In a darkened room illuminated by a single bright light, the three women peered over their intricate work. Silver needles wove in and out between squares of white and red fabric. The names of 109 students were embroidered on the fabric – the graduating seniors of Glen Rose High School.
For Alice Lance, Bettie Townsend and Acyne Yrjana, the work is a labor of love. Lance and Yrjana are the grandmothers of senior Kiana Yrjana. Townsend is her great-grandmother. That means this year's senior quilt has three generations in it.
The quilters call what they are doing on this day working “in the ditch,” sewing tiny stitches along the seams of the squares.
Lance added up the hours and figured that more than 186 hours have gone into making the quilt.
"And that's not counting the time to travel to Fort Worth and back to find fabric," Lance said.
Each year's senior quilt is different. This year's quilt was designed by Lance and Yvette Whatley. It features a tiger print in the middle, red and white squares and a tiger animal print on the edges.
Lance and Townsend have quilted before, but it's Yrjana's first time. She used to live in this area, but now lives on Michigan's Upper Peninsula. She came all the way to Glen Rose to help with the project.
“I wouldn't have missed this,” she said as she stitched.
The women were working on a deadline. The quilt had to be finished by last Monday when it was put up for auction at the Project Graduation spaghetti supper and fundraiser.
They worked all weekend. But they made their deadline. The women finished at 4 a.m. Monday.
At the auction, the quilt sold for $500.
But its true value is priceless, a gift from the heart to the graduating seniors of Glen Rose, with love and hope in every stitch.