Our church has a program where each year the income from an investment account is made available to the congregation in the form of Ministry Grants. The amounts range from $100 to $2000.
Our little quilting group, of which about half are church members, decided we would like to do something for the women and children who take refuge at our county's shelter for those experiencing domestic violence. We agreed that each of the eight of us would piece a top from her stash or scraps and we'd apply for a grant of $900 to be used for batting, backing, binding, and possibly machine quilting.
Here's what happened:
1. A friend of ours, Emily, who is not a member of our group but is an avid quilter with considerable stash, lost a family member with a massive stash and Emily was charged with disposing of it. She made it available to our group.
2. Ruth, our youngest member, showed up one night with about fifteen tops that she'd made and didn't have plans for and offered them for the cause.
3. Marsha, our arbitrator of disputes (whose services thus far have not been needed) got down on the floor with Ruth's tops and Emily's late cousin's stash, and matched up fabrics to piece for backs and fabrics to use for bindings for all of Ruth's tops.
4. Each of us took home a few of the tops to finish.
5. We were approved for the grant!
6. We contacted the pastor and president of church council and asked to have a specific Sunday in the autumn set aside to bless these quilts, to have a representative from the domestic abuse shelter come to the church to answer questions, and to have her take the quilts to the shelter which is in an undisclosed location.
7. The pastor approved our plan.
8. The president of council told us that his wife had, many years earlier, been one of the three founding members of the shelter! She was excited to learn of our plan and once the date is set for the dedication of our quilts, she will endeavor to have the other two women attend church that day.
I brought home three of Ruth's tops and ultimately took on two more to finish. Three quilts are tied and bound; the first two on this page were pieced by Ruth and the third one, the Louisiana pinwheels, is the top I pieced to donate. One top is much larger than the others and I'll be having our local machinist quilt it. The other two that I have are child-size, and I'll be trying to get them finished before the end of July.
Could this be any more perfect?