By Megan McCluskey
October 24, 2019

The internet isn’t always an uplifting place, but sometimes, something happens that reaffirms your belief in the goodness of humanity. For Twitter user Shannon Downey, that seems to be exactly what went down after she sent out a call for help completing an unfinished quilting project that she came across at an estate sale.

In a Twitter thread that has gone viral since she posted it on Wednesday, Downey explains how she discovered a box full of yet-to-be embroidered fabric squares in the bedroom of a home that had been owned by a recently deceased 99-year-old woman named Rita and just knew that she had to finish what Rita had started.

“I knew I had to buy it and finish it but it was a massive f—ing undertaking and while I embroider, I don’t quilt,” she wrote. “I bought it for $6.”

Instead of tackling the project on her own, Downey decided to reach out to her Instagram followers for help; the response was instant and overwhelming. “In one day, I had over 1,000 volunteers!!! Because people are amazing,” she wrote. “There are 100 individual hexagons to be embroidered to make the quilt…”

Downey went on to say that while her stitchers were still busy embroidering — using a quilt Rita had already completed as a style guide — she already had 30 quilters ready to handle the quilting phase.

“The packages are arriving to my stitchers and they are furiously stitching their hexies,” she wrote. “We are using the completed map that I bought (that we can reasonably assume was made by Rita) to try to mirror her stitching techniques and style!”

See the full thread below.

 

Write to Megan McCluskey at megan.mccluskey@time.com.

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