Sunday, August 16, 2015

Lutherdale Gala Quilt

Big, big news!! A quilt I contributed to was auctioned off for big money last weekend!

Let me start at the very beginning...

For many years now (I can't quite recall how many...7?), I've attended a retreat at Lutherdale Camp in January.  It's been loads of fun and is something I look forward to immensely.  It really breaks up the long cold winters.

One of the biggest fundraisers for the camp is a quilt auction held in August.  Many, many people donate quilts (hundreds!!) to be auctioned off to benefit the camp.  During the spring, they have a 'Gala Event' to thank the donors for their support. It involves a luncheon, a speaker and instructions on a block to make and send in to be assembled into a 'Gala Quilt'.

In spring of 2014, I was invited to participate in assembling the the Gala Quilt.  It was loads of fun!  The block donated from the group was a simple half square triangle with a light/dark contrast.  We trimmed them down and assembled it into a stunning arrangement.  Each block reminded me of a Fresnell lens used in lighthouses.  I don't know the real name of the pattern.

Last December, as I was prepping for the annual retreat, my friend Janet (who has coordinated the Gala Quilt for many years) asked me for ideas on this year's quilt.  I brainstormed with her and another friend and came up with a pattern that I recently saw in a magazine.  It's a faux postage stamp called "Mosaic Flood".  We asked all of the January retreaters to bring strips to camp that measure 12" x 1 1/2".  We got tons!

Then, at the Gala Luncheon in April, I was tasked with speaking in front of the group (150+ people!!).   We brought the strips and asked each person to select a variety of colors and values and make a strip set of 12.  I was told that when I described the project, it sounded kind of "ho-hum", but then when I brought out a sample of the quilt that my friend was working on (specifically to show the group), people ooohed and ahhhed!  They said the back lighting made it glow!

We asked the group to sew their sets in the next few weeks and mail them back to camp.  Six of us gathered at the end of May and spent the weekend assembling the quilt.

This was a kind of crazy quilt to work on.  We didn't have a lot of variety with the sewing or cutting, so we entertained ourselves with conversation and stories.  The pattern is to cross cut the strip sets, sew the sub-units end to end into rows and then start sewing the rows into pairs, pairs into fours, etc, etc.  The seams are offset and don't match, so its very forgiving!  Hence the "faux" portion of the postage stamp style.

By Saturday night, we finished the top!  It's a MONSTER!! 101" X 103" And we all started to say, "I'm going to bid on this at the auction!"  The variety of fabrics and the tiny sized pieces were mesmerizing!

L to R: Me, Heather, Janine, Lynn, Chris, Janet

Casey from Lutherdale quilted it at The Quilting Connection and Heather did the binding.  I was able to help out a tiny bit with the binding. =)

And now for the big finale-- this has been a long story!  The auction was last weekend and Janine was in a bidding war and eventually lost to a person that bid $1200!!! AND there was a matching grant that brought in another $1200!!  TWENTY FOUR HUNDRED DOLLARS!!!  Woo-hoo!!!

I'm thrilled that we raised so much money for such a wonderful place! This journey has been fun, exciting, rewarding we need to start over at square one and start thinking about a pattern for next year!  If you have an idea-- let me know! (seriously!)



  1. How awesome is this?? Congrats! It's so exciting when something we love to do brings so much joy to others as well.

  2. Wow! Well done! I love the quilt!

  3. What a fun time and beautiful quilt! I can only imagine who thrilled you were when it was auctioned off!!!

  4. Wow! That is ... very scrappy! Wonderful!

  5. I enjoyed the story behind the making of the quilt as much as I enjoyed the quilt :) I'm so glad it raised so much for the benefit - congratulations!