Chicago woman completes unfinished quilt found at estate sale with help from Instagram followers

CHICAGO (WLS) -- A Rogers Park woman found an unfinished quilt at an estate sale several months ago, and then she made it her mission to finish it.

Shannon Downey said Rita Smith was making the quilt before she passed away. It had the official birds and flowers of all 50 states.

Finishing the quilt was a huge undertaking, so Downey went to Instagram for help. She ended up shipping fabric pieces to volunteers in more than 30 states and 2 Canadian provinces.

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A Rogers Park artist and activist has brought together a global community through one unfinished project and a trending hashtag: #RitasQuilt.

The quilt was finished Friday night and unveiled Saturday at the Women Made Gallery in Pilsen.

Rita Smith's son said his mother would approve of Downey's work.

The quilt will head to the National Quilt Museum in Kentucky, where it'll remain on display until the end of April.
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