They Are Winners!
Best of Show!

Martie Mollenhauer © 2008

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A group of South Jersey crazy quilters is to be affirmed and acknowledged!! They are Winners!! These unique individuals who express themselves through creative designs and stitches and boundless enthusiasm, rose to the challenge. Twenty of them, from forty to ninety-five years young, accepted the mission of designing a crazy quilt square (12" by 12”) that would be stitched together for a wall hanging. Each person received a piece of the same fabric with bright colors, butterflies, bugs and flowers. The rules were simple : create a square using this fabric and be finished in two months. This was the only similarity for everyone. There wasn’t even a rule of how big, or little, a piece of the challenge fabric needed to be.

Look as closely as you can at this "challenge project.” You will find that same piece of fabric in each of the twenty squares. One person took the tiniest piece of the fabric with a small flower and used traditional colors. Others went to the opposite extreme and carried through with the brightest theme you can imagine with oranges, yellows, hot pinks and greens.

The quilt was stitched together and embellished on all of the seams until there was just not another space for any other additions. We affirm the energy and skills of our leader and the group’s founder, Jeanne Hagerman. She was the guiding light and “nimble hands” who encouraged each person to create in ways that expressed herself. Jeanne also found a Victorian window in Kansas and that is the design she stitched for the top of the quilt.

Why do I share this story? To me, affirming and valuing others is of utmost importance. While we recognize Jeanne, we must also recognize the nineteen other women who brought their creativity and individuality to this project. It shows that they are all the same...all crazy quilters, yet each is so different in the ways she chose colors, assembled her square and added embellishing stitches and fun objects.

IT IS NO DIFFERENT FROM EACH OF US IN EVERYTHING WE DO IN OUR LIVES. We are all one, yet we are all different. In realizing the sameness and respecting the differences, our lives are stitched together like the patterns of the crazy quilt. Like the quilt, there is UNITY for all of us, created by combining our originality and working to accomplish shared missions.

PS: This crazy quilt was entered in the Garden Patch Quilt Show in Milville, NJ, in March 2008 and won BEST in SHOW!!

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