2008 MCC Sale Crazy Quilt

Valerie Bothell 2008

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For years I have belonged to a quilting group at my church and every year we make a quilt and donate it to the Mennonite Central Committee (MCC) Sale in Hutchinson, Kansas. The Mennonite Relief fund is used to help people who are victims of natural disasters and many times they are one of the first on the scene.

Several years ago, my girlfriend and I decided to make a crazy quilt wall hanging for the sale. I decided on a crazy quilted cross wall hanging and we passed it back and forth between us. When one person was tired of it, she would send it to the other. We were very excited that the wall hanging sold at the auction for $750! Later, we found out that it hangs in the foyer of a Mennonite church in Hutchinson, Kansas.

I teach crazy quilting and, about a year ago, I included a form to sign up for a crazy quilt round robin with the class schedule. The quilt would be made and donated to MCC Relief. I had six people decide to help me in the venture and it was wonderful! I pieced the squares and each participant was required to do four things on each square. It could either be four seams, four open spots or a combination thereof. On the first of each month, each participate was to send the square to the next person. The anticipation of receiving the next square every month was always exciting! One of the members of our group said that her husband would hide the mailing tube behind his back, just to tease her when he got the mail. This was because he knew how much she looked forward to getting the next square. It was sometimes challenging to come up with ideas that would go along with what the others had done on each square.

Because we did not live close to one another, I started a blog so that we could stay in touch with each other. I would post pictures of the squares as I received them. Apparently, some of the members of the MCC found out about my blog and followed the progress of the quilt to be donated to them. Our group didn't know that this year was the 40th anniversary of the sale. The committee members were so impressed with our quilt that they designated it the quilt to honor the occasion. We were honored when we found out about this.

This quilt became a scrapbook of our lives. It has words such as love, grace, joy and hope embroidered on it, as well as, the year and the initials MCC. It also has an embroidered wreath with a robin in the middle of it to signify that it was made in a round robin. The wheat and sunflower motifs on the quilt are there to represent Kansas.

When I dropped the quilt off for the auction, I felt like I had left my first born child! We had a calendar made of the quilt, so that we could have something to look at even though we would no longer own it. The auction was last weekend and the quilt sold for $1,350! We were really happy about that, especially since the person who purchased our quilt was one of the members of our round robin.  We knew from the big grin on her face that she had been the highest bidder. It was a priceless moment. It made us glad to know that our quilt was going to a home where it would be loved and cherished.  I am hosting a Victorian Stitchery Retreat this fall, and I have decided that the member who bought the quilt must bring it and show it off.

We have already started a new crazy quilt for next year and all of the same members have decided to continue to participate in the round robin. We worked really well together and the experience drew us all closer together. I personally think that we need to make six more crazy quilts for the sale, so that we can each end up with one. Of course, we would be nice and not bid against each other!

The calendars with pictures of the quilt can purchased through my website.

Valerie Bothell
7611 W. Barrington
Wichita, Ks 67212
(='.'=) The Pink Bunny!

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