In the backstage room at Oakdale Park earlier this month, Alice Lance and Janelle Gartrell peered at the yards of carefully pieced and sewn cloth spread out before them. They talked about the past as the future stared back at them.
Silver needles wove in and out between squares of white and red fabric. The yearbook photos and signatures of Glen Rose High School seniors had been transferred onto cloth, then sewn into the annual senior quilt made by volunteers to be auctioned for Project Graduation.
The fundraiser for Project Graduation -- a spaghetti supper, silent auction and live auction, including the quilt -- will be held this afternoon and evening. The spaghetti dinner runs from 4 to 7 p.m., with the live auction beginning at 7 p.m.
In the senior quilt, the hands of grandmothers told of life experiences that the seniors can't even imagine yet. Lance and Gartrell pointed out pictures of students they know.
"I used to babysit him eight or nine years ago," Gartrell said. "And that Dillard girl goes to our church."
Yvette Whatley had embroidered the names of sports events and school organizations around the edge. Georgia Haynes, Cindy Magee, Denise Lounsberry and Debra Hunter Taylor also worked on the quilt.
The Somervell County Citizens Center gave the quilt committee work space to cut and piece quilt with use of the center's quilt-making supplies. Oakdale Park donated space to set up quilt frame to hand quilt.
The women have been working on the full-size quilt since February. Lance added up the hours and figured that an average 200 hours of labor go into making the quilt.
Each year's senior quilt is different and has a story behind it. Last year the quilt brought a record $4,100.
The quilters were working against the clock last week because the spring Paluxy Bluegrass Festival was opening Thursday and performers needed the room. Somehow, they always get it done.
The quilt was designed on paper this year, but Lance said she's ready to go high-tech next year.
"I've decided I'm going to the expense of buying a computer design program," she said.
Some have asked her why the new arena is not on the senior quilt. The preference still was to use a photo of the high school entrance, she said.
All proceeds from the auction are divided among all seniors for their Project Graduation celebration.
"It's an opportunity to help parents and graduates keep the kids safe for one more night," Lance said.
Of course, the quilt's real value is priceless, a gift from the heart to the graduating seniors of Glen Rose, with love and hope in every stitch.