Thursday, July 14, 2011

Healing Waters Raffle Quilt

"Healing Waters" by members of Enchanted Quilters of Lopez Island, Washington*

Purchase a Quilt Raffle Ticket and Bring Hope to a Community

Just click here to print a page of tickets. Fill them out and send them along with your check to:

California Farmers’ Markets Association
3000 Citrus Circle Suite 111
Walnut Creek, CA 94598

Checks can be made payable to California Farmers’ Markets Association or Epilepsy Foundation Northern California.

Now to The Story!

The Enchanted Quilters of Lopez Island were recently asked by a member of the group to make an extra raffle quilt this year.

Given that EQ was founded in 1984 to help raise funds to assist the Senior Center of Lopez in paying for a new home, the quilters have averaged almost one raffle quilt a year since EQ's founding. And most of the proceeds have gone to putting a roof over the Seniors of Lopez.

Indeed, our raffle quilts continue to help care for the Seniors’ latest home, the venerable Woodmen Hall. The recently renovated Woodmen Hall is one of the oldest community buildings on Lopez and has had a long association with Lopez community life and history. We are very proud to be a part of its present reincarnation.

Above photo: Wini Alexander, one of the founding members of EQ, and Norma Peale in the 1998 Lopez Island 4th of July Parade. The raffle quilt hanging behind them, "Snowbound," is king size and was won by Kay Gagon of Lopez. Some of our quilts are won by off-islanders and thus leave the Island forever.

However, not all the quilts we have made have gone just to the Senior Center. After sifting through EQ archives, I discovered at least one quilt made by EQ members was donated to Lopez Island Hospice and Home Support.

Lopez Island is not a terribly large community. We are home to about 2,500 full time residents. Roughly, perhaps 100 of us have made a quilt at one time or another in our lives. EQ membership itself stands at about 45 at this time.

EQ member Edi Blomberg with granddaughter
Juniper at the Lopez Island Farmer's Market 2006.
More EQ Raffle quilts behind them!

This latest request of EQ members to make an extra raffle quilt was an unusual one. Why? Because the funds raised by this quilt would not go to a Lopez Island non-profit organization. Instead, funds would go to the Epilepsy Foundation Northern California.

Building Community One Gift at a Time

The story behind this unusual out-of-state request came to us via EQ member Barbara Gonce whose life-long friend has a daughter with epilepsy. All of us were so touched by this young woman’s story that we unanimously agreed to make a quilt, with members signing up to make at least two blocks each.

As always, many hands make light work. The quilt top was made in two weeks (some kind of record for us!) and handed off to be machine quilted by EQ member Peggy Schuld’s husband, Del. Within three weeks the quilt was in the hands of Tara, the young woman at the center of this story, and ticket sales began.

Above Barbara Gonce and daughter put the binding on "Healing Waters"

Shortly before the quilt was mailed, we learned that EFNC was going to have help selling the tickets for this quilt. How? EFNC would market the raffle tickets via California Farmers’ Markets Association! This was especially poignant to those of us living on Lopez Island as our own Farmer's Market is a very big part of our lives!

Lopez Island's own Farmer's Market each Saturday from June - August
is very popular with both islanders and tourists.

This is the first time ever, we have been told, that there has been a fund-raising relationship between the Epilepsy Foundation Northern California (EFNC) and the California Farmer's Market Association system to raise money to benefit the EFNC. As EQ members, it has been a joy to be a part of the catalyst that helped cement this joint effort between these two California organizations to help folks like Tara.

So what’s next? We all go to the California Farmer's Market Association website and purchase our tickets, of course!

Or just click here to print a pdf file/page of tickets. Fill them out and send them along with your check to the address printed onthe ticket.

Thank you for helping us create a future for those who suffer from this terrible disease!

Karen Alexander
The EQ Roving Reporter

*A quilt historians details:

Darlene Demetrick found the pattern in the February, 2009 issue of American Patchwork and Quilting Magazine. The name they gave the pattern is Zen and was designed by Amy Walsh of Blue Underground Studios.

The fabric was cut by Kitty Sorgen of Friday Harbor, San Juan Island. Blocks were sewn by Karen Alexander, Carolyn Baldwin, Edi Blomberg, JoAnne Bryant, Ginny Burt, Barbara Carver, Darlene Demetrick, Peggy Schuld, Nancy Wallace, Carolyn Woodward and Barbara Gonce. Kitty and Penny Torkington, also of Friday Harbor and Barbara Gonce laid out the blocks, then Barbara Gonce selected and purchased the fabric. The sewing together of the blocks was done by Darlene Demetrick, Peggy Schuld, Nancy Wallace and Barbara Gonce! Del Schuld did the quilting.