was 8 and since he is the star in the sky that watches over us, I requested 8 pointed star blocks in Red, White and Black. 25 awesome ladies answered my call, some sending one wonderful block, a few sent 2 and one special blogging friend sent 6. I just layed them all out, adding the sashing and the border, had it quilted and finished the binding. They did all the hard work. It turned out simply stunning. Knowing all the love from all over the US, Canada and even England that went into this quilt up'd the sentimentality of this quilt ten fold.

I backed it in a great black with white dotty circle print and added one single simple embroidered white star in the center.

The tournament this year raised the most money ever. And that isn't the best part. My youngest sister won this quilt! She, my oldest sister and my mom bought tons of tickets to hopefully win it so that it could stay in the family. After all the raffle drawings were over, the youngest sister gave the quilt to the sister that is Danny's Mom. It still brings tears to my eyes to remember that moment.

Quilt Stats:

Finished size: 81" x 81"
Techniques used: Paper piecing, Applique, Embroidery
Pieced by: Me and quilters from around the world
Professionally Quilted by: Diane Podesva
Best Categories: Favorite Group Quilt, Favorite Bed Quilt, Viewer's Choice (of course)

In all I received 33 blocks, I made 2 more and therefore had enough blocks leftover from the larger quilt to make this smaller lap sized version, named Remembering Danny. I am not entering this quilt in the festival but I did want to share it too since it is filled with more of the wonderful blocks sent by my readers.
This quilt was also raffled off at the tournament and you'll never guess, but Danny's mom won this one and since our youngest sister gave her the bigger one, she gave this one to the youngest sister. So in the end, both quilts are staying in the family.

I am very proud of the Tribute to Danny quilt as it represents the best of the quilting world, wonderful people that are more than willing to help another and a terrific young man who had the best personality, was always willing to help others and who was taken from us way too early. He will forever be the empty place at our holiday tables.

As the side note and ending to this story, the additional money raised at this year's tournament went to purchase a new scoreboard for his high school....a lasting tribute at a place that meant so much to him.

16 of you added your own colorful comments:

Terri said...

Oh Michelle, that is a beautiful story. Danny must be very pleased with his family.

Sandy D said...

Quilters and bloggers are beautiful people. The quilts are amazing and they are a Tribute to your Danny.

Quiltbenaco said...


Lesley said...

Wonderful story and wonderful quilt! A great entry...good luck!

Alison V. said...

Such a gorgeous quilt!

Needled Mom said...

What a beautiful quilt and what a terrific story.

Kelli Fannin Quilts said...

I am still so touched to read this story, it makes me tear up every time.. and it was an absolute honor to help you out.

edyB said...

Ditto what Kelli said! A sweet story ~ a beauty of a quilt. I was so happy to be a small part, and yes, I shed tears each time I see a photo of the quilt and read the story.
Good luck with your entry!

Rachel said...

I love this quilt. I love all that it stands for. You are awesome. This quilt is awesome (so is the smaller one , lOL) HUGS!!!

PaintedThread said...

Great quilts. Amazing stories.

CitricSugar said...

Beautiful and meaningful!

pinsandneedles said...

Beautiful touching story and quilt! Blessings!

Esther said...

A beautiful quilt with such special meanings and memories. I love the red and black together

purduepam said...

Love the quilt and your story.

Connie Kresin Campbell said...

What a beautiful quilt and a special story!

Heather A said...

Gulp. Such a sad loss but in the light of that loss ... beauty and grace. Beautiful story and beautiful quilts.