Wednesday, October 31, 2007

A Letter from Caroline

When we took on the Virginia Tech Memorial Quilt Block Project, we had no idea that the response to our request for quilt blocks would be so enormous. Who would have guessed that when my husband sneaked a bolt of fabric with logos from his alma mater into my cart, that it would lead to such a moving tribute to all of those who have been touched by this terrible tragedy. Stephen and I made the decision that this project should be fittingly memorialized by meticulous documentation of each quilter's block. As a result, we are thoroughly documenting each block, including the name of the quilter who made it and any sentiments they have shared with us.

As part of the documentation effort we are photographing every single block (and there are almost 600 of them). That means that we've looked at each of the blocks up close and personal, and have been able to see all the talent and methods of expression shown by all of the quilters who participated in the block project.

There have been many surprises and insights while working on this project. For instance, last week we received the following letter from a woman named Caroline:

As a novice quilter, I am always looking around the internet for tips, ideas and projects. I just graduated from Virginia Tech this year and am truly touched by your Virginia Tech Memorial quilting project. I felt especially compelled to write to you when I saw the photograph of the block made in honor of Dr. Librescu. I was a student in his class on April 16, and it is because of him most of my classmates and I were able to get to safety. To see him being honored in so many ways means so much to me, and it moved me to see that.

I just wanted to send you a heartfelt thank you for not only doing such a wonderful project, but for giving me a sense of comfort while I was doing something as simple as surfing the internet. Every day is still a struggle to get beyond the terrible things that happened, but seeing how many people were affected by this tragedy makes me realize I am not in this alone.

I asked Caroline if I could share her letter with everyone on the blog because it moved me very deeply. I knew other people would be moved by her comments as well. Caroline said to make sure to thank "everyone who has done something for Tech after this tragedy." She also said, "It really makes a difference to us."

Believe me, receiving letters like this one, confirms my belief that these quilts have a deeper meaning and will deeply touch and inspire those who see them in the future.

The next step is sorting the blocks and sending them to quilters so that they can be sashed and quilted. We are keeping the sashing very simple as we want the focus to remain on the blocks that everyone so lovingly shared. We'll keep you posted as the project develops.