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Story Submitted by: ajclapp

I am a planner, list maker, and organizer, but most of all I enjoy precision piecing quilts using modern timesaving techniques. Like many quilters, I get ideas for new quilts faster than I can process them so my list is quite long. Earlier this year I was diagnosed with Stage 0 breast cancer and my concentration level went to near zero, but I discovered I could still make quilts. Sewing is like walking for me. It's just one stitch in front of another. It doesn't take much concentration but you do have to watch where you're going. Those of you who have been sewing for a long time know what I mean. When our quilt guild asked for more Susan G. Komen miniature silent auction quilts for our quilt show last May, I spent a weekend piecing this Sunshine and Shadow quilt while waiting for test results. The squares are 3/8" finished, it was machine quilted diagonally, and a ribbon design was quilted in the border. I haven't been able to locate the photo of the finished quilt. It received a member's choice and honorable mention award at the quilt show, even with its imperfections. Since then I've pieced several more quilts that weren't on my list, finished one work in progress, and purchased fabric for two new quilts this week, one of which is already in progress. These quilts have extra blocks or cut-off triangles that will inspire my next miniature or donation quilts. My energy level has remained high and life is good. Soon my treatments will be over, my life will be back on a new schedule, and I will be making a new list. I may not finish much on that list this year, but am thankful for the doctors, nurses, and medical technicians who work together to make it possible for me to continue to make my lists, and for the prayer and support of family and friends. You do not have to have a lump to have breast cancer. Listen to your doctor if he says you have calcifications and don't skip your mammograms. If it's caught at an early stage treatment can be minimal. Don't assume you won't be the one because no one in your family has had it. Only 20% are family related, the other 80% could be anyone. Take time to make a miniature donation quilt. All it takes is a weekend and the leftover scraps from another quilt. It doesn't have to be fancy or even a prize winner. It may remind someone of a quilt from their past and make their day. If your quilt guild doesn't have a silent auction, help them start one, or check on line for other ways to donate your quilts. Every little bit helps. You can make a difference. Every day is a new day!

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