5.21.2016

Sew Saturday ~ Melissa's Quilt ~

For months I had to keep a secret. If you have watched any of my planner videos on making my own bullet journal planner you saw post-its covering up info I didn't want the world to see.  One of those things I made sure to cover up was anything to do with Melissa's quilt, on the off chance she might see the video or I might accidentally post it on Instagram.  I started writing M's quilt in my planner, because I did not want to be the one that blew the surprise.  Anyone glancing at my planner would assume M was for my son Michael, my mom or even my mother-in-law.  Now the secret is out and the surprise has been revealed so I can share it with you!

AM, Melissa and Patti

At our guild meeting last month we presented Melissa Dunworth with a quilt made by our South Sound Modern Quilt Guild members especially for her.  We were able to honor her and thank her in the best way possible, a quilt to commemorate her time as our founder and first president.  Melissa started the local chapter of the Modern Quilt Guild after moving up here from CA.  She wanted to connect with local quilters and help spread the modern quilting movement.  Ruby Street Quiltworks offered their classroom for our meeting space and helped spread the word about the possibility of a new guild starting.    The first meeting was held and I think the response blew Melissa and her friends away. She met a need many of never even knew we had.


Months later we officially became a member of the Modern Quilt Guild and when it came time to choose our first president, Melissa was the natural choice.  When it came time to choose our second president a year later, nobody else felt they could do the job Melissa had been doing, so we nominated her again.  :)  At that time she and the board started setting up committees to take over some of the burden from the president, and she paved the way for a new president to come in.  Thankfully Cecile Baggenstos stepped up and accepted the challenge of becoming our new guild president to give Melissa a well deserved and much earned break!   Of course, she isn't taking a break from our guild (we won't let her) and she isn't taking a break from sewing (did you hear she was recently published in Generation Q magazine?), but a break from the responsibilities of leading our guild.



It took a few months to get this quilt together and nobody told Melissa a thing about it.  The rules were simple. Make a 12.5" block or a 6.5" block using the colors of our blog header.   Then it was a matter of bringing them to March meeting and getting them to Patti without Melissa noticing.  Next it was time for a committee to design and piece the quilt top.  After that it went to another guild member to quilt it. Then it came to me.  I had the privilege of sewing the binding on by hand and as I did so I spoke blessings over Melissa.  I hoped and prayed that she would know how much the guild means to us each time she looks at it.  I want her to know how very deeply grateful I am to her for the connection she has given me to the quilting world and especially to the other members of our guild.  I know many of the other ladies feel the same way.  I thought about how special she is to have stepped out and stepped up.  I'm blessed by her friendship and so very grateful to know her.

Most of all I hope that as Melissa looks at the quilt she will see that she did something incredible, that she is valued beyond her roles as a military wife and mom (not that those aren't extremely valuable, they are, but moms can often feel they've lost their individual identity), that she will know she made a difference in the lives of the members she served and all that received quilts because of the charity work our guild has done and WILL DO!  That is a lot to be grateful for.   <3
 

I feel so priveledged to have been a part of this special project.  The SSMQG is the very first guild I've belonged to.  I remember telling my husband I wanted to go to the first meeting to find out about the Modern Quilt Guild.  He asked me why, and I told him, "it is so rare to be a part of a guild from it's beginning.  We moved here from another state and I don't really belong here yet.  I'm not a part of anything from it's beginning here in WA.  This might be something that I could belong to and feel connected to."  It is not easy for me to walk into a room full of people I don't know, so it took a leap a faith to go to that first meeting.  I've rarely missed a meeting since. 



For my block, I chose to use a flying geese pattern (her favorite) in a design that I've been wanting to try since I first saw it.   It was a little difficult to give away after I finished it because I like it so much.   ;)  Thank goodness I know how to make another one.  :) 


It took a few months to get this quilt together and nobody told Melissa a thing about it.  The rules were simple. Make a 12.5" block or a 6.5" block using the colors of our blog header.   Then it was a matter of bringing them to March meeting and getting them to Patti secretly.  Next it was time for a committee to design and piece the quilt top.  After that it went to another guild member to quilt it. Then it came to me.

AM checking out her the cute critter block on her mama's new quilt.  <3 
I had the priveledge of sewing the binding on by hand and as I did so I spoke blessings over Melissa.  I hoped and prayed that she would know how much the guild means to us each time she looks at it.  I want her to know how very deeply grateful I am to her for the connection she has given me to the quilting world and especially to the other members of our guild.  I know many of the other ladies feel the same way.  I thought about how special she is to have stepped out and stepped up.  I'm blessed by her friendship and so very grateful to know her.  Most of all I hope that as looks at the quilt she will see that she did something incredible, that she is valued beyond her roles as wife and mom (not that those aren't extremely valuable, they are, but moms can often feel they've lost their individual identity), that she will know she made a difference in the lives of the members she served and all that received quilts because of the charity work our guild has done and WILL DO!  That is a lot to be grateful for.   <3




The last step was putting on the label.  I think the quilt came out as a perfect reflection of our guild.  I'm so proud of our ladies for their hard work.  (we don't have any male members, yet.)


One last thank you to Melissa Dunworth for fulfilling something in me I didn't even know I was missing.  You have done an incredible thing and I will forever be grateful to you.

Melissa Dunworth http://blog.sewbittersweetdesigns.com/
South Sound Modern Quilt Guild http://southsoundmqg.blogspot.com/
Modern Quilt Guild https://www.themodernquiltguild.com/
Cecile Baggenstos http://quiltshappen.blogspot.com/

2 comments:

desertskyquilts said...

That is the loveliest tribute to another woman that I've ever seen, Heather. It makes it so nice that I know Melissa a little bit through our e-mails, and I can see the things in her that you mentioned. I love the quilt you all made for her, and the fact that you made it at all. She is such a special woman, and I know she will cherish that quilt forever. I love the block you made. I don't very often paper-piece, but I've actually thought of doing that block. Thanks for sharing all the pics of the gifting of the quilt.

HJ said...

What a beautiful quilt made for a wonderful lady who has given a lot of blood, sweat and tears to your organization (as we all do when we volunteer). The entire group are very blessed by her presence in the community. What a fitting tribute to her.