This is a quilt I made a couple of years ago from Judy Niemeyer's Feathered Goose pattern. What I love most about it wasn't the process or even the finished quilt itself, but the story of it.
A friend of mine adopted a daughter from Ethiopia. The girl had been living with her grandmother, but advancing age and failing health left the grandmother unable to manage any longer. The girl came to the United States, my friend stayed in touch with the orphanage and the grandmother, and the new family made a nice little life together.
But a few years later, my friend learned through the orphanage that her daughter's biological sister needed a home as well. The girls' grandmother, who'd continued to take care of the sister, was dying. Would she be interested in adopting the second girl?
Well, of course — she was aching to. But the first adoption had put her and her husband in a difficult financial position, and they were just digging their way out. Even calling on friends and family for help, they couldn't see any way to manage the money needed to make another adoption happen.
I wanted to help. I made this quilt and offered it as an online raffle. My friend's story touched a lot of people: At $5 a chance, we ended up raising over $11,000 for my friend's adoption. It was enough. My friend brought home another daughter, and now the two sisters will grow up together.
But my favorite part of the story is the end. The woman who won the quilt actually gave it back, saying she wanted the sisters to have it. I have a photo of the two girls in front of the quilt, and I treasure it.
I found the construction process — paper piecing and fiddly curved piecing — annoying. And once the top was pieced, I was so afraid of screwing it up that I did something uncharacteristic and sent it out for quilting. And although it's probably the most beautiful quilt I've ever made, I didn't even get to keep it. But even given all that, it's the work that I'm proudest of because it helped a new family come together and an existing family stay together.
...Now go look at some other quilts!