One stitch at a time, one quilt block at a time, Ellis County quilters are helping to fight breast cancer through Common Threads Quilting’s participation in the Quilt Pink Campaign.

Now through Sept. 22, quilters and others who want to support the effort are asked to either purchase a block or make one for the quilts that will be put together at Common Threads Quilting. Blocks can be made either 9-1/2 or 12 inches in size.

“We are going to make as many quilts as we can,” employee Shelly Schrome said. “Last year, we made three and one customer made an entire quilt herself.”

A number of blocks have already been brought in and are on display for customers to vote their favorite. The winning block will receive a special gift from the store.

“They can either bring their block in ahead of time or make one the day of the event,” Schrome said. “We’ll assemble the quilt tops on the 22nd.”

The shop supplies the backing and material for the quilts, which are then turned over to several quilters who have long-arm machines to finish them out.

The first quilt completed this year will be given to the nonprofit organization putting on the third annual Pink Ribbons and Heart Luncheon Dinah Weable breast cancer survivors event. The luncheon is set for 11 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 13, at First United Methodist Church in Waxahachie.

Schrome and Denice Lipscomb, owner of Common Threads Quilting, said they are pleased to help support the Pink Ribbons and Heart Luncheon.

“They can use the quilt anyway they need to, whether it’s to help fund research or to benefit the family of a survivor,” Schrome said, saying she also expects to present quilts again to people participating in the Susan G. Komen 3-Day walk to use as fund-raisers in the fight against breast cancer.

Last year, more than 100 people locally made blocks for the quilts produced through Common Threads Quilting’s event.

“Quilters are just very caring people,” Schrome said. “A lot of women who quilt have either had breast cancer or know someone who has had breast cancer or another form of cancer. Quilting is good therapy and we’ve had women tell us that quilting has really helped them.”

Schome and Lipscomb agree that the luncheon is “a good thing” in helping people affected by the disease.

“Whether you’re fighting the disease or you love someone who has cancer, it’s a hard road,” Schrome said, with Lipscomb adding, “It gives our customers a way to help. Quilting is a passion for most quilters, it’s not a hobby. This let’s them help someone with that passion.”

This is the second year for Common Threads Quilting to be involved with Quilt Pink.

“It’s a cause that certainly is one of our passions,” Lipscomb said. “Most quilters are women and this is one of the ways we give back to the community.”

Quilt Pink Weekend, Sept. 21-23, is a fund-raising event created by American Patchwork & Quilting magazine to benefit Susan G. Komen for the Cure. In 2006, more than 1,000 shops across the country held events, with about 100,000 quilters and non-quilters joining the effort.

“Our focus is to reach out to this sisterhood,” Dinah Weable said of women in Ellis County who have battled or are battling breast cancer. “We want to reach out to those in the midst of treatments and to survivors.”

Dinah was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2001, which led to a mastectomy followed by a full reconstruction. In 2005, her husband, Ray Weable, helped organize the first luncheon as a way to honor Dinah and let her tell her story. The event is free to the breast cancer survivors attending and any leftover money from the sponsorships will be donated toward women in Ellis County who can’t afford mammograms.

For more information about the luncheon, contact the Weables at (972) 938-5093 or Sherry Dyess at (972) 938-1181.

For more information about the local Quilt Pink event, contact Schrome or Lipscomb at (972) 935-0519. Common Threads Quilting is located at 315 S. Rogers St.

E-mail JoAnn at editor@waxahachiedailylight.com